Originally Published: Friday, 14 January 2000 Author: Melanie Burrett
Published to: interact_articles_jobs_profiles/Job Profiles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Consulting: It's always something new.

Cedric is just your average, regular guy who got into computers. He got his first job experience getting kicked out of his school's systems administration room for 'playing' with the programs...

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Maybe that particular incident was not his fault, but he's told me other stories that certainly deserved him getting the big, old boot to the butt. His response to my questions about the admin. room fiasco was: "What can I say? They needed help!" Of course, he said this with as straight a face as possible.

The first computer jobs he got were in high school (at around the same time that he got booted from the sys. admin. room), working in computer stores, and doing his own freelance PC building.

Near the end of high school he got a co-op job with a local programming company called MKS. One of the major projects involved the use of a multi-platform computer environment. They used almost every major OS they could get their hands on, and one of them happened to be Linux. Our favourite OS was still at the 0. something-or-other stage then. This was in 1995.

During the summer Cedric worked full-time for MKS and got more experience on Linux. At home, though, it was a different matter. He still wasn't convinced that Linux was the best operating system. He was setting up a computer at home and his first choice, by the flip of a coin, was FreeBSD. He never downloaded it, though, because he encountered some problems. He then decided to try for Linux. It was the MCC distribution from Sunsite. With that he downloaded about 20+ hours worth of free programs to go with it. The rest, as they say, is history.

For a while he did a stint as the systems administrator at an ISP, then he switched to doing a bit of programming for another company in the area. Now he runs a small consultancy out of his house in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Clearline has been up and running for about two years and is doing quite well. As for his job, I would say that it is fairly typical for a one-man-band computer consulting business. As he says: "I am a man of many titles- consultant is the best I can think of". Some of his work involves R&D work for firewalls on Linux systems, some web hosting, and building operating systems for personal workstations. He also gets called into companies to do a variety of trouble-shooting, but that rarely has anything to do with Linux.

Cedric's computer skills were all self-taught after high school. He has considered taking courses for interest, but his days are usually pretty full. He works when someone has a problem with their computer system, and it's not too terribly uncommon for him to be up all night trying to fix a downed server or LAN. His hours are strange, to say the least, so scheduling in time for classes is out of the question right now. For him, there is no such thing as a typical day.

For the future? Well, everything seems to be going along quite well. I seriously doubt that he will choose to work for another company. His pay is regular enough, and he has his pick of clients, so going back to a salary job would be more of a hassle for him. Cedric is content to help people set up Linux systems, and generally float about being generous. Otherwise he'd probably have to buy a car.

If you want to check out MKS or Intellitactics, which are two of the places he has worked, the URLS are http://www.mks.com and www.intellitactics.com.

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