….my work life….
I figure I’m just your average guy, working in IT since 1995.I got into the IT field when I was in college, and realized I knew more about computers than those who were teaching the courses. At that point, I went and got myself signed up for a a course in Novell NetWare. After a month, I earned my first computer certification, Certified Novell Administrator on NetWare 3.x. After another five months, I got through my seven required exams, and earned my second computer certification, Certified Novell Engineer on NetWare 3.x.
That’s when I got my first job in computers (well, I technically started working a month before my last exam for CNE-3). A small company located in Tewksbury, MA call Computer Marketplace, Inc. (CMI) My roles was Network Engineer….kind of a catch-all title, but in short, I was responsible for our customers networks, users, printers, servers, …everything…. the outsourced IT guy for many companies. I learned a lot here, as I was really really green in the real world application of my computer skills.
Learned a lot at CMI, through hands on experience, self-study for many Microsoft, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard exams for servers, networking, and my first Compaq StorageWorks Fiber Chanel SAN. I learned the difference between having a good manager, and a bad manager. My employment at CMI ended after my ‘bad’ manager restricted my study and personal growth, stating something along the lines of “….you don’t need to learn those things, just keep doing what you are doing…’ Off I went to find another job, and I found one with just the right set of challenges I was looking for….
Expert Server Group (ESG…not to be confused with Enterprise Strategy Group) was a company in Bedford, NH. My manager at ESG was great, and provided me mentoring over many years. We looked at the skill I had, what the company needed, and always encouraged me to learn something new. I still was focused on our customers, their networks, servers, users, but with larger customers, and much less focus on desktops and printers.
Hands on experience, self study, and my desire to learn new things kept me very busy. Just in the first couple of years at ESG, I took somewhere around 50 exams…. Microsoft Windows 2000 & 2003, Cisco (did both the CCNP and CCDP tracks), Compaq Master Accredited Systems Engineer, Hewlett-Packard, Polyserve Matrix Computing (now owned by HP), IBM AIX, SUN Microsystems (Solars 8-10, and many specialties they offered), Veritas (mostly Volume Manager, Veritas Cluster, & NetBackup), and then found this new company, VMware.
At this point, I fell in love with virtualization as a core technology in the datacenter. Having a background in server operations systems, networking, and FC SAN, this made it easy for me to grasp the concepts, and master the design and architecture of these systems early on.
I spent nearly 7 years at ESG, and things were good.
Virtualization was one of those things people didn’t believe in initially, and once they saw it work in their environment, they could not live without.
Over those 7 years, I found I needed to teach people how to use this, and my love of documenting and teaching came out naturally. I found I could break this technology down, teach how to use it, and help my customers own the solution. There are still customers (friends at this point) I speak with, an we reminisce about the ESX 2.x to 3.x migration when no one knew we swapped the servers and upgraded the infrastructure.
I left ESG to move on to (what I believed at the time) were greener pastures, for a short stay at American Express in Phoenix, AZ. I quickly learned that the consultant’s / VAR life was for me, as being in the same office day after day,….well….it just didn’t keep me motivated.
But I did get one thing out of American Express….Reference Architecture.
One of the things I was responsible for, that helped me continue my personal growth.
I was in Phoenix, and decided I should stay here (well…since I WAS here), and see if I could find employment that would keep me challenged.
….more to come…