The Usual Tech Ramblings

Joys of a new work environment

So it has been a substantially long time since I’ve posted something, and that’s not because I’m being lazy. Well, okay partially because I’m lazy. Evernote has about 7 notes in it for things I want to post about, mostly issues I’ve resolved, but I’ve just been super busy recently.

One of the things I’ve thoroughly enjoyed about my change in work places has been the learning experiences I’ve been subjected to. Where I used to work was pretty much the same stuff, day in, day out. There was little change, and even the introduction of new companies being acquired really didn’t change that. They were either sucked into the fold and their technologies changed to ours, or they were kept separate and I had little to do with them.

Since changing companies I’ve gone from just using VMware and a small level of administering the infrastructure, to being one of the “go-to” people for it in our environment. Same with the storage infrastructure. Where I used to work there was 2 classes of storage, the big beafy HQ stuff where I had no control over at all, to the local NAS which I managed. This has changed to being one of the “go-to” people for the storage stuffs too.

None of that is to say I didn’t learn stuff where I used to work. Due to all the issues we had with code and servers, I have a very broad range of troubleshooting skills that have come in very handy. It helps that I also got a good look at a lot of the code there too because I’ve got a knowledge of reading and understanding code that I probably wouldn’t have in otherwise.

The cool thing about the place I work now is that the development team drive a lot of the changes, working with a very agile development structure. They push the boundaries of our infrastructure, and we adapt and solve for their problems or ideas. This has lead to some pretty cool stuff, and melding of technologies. For example, I’m currently reading up on IIS ARR1. Last month I was tinkering with Windows Azure.

On my list of new things I’ve been learning and playing with at work:

  • IBM DataPower Appliances
  • VMware ESXi
  • HP 3Par SAN storage
  • Brocade fiber switches
  • HP servers (used to work in an all Dell office)
  • HP Blade chassis
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Exchange 2010 (Been away from Exchange for a long time)
  • More PowerShell than just my “tinkering” scripts
  • More indepth IIS work
  • Lync 2010/2013 (I built out the infrastructure and deployed both)
  • McAfee Mail gateways
  • HP Rapid Deployment tools
  • Lots more stuff I am always forgetting…

One thing that did surprise me was becoming a mentor of sorts too. People come to me for guidance and tips on issues. I don’t give out answers, but I’ll guide them in the right direction. This has interested me because I’ve never considered myself an educator in any way, but I apparently seem to be doing okay at guiding people.

I love my job, constantly learning, even when not working with new stuff. As my boss and I constantly say “never a boring day”.

  1. IIS Application Request Routing. It’s being used as a potential replacement for ISA/TMG, but is much more, including load balancing, content caching (think CDN), reverse proxy, ssl offloading, and so on.