Ok this page is in reverse order really, so maybe you should read from the bottom up :-)
I spent a year working for Pinnacle PSG starting as a Network Administrator and quickly being promoted to Network Manager. During that time I was responsible for implementing the entire I.T. systems for the prestige Greenwich Penninsula marketing suite for KnightDragon. This involved everything from the fibre internet connections, the firewall, the telephony solution, the ESX servers and the desktop deployment to the Clearpass and Aruba wireless solution. Other projects included moving one branch of the company from its London office out to Croydon, again providing everything from the fibre lines to the on site wireless systems and everything in between. The director of the branch thanked me personally upon the completion of the move saying that it was the most seamless transition they’d ever had. I also completed the resilient fibre solution for the head office in Chelmsford. I also worked extensively with the Cisco ASA systems and the VPN’s that were the backbone of the organisation.
For nine years I was the Infrastructure Systems Administrator for Countryside Properties. In that time I took the company from being a NetWare house to being a Microsoft house. This involved building a fault tolerant ESX environment on which I built and ran all the Microsoft Windows servers. I put in a working DNS system, created all the firewall rules and built them a working Citrix farm. I designed and built the SCCM solution which now manages the Workstation builds I have deployed to every desktop machine. I wrote all the scripts that deploy all our software. I also oversaw and implemented an MPLS network to over 50 satellite sites. As I was with the company for a while, I also upgraded all of the previously mentioned systems through their various iterations.
I used to work for BEA Weblogic but back in September of 2002, two weeks after returning from holiday I was 'outsourced'. Sometimes, I think the universe has plans for us that we cannot control. Over the next five months both my parents again became seriously ill and hospitalised (both in different hospitals of course). My father died of lung cancer on January 20th 2003. My mother is still seriously ill, with among other things, a crumbled vertebrae and MRSA (Thanks go to Adambrooks Hospital for the free MRSA /sarcasm off).
These things meant that despite looking for work all that time, I was kept busy. In a way I am grateful I was able to give my parents my full attention in their time of need.
My old job title was Network Consultant when I was working at BEA systems, makers of Weblogic, an E-Commerce server. I was second line support to the northern Europe region of offices. That meant I dealt with the more complex problems the users face in their day to day working lives with information technology.
I have always had a deep fascination with technology from an early age. I cut my teeth on a ZX Spectrum kindly provided by my parents when I was 13. Since then, I have always owned at least one computer of one type or another, finally culminating in the 8 machine Windows domain I now run at home (and which runs this very web site). I have worked in the I.T. industry since I was twenty after going to college. I have worked in many different areas from building machines from scratch to designing networks and rolling out a common operating environment to an entire corporate structure. Most of my roles have been centred in support, as my other great fascination is people and psychology (not to mention sociology). The support niche allows me to combine my two interests in one which works out quite nicely for me.
I am what Adam refers to as 'a Windows weenie' as I am not a fan of Linux or Unix on the desktop. I now have an in depth understanding of it thanks to Android. I regularly root and ROM my phones for better performance and more advanced features. I have tended to specialized in the Microsoft products, as they have been the most widespread for many years. That's not to say I'm a huge Microsoft fan, almost the opposite in fact, but at the end of the day it’s applications running on their infrastructure that does what I want and need. It might not always do it quickly, or first time, or quite as I expected it to, but I am always able to bend it to my will in the end.
I have worked as both a contract and permanent employee, and find I have no real preference for either. Contract is more money and more hassle with paperwork and the tax man, permanent is more benefits and time off with less hassle from the Evil tax man. The social aspects of the two paths are apparent and quite different too, but that's a subject for another page.
That's it for now, I may expand the page if I can think of anything else relevant to it.