While I started off my college career in computer aided design, I never went into the engineering world of meshing before I made the switch back to my first love of computers. I can remember my days on the Commodore VIC-20, programing a stick figure to run across the screen and jump, then saving that code to the cassette drive. I think I was 9. I pieced together parts of my first 8088 when I was 11. So, to say I am a lifelong computer nerd is no exaggeration. After college, I worked in IT for the healthcare industry, and software development industry for healthcare systems. This gave me a great deal of experience in older systems, as well as cutting edge technology. As a result, I am experienced in many systems from AS400 and SCO UNIX, to the latest in Red Hat Enterprise 7 and Windows Server 2012 R2 along with the network infrastructure from token ring to fiber. All of this experience in old and new technology has prepared me for an office of high-tech users, like Pointwise. Often do we find creative ways to make a patchwork of various versions of Linux and Mac communicate in a Microsoft Active Directory environment.
I have been with Pointwise for over two years now, and I have to say, I have never been happier. The team here genuinely cares about the customers, and that leads to us working together better than any company I have previously been employed. Being able to work with the entire team at Pointwise to make sure the customers have great support and an excellent experience with the software makes the late night and weekend server rebuilds worth every minute.
- Location: Fort Worth, TX
- Current position: Senior System Administrator
- Current computer: Windows 10 workstation: Intel 2.9GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA Graphics. Along with Dell multi-processor servers, 40+GB RAM, RAID 5, running Redhat and Windows Server 2012 R2.
- One word that best describes how you work: Ever-changing
What software or tools do you use every day?
I use various tools for various tasks every day. The most common are Server Manager and Remote Desktop Connection Manager from Microsoft along with a terminal emulator from Cygwin for remote management of servers. However the application that is always open on my workstation is Google Chrome. With more applications becoming accessible from a browser interface, I use Chrome to access our Spiceworks server for network management, our wiki database, and Sage CRM to support the customer care system.
What does your workspace look like?
My desk is pretty simple, just my workstation, a phone, and the all-important coffee. My workspace, however, extends to the server room and the workspace of every employee at Pointwise. Our server room consists of racks of servers, some are standalone servers to control and house the build process for the developers, and others provide our virtual environment for a slew of virtual servers that supply the everyday applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Sage CRM, and many others.
What are you currently working on?
Aside from the everyday, ever-changing tasks of supporting an office full of high-tech users, I am currently working on the plans to replace the phone system at Pointwise. We will soon be moving to a cloud based VOIP system that will not only give us more capabilities and flexibility to assist our customers, but protect the system from obsolescence and disaster.
What would you say is your specialty at Pointwise?
I think my specialty at Pointwise is my adaptability. The IT world is always changing and the system admin must change with it. Our staff is highly technical and that means the company’s needs are always pushing the cutting edge of technology. Whether it is replacing an entire phone system or configuring a workstation to support 512GB of RAM, tell me what you want, and I will make it happen.
Any tips, tricks, or advice for our users?
Be nice to your IT guys. Aside from fixing issues with workstations, the IT guys have many systems on the back-end to maintain. When it comes to IT, it is what the users don’t see that make the everyday possible.
What project are you most proud of and why?
With several projects successfully completed, such as moving services to Active Directory Authentication, a new backup system, and some major revisions to Sage CRM, I would have to say the one I am most proud of has yet to be completed. The phone system upgrade has already been a major task of planning and coordination. Between upgrading our fiber bandwidth, planning the building’s analog needs, and finding the best system that fits our needs, when it is complete, this will be my proudest accomplishment.
Have you recently read any books or articles we should know about?
Do Firefly comics count? Yes, I am a Browncoat. So much so, that I had my fiancé’s engagement ring custom made in Sweden to match the Serenity ship with a yellow gemstone as the engine in “full burn.” Other than that, I read technical, political, and space exploration articles.
Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year?
The IT team here at Pointwise alternate years going to Spiceworld, the annual conference for the Spiceworks product we use to assist in managing the network. It is a great conference of training and talking to many vendors of IT infrastructure.
What do you do when you’re not surrounded by engineers making meshes?
Probably fishing, camping, boating, and anything near or on a lake. I am currently restoring a 1979 Silverline cabin cruiser boat. If I am not on the lake, my fiancé and I are on my Harley motorcycle getting lost on the road.
What is some of the best advice you’ve received?
There are so many Firefly quotes I can think of right now, but I think for the best advice I have ever received, I would have to look further back in history for the quote.
“You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, not look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the specters in books. You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, you shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.” – Walt Whitman.
If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go?
I guess, since I have a Whataburger tattoo on my leg, the answer should be Whataburger, but I really like Mexican food. So, while Whataburger holds a special place in my heart going back to my childhood, I would have to say a good hole it the wall, family owned, Mexican food restaurant would be my choice.