Automating Tasks By Programming

Visual Studio

If you plan on or even if you are working in the technology field you need to learn and have an understanding of programming. It really does not matter which language you want to learn as long as you have a good understanding of how to automate tasks. I have been writing custom code and automating tasks for nearly 20 years. I have found a use for this talent in every job I have had in the technology field. Even working at a school district recently I was able to automate importing new students into the library software from the student information system. Once I had the connection up and running I was told that no one else has been able to do this. They were asking for this to be done for 10 years. The reason I tell you this story is because once you learn how a process works and if you can write some code you to will be able to automate a process.

I am currently writing a large project to automate build SQL statements. Right now the job is done by hand each time the database needs to be updated or split I am asked to run my SQL UPDATE query by hand on the SQL database server. This is time-consuming so it is a great time to automate this process. I will keep you updated on this process. The bottom line is not to be afraid of programming and take your time. You will hit snags once in a while but take it from me you will be saving hours of manual coding in the future.

If you have a process and you do not want to program it please contact me. If you can show me what the process is and what you need it to do I will be happy to contact writing the program for you.

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New PRTG Deployment

PRTG

I have been asked many times what I prefer to use to monitor my servers and networks. I have found that using PRTG has made it so I can watch my networks and my servers no matter where I have them. I monitor servers in the cloud as well as networks all over the World.

If you need help with your PRTG deployment please drop me an email and we can set up a time. I am also available for on-site work and travel.

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Upgrading My Home Server with VMWare 6.7

VMWare

I spend some time upgrading my home server to the newest VMWare 6.7. We have been using this new version at work and I wanted to dig into more if the features. At home, I like to run to servers for testing. I run Windows Server 2012 as well as Ubuntu Server.

I have spent most of my weekend setting up a new VM of Ubuntu Server and preparing it for testing out automation scripts. I want to create my scripts using Ruby. I am using the IDE called Ruby Mine from JetBrains.

If you have any projects that you are working on or need assistance with any of your servers or need new scripts please let me know. I am also always available for remote training.

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Setting Up New iMacs

 

iMacs

At work, I am responsible for all of our Apple products from iPads to iMacs as well as all Mac Laptops. On top of this, I am also responsible for all security cameras and recording devices. I am also the Software Engineer which mean I take care of all of the databases and client software for well over 5000 devices.

We were lucky enough to get new 21″ iMacs. I am working to get all of them set up exactly the same way. By doing this I know that when each user sits down to work on these devices they will all have the same experience.

If you are looking for a new computer for your house I would have to suggest an Apple Mac. The operating system and the software are the most stable that you can get. And if you need help learning or just setting it up please reach out to me.

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Writing and Coding Scripts

Scripting

The words I truly enjoy at work is when I am told that no one could get this automated program or connection to a database to work. They feel it can not be done? I have been connecting programs and automating software programs for years. I also enjoy writing automated scripts for our servers.

When you are learning how to work with scripting languages I would advise you to choose a few different ones. Just as there are many tools in a toolbox you will find there are many different scripting tools to get the job done right. I would also advise you to comment your work as you go. You should also keep clear notes on the process that you used to build the script. This is really handy if you ever have to go back and change something as programs or servers change. Or you never know if you get promoted you might have to hand off the scripts you wrote to someone else?

The truth is if you are working in the IT field and are responsible for software or servers you will want to learn and be the best you can be with scripting. When you can automate a program or process you will have more time to work on other projects.

If you have a process or a daily software task that you would like to be automated look me up. I might be able to give you some guidance and be able to share my knowledge with you.

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Getting Relocated

Something New

Working for a larger company that has many locations is rewarding. I have been working in a school district for the past two years. Like you working where you work we build many connections with the people who work for that company or school. We also start to build our skills on whatever it is you do. And when you work for a company with many locations they may find you a position that fit your new skill set. This is when you may be relocated to a larger location where your skills are needed.

So after two years, I find myself moving to a larger location with more opportunities. What is really nice is that I still work for the same parent company. So what can I say about working for an outsourcing company? Well working for an outsourcing company allows your talents to grow. If for any reason one location closes down you will not find yourself out of work giving the fact that you can be moved to another location that the company services.

I have to say I am a little nervous leaving those relationships that have been built over the past two years. But I am confident that my skill will enable me to fit into a new team and provide my technical services to a larger group of people who need them. So as I sit here this morning getting ready for this new chapter I am looking forward to building new relationships and friends working in a new location.

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Self Employed Or Working For Others

Self Employed

I like many of you reading this may have struggled with this topic at one time or another? Working for someone or setting off on your own. Years ago I had a very successful business but like many businesses, I was doing something that was to soon. I started my own Internet provider company around 1998. Now if you think back to 1998 you might recall that the Internet was no big deal. Most people had AOL and were happy playing online games hosted by one company. I was running a small three phone bulletin board our of my apartment before setting off to build the next big thing. At that time I would go out to sell a website and every business owner asked me what would they want one of those for? But when I ran this company I was still working full time as a Paramedic.

After selling off the business because the big guns of Comcast and Verizon were getting into the Internet game we could not compete. But I still had my full-time job to fall back on.

I did later take a new job full-time working for schools at the Technology Director. But as things go sometimes even a forever job is not forever. That is what brings us to today’s post.

Self-employment is a way for you to secure your own future. I never heard of anyone laying their self off from their own business. Okay, one name comes to mind of someone who started a company only to be put out by the very people who he hired, Steve Jobs. But he returned later with fresh eyes and made it one of the richest companies in the world.

But self-employment brings its own stresses and let downs. You may be your own boss but you have to be willing to worry about something 24/7/365. But for years since being in the technology field, I always seem to be doing work at home in off hours for the company I am with. I guess it is just how I am wired or maybe its because I owned my own business I know how important it is to keep all of the technology running smoothly all the time?

If you watch Shark Tank you will hear this statement. “If you work full time and try to have a business the business becomes more of a hobby then a real business.” So I would say if you are self-employed or you are leaning that way you should be ALL IN. We all love a safety net in our lives but when you are ALL IN you will be focused every minute of every day on growing your business.

I would like to hear your thoughts on being self-employed and what it means to you?

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A Healthier Me

Treadmill

I think Michael Jackson said it best with his song Man In The Mirror. If you want to make a change you have to first look at the man in the mirror, or women if you are female. As many of you know I am a long time ex-military man. When I was in basic training some years ago we were conditioned to get up early every day and work on our bodies first. Let’s face it without the body anything else you do will really not matter. I have to believe that most of us pray for our health and the health of others. Well back to Michael Jackson, this would be the man in the mirror.

Some years ago I started a regimented workout plan and lost a lot of weight. I was feeling great and making great strides in creating a better me. Then life hits! You lose a job or maybe a loved one? And you stop worrying about yourself and begin falling into some form of depression. So I stopped working out and just went into the surviving day to day life.

Well, new jobs can bring a lot of happiness to anyone. Life begins to look positive again. Then add to this, people believing in you and bringing you into their team makes a person feel even more secure in life.

So I cued up the song Man In The Mirror and began to look at myself in the mirror. What looked back at me was a middle-aged man who looked slightly overweight and really out of shape. So I knew I wanted to Make That Change.

I started setting my alarm for 3:30 AM. Remembering that I am a VET and I know that working out in the mornings always works best for me. I started hitting the treadmill every morning. At first, it was a half mile, then a mile and now I can get in two miles before hitting the shower and heading to work.

Now when I look into the mirror or step on a scale I can see that I am making that change. I would like to live until I am in my nineties or hell maybe even a hundred who knows? But I know one thing for sure. I will do my very best to never let anyone take me down again. I always want to take care of my family first then me. And life is to short for any of us to carry around another person on the legs that were given to carry only ourselves.

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Today’s Technology Motivator

Tech Worker

Today’s technology workers have to be vast in what the can handle. The day has long past to just be a simple computer repair person or even a networking guru. Working for school districts has transformed the way I look at technology and how I approach each day. When you work for a profit company you may begin to get a little rusty because you are working with one system or another and you don’t get to invest time with many forms of technology. I always instruct my staff to learn about all forms of technology because the students and teachers that we assist deserve the very best from their tech teams. Not only do we watch over servers, network switches and Windows computers we also get involved with Smart Boards, Macs, iPads, Tablets, Video Production and Education software. We are the experts that people rely on daily to enable them to teach and learn. Microsoft Office is a great tool and has been around for a long time but Google and G Suite has been taking over schools by storm. So we as technology motivators have to curve our way of thinking and assist in finding new and better cost effective ways to educate the young people of today. iPads are very predominant in education and we must know how to push apps out to the teachers and students while still securing the devices. A very good school technologist will never stop learning and investigating new ways to help the district educate with technology while keeping an eye on the budget to make it cost effective for everyone.

As you can see the World of Technology is always changing. And I have worked for a profit company where you don’t get to see innovation because making money is the key to their success. But in education we innovate with Technology all the time to show students that technology is changing and we get to help show them the new World they will be stepping into.

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Consulting Work

I truly love consulting work. I have been working for a few local offices and managing their technology. This has lead me into a vast amount of different areas. I think the best thing about being brought in as an consultant after a network is already running is reverse engineering. You have to look at something someone built and get into their head and clean up the mess.

There are a million people in this World claiming to be a technologist. The fact is they don’t have a clue. You hire them and next thing you know you are in a bigger mess then you started with.

If you are looking for a technology consultant / installer then look no further. Call me today. Even if you live anywhere on the globe. I offer remote services or can fly to your location.

Here are a few pics of a recent job I was on. I had to remove a non booting computer and replace it with a new one. I was told at the end of the job that I made it look so easy. I retrieved all of the old data using the cable shown and placed it onto the new PC.

Consulting


Consulting

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