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My Second Year In IT

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by craigie, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    I have just completed my second year in IT, I thought I would share with you what I have been up to and more importantly how my role has changed. This is really a continuation of this My First Year In IT

    I haven’t been posting as much as I would do normally, but the last twelve months have been really intense. Hopefully it will help others and show that even in this economic climate you can forge ahead with your career, if you invest smartly in yourself.

    New Job

    After completing my first year in IT, I moved into Third Line Support, for a Managed Service Provider which was big step up from where I had previously been working.

    We had restricted access to servers in my previous position, in this new environment, full Domain/Enterprise Admin access.

    I remember my first day clearly, 30 minutes off training on the ticket logging software, then it was right get balls deep!

    It was an awakening into the world of managing IT for small to medium sized business (5 user site to 1,000 user plus with full MPLS), with whatever call deal with has to be resolved, no escalation, you fix it first time every time unless it needed to go for an engineer visit.

    As we manage so many businesses IT (over 500), we have access to everything with abundance:

    - Exchange 2003/2007/2010
    - Server 2000/2003/2010
    - Citrix 4.0/4.5./5.0
    - SQL
    - BES 4.1 & BES 5
    - Cisco Routers/Firewalls
    - SonicWall Firewalls

    To name but a few.

    After being with the company for few months, I noticed that there were a couple of areas of expertise that I could exploit, namely Cisco and BlackBerry work, as we had a lack of skill and resources in these areas.

    I knew that if I applied the same processes e.g. studying and the right attitude and aptitude that I would be given the opportunities as there was so much work.

    I under took the CCENT and CCNA off my own back, without any support from the company as I knew there was a only a couple of people with those skills and we have a couple of big contracts looking after Cisco Infrastructure.

    Once I had passed my exams, work took notice and sent me out to install a couple of £10,000 Cisco Routers across a LES Link for a local college. I ensured this work was completed in a timely fashion and that everything was documented as I knew this was my chance to prove myself.

    Since then, I have lead and now manage and maintain the Cisco Infrastructure for our big contracts working on major infrastructure changes. I have been all over the country installing Cisco Firewalls and Routers, and allot of the work that I undertake is for companies with their own IT Departments who use me as the Cisco expert!

    In regards to the BlackBerry’s again, like the Cisco stuff, I have proven the lead on most BlackBerry issues. I have installed over 10 BES Servers in the last 12 months and am currently working on a project to upgrade a BES 4.1 to BES 5.0 on new hardware migrating 400+ users for our largest client.

    One of the things that I cannot emphasis enough is to put yourself out there. We have Senior Engineers who perform Server Upgrades & Migrations. I asked after a few months to get involved with them working over the weekends.

    I believe that I have been on approximately 15 Server Migrations in the last twelve months, mostly from Server 2003 to Server 2008, I can honestly say that I have learnt a huge amount from this, mostly from when things go belly up!

    Over the last six months, I have been leading my own Server Migrations and have performed three, with the last one a weekend ago which was from Server 2000 to Server 2008, with a completely new infrastructure, Server 2008, Exchange 2007, Terminal Server 2008, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5, with a remote site to boot. Needless to say it went smoothly, four 14 hour days, but the client was really happy.

    When performing these massive changes, the most important thing is communication, things do go wrong, no matter how much planning you do, you need to know how to think, adapt and prioritise on the fly.

    Professional Qualifications – Twelve Months

    As mentioned in my first year in IT post, I had completed the MCSE and to be frank was completely bored off Microsoft stuff.

    I under took the Cisco CCENT and CCNA, which was much harder, but far more enjoyable.

    Every day on the way to work, I would listen to the CBT Nuggets and study, and then practice, practice, practice.

    I also went on a Citrix Certified Administrator Xen App 5.0 last November and passed the exam about a month later. Have to say having your company pay for a course is easier if you aren’t very disciplined but you have to be able to pay attention for large periods of time.

    I also achieved the Exchange 2007 credentials and have passed one of the MCSE to MCITP : Enterprise Administrator exams (only one to go).

    Work have already mentioned that when the next Senior position comes up it will be mine (hopefully within six months, the way we are expanding). So to sum up:

    - Third Line Support
    - Server Migrations & Installations
    - Cisco Firewall & Router Installations specialising in Site To Site VPN’s
    - Achieved CCENT, CCNA, CCA, Exchange 2007 and 70-647 Exam
    - Increased earnings by £3K

    Over the next twelve months, I want to achieve my MCITP: EA, VCP and CCNA: Security qualifications. From a work prospective, I want to keep doing more off the same.

    Any questions, please ask I'm happy to give advice to anyone who wants to go frmo 1st Line Support to Server Migrations/Installations within two years!
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  2. crazy horse

    crazy horse Byte Poster

    Thank you Craigie!! I have read a lot of your posts since joining the forum - especially the CCNA ones whilst I was studying for that. Your contribution and feedback has been brilliant and exemplified by this post. Repped! :D
  3. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    That is some serious achievement Craigie, tips hat! 8)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  4. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Nice one Craidizzle, you've done cracking mate and deserve every success 8) Long will it continue with an attitude like that :thumbleft
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  5. Dave_unemployed

    Dave_unemployed Nibble Poster

    Well done thumps up. For me, thats definitly the way to go!

    Well done!!
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP and MCDST
    WIP: 70-680
  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    An amazing achievement Craig and well done as you're a great inspirator on cert forums:) Best wishes.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  7. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    God damnit Craigie slow down! your making us all look bad..... :p

    Seriously, well done mate and best of luck for year three!
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  8. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    Wow good job Craigie, really good stuff you've been doing!
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  9. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

    Impressing, Inspirational + Well deserved
  10. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    Thanks fellas, hopefully the next two years will be as fruitful!
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  11. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    Craigie I would love to have you on my team! I have a desk and computer ready for you! :twisted:

    Seriously though, I don't have a doubt you'll do well...
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  12. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy Kilobyte Poster

    Good work Craigie, gotta say you certainly are an inspiration to me, to see how well you have come on just shows its possible for anyone to make progress, if they work hard!
    Certifications: VCP,MCSA, MCP, MCDST, MCITP, MCTS, A+, N+
  13. arj7

    arj7 Nibble Poster

    Wow your hard work and dedication is amazing. I don't think I have the self motivation do what you have done so quickly!
    Well done

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