Name: Ken Gould Course: MSc in Cloud Computing (online learning) College: Cork Institute of Technology
My name is Ken Gould. I'm 36 years old, a husband and father of three. I've been working for EMC (www.emc.com) for nearly 17 years in various capacities, having started as an intern back in college. It’s taken me 16 years but I feel like I am back to the same point!
I worked for the internal IT department for the first 5 years, administering Banyan Vines/Windows and Exchange, before moving over to Solutions Development where I really started to build entire end-to-end environments for customer engagements.
This started from simple product demonstrations, but over the years evolved to designing, building and testing solutions for specific industry applications such as Exchange/SQL and Oracle. This work included new approaches to design, deployment and protection of these applications, creating white papers and evangelising the solutions at workshops and trade show sessions.
In early 2003 I was one of the first to start working on virtualizing mission critical applications on the VMware platform. This naturally led me away from the application world and into the virtualisation world. The net result of that was working on large-scale virtualisation solutions testing and eventually cloud deployments.
Why did I do the Masters? Cloud is one of the newest waves to hit the IT industry. My role gives me the scope to be constantly at the bleeding edge of what’s possible and help define some of the best practices that our customers will eventually deploy.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, this leaves me and the team I work with constantly learning on the job, figuring out what works and what doesn't. It also means that a lot of our skill sets go unrecognized in terms of official qualifications.
I saw the chance to help develop the Cloud Computing Masters and also to participate in its first rotation as an opportunity both to ratify my official skill-sets through a 4th level qualification, and also as a chance to round out my skills in aspects of cloud computing that I rarely get a chance to dabble with.
Cloud is huge, and it encompasses just about every skill set of developers, administrators and architects across all sorts of hardware and software platforms. Throw in security and consulting and nobody does all that on a regular basis, no matter what their day job. The Masters gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet with things other than storage, orchestration and hypervisors.
Being at college is certainly not as easy as it was back in my teenage years. Having a full time day job and trying to get through lectures, assignments and study means that you have to be prepared to put in the time.
It’s been beneficial in all the ways I thought it would be. I definitely have a better all round skill set, which sometimes you don’t even really know you’ve garnered until you walk into a meeting and all of a sudden you realize 'I get that', where you wouldn't have before. The hardest thing about college? Getting used to hand writing as fast as humanly possible during exams!
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