My IT Career…coming around full circle

So, yesterday (5/24/2016) the company I work for (HPE) made an announcement that they would be merging with another big IT services company early next year (see this article). I had a big chuckle about it. If you want to understand why, just try to follow along…I dare you.

While still in college I started a part-time IT gig with General Dynamics, which turned into a full time position once I graduated in 1989. Only a couple of years into that job, and General Dynamics decides to outsource their entire IT organization to a company called Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). New badge, same job really.

Over the next few years, the General Dynamics business that we supported, changed hands a few times. First to Hughes Electronics Corporation and then to Raytheon. My job at CSC also took me from Southern California to Tucson, Arizona. This lasted a few more years, until my boss asked me if I wanted to move to San Diego, California to help out on a new account. I probably said yes before he finished his sentence.

In mid-2000, I relocated to sunny San Diego and began work on writing a little client/server billing system to help CSC provide a detailed bill to its new IT outsourcing client, the County of San Diego. That little billing system lasted longer than CSC did on this contract, about 13 years, which is a pretty decent run for a VB6/SQL Server solution.  🙂

At the end of 2006, CSC had lost the County of San Diego contract to Northrop Grumman (NG). CSC’s staff was divided among NG and an IT consulting firm, BearingPoint. We didn’t get to choose, other than to accept the offer or not. So, another new badge. I guess it was time for a new picture anyway.

Just a couple of years in working for BearingPoint, they decided to sell the majority of their public services consulting business to Deloitte. Except our little piece supporting the County of San Diego was spun off to a new consulting firm, Éclat Consulting (no link for them since they folded some time ago. Here’s what the name means though). Éclat didn’t last too long, and we were shuffled to another new consulting firm, Attain. Still supporting the County of San Diego, just changing badges like bad fashion trends.

NG decided to walk away from the County of San Diego contract before their time was up, and passed it on to Hewlett Packard (HP). This time, everyone (that wanted to stay) was moved to HP (yet another new badge). All one big happy family again. At least for a couple of years.

Late into the year 2015, HP announced that it was going to split into two companies. HP would be handling consumer computers and printers, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) would be handling enterprise products and services. The change this time for us from HP to HPE wasn’t too disruptive, and we didn’t even get new badges! Well, we did get a new overlay that got glued to the face of the badge, with the new company name (same old photo though).

The stability of being at HPE would only last until May of the following year, when HPE announced that it would be spinning off the enterprise services component to a new company. This new company would be a merger of sorts between HPE and CSC (see the article at the very beginning of this post). This merger is supposed to be completed early in 2017.

Maybe I can locate my old CSC badge and wear it next to my current HPE badge? Ah, back to the beginning I go…

p.s. – I’m glad I wrote this post because I was getting a bit fuzzy on the details. It might come in handy if I need to update my resume. Although, I might have to create a chart of some kind as well.

Kevin Gilbert – 20 Years Gone

Gone 20 years today. RIP Kevin.

This is simply one of the most beautiful sad songs ever written. 21 years on, and the entire Thud album still amazes me. A desert island disc for sure.

I first heard Kevin while listening to the Mark & Brian show on KLOS (Los Angeles) back in the early 90s (when Toy Matinee was released). Kevin and Marc Bonilla were often guests on the radio show and played various songs in the studio and during their special Christmas shows. At the time, I was more interested in Marc Bonilla’s guitar work and sought out his albums first (EE Ticket, American Matador). I did get the Toy Matinee album, but didn’t fully appreciate Kevin until 95 when Thud was released. An expertly crafted, intelligent, pop-rock album that really showcased Kevin’s genius.

It is sad to ponder the incredible music that he would have surely created in the past 20 years.

Deep Thought For The New Year

One of my all time favorite quotes, from an outstanding book that I believe everyone on this planet should read.

Pale Blue Dot

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Continue reading Deep Thought For The New Year

Trimming your wallet with Evernote and NFC

Originally posted on September 27, 2012

Costanza's Wallet

“This isn’t just my wallet. It’s an organizer, a memory and an old friend.” – George Costanza

If you find yourself tilting to one side while you sit, due to the size of your wallet, it may be time to use technology to put your old friend on a diet. While I never had the pocket filing cabinet problem of poor old George Costanza, I did want to strip my wallet down to the bare minimum. I chose to do this not only for convenience, but also for security. The less important things that you are carrying around town, the less you have to worry about replacing in the event of a loss or theft. Also, a much slimmer wallet would allow me to switch to carrying it in my front pocket, for even more security. Continue reading Trimming your wallet with Evernote and NFC

The Backyard Office – Part II

Originally posted on October 9, 2010

Continued from The Backyard Office – Part I

Now with the shell of the structure in place, it was time to tackle the interior. I spent quite a bit of time planning what I wanted the finished version of the interior to look like and what features I wanted to support. Adding things to the office (like electrical outlets) is much easier to do when there is nothing but studs on the inside. Trust me, you do not want to have to add anything major once you’ve got the drywall up and finished! Continue reading The Backyard Office – Part II

The Backyard Office – Part I

Originally posted on September 26, 2010

With the approaching birth of our second child, it became obvious that our 3 bedroom home was going to get a lot less spacious…and that I would have to give up my “office”. I use the term office a bit loosely since it is really a room to house my toys (i.e., computers, CDs, guitars, gadgets, etc.). I do actually work quite a bit from home as well, so it does have to function as a real office too. Having a spare bedroom in the house is very convenient, but explaining to your two kids why they have to share a room just so daddy can have an office might out weigh the advantages. Continue reading The Backyard Office – Part I

Querying a database directly from UltraEdit

(This post was originally published April 23, 2009)

Using UltraEdit’s powerful external tool integration, this article will show you how to submit an SQL query directly from UltraEdit and have the results returned directly to the editor.

This example uses Microsoft SQL Server 2000, but the basic technique can be applied to most any database tool. Continue reading Querying a database directly from UltraEdit

Adding an Automatic BCC to Outlook

(This post was originally published April 23, 2009)

Note: This article is a bit out of date (in regards to newer versions of Outlook), but contains some interesting information in the comments section (which is reproduced here). At some point I will bring this article up to date, since I might have some new use cases for this functionality (i.e., automatically archiving posts to Evernote).

By using the built-in rules in Outlook you can automatically CC an email address on outgoing messages (and even specify additional criteria like keywords in subject lines, etc.), but there is no option to use BCC. This article will show how to modify Outlook to automatically BCC an email address on all outgoing messages. Continue reading Adding an Automatic BCC to Outlook

Random Musings