P.O. Box 91216
Portland, Oregon U.S.A. 97291-0216

Contact Me

UNIX Systems Administration and
UNIX Systems Engineering
Portland, Oregon

YES: I am available for *NIX/Microsoft Systems Administration and Network Admin work in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington areas. Contract "fill-in" work is a specialty. I can get up-to-speed on your operation very quickly and will hold down the fort until a replacement, full time IT Administrator can be recruited and hired. Short term rates: $50/Hr W2 with benefits; $75/Hr 1099.

YES: I do occasionally take on out-of-town assignments. However, unless you really need someone with my extensive skills and experience, you may find it less expensive to hire somone locally. Note that I do not accept out-of-town assignments unless ALL of my travel and living expenses are 100% reimbursed.

YES: I do remote *NIX systems administration and systems engineering. This can be occasional, on-call emergencies or short/long term project oriented work. I can quote you a rate based on your requirements.

Sorry: I am not interested in relocating for so-called "permanent" employment opportunities. I am willing to travel to where ever the job site happens to be (provided that I am suitably compensated for my efforts), but Portland is my home base and I have no desire to leave.

My profile: I started working with BSD UNIX in the early 1970s. I couldn't tell you what it was ported to but in the days before the Amiga, TRS-80, Texas Instrument TI-99 and waaaay before the IBM PCDOS "personal computer", UNIX was a very, very cool operating system. Support for UUCP made worldwide e-mail possible (albeit difficult... and you had to provide every hop along the way in the address header) long before DNS, sendmail, Exchange and all of that came along. Just the fact that UNIX is still going strong 40 years later says a lot about just how good it truly is. I have worked with one *NIX distro or another on a pretty much daily basis ever since. Although in the early years I was much more expert with D.E.C. PDP-8 and later PDP-11s running RSX-11m and still later D.E.C. VAX VMS machines. Unlike those other operating systems, working with UNIX can be very humbling. The more I work with UNIX, the more I realize how little I know. UNIX is truly the richest OS out there and probably always will be so. I currently have two Linux servers running Red Hat in a colo facility that have not been rebooted for years. Try that with a Microsoft server sometime.

UNIX Systems Administration and Engineering: Filling in for key UNIX/Microsoft server Systems Administrators or Network Engineers who have left your company until a full time replacement can be recruited is a specialty.

To Hiring Managers: An incompetent or inexperienced Tech can do a lot of damage real fast with root authority on your servers! And I've long since lost track of how many "Network Engineers" I've met who don't know the difference between UDP and TCP. Please take this into consideration when comparing my resume skill set against others you may receive. I was managing high SLA networks and production UNIX servers before most of the other candidates you are hearing from were born. A "bargain" rate isn't such a bargain if they can't keep the equipment running! Even brief outages can be very expensive.

Have a NOC Design or deployment project in mind?: Pretty much anyone can open up the shrink wrap on new sofware and install it. But building a proactive, responsive, professional grade Network Operations Center is a lot more than just installing software! Most high end monitoring products do very little "out of the box". Designing a NOC involves gathering requirements, deciding what software to purchase, negotiating and creating a design specification, establishing a methodology, policies and procedures as well as a whole lot of training. Have a look at some of the less obvious NOC design considerations for more insight into just how complicated this process can be. There are only a handful of professional NOC Architects Worldwide and I believe I am the only NOC Architect in the whole wide world who works with more than one monitoring product. And I offer my services for a lot less than what VARs and Vendor professional services folks charge. Even a very modest 250 server NOC can easily run $500,000 in software alone. It only makes sense to protect that investment by hiring someone who actually knows what they are doing to build your NOC. If minimizing your project's risk is important to you, you need to be talking to me.

My work ethic: I am an "old school" Engineer who believes that job responsibilities come first. My sole motivation, admittedly for selfish reasons, is to make you, the hiring Manager, look good. Why? Because if I do a great job and make you look good, you will be much more likely to want to hire me again and to recommend me to your friends and associates. It is my primary goal to make sure that nothing happens to make you regret your decision to hire me.

Why is UNIX so popular with many data centers?: Notwithstanding the level of coverage given to Microsoft Windows by the popular press, UNIX systems stand at the core of most mid-sized and large organizations. These systems run everything from mission-critical database applications to enterprise grade network operations centers (NOC)s. The task of keeping these systems humming falls on the shoulders of the UNIX systems administrator. While the job description for a UNIX systems administrator may vary between organizations, the job carries a fair degree of respect within the industry; is often harried, but satisfying; and is reasonably well-paid. Becoming a UNIX systems administrator is thus a career goal worth striving for. Getting there, however, can be a challenge.

UNIX system administration is one of the few master/apprentice jobs still in existence, much like the old apothecary in medieval times. Usually, on-the-job training for a new apprentice is about the only training offered. Most organizations cannot afford to have a sys admin out for a week of vacation, much less for several week-long training sessions. However, times are changing. UNIX administration is now being taught at schools and employers now emphasize academic credentials and certification. The apprenticeship method of training, however, has produced many skilled administrators in the market place. Employers are starting to realize that the background, self-training, and the expected job performance is difficult to maintain for any system administrator. System administration is starting to be considered a career path, and professional salaries are beginning to be more consistent with the level of the skills required.

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Last modified December 21, 2007
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