I was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I went to Jenks Public School in Jenks, Oklahoma just across the Arkansas River from where we lived in South Tulsa. Having somewhere to hangout after school and on weekends is of utmost importance for kids, and you could always find me and my brother at our mothers gun store Sports World, Inc.
We were raised shooting Skeet by our father who worked for Remington Arms Company and had shot Skeet all his life. Our grandfather worked for Remington as well, running the Remington Gun Club in Lordship, CT. My brother would go on to win a World Skeet Shooting Championship. I would become focused on Rifle and Pistol.
From the time I was little my dad always had a computer. He bought us an IBM PC for the home and I learned to program in Basic. At the time Radio Shack had a Basic book on games, and I typed them all key by key into that IBM PC. Then started making changes and expanding on what they did, eventually attempting to build my own based on those. I still have the DOS 1.0 Box with the single side 160K 5 1/4″ Floppy. We then got an Apple IIe which was a bit more fun, but that IBM PC still had a place.
This drove my college education. I wanted to be a programmer, I wanted to make computers run, so I focused on a Computer Science degree. To have something besides school to focus on, I got a job at the University Computer Center.
In college I was thrown into the world of being a Novell NetWare 3.11 engineer. I was given a stack of servers, a stack of floppies, and a shelf filled with NetWare instruction manuals. I was to build all the servers and creates all the user accounts from a CSV file. I built the first server, created all the user accounts from the CSV file via a command built into NetWare, then I backed the server up, and restored it to all the others. In 2 days I had all the servers done, informed my boss who had expected it to take me all summer to complete since that is how it had been done previously.
So now I was thrown into an old lab where the project was to remove TN3270 terminals and install 10Base-T connections. I was given spools of twisted pair cable, a punch down tool, connectors, and wall plates. It wasn’t a bunch of drops, but I had no clue about the proper cabling method, luckily the connectors came with a cabling map. To this day I still remember orange, white-orange, green, white-blue, blue, white-green, brown, white-brown.
College and the experiences there drove my future direction. Today I live a few miles away from where I went to college, network technology is what started my career, the network itself is what I’ve become focused on. But not wholly consumed by, how can the network make Layer 7 better for the user experience.
Today you can see from my Resume, I’ve been working for Cisco Systems for almost 16 years. I don’t think I could work anywhere else, the day-to-day is never the same, the challenges presented always complex but obtainable, the questions asked always difficult with multiple possible answers, no two things will ever be the same no matter how close they may look.