Maverick Alumni Series Featuring Andrew Martin, Systems Administrator at Extreme Engineering Solutions
What companies have you worked for and what types of projects and technologies have you worked on since graduation?
I work for Extreme Engineering Solutions as a Systems Administrator. I've worked on a wide variety of projects, including deploying and configuring virtualization hypervisors and virtual machines, standardizing and automating deployment of new servers and services using Ansible, designing and implementing a highly-available network topography, and working with Asterisk to create a customized VoIP phone system.
How does the type of work you are doing now compare to the work you did at Maverick Software Consulting?
What’s similar? As a Software Test Engineer at Maverick, I worked on developing test suites for complex data storage applications. While my position now is different, developing reliable testing and monitoring infrastructure is crucial in any enterprise company to minimize bugs or regressions in the production environment.
What’s different? The company that I work for now is much smaller than the Maverick client I worked with, and as such I have focused more on implementing full solutions rather than just a portion of a much larger project. It has been interesting to contrast working on a large team at Maverick verses a smaller team at my current position.
How has working for Maverick prepared you for the full time work force?
Maverick provided a great introduction to working in an enterprise environment, including team collaboration, source code version control, and regression testing.
What skills do you use most often in your current job?
I utilize Linux administration skills extensively, as many of our servers run a distribution of Linux. Technical debugging skills are also essential to track down the source of problems that develop.
What advice would you give to students currently working for Maverick?
I would encourage current Maverick employees to seek out the technologies that they are passionate about (e.g operating systems, databases, web applications, software testing, networking, etc) and continue to learn more about them both through school and work but also at home as a hobby. For example, try developing an Android application, writing a web application, or installing a different operating system on your computer to learn more about it.
What are your future plans and goals that relate to your career and/or technology?
I would like to continue learning more about operating systems and networking; there is so much to learn in both of these areas and both fields are constantly evolving.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the tech industry over the next 5 years?
I see virtualization becoming more and more central to all infrastructure. This is seen already with the move to "the cloud" for a large number of services, as well as the popularity of powerful, open-source virtualization systems such as OpenStack, LXC, and Docker. In particular I think container-based virtualization will continue to grow, given its favorable combination of lightweight resource usage and ease of deployment. I think the industry will face challenges learning how to fully utilize these new virtualization technologies and provide security for data stored in the cloud and in virtual machines.