Sidestepping my normal technical “jargon” aka “paraphernalia” and embracing the feeling of nostalgia, I wanted to step back and write a post on the site acknowledging and thanking a few people for contributing to my professional career. Full disclosure, I’ve been planning on doing this once I’ve had some time to settle in on my Blog (yet, here we are how many years later?). Never-the-less… I did want to give credit where it’s due; I first saw the idea on Daniel Dib’s linkedin page about 3 years ago, and it struck a cord with me… So first off, thanks Daniel for the idea! Also for putting up with my random questions via linkedin and providing insightful info on your blog as well. 🙂

By no measure is this is a complete list of people, as I have probably forgotten more than I can remember (/*.rampancy treatments are slowly working to correct this problem, please stand by while the results fortify.*/).

Throughout my professional career thus far, I have met so many people, I have been flown around both North America and Europe to work on and troubleshoot Networks and DataCenters, and VPN-ed almost everywhere else in-between. So as you can imagine I have seen quite a few things in IT. A large gamut of items, stretching from blown Dell Optiplex capacitors on system boards on PCs (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, check it out for yourself) to multi-gigabit complex multi VRFed hyper-converged DataCenters… I’ve been “professionally” in IT since 2005 after graduating college with a CCNA, but if you ask Pops, I’ve been since the mid 80s… (more on that later).

Without further ado, here are some more thanks:

Uncle Rich & Scott. Thank you for teaching me how to work in a team, as well as handle an office environment while interacting with clients & people early in my career. These soft skills are directly responsible for helping place me exactly where I am today professionally. Also thank you for showing me to see a task through to the end of it; no matter the outcome or how long it takes. Some of my fondest memories were the conversations we had as a team and the work ethic you guys helped reinforce in me. So thank you both!

“The Senator”, “Big Pimp’n” & Micah. More often than not, I have been referred to by certain co-workers of mine as a “machine” when it comes to getting stuff done. Perhaps also, once or twice I’ve been told “it’s not possible” to have as much experience on such an in-depth level as I have demonstrated in the field [actual opinions may vary here]. As these guys will tell you, working in within Academia, aka the Education sector, coupled with the drive to understand what is actually going on (or supposed to be going on) can provide you just that. You get QUITE intimate with the products you are supporting when you are pioneering technologies to help meet a budget and still provide a solid infrastructure for the education market. Working with you guys not only professionally launched my career in IT, but more importantly you guys gave me the chance to step into IT and begin becoming a professional. Getting exposed to working with almost everything from PCs, MACs, Physical Servers (yep old school status), this “VMWare thing”, Microsoft AD/Exchange/File Shares and Permissions, The “Golden Triangle” (between AD, MAC Servers and Mac Clients), SANs, to “that stuff Cisco makes” helped lay quite a solid foundation and understanding that there is a whole lot going on the network other than the cool blinking lights on a switch. In working with “that Cisco Stuff” I eventually found my passion for networking. I mean honestly, who else can you say is crazy enough to quote Dave Chapelle and while ghosting machines in a non Air Conditioned newly developed iMAC Lab that dual boots windows and OSX [thank you deploystudio!]. And who can forget the long evening/afternoon drives to Long Island to attend to WiFi and business expansion projects. All of these projects helped nudge me from a new “green” CCNA toward pursuing my CCNP and eventually beyond. So thank you guys for not only laying the groundwork for me but also all of the opportunities and experience I gained while working with you guys and the rest of the team!

Binsk! Continuing on the education side of my career; I wanted to thank you for letting me “bring down the hammer” on the AD Network. By the way, I still have that hammer and I still travel to the city with it. And it still strikes fear in the hearts of those who don’t yet know the extend of my full wrath of Disk Quotas, Bandwidth Policing and Content Filtering. LOL. Also thanks for letting me use my newly found love for networking across the entire network of the IRV. This may have resulted in some “instability” but you always let me work through it to solve the issue. Not to mention, working with you was a ton of fun.

Mathew Swerdloff. You may not know this, but the quick conversation we had while troubleshooting a WAN connectivity between the buildings of a Westchester School system is something that became a core part of my professional stature. I believe the conversation was similar to this… I said: “Ok, I think we’re good now, I see the routes and the EIGRP neighbors are now holding stable.” Once we confirmed the connectivity issue was solved, you mentioned to me about having a MAC issue the HS building. After working on the MAC issue, you told me “You know, if you know Cisco and MAC [computers], you will always be in demand in IT.” That quick conversation helped round out my view into a comprehensive one of what exactly my job as a Network Engineer was, and still is. The network is responsible for connecting devices and providing transport between endpoints. I realized that if I wanted to truly succeed as an IT Professional/Infrastructure Engineer/Network Engineer, I would need a holistic view of IT in order to truly understand what the network is actually responsible for. So thank you for flipping a switch in my head, you may not have even known that you did that.

OK folks, I have to jet for a bit, however, as time allows me I will hopefully have more thank yous and some more content to share with the community. Thanks for stopping by and reading something not that technical 🙂

– Stark Out.

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