4May '10

Talking Tech

Re-Reading my posts recently, i can see I haven’t said much about what I’m actually doing in terms of technology and tools. Partly this is because the work the team I’m part of does is commercially sensitive, but there are some general observations I can make. Apologies in advance to non-techie family and friends for whom much of the following will be gobbledegook!


The job title on my ID card says “Linux Systems Administrator” which is a bit less impressive than I’d hoped for, to be honest – but for the money they’re paying, they can call me whatever they like! I work in the “innovations team” who dream up, and prototype, technology projects, some of which fly, some of which don’t. There are web apps (PHP/Zend Framework/JQuery mostly) iPhone apps, Adobe Air apps, and no area or idea is out of bounds.


Agile dev methodologies are part of the DNA of this place (not just my team but everywhere) and seeing what I’d known about in theory (and tried, fairly unsuccessfully, to implement at Insight) working so well in practice is great and teaching me a great deal.


I’m here because of my expertise in Linux, PHP and version control systems. Last Friday I presented a range of projects which I think should be undertaken to improve the team’s development infrastructure, and I’ll be starting some work this week around two of those, improving backups and server security. There will be an interesting project ahead that will involve patching OpenSSH to get public keys from an LDAP (AD) server and I’m really looking forward to that one.


There’s a big part of me that misses managing people, but it’s a great trade off – loads more money, much less stress, and the chance to learn from a “dream team” of developers who are each respected experts in their field.


I’m beginning to Believe in Better – but the Best is still Yet to Come :-)



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