New job

Thu 13 November 2008

Today I started a new job as a "Systems Analyst" for a local community college. There's a lot of silly practices going on there, but I think I can fix at least a few of them before my time is up. Personal target number one is probably going to be the stupid email confidentiality clause plastered to every staff email. Target number two is to fix the character stripping done on input to the issue tracker. A third might be to do something about Firefox 3 and SSL certs on campus. And I'm sure the people who hired me have some things for me to do as well ^_^

The systems my group seems to be tasked with are educational and IT support. Computer labs, Blackboard/WebCT, Renderman, and servers for student web classes. There's a healthy mix of Linux, Windows and OSX on desktop, and Linux and Windows on servers. And a brickton of VMware. There are a number of transitions happening soon, so I expect a trial by fire during the learning phase (apparently one happened today before I arrived and another a few hours later). They're moving student email from locally hosted to GMail for Institutions, rolling out IE7 (I think they're hoping Vista dies), and switching to ANGEL LMS.

The pay is twice what I was making before (but maybe half of what I'm worth), with lots of gadgets and no overtime or on-call duties. Oh, and a pager (only for when I'm on the job I'm told). I mostly spent today touring the facilities and setting up the vast array of equipment bequeathed to me: a dual monitor PC, an iMac, an iPaq, wireless Plantronics headset, and a lot of random surplus equipment. The college seems to be great at buying equipment at least. And the whole building is impressive, if a bit impractical in my experience (huge windows and glass everywhere seems good on paper but leads to heating, cooling and projector problems).

I'm also allowed a free class every semester but my level of education basically exceeds 95 percent of what a community college offers students. Still, it might be nice to take a hands on technology course on networking to complement my studies on networking and proofs of protocol correctness.

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