I started out developing applications on SIR in 1988. They integrated with SPSS and SAS, and ran on a VAX 11/785. By the mid 90’s I was doing everything on DOS and Windows. Back then Delphi and Visual Basic were big and you hooked up to Borland Database Engine, SQL Server or Sybase.
In 1997 Citrix came to Australia and I stumbled across them. I was impressed with WinFrame 1.7 - this was the first time Windows applications could run in the datacentre local to database backends and be accessible to users anywhere via a dialup modem - talk about living the dream! I did my WinFrame 1.7 certification in June 1998 and signed on as a Citrix gold reseller. Flogging software wasn’t my bag, so I bailed out of the reseller game in 2000 to focus on consultancy.
Citrix was steady, but nothing to write home about until 2001. Then came MetaFrame XP. It was enterprise ready and the world wised up to the benefits of running apps local to data stores and the potential of remote access. By 2003 Citrix was on fire and I was busy consulting for a range of government and corporate clients.
I’ve architected and deployed solutions featuring XenApp, XenDesktop, NetScaler, CloudBridge (WANscaler) and the old Access Gateway Enterprise. I’ve packaged and virtualised just about every application out there and tamed the world’s most toxic. I’ve plugged in to Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, DB2, z900, AIX, Solaris, HPUX, Linux, Notes, Exchange, Sendmail, VMWare - you name it I’ve more than likely had some exposure somewhere along the way.
I see my edge in this business as not so much the knowledge and experience I’ve built up over twenty-eight years: but my determination and ability to think and innovate. I’m high level, mindful of how technology can best serve the business it’s competition strategies, it’s vision for the future and the world in which it operates. And I’m hands dirty low level wrangling technologies and concepts like logical layering, decoupling, statelessness, asynchronous communication, signals and managing persistence to make it all happen. I cut designs for simplicity; so the delivered solution is intuitive to both users and support staff. I do these things on top of the standard technical goals of manageability, scalability, agility, robustness and redundancy.
I’m proud of the insight and discipline I’ve gained through my years in the industry. A lot of experience and know-how got picked up on that journey from VAX and dialup modems, to cloud, virtualised everything and global networks. As the technologies mature and get slicker, the technical challenges get more and more interesting. And I’m always there working out what’s going on as the apps execute and the packets fly.