My professional interests include computers (wow! like you couldn't guess that!), and programming... specifically
in Delphi, Java, ASP, C, Pascal,
I'm currently an IT Manager for an energy trading company. I provide management of overall IT infrastructure and execution and management of
resources and project initiatives in support of a rapidly growing energy trading
business. I'm responsible for enterprise servers (Windows and UNIX), networking,
voice and data telecom, enterprise system security, disaster recovery (DR) and
business continuity planning (BCP), and customer service management. Also
responsible for establishing the IT and telcom infrastructure for remote
offices. I'm part of the IT senior management team that works directly with
business executives and senior management to establish priorities, direction,
and strategies as related to IT service delivery.
Before that, I was doing IT Architecture, specifically business process modeling, using CASEwise Corporate Modeler.
In prior years, I've done Enterprise Architecture, and IT R&D, testing products for the company I
work for. For a little while, I took a break and got involved with a Middleware project, using Java J2EE, WebLogic
and Vitria's BusinessWare, and it involved a lot of programming. I also deal with Microsoft Windows NT/2000/2003 and
Linux, and used to deal with Banyan VINES networks, and I'd write utilities for use with those brands of networks.
I also write Win32 and [used to write] Netware utilities, as well as create system level programs to make life
easier for the end-user.
For about 5 years (1985-1990), I was president of HUB (Houston Users of Banyan), the local chapter
of ABUI (the Association of Banyan Users International). I used to install and
setup Novell Networks, but discovered VINES in 1985 and was -- and still am -- impressed by the technology. [Unfortunately,
Banyan has gone the way of the ... well, you were expecting me to say "dodo bird", right? ... well, it's
gone more the way of the SR-71 Blackbird... super-high-tech, very capable, but expensive, technology that somehow
couldn't convince very many people of it's value. But there is still an extremely loyal base of people who believed
in VINES, the technology, if not the Banyan, the company. Interestingly, Banyan morphed into Switchboard.com because of their directory services.]
Ok... so, just what do I do, exactly? IT Enterprise Architecture is the official term. What that means is that I look at the big picture of how IT computer systems should be set up as to further the business goals of a company. If you read much further on, you'll see that I'm not so much a specialist in any one area of IT, but more of a Generalist who has both a broad and deep understanding of IT and how business needs are addressed
by computer technologies. Lately I've been doing business process mapping (also called business process improvement, or, business process reengineering), using a tool called Casewise Corporate Modeler. Before that, I was helping with SOX 404 requirements, part of the new corporate accountability sanctioned by Congress after the Enron debacle.
I spent a year creating a Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plan for a trading company. It was very interesting work, and very rewarding to see the plan in action (even if it was just a test!).
For a time I was up to
my ears in Middleware. It involved taking existing systems and integrating them, without affecting
them. Anyone in programming will tell you that's about the toughest job there is in this business. It involved what was at the time
a fairly new idea in programming, where data is published on to a channel, and the applications that need
that data subscribes to that channel and pick it up in near-real-time. It's very interesting, and requires
a lot of Java experstise. Of course, these days, middleware is, ahem, everywhere. As usual, the things that are bleeding-edge technology when I look at them end up being middle-of-the-road technology fairly quickly. Well, if it's useful technology, that is.
I spend a good deal of my time doing research and writing white-papers on what kinds of new, emerging technologies might
be good for the companies I consult for. When the company decides they like a new technology, I'll create a proof-of-concept project to show how it works and integrates, and then give a C-level presentation. If there's a fit, I then turn it over to an implementation group, and provide whatever training and documentation that is needed.
I also do special projects (which often means no one else can figure out how to do them) such as: create customized
EDI systems; write document management programs; get optical jukeboxes to work on networks; do feasibility studies
of large databases on client/server environments; create infrastructure designs for large, wide-area-networks;
create SQL Server backup routines with automatic remote restoration for disaster recovery; write utilities that glue incompatible systems together; create nonNotesMail-to-Notes directory synchronization
processes; create Web pages and scripts; write custom CGI components for Web servers; create password synchronization
products; do Notes development; create Internet/Intranet utilities using TCP/UDP, FTP, and SMTP/POP3 protocols,
and other boring stuff like that. I also teach most computer subjects, design and write end-user manuals, consult
with small/med./large businesses on long-term computing needs, and don't mind getting down-'n'-dirty with PC installation
For more detailed information on my professional interests and abilities, click here.
Avocations (the important stuff!)
One of my principle avocations is SCUBA diving,
preferably cave diving. Yes, that means SCUBA diving into
water-filled caves with no air pockets and, yes, it's very dangerous for the untrained/unprepared individual. However,
with the proper training (via NACD, IANTD
(or IANTD), NSS-CDS),
or GUE, equipment, preparation and frame of mind, it's actually VERY safe.
After my training, I started out by doing strictly recreational cave diving, of course, but found myself
invited to do exploration work. Although the invitations were unexpected, I've enjoyed it immensely, it has been
very rewarding, personally, and I continue doing exploration work at every chance I get. In summary, here are the
highlights, so far: