Richard’s Background in IT
My interest in computers started at the age of 12, when my father’s company gave him a PC to use at home. Trying to get that computer to work with the DOS based games of the time (we are talking late 1980’s here), required quite a large amount of tweaking. And so my journey with computers began.
At age 16 I built and installed my first computer.
At age 19, while studying Chemistry at University, I started my own computer business. In the afternoons and on weekends I would build computers for people or help them with their computer related problems. This was a steep learning curve; but a strong drive to do a proper job and leave the customer happy served me well back then, just as it still does today.
In 1997 I decided to study for a formal IT qualification as an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). This was an extremely challenging qualification, but offered the prospect of almost guaranteed employment for those who made it. This indeed did turn out to be the case and in 1998 I was given a job at BP.
The BP job turned out to be a bit of a baptism of fire when it came to the world of corporate IT. The job was third line support for the whole of the Africa region (meaning we got passed all the problems that no one else was able to solve) as well as being responsible for more than 220 servers, spread across 43 sites in 11 countries. Again, although the work was incredibly challenging and the hours were long the experience proved invaluable and in many ways life changing.
After 2 years in the BP job, I decided to head over to the UK to do my OE. I again ended up working for BP, this time in the London Projects Team. The projects varied from quite small (install a few servers) to huge (migrating thousands of users to new computers or setting up a new mega data centre in the Docklands). These 4 years were fantastic in terms of the diversity of the experience I gained over a wide range of IT technology.
After leaving BP, I contracted for Royal Bank of Scotland for the next 2 years as the Technical Team Lead, managing a team of five other IT Technicians on two large integration projects. These projects involved migrating around 8000 users each into RBS’ IT environment. Each user was given a new PC and user account, their data and applications were migrated overnight and they would come in and carry on working as normal the next morning.
After my time at RBS, I spent the next four years contracting to Shell as a Technical Project Lead. This largely involved taking end to end technical ownership of a wide variety of IT projects. Starting from initial scoping of the business requirements, designing the IT infrastructure, planning and running the deployment of the infrastructure, testing the system, documenting and finally handing the systems over to the support organisation.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be in such a wonderful place, surrounded by kind, honest and caring people (a real community).
I enjoy using my many years of experience to help the people and businesses of Golden Bay solve their computer problems, quickly and efficiently.
I have also created the Golden Bay Online – Local Business and Events Directory to give local businesses and organisations a way to easily create an online presence and market themselves online.
Although many of you will now be soundly asleep (and I do apologise for that), I do feel it is important that you know that you are hiring a true IT professional, not just some guy who knows a bit about PC’s. All this experience helps me to offer you only the best level of service.