Thursday, 1 March 2012

My Professional Life: A Synopsis

My professional Information Technology life
It started in 1988, which is when I got my first job supporting Information technology installations that included hardware maintenance and repairs as well as the installation/support of software and the resolution of problems that arise from such deployments.
I trained as an Electrical/Electronics Engineer, learnt to program in Basic, ForTRAN 77 and Pascal but it was not long before I realised that most of the hardware components even where they could be fixed our customers preferred to replace faulty systems and have their systems functional in the shortest possible time so they could get on with their work.
This became the excitement of my whole career, looking for working, functional, cost-effective and enduring solutions to problems my customers have.
Addressing thorny problems
Most of my working life has had me in consultancy positions crafting methods and processes of getting disparate systems and applications to work together, the first of which in those days was mail-merging a Dbase III address database into a formal letter in Wordstar, working with Lotus 1-2-3 and Harvard Graphics for presentations, then being an expert for a legal publishing company working for Xerox Ventura Publisher, Dbase III, WordPerfect, CorelDraw and many other utilities.
When I worked for a further education college, I laid out the plan to migrate from the then expensive support structure and archaic network operating system of RM Machines to more open and cost-effective third-party systems running on Novell Netware 3.11 and more contemporaneous Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office software on the clients.
Server Support & Software Distribution
After that project, I ran Novell Netware environments for an actuarial firm and then for an insurance firm offering remote support to over 20 sites in the United Kingdom and abroad. By then, I was already Novell Netware Certified and was ready for my new assignment at an oil company where I deployed the first software distribution process using Microsoft SMS 1.1.
From 1996, I have designed, built, supported and trained people and teams in Microsoft SMS 1.1/1.2/2.0/2003 and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 in the finance, insurance, computer services, aviation, banking and electronic consumer goods industries.
Changing the organisation
Software Deployment for me has not just been a tool, it has been a method that extends to the improvement of the interaction that users in an enterprise have with the systems that can make them more productive in their work life.
The basic concept that has governed the work I do is optimising and perfecting the user experience such that what the user needs is available in a timely and affordable manner, meaning that the support frameworks have to be streamlined, the solutions have to be easy and the ideas have to be repeatable with respect to device, usage and access.
That is what makes my work fun and challenging, I always look forward to opportunities that are receptive of progressive change and it is my job to ensure that the process of change is as seamless and pain-free as possible.
This blog will serve as forum to offer ideas, bring together opinions and highlight different aspects of my career.

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