I started employment at Durham University in 1998, prior to which I was a commercial IT Trainer for 3 years delivering courses primarily in Microsoft Windows and Office applications of that time.
I was initially employed at Durham as an Application Support Officer but my role changed dramatically over the years. For the main my position was as Senior IT Consultant where I managed a team to develop and maintain the University’s main staff and student desktops of which there are now over 7000 centrally managed Windows workstations split into primarily 2 desktops one for staff another for student learning.
I was given the task maintaining the student desktop system and took it from an embryonic Windows 3.11/NT4 system and developed it to the current Win10 desktop, via Windows 2000, XP and 7 over the years. It is a locked down desktop robust with over 3000 workstations and over 500 applications, and is the core of the University academic teaching system.
The system now delivers applications using Cloudpaging/Appsanywhere and Parallels RAS, which means all the applications can be used on any internet enabled device via a single web portal, which at the time of inception was a game changer.
In 2001 I was heavily involved with the implementation of the Main Active directory system that is in place at the University and those foundations (for good and bad) are still in place today.
Initially the IT service didn't offer a managed staff desktop so I took my knowledge from the student system and created a more flexible staff desktop. I then managed the roll-out and migration of over 2000 desktops across numerous departments and all of the colleges at the University, and it is still steadily increasing in numbers and is now over 4000 strong. These days with the introduction of the Apphub the difference between the staff and student desktops is minimal.
My current role as Technical Lead (Windows Desktops) is now more 3rd line support which results in dealing less with the actual day to day support of the users and concentrate on the back end development of the current and future systems.
I still enjoy user interaction with day to day issues just so happens I do it less these days. The windows desktop never remains static it constantly evolves to meet the demands of the users, to which I would like to think I’m one of the driving forces in developing and implementing new features.