November 23, 2016

I'm Josh King, 'IT Pro,' and This Is How I Work

Posted on November 23, 2016  •  5 minutes  • 911 words

I follow a bunch of people on GitHub and make checking timeline/feed on there part of my morning habit.

You never know what little gems you’ll see come upon, from leaders in your area(s) of interest starring an interesting repo to great coders creating a brand new repo for an awesome new project.

This morning (as in… the morning of the day I started writing this post) Adam Bertram created a new repo called “HowIWorkIT” . Consider me intrigued. Adam’s idea is to facilitate a “How I Work” series of blog posts specifically for people in the IT realm.

Consider this my “How I Work” post, and if you’re interested in reading more posts from other bloggers make sure you check out the list of participants .

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

~ Douglas Adams , The Salmon of Doubt

Where are you located?

I call sunny New Zealand home. Specifically Hawke’s Bay, about halfway up the North Island.

This really is a beautiful country, though when you’ve lived here all your life you do unfortunately take it for granted. It’s always warm, but that doesn’t stop locals complaining when it gets a little chilly for a week during winter.

The furthest from NZ I’ve been is Australia. Hoping to visit countries further abroad, but I’ll never be able to permanently move away from here.

What is your current gig?

I work for one of the local government authorities here, it’s no secret which one… though I’ll leave specifics to other online profiles.

My official title is “Network Infrastructure Support Officer,” we added the network part to avoid confusing with roading and other civic infrastructure. We’re a three person team that fills the roles of Network Engineers, System Administrators and more, responsible for everything from our UPSs, network switches, servers, virtual machines, and certain OS roles (think DNS, AD, etc.)

It’s a very busy, but rewarding and technically challenging role.

What’s one word to describe your work?


And I guess that really is the spice of life. Variety keeps things interesting and fresh. Having such a large pool of responsibilities means no two days are the same and a lot of different technologies to cut your teeth on.

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?

If you’ve read almost any of my previous posts, or follow me on Twitter, you’ll be able to guess the primary answer: PowerShell.

A fundamental background in C# may have helped me pick it up reasonably fast when I started, I’m not sure. Regardless, it was well worth the effort. PowerShell is one of the ways we manage a large workload.

Other than that, I’ve grown to love Pulseway as a monitoring solution. It’s reasonably cheap, can be on-prem or hosted, and can be extended to do almost anything with a little bit of PowerShell .

What does your workspace look like?

Our IT team is in a rather small open-plan space, with only short dividers between desks. We all have a great sense of humour (or ability to filter out inappropriate jokes), so it works surprisingly well for us.

Here’s my place in the world:

The highlights:

What’s a typical workweek look like?

Monday morning tends to start with a Network Infrastructure team meeting. Thursday nights are for applying Windows Updates to our servers, if any were released that week.

Everything else is very fluid. Everything from checking/testing backups, changing config on switches, firewall rules, VM builds, PowerShell, meetings. Everything.

What do you like the best about your role?

The people.

I work with a great bunch of people who are willing and able to pitch in to get through a problem, then share an epic joke or two when the heat is off.

What’s something about you that no one knows about?

One day, I’d love to become a PowerShell (erm, ‘Cloud and Datacenter Management’) MVP. Looking at the current MVPs, like Adam, I see a huge cham between them and where I’m at at the moment.

To be clear, this goal isn’t the only reason I do what I do, but I find having a goal as lofty as this does help keep focus.

What do you listen to while you work?

I’m an avid user of Google Play Music and tend to flick through the playlists the Google suggests but often just end up clicking “I’m feeling lucky.”

My taste in music is wide and varied, there is very little music I actively dislike.

Sometimes I’ll leave a Pluralsight course playing while I work when I’m in the mode for a little extra learning while I work.

What do you wish you could change about your work?

More PowerShell!

Yes I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this topic, but I really do mean it. There is always something else that can be automated, a new challenge to tackle, a task to simplify, it’s just a matter of setting aside enough time to do it properly.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

I think I’ve pretty much covered everything about myself that I think is interesting. Kiwis have a habit of downplaying their own achievements: something, something, tall poppy syndrome.

If there is anything you want to know, feel free to hit me up on Twitter .

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