Here are some sample projects and roles from my technical career.
University of Kentucky
Working for UK is an ongoing learning process!
Communications Project Estimator
- Create accurate estimates for building, network, and infrastructure upgrades around campus and at UK’s medical centers
- Interpret and create network designs, wireless AP layouts, and construction floor plans to price needed equipment
- Research pathways, conduit, fiber circuits, and other needs to create projects up to $300K. This often involves a lot of ladders and a few mucky manholes.
- Work closely with project managers, engineers, ITS technicians, and electrical contractors to ensure success at job sites
IBM Global Services
My eight years at IBM were busy! Here are just a few of the projects I touched:
Network Engineer Daily Responsibilities
- Designed, built, and supported LANs and SANs in one of the largest datacenters in the eastern U.S.
- Worked with Ops to enable IBM to meet outsourcing customer SLAs
- Installed physical cabling of all sorts (yes, even FDDI and token ring!)
- Supported, upgraded, and managed IBM’s internal campus area network
- Maintained documentation and diagrams for internal and customer networks
- Configured and updated switches, routers, and firewalls
- Set up servers (proxy, TACACS, Linux, etc) as needed
- Automated tasks with Bash and Perl scripts whenever possible
- Provided remote support (L3) as needed
- Traveled to IBM customer locations to meet with engineers
- Performed discovery on legacy networks and worked to upgrade or sunset them
- Audited and tracked network devices around the world
- Performed code updates on Cisco routers and firewalls
- Worked with GRC team to ensure compliance
- Became familiar with frameworks such as NIST SP 800-53
- Performed vulnerability assessments and threat hunting
- Participated in the FBI Infragard program and attended meetings to better understand security threats
802.11 Wireless Deployment
I was tasked with deploying a Cisco WLAN for part of IBM’s Lexington, KY, campus.
- Conducted site surveys and determined placement for APs
- Ordered equipment, performed vendor management, and directed contractor for installing the PoE drops
- Configured and managed APs
Databeam LAN Conversion
When IBM acquired Databeam, I was tasked with creating a new network infrastructure at their Lexington office. I was given a budget and planned for wiring closets, security, cabling, office drops, and other physical + logical network concerns.
Team Linux Server and Custom Tools
- I managed the team Linux server and hosted an intranet site (Apache) for our internal tools
- I helped cut down the number of daily tasks by coding a web app to allow other teams to request IP addresses on different networks without our intervention. The app updated our documentation and tracked ownership.
- I set up SNMP-based graphical tools to monitor devices for load, link saturation, etc
- Created and maintained proxy / jump servers so support teams could access customer systems
SAN Design and Support
- Designed, implemented, and supported SANs from a variety of vendors
- Performed zoning changes as requested by server sysadmins
- Received EMC SAN Architect certification
- Mentored three new hires and two interns
- Served as technical backup on their customer accounts
Code Red and SQL Slammer Worm Mitigation
IBM’s internal network was hit by the Code Red worm in 2001. I aided mitigation efforts by setting up scripts to watch Apache and IPTABLES logs on a Linux server. When the signature for Code Red was matched, I was able to grab the IP address of the infected host, get the MAC address from ARP, then use SMB to query the Netbios name of the machine (which often yielded the user). It was a homebrew IDS for sure, but it worked!
Although not included in the automation, we could then use SNMP to locate the wiring closet and switch port of the infected user. We then disconnected the offending laptop by disabling its switch port, giving the desktop support team time to do their stuff.
Later, in 2003, I used a similar method to help mitigate the SQL Slammer worm as it caused a DOS on networks I supported.
Systems Maintenance Inc
Systems Maintenance Inc (SMI) in Lexington, KY, provided good experience in a customer-facing role. I traveled (domestic) around 50 percent while working for this small MSP.
Customer Support Technician
- Traveled to customer locations to install and repair PCs, servers, printers, terminals, and if asked, the coffeemaker
- Performed component-level repairs on monitors, terminals, and large printers
- Discovered the mean bite of a large flyback transformer (~20K volts) inside a Dell monitor
- Received CompTIA A+ certification
I did sales for hardware and software solutions as needed to keep our customers current.
- I handled warranty repairs for Dell and Toshiba laptops
- I did warranty repairs for Wyse terminals and thin nodes
- I received Dell, Wyse, NEC, and Toshiba certifications
Lexmark provided my first technical job out of high school and also sponsored me through electronics training (certificate received)
I performed circuit board repairs in the manufacturing environment. We made PCBs for printers, PCs, POS terminals, and other hardware.
Lexmark selected myself and a handful of other employees to attend an intensive electronics school at night. We learned to use oscilloscopes, design logic circuits, and other useful skills.
Research and Development
After working in the manufacturing area for three years, I moved over to Building 032/038 to help with R&D.
I worked with engineers to make changes to prototype boards. Whenever an ASIC or pinout would change, I had to make it fit within the existing PCB. This required interpreting schematics and soldering jumper wires…always a lot of jumper wires.