Bigmacbear's Den

This is not the U.S. Navy.
(aka What I Do For a Living)

I'm currently an Information Security Professional at AT&T in Bothell, Washington. This job is an outgrowth of my experience in Unix system administration, about which you can see more below. I began my AT&T career working on Solaris systems which were reaching the end of their service life, which has become one of the major issues with my current position.

I used to be one of two Unix system administrators for engineering at NexPress, A Kodak Company, a job which involved obtaining, installing, maintaining, and retiring Sun workstations and servers. This represents a return to a job I had some years ago at Kodak; I came to that job from a previous position there as a software engineer, when I discovered that I was spending more time (and having more fun ;-) maintaining the servers and networks we programmed on than doing the actual programming.

Previously, I was a Global Network Administrator for Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg for short), and was responsible in particular for their North American Internet Access Point in Rochester. In this job I installed and maintained routers, switches, firewalls, proxy server appliances, and other such systems which formed one of three major gateways between the corporate network and the Internet, in the process learning the idiosyncrasies of Cisco network equipment, Nokia firewalls running Check Point software, and NetApp NetCache and Neoteris IVE proxy-server appliances.

The connection between these positions is that Kodak sold the division I worked for to Heidelberg in 1999, and five years later turned around and bought it back, merging it with NexPress which was a joint venture between the two companies. What goes around comes around, I guess. ;-)

Over the course of my career, I've administered SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, Linux, DOS, Windows (3.x, NT and 95) and a few Macintosh and OS/2 systems.

A word to those looking for a career in network and system administration: this is a job where you sometimes have to step back and tell yourself, "This is not the U.S. Navy. It's not an adventure, it's just a job." Especially when the last fifteen people who've come to your office have had some sort of system emergency (and to the user, everything is an emergency). Oh, and be sure to read Dilbert as often as you can.