What I do for a living

 

A lot of my friends and family ask me what I do for a living.  When I tell them I’m an IT Consultant specializing in Microsoft technology they just stare at me for a few moments then change the subject that they brought up.  If they don’t change the subject they tell me about a problem with their computer and expect me to tell them how to fix it.  I thought I’d discuss my career a little more.

 

I work for a company called Catapult Systems.  They’re a private company that’s been around for 20 years.  Their headquarters is located in Austin Texas.  Catapult has offices in:

  • Texas – Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio
  • Florida – Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa
  • Colorado – Denver
  • Washington D.C. area
  • Arizona – Phoenix
  • Washington – Seattle

I’ve had the privilege of working in the Austin and Houston offices.  These days I’m part of the D.C. office while living in Western Michigan.  As of 2014 I’ve been with Catapult for 10 years.  Catapult is considered a Microsoft Partner.  A Microsoft Partner basically means Microsoft trusts us to implement Microsoft products and solutions for companies.  It’s more complicated than that but I’m keeping this simple.  What companies do is hire Catapult to, well do stuff for them.  It can be creating a website, designing and implementing a custom application or custom web application, implementing servers with software to support business needs, outsource some or all IT work, and more.  I’m in the infrastructure division.  I work with Microsoft software and a wide range of hardware from HP, IBM, and Dell.  I am not a programmer.  I do not work with code all day getting something to work.  Catapult Systems has people for that.  I’m capable of doing some things like:

  • Migrating mail from one version of mail software to another.
  • Installing server operating systems using best practices.
  • Deploying Windows 7/8 to end users without any user interaction keeping their data and settings.
  • Implementing and locking down firewalls.
  • Configuring and deploying anti-malware software.
  • Making sure workstations receive Microsoft updates.
  • Migrating applications from huge data centers to “the cloud”.
  • Packaging applications to be deployed to workstations silently and without end user intervention.
  • Consolidating user accounts during mergers and acquisitions.
  • Performing health checks of designated environments.
  • Providing organizations a way to see if applications will run on new operating systems.
  • Installing and setup fault tolerant databases.
  • Design data backup strategies.
  • Architect remote access for employees.
  • Assist with having companies have more virtual servers than physical servers.
  • Migrate to newer versions of server type software with minimal downtime for the users.

The lengths of projects that I work on range from 2 weeks to a year depending on what’s involved.  At times I have to be on-site and other times I can work remotely.

I hope this blog helped explain on a low level what I do for a living.  I love what I do and see myself doing it into retirement.

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