This guy! This guy has been fiddling with computers since he was a small child. Since computers themselves weren’t cheap when I was a kid, I got more into web development. Back in the old days of Geocities and the such, always attempting to edit and modify HTML code, which led me to Perl, and eventually to PHP. As I got older though, my father would take me in to work with him to assemble computers so he could work on actual server projects as I had a knack for technology.
As a young adult, I ended up joining the Army Reserves to get away from home. I ended up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. My lack of a specific job in my unit had me tossed into a warehouse doing inventory and entering information, which I showed a knack for. I was asked to input some data as my contractor boss had not wanted to directly do it himself and expected that it would keep me busy for a day or two and the work lasted about an hour. This is how I progressed towards my job in Cuba as his replacement and my eventual position in the Help Desk as that was the deal. During this time, I picked up the Security+ and Network+.
While with the Help Desk, I acquired my CCNA with some friends because I thought it would be interesting. Following that, I was dropped into the Networking department and pulled cable, configured switches, setup routers, DSL modems, worked on ATM switches, and what have you.
And yet another turn of events, I left Cuba to come home to Arizona and took a job working as a PHP/MySQL web developer and Help Desk technician for a small process serving/background checking company. This was the end of my interest in doing actual web development for other people. Eight hours in the office working on stuff for people and web development, followed by working late into the night, and treated as if I wasn’t doing enough.
All of that led me back to Cuba, where I started in the Help Desk shop again, instantly got bumped up to the highest slotted tech because while I was gone, someone had found all of the scripts I had made and used and attempted to get people to use while I was there before. I had cut down the response time for the help desk, and the amount of effort that they needed to put in for frequent tasks. My solving of issues quickly and efficiently by being able to research and articulate to others what needed to be fixed allowed me to very quickly move into the Systems Administrator role.
There, I learned quite a bit about servers from my wonderful coworkers. I developed an Active Directory update web application in ASP.NET to allow our domain users to update their contact information, managed WSUS, and was responsible for many other servers on two segregated networks. By this time, I had spent far too long on this small military base and decided that the next step would be… Iraq. More small military bases.
In Iraq, I managed some servers for the intelligence community, developed an application to quickly sort data and cut a daily day long job down to about thirty minutes, found out that the previous Systems Administrator that I had replaced had shammed the company out of a lot of money by claiming unnecessary time working on projects that weren’t needed. I had to break into an Active Directory server he had left behind to see if there was any important information on it for the company as he didn’t document or leave anything behind. The server was annoyingly empty.
After Iraq, I ended up in Bagram, Afghanistan with the same company. I got the opportunity to fly around Afghanistan and train our users on how to use our software, and in that process one time I had the experience of spending a week couch surfing through Afghanistan trying to get back to my own bed and dealing with some server incompetence in flight scheduling. The first flight was nice, I got to sit up in the cockpit with the pilots, as I was working out frequently at the time and bearded, I apparently looked like someone of importance as I had an entire aircraft to myself. I was scheduled on a cargo flight, bumped from another flight by a higher ranked person, I was told a flight was cancelled only to have the flight reinstated right after I walked out the doors… I found out when I came back to return my ticket.
After that, I came home, took a job working in a data center for a major travel company. It was great at first as I had been job hunting for about a month before I found it. It was nice at first, kept me busy, but I had noticed fairly quickly that no one I had met had been there more than about 8 months. The rotation was far too high and I needed to get out of there.
I got employment with a local legal firm that has had ads on TV since I was a child, and has yet to update any of their advertising from since time from the looks of it. I worked on maintaining existing infrastructure and attempting to improve things until our virtual desktop implementation was going to go through. I worked with one of my best friends there, we managed an old version of LegalFiles which was quite the nightmare at first, as well as the rest of the domain. Eventually though, the learning came to a stop, I ended up being a Microsoft Office tutor and decided it was time to take a “Sabbatical”.
During this period, I took on odd IT jobs here and there and attempted to start my own side company but I wasn’t quite prepared for that. So, I went back on the job hunt and ended up at an EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software company where I am currently employed. I have been involved more virtualization, initial builds, migration, and travel than I have with any other company. I’ve also developed a new level loathing of printers and faxing as neither of those things ever seem to work properly. Especially when you’re supporting around a hundred clients who all use them.
I’m a single guy who’s a part of a huge running group which is full of ridiculous people. I’ve spent a lot of time in the valley attempting to discover new foods, particularly ones withing bicycle range of my house. That is, until yesterday when I had to cut my bicycle off of a rack because my lock decided that it would no longer accept the key. So, I, in my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajama pants that my mother gave me, had to remove a lock in broad daylight. There had to have been some people laughing about that.
In Iraq, I picked up CrossFit because I wanted to get in shape, I just became tubby fit. It wasn’t until I left there and went to Afghanistan that I learned how to diet in a way my body accepted, that, with CrossFit and literally nothing to do aside from Salsa Dance (yes, Salsa) on one night a week, I got into pretty decent shape and ended up instructing CrossFit for about six months. After getting back, I started dating regularly and gained a little extra weight from finding good food and beer again.
When I was fifteen, I lived in a one room shack on a mountain with an outhouse and a shower that used ice cold well water in the winter. During said winter, my brothers and I had to walk down the mountain to the place where the buses were parked and wait for the driver in the mornings. I was the first person on the bus in the morning and thankfully in the afternoons I was one of the first off. I learned there how little in life I actually need to stay happy.
My mother and father separated before I can remember anything, I have two half-brothers in California, a wonderful step-father, and other family that I just can’t seem to keep track of.