The Story of Me

Introduction

I grew up in Westville, Florida, on a farm, where I spent most of my free time learning about technology and programming on a computer. From an early age, I realized I wasn’t like other kids. I had a certain drive in my education and hobbies that my friends just didn’t have. I started off around the age of 5, where I would take Lego blocks, add my own basic electronics like motors, lights, and gears, fix the blocks where I wanted them, and glue them together.  I would build all kinds of electronic, mechanical devices. For my 7th birthday, I received an Erector Set . I spent a couple of years working on the many projects that came with the kit. I also started building my first circuits with the Radioshack Electronics Lab . It wasn’t too long before my dad bought me a soldering iron, and I began working on electronic circuits.

But, no matter what I did, it just never seemed to be enough. In school, I was in the Florida Gifted Program, glee club, and Math Superstars. I made straight A’s, participated in all math and science competitions, and ended up skipping the 5th and 8th grades (thank you, Mr. Kenneth Yates, for believing in me). I also picked up playing piano by ear at 11 (I actually was playing on a small keyboard at 7). Around the same time (in the 80’s), I received a computer as a gift…and from there…the rest is history! I would like to welcome you to my timeline.

 

Life Motto

citius altius fortius

 

The Timeline

1986-1988

In elementary school, I am awarded a 3rd place ribbon in the science fair (1987), and had the privilege of attending my first regional science fair. My project was on rock geology.

My first computer is a VIC-20 that uses cassette tapes for storage (an awesome gift from Daniel McCormick). I figure out how to link the tapes through programming, thus overcoming the size limitation of my apps. My monitor is a 13″ black and white television that has the Radio Shack TV-to-game/computer sliding switch. I become instantly captivated by computers and technology.


1989-1990

I win honorable mention for the study of electricity. My project was how electricity powered motors and lights. I named the project “Windlet” (1989).

My uncle (Tom Jackson) gives me an Amstrad computer (which has proprietary disks) that uses Amstrad BASIC

A friend at school (Michael McDonald) gives me an ADAM computer (which has digital tapes); it uses SmartBASIC. An early mentor, the author of the Inside the PC books, was Peter Norton ; his genius was inspirational.


1991-1993

In 1991, I dominated the science fair competition, by submitting a closed atmosphere system with 3 months of logs and research. I win the $500 grand prize, and I am permitted to submit my project and research to the state science fair—thank you, Mr. Dave Waller, for being such an amazing science teacher.

I install and start using Windows 2.0 and then Windows 3.0 (’91).

In 1992, you can find me in the high school computer lab, and hanging out with my best friend, John Schuhr – computer programming genius, and Scott Watkins – pianist, computer guy, and friend.

I join ROTC, and become a leader. I go from squad leader to platoon leader. I am awarded multiple leadership awards.

My computer teacher (Mr. Larry Zorn) is helping me develop my programming skills.

I buy a Tandy 1000 computer (which has my first modem) from my high school friend (Scott Watkins ’92).

I start programming in
GW-BASIC
.

I build my first computer from parts. It is a 386SX16, 4MB RAM, 80MB hard drive (’93).

I am an avid
WordPerfect and DOS user for the longest.

I install
DOS 5.0, a very nice upgrade from 4.0.

I start spending longer and longer hours programming all types of software. I build sequential filing and random access databases, inventory apps, recipe databases, simple games, and encryption software. You can find me hanging out in 
BBSes, IRCs and MUDs.

I start programming in
Microsoft BASIC, QBASIC and Turbo BASIC. I also start repairing computers and electronics right down to their electrical components (’92).

I compete in the College Tri-State Math and Computer Olympiad (’92 and ’93); I study with John Schuhr and Scott Watkins.

I install and start using Windows 3.11 (’93).


1994-1995

I build my second computer from parts. It is a 486DX4100, 8MB RAM, 80MB hard drive (later I  upgrade to a whopping 16MB of RAM and 200MB HD .  I create my own web site called Section One Underground. I use something called Zip Disks by Iomega, which are 100MB disks, to store all my backups on (’95).

In the
Panhandle, I work at the new, local ISP – Panhandle Online, and I take on a lot of contracted programming and computer repair work. I program Unix login scripts. My boss, George Little, gives me an amazing opportunity to learn about computing and networking.

I also work at the Chipola College library assisting patrons with all their computer needs (thanks to Doris Herring for such great mentorship and believing in me). I start writing Shell scripts for Internet Service Providers. I also go to people’s houses to install ISP software, hookup modems, and assist with other dial-up solutions.

I am using the
Lynx browser (’94) to surf the web, however begin using the new, dearly beloved, Netscape browser (’95).

I use gopher.


1995

In college, I learn PASCAL, dBASE II, Lotus 1-2-3, FoxPro and begin learning C++.

I study  Lisp (book by Guy L. Steele) and assembly language (book by Tom Swan) .


1996

I work at the Jackson County Library assisting patrons with computer questions and problems. Good ol’Word Perfect 5.1. Thank you, Joanne Roundtree, for the opportunity.

I install and start using Windows 95. The hype about the start button is true. It’s an amazing feature.


1997

I move to Daytona Beach to work at AMI, INC., a motorcycle college (later to become WyoTech), and work there as a Network Administrator for 2 years. Thanks to Mr. Lamar and Mrs. Gailyn Williams, owners and operators of AMI, INC, my computer corporate career would be officially started. I convert the network from a LANtastic network to a full Microsoft based network, including backup and email system. I also wire the Cat3 and Cat5 telecommunications systems and upgrade all computer desktops from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95.

I learn about the administration of networks, how to manage servers, build computers for mass deployment, as well as providing computer support for business staff.



1999

Realizing the need for certifications, I soon begin self-studies for the CompTIA A+, Network+, and MCP.

I buy all the study material from authors like Todd Lammle, James G. Jumes, and Neil F. Cooper; and then study each book, as well as go through all the labs. When I think I am ready, I register for the exam through Sylvan Prometric and then take the test. I need a place to study. I find a book store, Barnes and Noble
, which I fall in love with.

I learn Novell client/server and GroupWise .


2000-2010

And, through the years I  continue studying at Barnes and Noble, spending up to 30 hours a week in studies when pursuing a new certification, certifications like the CompTIA Security+, Cisco CCNA, multiple Microsoft MCSEs, and various others. Many, many cafe mochas and cookies later, I have put in 10,000+ hours and 10 years into studies and certifications (2009).

I learn basic administration for the IBM AS/400e (2004).

The jobs I have had the opportunity to work at thereafter AMI, INC., have been: 4 years at Ormond Hospital, NASCAR-ISC, Florida Digital Networks, Robert Half International, Stratus Technologies, about 1 year doing side contracts for the private sector and setting up several doctor offices in the Daytona Beach area, 4+ years working for Halifax Health, and I worked a short stint at a university, in Tech Ops, doing Desktop Admin tasks, and then I did some enterprise packaging and scripting in the private sector as an IT Guru/Network Administrator.


2010-2013

I start the best job of my life in desktop engineering. I am a computer systems engineer that is responsible for coming up with technical solutions for some 30,000+ computers. I broaden my technology horizons…learning multiple new vendor hardware and software technologies, picking up development skills across multiple programming languages, and increase my professional knowledge base across a company that spans the globe. I continue working on my bachelor’s degree (2010), with a concentration in philosophy .

I code my 3,000th production script/application (Dec. 2011).

I buy 2 HP TC1100 older-style slate tablets from ebay for less than $70 bucks a piece; they are so practical, they receive daily use. I write software interfaces just for the tablets. I sync online notebook.

I obtain a bachelor’s degree , graduating summa cum laude (Nov. 2013).

I sit for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 exams. I install and start using Windows 8. I get certified in Windows 8 (2013) . I am working on number 32 computer & network certifications (individual exams).

I start into an IT master’s degree program (Dec. 2013).

I start working in Ubuntu, Citrix, and on Macs. I build virtual bootable environments. I create automated package solutions for home users. I start Google scripting. I buy an Alienware m18x laptop to do all my software design and engineering on—a much needed upgrade!

I receive 2 company recognition awards (2013).


2014-2015

I  create a free strategy for Bitlocker implementation and administration.

I build automated images that need minimal user intervention – including backup, setup, and data restoration.

I am working on a master’s degree in IT, with a minor in mathematics. Adding artificial intelligence to software engineering. Studying SQL Server 2014…I may sit for the exam sometime in 2016.

I setup an account on kaplanu resume site (2014); it’s a free web service offered by Kaplan {for my reference}.

I learn SQL, once again. (July 2014). I do have an ancient SQL cert from 2000 – a SQL 7.0 cert – but never really did anything with it.

I create a randomized universal elevation tool. It is meant to allow the service desk to install & setup applications without an admin password; it also has built-in tracking. Using this tool, there is no need for users/techs to have the admin password.

I receive a 2014 Leadership Award .

I sit for the Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification (12/2014) .

I begin studies into mathematics, studying college algebra, pre-calculus, and discrete mathematics.

I start preparing for the GRE (full-time studies to start August 2015).

I graduate with a master’s degree in Information Technology (August 2015) .

I create a solution for remotely wiping computers.

I begin developing on Mac computers (10/2015). I am studying for the Mac certification.

I obtain my first Mac certification (12/11/2015).


2016

I continue training in Mac through ATLAS: Apple Diagnostics, Apple Mac Mini, iPhone 5 Quality Program.

I am committing three days a week to Spanish studies (I’m thinking this will be even more in 2017) (August).

I start into the PowerShell training videos and personal studies; I’m learning PowerShell for work (September).

I start C# training. I’m hitting it pretty hard, spending about 15-20 hours a week in C# (October).

I was nominated for the Kaplan Way Leadership Award. (December).


The Future

I plan on earning a PhD in IS or continuing my studies into artificial intelligence and mathematics, picking up Spanish as a second language, and studying Latin for a year.