Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Starting to See a Pattern

Some of my friends reacted to that statement with "well, duh!"  But maybe I need to elaborate a little…

Job 1 - Hired as piping/mechanical systems drafter.  Got fed up with shitty program we were forced to use with AutoCAD to do niche-oriented design work.  I picked up a book on LISP and taught myself to program with AutoLISP. I wrote a new piping design program that was adopted by the department (roughly 30 users).  Soon after I was asked to write another (similar) app for HVAC, Electrical and Structural work.  Hired as a drafter, ended up being a software developer.

Job 2 - Hired as LAN administrator.  Was handed the task of managing a deployment of 300 AutoCAD installations and migrating from Novell Shitware and WFWG to Windows NT 3.51 (even shittier shitware).  Department users learned of my work at Job 1 and asked me to develop a custom piping design app for AutoCAD again.  That led to Electrical, and HVAC apps as well.  The Structure guys hated outside interference, so that was the North Korea of our CAD world of the time.  Hired as LAN admin, ended up being a software developer.

Job 3 - Hired as CAD Administrator.  Was asked to develop from the start.  Did that, by starting over and avoiding the mistakes from practices that evolved from Jobs 1 and 2.  Was handed the responsibility to manage the file servers and printers and plotters at the corporate HQ office.  That led to work in NT administration.  Took classes.  Got a cert.  Began working with automation of software deployment, patch deployment, managing user and group permissions, client configuration management, inventory reporting, license validation and long nights without sleep.  That led to coffee, beer, and more beer (followed by more coffee, of course).  Oh yeah, and tied all that together with scripting and ASP web development on top of SQL Server.  Hired as CAD Administrator, ended up being Active Directory/WSUS/SMS/SCCM manager and Web Application developer.

Job 4 - Hired as Windows Platform consultant.  CEO talks a big game, shakes hands, smokes cigars at big dinners, reassures us we're doing great, then lays us off with short notice and without having put any effort into helping our remote office get off the ground. (queue the violin music here and hand out the tissues).

Job 5 - Back to Job 2 in spirit only.  New owner of company, new environment.  Hired as Systems Administrator in the "enterprise applications" group.  Packaging and testing Autodesk applications for distribution to thousands of clients using Altiris (another department), as well as supporting end-users who foolishly called Tier 1 support thinking Tier 1 actually supports customers.  I worked in Tier 2.  Visionary boss pulls me aside after hearing I worked with ASP and SQL and begins massaging my brain cells for the good of mankind.  Hired as packager and tester, end up developing web portal applications.

Job 6 - Hired as Windows Platform consultant.  Placed in a small group to package and deploy applications using Wise Package Studio and MS SCCM 2007.  Approached by the SCCM OSD guy to help with WinPE scripting.  Soon that leads to automation scripting and building yet another web portal to allow Tier 1 to queue up computers to be imaged from SCCM OSD.  Hired as a packager, so far ___?

Conclusion

I never end up doing what it is I usually am hired to do.  In most cases, the latter role is one that appears totally unlikely at the start.  In some of these situations I was flat-out told "You will absolutely NEVER do ____" only to end up doing ____ later on.

Life is indeed interesting and predictably unpredictable.

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