Experiences Sep 22, 2020

ICTskills2020 – Participating in the Swiss ICT championships.

There’s a competition that’s all about IT, a topic I’m passionate about? Where do I sign up? This was my reaction when I first heard about SwissSkills two years ago. One thing was clear. A lot of hard work and skill were needed to get there.

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Jan Wiesmann
Apprentice Computer Scientist EFZ, Team Network & Security

What’s it all about?

SwissSkills is the name given to the Swiss championships in a range of professions that takes place every two years. To qualify, you first have to take part in the regional championships. Some 300 trainees from all over Switzerland take part with the top 10 in the current year and the top 10 from the previous year qualifying for SwissSkills. The medallists from the previous SwissSkills are also invited meaning that a maximum of 23 people can take part.

The road to SwissSkills.

So, I had a target, but how was I going to reach it. The first step was to prepare for the regional championships that cover three subject areas: Networking, Windows Server and Linux Server. Networking and Windows Server weren’t going to pose too big an issue as they were part and parcel of my daily work, but Linux? We’d had a module on Linux at school, but would it be enough?

I started to build virtual labs at home by configuring virtual routers, switches and, of course, all Windows and Linus servers. Linux was by far the most complex because there’s no GUI so you have to know the commands by heart. This was definitely the biggest challenge for me at the start, but after a while I got the hang of it and ventured to try out the preparation tests you can use to simulate exam conditions.