Welcome to My World

[tweetmeme source=”mikerigsby” only_single=false http://mikerigsby.wordpress.com]

Even though I associate pretty much exclusively with other ‘tech geeks’ online I occasionally get asked what type of environment I work in and what it is that I do exactly. So, that lead me to write up one of my ‘oh so scarce’ blog posts to shed a little light on my daily life.

First off some background to set the plot. Currently I do not drive. Not for any legal limitations but for the simple fact that I’ve never actually bothered to get a drivers license. Too many years of living in small towns, or living with roommates, girlfriends, etc with cars all added together to my just never getting motivated enough to go get it. Yes I actually know how to drive, although I’m not too comfortable with the idea of traffic.

Yes, I realize I’m 41 and don’t have my license. Yes, I realize that makes me something of a loser.

Deal with it!

Spend a day in my public transit taking shoes and you’ll wet yourself and go running home to mom. Thanks to my public transit life, I am out of bed at 3am and I get home at 6:30-7:00pm.

Now on to where I work and what I do. I am a Network Administrator according to my business card. However, I am also a PC Support Technician, Laser Printer Support Technician, Remote User Support, Technology Buyer, Maintainer of Cellphones, Wireless PDAs, Smartphones, Barcode Scanners, Label Printers, Switches, Access Points, Puller of Miles of Cat5e, Necromancer of long dead technology, Keeper of one of the Rings of Power, General Nuisance to my Boss & Co-workers and overall BOFH.

I work with my boss, the IT Manager, who worked his way into that position by also ‘wearing my shoes’ and he’s very good at pretty much everything. I also work with a .NET and Silverlight Coding Wizard who does things with code that boggles my mind. We are currently looking for another ‘Code Wizard’ so we will soon be an IT Department of 4. However, our duties rarely coincide.

I could not write a string of code to save my life but chances are if you’re having issues with a computer related piece of equipment, it’s my problem. From an IT Industry standard, I’m probably considered Tier 1 through 3 and a sprinkling of 4.

Education-wise, I have my CompTIA A+ PC Technician Certification, CompTIA Network+ Network Administrator Certification, Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST) and I’m currently cramming for MCITP Server Administrator Certification. Outside of the ‘official’ education I’ve been tearing apart PCs and putting them back together since my mom’s old 8088.

When I’m not fixing, installing, or troubleshooting some weird issue at work, I field support submissions online on AllExperts.com and am one of, if not the, highest ranked “Expert” in their ‘PC hardware – CPU & Motherboard & RAM category.

I like to think I know what I’m doing and I’m good at my job. However, if you work in IT you are well aware that none of us are truly ‘gurus’ or ‘experts’. We are permanent students of technology.

Now, on to my work. For a brief lead in let me re-direct you to a YouTube video:

How It’s Made: Circuit Boards

That is the environment that I work in. Manufacturing equipment, Electro-Static Discharge (ESD) jackets, foot straps, ID badges, Foreign Object Debris (FOD) control.

We are a contract circuit board manufacturer. We build for numerous customers in the Military & Aerospace Industry, Medical Industry, and Commercial Industry. Many of our current, or past customers are likely familiar names. Intel, Motorola, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Cray, plus may more. In my 11 years here I’ve seen many come and go.

Any piece of equipment here with a computer controlling it is my problem. I work on everything from old screen printers with old Pentium 1, 2, or 3’s running on Windows NT or Windows 98 to modern De-Ionizing Wash Stations and Manufacturing Data Tracking systems running Windows 7.

We have 140-ish Employees, over 380 active PCs, and over 30 Networked HP Laserjet Printers. We have Symbol, Opticon, and Welch-Allyn Barcode Scanners and Zebra or Brady Thermal-Transfer Label Printers. And guess who takes care of them all?

My work is a Tech Geeks dream and an excellent company. While the pay may not be as high as some IT Consultants might get, the company treats it’s people like family, there are good benefits, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Outside of my work, I am a happily married Husband to a, fortunately, very patient and long-suffering Wife and a Step-Father to two seriously awesome teenagers. A 17 year old step-Daughter and a 14 year old step-Son.

This is My World. Welcome to it, have a look around. You break anything, you bought it and don’t step on the flower beds on your way out.