From my scientific, IT and emplyoment experiences I have gained a wide range of technical skills and understanding in the IT field that not only cover hardware and software but also the combination to provide end-user and business services.
I have a wide range of hardware knowledge that covers:
- Key components and hardware
- Troubleshooting and replacing failed hardware
- Upgrading components
- Building systems, from single desktops to fail-over clustered storage arrays
I am always reading about the latest developments and technological trends and am very confortable rooting digging deep into technical issues.
I have installed, tried and worked with many operating systems – open, free and commercial, my experience covers:
- Microsoft DOS with Windows 3.1 and the Windows 9x series
- Windows Vista and Windows 7
- Windows Server 2003 hrough 2008 R2
- GNU/Linux – many flavours including RedHat/Fedora, Mandriva, SuSE eventually settling with Ubuntu Server
- Apple Mac OS X 10.3 “Panther” through 10.6 “Snow Leopard”
I am very proficient with the Windows range of desktop and server operating systems, including the differences between the myriad of versions and editions.
I have direct knowledge of a wide range of software that includes:
- Office: principally Microsoft Office including Project, Visio and BCM but also other office suites such as OpenOffice and Lotus SmartSuite
- Fireworks and Dreamweaver from the Adobe Creative Suite
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and 2007
- Microsoft ISA Server and Threat Management Gateway
- Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2007, 2010
- Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2008 and 2010
- Symantec Enterprise Protection (EndPoint Client and Security for Exchange)
- HP Systems Insight Manager and Dell IT Assistant for managing servers
- Opsview Enterprise Monitoring System
- Microsoft Hyper-V, Hyper-V 2 virtualisation platforms
In most cases my experience comes from migrating systems from one platform to another or from implementing a new service that involves installing, configuring and subsequently supporting the software.
My knowledge of networking covers both the hardware required for medium-sized corporate networks, and the software/settings required for a heterogeneous computer environment to co-operate:
- Hardware: routers, bridges, switches, cabling, network cards
- Gigabit and 10Gb architecture and requirements
- Wireless: access points, encryption (WEP, WPA), WDS points/repeaters, 802.11b/g/n
- TCP/IP networking, from layer 2 through 7
- Security: Firewalling, NAT, routing, wireless security, share and user level security, setting up DMZ zones and port forwarding, intrusion prevention, hardening servers, IPSEC
- Network Services: DNS, DHCP, authentication, file and printer access, remote desktop, VPN (PPTP, L2TP, SSTP) client and site-to-site
I have worked mainly with HP ProCurve switches with Microsoft Threat Management Gateway providing edge security and remote access (VPN)
The security of systems and data is an increasingly active field and one that I keep myself aware of for the protection of users, company data and the network. I have experience of implementing and configuring:
- Endpoint anti-virus products
- Network authentication and security (see ‘Network’)
- Secure File Vaults and partitions for encrypting sensitive data
- Password administration
- IPSec authentication and encryption
- Encryption and tunnels (SSH, VPN)
- Network monitoring systems
- Control and secure quarantine of SPAM in messaging systems
- Network Firewalling and DMZs for public services
Security of the network resources and assets remains one of the most difficult aspects of IT management and also has the most far-reaching consequences.
A valuable skill in anybody’s book is effective troubleshooting and repair of a broken system. From intermittent crashes due to faulty RAM or overheating, to discovering bugs in newly released software, I have come across a wide range of problems and have diagnosed and managed to fix the majority of them.
My scientific background means I have learned the steps needed to precisely locate, diagnose, track, repair and post-test a problem quickly and effectively. Situations I encounter in everyday work continually build on and improve my skills.
IT progresses rapidly, which is why it is important to stay ahead and learn new technologies in hardware and software as they are developed. I enjoy browsing online technology sites (/., wired, ArsTechnica, InfoWorld the Register and Inquirer) and reading reviews of new products and software, I keep myself informed of new developments, particularly in the x86 hardware and software world.
One of the rewards for keeping at the forefront of new technologies is being able to implement new and improved services and keep IT agile but stable, not letting it turn into an entrenched legacy system that becomes ever increasingly expensive to maintain.