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My experience in I.T. started with computer repair which extended into a domain admin in Germany for the U.S. Army for two years. The Army taught me many skills and kept me thirsty for more. I have earned an A.A.S. in Computer Information Technology, a B.S. in Computer Networking and Systems Administration.
After graduating with a B.S., I earned the Cisco CCNA R&S and VMware VCA-DCV. Next, I worked at Intel Corporation at as a Network Specialist 3 (Sr. Network Engineer) where I was part of a team that was responsible for the entire network in that region. This included multiple campus area networks where I had to learn an older Cisco operating system called CatOS for some of the network switches. Most of the switches were using IOS, but some of the older ones were not. Being able to adapt to different environments is easy for me due to my experience in the Army.
During my time at Intel, I was placed on the packet capture team where I had to learn Gigamon network taps. Most of the learning was self-taught. This skill on configuring Gigamons and analyzing packets through Wireshark would translate wonderfully into my next job.
Up until this point in my career, I haven't professionally been exposed to virtual network concepts. However, I have extensively trained on my own lab equipment to include virtual routers (CSR1000v).
At this point, my career was at a turning point where I got hired as a Sr. Network Engineer for a large corporation. The entire network is virtualized amongst 20-30 different vendors. I worked at the point in the network considered a Carrier Supporting Carrier (CSC). Basically, acting as a middle-man between the Internet and our customers. In turn, we provided network security filtering.
The network consists of routers from Cisco and Juniper where virtual routers are setup on real routing platforms. This is how data traffic is isolated from each other and controlled. Other devices in used are Cisco, Palo Alto, and Juniper firewalls that also virtualized on real firewall platforms. This same concept is repeated for the load balancers, F5 and A10. Then there is the security side where all traffic will traverse through, Cisco Sourcefire, TippingPoint, Bivio, etc. Additionally, all traffic can be captured with a Gigamon and analyzed with Wireshark. Finally, there are other devices in place that segment traffic and block network intrusions.
Not only did I have to monitor the network, but present and implement solutions when devices and traffic failed. The network utilizes multiple routing protocols to include static routes, OSPF, eBGP, iBGP, etc. I learned a lot about BGP while I was there. There are BGP route reflectors configured world-wide that use iBGP to communicate and inside the network, eBGP is used with custom timers. All networks are isolated inside VRFs, which made troubleshooting BGP issues fun. On top of that there are distribute lists to consider and other traffic shaping technologies in use.
Eventually, my role grew to include helping build out new network sites. This included making sure every single piece of equipment was configured correctly and operating without any hardware faults. I successfully interacted with multiple teams to accomplish this. Building on my growing role, I would train other engineers and stay after work to help them be successful in their troubleshooting. In order to share this knowledge beyond verbal communication, a friend and I created a Wiki page to document everything we knew. Shortly, after we started it, he moved to another team. I continued on the Wiki page and grew those webpages to massive proportions and even had to redesign the Index page to accommodate the growing hierarchy of webpages.
After I left the company, I started working for a healthcare organization. My skills were immediately recognized by a peer and I was recommended to join the transition team where we upgraded an entire hospital's network infrastructure costing $9.7 million. All of the fiber cable was replaced along with all the switches and routers. All of our upgrades happened at off-peak hours, usually at night. I had to go around the various departments and determine when would be a good time to upgrade their switch. This involved consulting with nurses, managers, directors, and anybody else that would be affected. There are over 30 networking closets and around 60 switches at the hospital.
After the network was upgraded, I was moved into a different role where I was in charge of two hospitals plus all the outpatient clinics near them. I was responsible for keeping those networks operating and coordinated any downtime required to resolve issues that arise. Another exciting project I was in charge of was the network designing and building out of four outpatient clinics.
Currently, I work on a different team for a company I used to work for. Instead of monitoring and troubleshooting devices already in production, I get to install, configure, and upgrade those devices from scratch. This involves months of planning among many teams. I've been on this team for a couple for a couple of years and have traveled to a lot of places.
I am starting to learn Python for Network Engineers, which is a key tenant to DNA. I also am starting to learn Ansible, for network automation, from a course I paid for.
Certifications I currently hold: