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  1. This is my old ‘system administrator’ CV. For other CV formats and versions please check my main CV page (http://www.simon-smith.org/work/index.html).
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CURRICULUM VITAE

NAME: SIMON MARK SMITH

CURRENT ADDRESS:
407 Chertsey Road
Whitton
TWICKENHAM
MIDDLESEX
TW2 6LS

TELEPHONE: 020-8755 1954

EMAIL: Email me

WEB: http://www.simon-smith.org/index.html

LATEST CVs: Technical Author (preferred). Other formats including Word .doc and Adobe .pdf are available at http://www.simon-smith.org/work/index.html

COMPUTER LITERACY Advanced / Intermediate / Basic  
ACORN RISC OS 3.1–5.11 over 15 years
APPLE MAC OS 7.1–8.0, OS X 3 years
DATABASES Access, Caché, DataEase, DBase, SQL Server 3 years
  GoldMine 4.0, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5 3 years
IBM MS-Office Pro, 4.2, 95, 97, 2000, 2003, 2007 over 10 years
  Windows 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP over 15 years
  Windows NT Server 3.1, 3.51, 4.0, 2000, XP, 2003 10 years
  Windows NT Workstation 3.51, 4.0 7 years
NETWORKING DHCP, DNS, DUN, IPX/SPX, LANs, NetBEUI, PAL, RAS, SSH, TCP/IP, VPN, WANs, etc. 6 years
  Nortel Contivity VPN, Meridian Option 11 1 year
UNIX Digital Unix, RedHat, SCO, Solaris 4 years

I have worked with literally hundreds of other applications/systems, including AIX, Business Objects, Crystal Reports, CVS, DreamWeaver, F-Secure Anti-Virus (site management), HP-UX, KEATerm, Legato Backup, Microsoft IIS, Proxy Server, RoboHelp, Terminal Services, the MSDN suite, Norton Ghost bulk rebuilds, PCAnywhere, Perl, PSQL, SmartTerm, StarOffice, Subversion, Vi, VMS, VMWare, VNC and so on. I also learn new packages very quickly – usually within minutes or hours of first having seen them.

EDUCATION

Brunel University, Uxbridge, MIDDLESEX UB8 3PH (1988 to 1991)
Dulwich College, Dulwich, LONDON SE21 7LD (1981 to 1988)

QUALIFICATIONS

Two years of four year ‘thin sandwich’ BEng Mechanical Engineering degree course.

3 ‘A’ Levels Physics A
  Chemistry B
  Mathematics C
4 ‘A/O’ Levels Test in English 1 (one)
  French Business Studies A
  Additional Mathematics B
  Computer Studies C
10 ‘O’ Levels 7 at Grade A  
  2 at Grade B  
  1 at Grade C  
  1 at Grade E (B after retake)  

MAIN SKILLS

I am an experienced system administrator with excellent technical writing skills. This means I can easily appreciate the practicalities of using different systems even where I do not have in-depth knowledge of the products concerned. I also have first-hand experience of the quality of hardware and support from a wide variety of vendors, including Dell, Eizo, HP, IBM, Sun and Toshiba among others. My other skills include:

Technical Writing

At West Middlesex Hospital I wrote technical documentation for a suite of bespoke DBase programs written by in-house medical staff. This involved working from the DBase source code to see how it functioned, conferring with the medical staff who had co-written the application, and producing output conforming to the hospital’s documentation standards – to which I also contributed. The work was needed to achieve compliance with a medical Quality Assurance standard. I have also documented my own programs and applications, including addressing any BS5750 issues that arose. At InterSystems I continued to produce high quality technical information (and established a documented reputation for doing so), but for reasons of company culture it tended to be in emails and other less formal channels.

Editing

I have had experience of editing my own and others’ work – for presentation, clarity, brevity, consistency, tone, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and conformance to several different established house styles. I have prepared documentation defining appropriate house styles where these did not previously exist.

Programming

I have written several DBase applications. One, used on several sites at Bexley Council, was written to help manage the scheduled maintenance work to be done for safety and public health reasons as laid out in the sites’ standard procedures. I had to ensure this program and its documentation were suitable for use by non-technical staff. Another, used at the West Middlesex Hospital, stored dietary and related details for patients in intensive care. I have SQL experience, and I have programmed in several BASIC dialects. The most powerful of these is Arm BASIC V, which can be used for multi-tasking windowed applications, and allows mixing of RISC assembler and BASIC in the same program. I am confident performing byte-level file manipulation via suitable editors or an appropriate program interface, and have written utilities to automate bulk byte-level alterations to files, and convertors for, e.g. text to HTML and text to XML. I have some experience with Perl, CGI scripting on web pages, PHP, CSS and XML, unix shell scripts and other-platform equivalents, and the PoVRay scene description language.

Technical Support

I am comfortable providing technical support at all levels, and am constantly adding new applications to those I know. I have covered machines ranging from 286 PCs to 3GHz multi-processor Pentium servers, and I have done support via telephone, face-to-face, through remote control software (such as VNC Viewer and others), and through informal training where appropriate. I have wide experience with many different word processors, spreadsheets, database applications, BASIC dialects, graphics tools, internet software, editors etc. on multiple software platforms, not listed for space reasons.

Training

I have trained people in DOS, Windows, DBase, word processing, spreadsheet and graphics applications, HTML, GoldMine and various other oddments. This has almost all been one-to-one, but has included classroom experience as well. I completed one third of a 1-year RSA course to become a word processing trainer but had to interrupt this to start work at West Middlesex University Hospital.

Hardware Installation and Software Configuration

I have worked on PCs, Acorns, Apple Macs, HP, Sun and Digital servers, printers, plotters, monitors and other equipment such as EPROM programmers. I know how to take correct anti-static precautions. I have installed software varying from DOS on low-range PCs and second-processor cards to advanced Windows 2003 server builds, and basic unix setups on Solaris, RedHat, SCO and Digital Unix. I have specified, built and maintained a wide range of systems from scratch, including tasks such as setting up Power Macs and NT PCs to share common resources, e.g. printers.

WORK EXPERIENCE

References available on request.

STEEL

Technical Author
08/2007 to 07/2008 (contract)

Steel is a digital media agency specialising in creating highly-accessible web sites and viral marketing campaigns. I wrote a wide variety of important customer-facing and internal documents for them, including: technical scoping documents for new web sites and viral campaigns; user guides for various parts of Steel’s bespoke web content management systems; service level agreements; testing strategy documents; training guidelines; documentation style guides; and a mixture of other supporting content. In some cases I was re-writing and updating pre-existing material, while in other cases I produced new content from scratch.

AIR FAYRE

Technical Author
02/2006 to 09/2006 (contract)

This short-term contract was completed two weeks ahead of schedule. I produced detailed user-level documentation for the company’s ERP system, which is based on Microsoft Axapta (now known as Microsoft Dynamics). It is being successfully rolled out across Air Fayre and is likely to be extended to cover the other companies in the Watermark Group. The system includes bespoke code to cope with aircraft flight scheduling and the very precise item loading requirements specified by Air Fayre’s customers (Qantas, BMI, Air Canada and others). Flexibility, foresight and an iterative, modular documentation method were needed because many procedures were still being adjusted as the system entered daily use.

INTERSYSTEMS

IT Administrator
12/1998 to 02/2004 (permanent)

I worked as a system administrator for InterSystems’ Eton sales office. InterSystems is a software company with many very technically skilled staff, thus the highest quality of service was expected and required. Staff numbers more than doubled over the time I worked there and the support requirements of the overseas offices (South Africa, Spain, Belgium and others) also rose. My duties included administering about a dozen NT servers and some unix systems (including remote administration), routine maintenance of PCs, technical support at all levels from office temps to the company owner, ad-hoc training, recommending, specifying and purchasing all IT-related hardware and software, and any other connected areas. Where corporate standards existed I ensured that the Eton office followed them, and where they did not exist I defined them. While further support from e.g. the US was available if needed, in practice almost all technical decisions on how best to support, run and enhance the office’s IT systems were mine for over four years.

LIVINGSTON RENTAL

PC Support Engineer
11/1995 to 12/1998 (temp to perm)

This position started out mainly hardware-based but the software and technical components grew as new computers become ever more sophisticated. Incoming machines were cleaned, checked, and their software rebuilt – usually via a Novell network – and they were sometimes sent out again within hours of their arrival.

WEST MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

Database Analyst/Programmer/Technical Writer
01/1995 to 08/1995 (contract)

Here I wrote user guides for a suite of bespoke DBase applications written in-house by medical staff in the Clinical Biochemistry department. These applications stored critical data for patients’ medical tests as well as clinical trials data needed by drugs firms or the Department of Health. Most of the applications used shared resources stored on a Novell LAN. I also wrote a DBase for Windows application recording dietary details for intensive-care patients undergoing ‘Total Parenteral Nutrition’. The application was made both to track the details of this treatment, and to evaluate DBase for Windows for possible use throughout the department.

BEXLEY LONDON BOROUGH (Leisure Link Subcontractor)

Database Analyst/Programmer/Technical Writer
01/1993 to 02/1994 (contract)

CROYDON BOROUGH COUNCIL

Database Administrator/Programmer
07/1991 to 01/1992 (contract)

BRITISH GAS PLC

Industrial Trainee (IMechE accredited)
04/1990 to 10/1990

ICI CHEMICAL PRODUCTS GROUP

Industrial Trainee (IMechE accredited)
04/1989 to 10/1989

INTERESTS

Computing (programming rather than gaming), writing, walking, reading (science, science fiction, fantasy, humour), ray-tracing and rôle-playing games (RPGs). Some sample ray-traced images are available on my web site at http://www.simon-smith.org/raytracing/index.html. I use my Acorn PC extensively as a word processor, and I wrote a book called Fragments from the Rim for an American RPG company (West End Games). The book was a mixture of science fiction source material and rules for the Star Wars RPG. This data needed to be well-written and unambiguous, so all the considerations applying to more serious work still applied – and the book needed to be entertaining as well. Fragments is generally considered the best of the dozen or so ‘Galaxy Guide’ books that were produced. It appeared in print in England in July 1993.


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