Life as a Linux and Unix Professional
Linux Experience before Linux was Available
When Linus Torvalds came out with Linux in 1991, I had nearly a decade of Unix administration and C development experience.
During that time, I built the technical environment for California State University, Fresno’s Computer Science Department installing and managing Unix systems based on Berkeley 4.2 and 4.3 BSD and AT&T Unix including a room full of Convergent Technology systems.
Afterward, as an independent consultant, I installed and configured Unix systems for the Agricultural Department, a phone company, and an Air Conditioning company before going to work for NASA where I managed networks of VMS and Unix based systems and developed the project plan for migrating the Information Sciences Division from VMS to Unix.
Following that, at Ingres, I supported Ingres installations on approximately 40 variants of Unix and VMS for Ingres, provided Sun desktop support for Direct User Support, and support of Unix systems for the Education Department. I also trained staff in quality assurance for the Ingres installation packages and served as the final sign off approving distribution of new product to customers.
At Oracle, as a Senior Unix System Administrator for Production, I served on the security response team together with Mary Ann Davidson and several others, served as the point person for scanning the systems and mentoring the system administrators in shoring up security.
At home, over the years, I downloaded or purchased and installed FreeBSD and various flavors of Linux including Slackware, Turbo Linux, Redhat, Fedora, Mandriva, Centos, GoS, Ubuntu, and perhaps others.
During my graduate studies in Advanced Systems and Databases at Stanford University from 1994 to 1997, I did most of my software engineering projects on my own Linux system, tested them, and ported them to the Solaris and DEC Unix systems at Sweet Hall for credit.
Professional Linux Experience
Early on, Linux was not considered a commercial operating system. By the time I went to work at Clickmarks, Linux had nearly nine or ten years to mature into a commercial product.
At Clickmarks, as Chief Systems Architect and Director of Operations and Information Systems, I built the IT Department responsible for all internal and external systems for the company and helped build the Support and QA Departments. Functioning as a hands-on director, I purchased, configured, installed, and managed several Linux web and database servers while hiring the team responsible for ongoing support. Our environment consisted of several routers, firewalls, intrustion detection devices, Apache based servers with FastCGI, load balancers, Oracle servers, Tomcat, email, and other services.
In 2001, I moved back to Fresno following a divorce and built several websites, first using my own Linux systems, and then later, using C-panel hosting until I got tired of it and reverted back to using a Virtual Private System which would allow me to enjoy full Linux control. There, I installed and configured Apache, PHP, memcache, APC, MySQL, WordPress-mu, and set it up with automatic subdomains and multiple virtual websites.
In 2005, I provided technical administration of PeopleSoft installations on Unix systems for IBM’s customers of their Applications on Demand service, and from 2007 until recently, I trained, mentored, and assisted the system administration team in Linux and Solaris administration while architecting and developing pharmacy reporting systems based on Perl, shell scripting, and Oracle PL/SQL.