I am primarily self-taught in the IT world but it has served me well over the years.
I decided to go for a degree in IT for my main qualification as I enjoy working with computers, whether for social, entertainment or working needs.
During my spare time I like to visit a couple of forums (namely Hardware Heaven and Ebuyer) to help people out, spec PCs, etc. On a Wednesday and a Sunday I visit a friend's home for gaming. Wednesdays are PC gaming (usually) and Sundays are for Roleplaying (D&D, etc).
In my most recent placement I have been working as a systems engineer for a well-respected PHP software development company, Zowta Ltd.
In my role as a systems engineer I work on maintaining the in-house software release system and maintain the three CentOS VPS servers. I am solely responsible for this role and also the migration of the systems to a cloud hosting provider.
There are three systems that are used for hosting applications for the workplace:
The first system is designated to hosting JIRA, which is fault-logging software. The role of JIRA in the company is for assigning development tasks to the development team, whether bug fixes, improvements or even system-critical issues that is stopping the software from performing its function. JIRA runs on Apache on this server and stores data to a MySQL database.
The system was also configured to run a website that has since been moved, which ran on Apache with Passenger for its Ruby front-end and Tomcat for its Java back-end application.
The second system is designated to hosting customer-facing Magento demos running on Apache, which talk to MySQL databases.
The third system is designated to hosting the main Magento website where customers place orders. This also runs on Apache and talks to a MySQL database.
For an increase in performance, at the time of writing, the servers are planned to be migrated to cloud hosted servers running Nginx and MariaDB, which has been proven to be a combination well-suited for Magento to provide a very high performance.
Previously, I was working as in-house IT Technician in a call centre of approximately 300 systems, which is a very demanding environment; a few minutes’ down-time in that call centre cost hundreds of pounds so a solid uptime and quick turnaround was crucial.
During my role as an IT Technician I have re-designed the company’s Active Directory structure, including the implementation of Group Policies to heavily lock-down the agents’ desktop environments and restrict network access to any servers through Windows’ security settings.
My role also required me to maintain a multitude of Windows servers, ranging from Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server 2008 R2. This mainly involved ensuring that the event logs were clear of errors, hardware was healthy and software running on the servers was still functional. One of the servers that I managed the software for was a server running BitDefender Management Server, which maintains the security software across the domain.
My experience with the call centre also included a lot of work with Microsoft SQL queries as well as Visual Basic .NET, which combined nicely for me to provide a user interface for office staff members who required an easy-to-use method of querying SQL databases. Being written in-house also allowed its users the ability to present feedback for any changes to be made or features to add. It has been a success and is now used more frequently than the official software.
My experience with writing VBS scripts, VB.NET applications and SQL queries also helped make a few additions to the Active Directory Group Policies to implement key features that were not otherwise achievable.