During my time gathering a few University degrees, I explored the sciences, mathematics, and in particular physics and astronomy. During the course of my studies, I was exposed to the hard end of the new-born discipline of computing science -- I say hard end because we had things to get done and little time for pedagogical approaches. As a result, when I decided to not proceed further into academia I had a ready made practical skill in computing and computer networks.
I started working at the University of Toronto developing the Campus Network. It was one of the first fibre based campus networks and we moved from passive fibre stars to active fibre repeaters through to the first layer 2 switches. Simultaneously, we evolved from simple bridged networks to routed networks to complex large scale networks -- first with custom routers built on microvax/ultrix platforms and later to dedicated router technologies. This was a very exciting time and I had the opportunity to be involved with the development, implementation and operation of the first large scale Internets. Moreover, I had the privilege of working with many of the folks who helped develop the protocols and technologies that became the key building blocks of the modern, very large scale Internet that is used for so much today. Most importantly to me, I learned that development and operation go hand in hand in creating the best technology solutions. This was, in fact, a major theme of the folks involved with the early IETF. Interestingly, we call it 'DevOps' today.
Although the first versions of large scale Internets were built by Education and Research institutions, it was always clear that this technology would become a key business technology and the provision of the Internet would become a large commercial endeavour. As this transition occurred, I moved into the commercial business world and helped develop some of the first commercial IP, ATM, and Data networks in Canada (Rogers, AT&T, and many of the Tech startups in the late 1990's).
After the 'Tech Bubble' burst in 2001, I had been in various consulting roles for long enough to want to strike out on my own as a self employed consultant. I joined with two other similarly minded folk to create a partnership called LPI Solutions. This partnership lasted for 15 years and we were able to find plenty of fine consulting opportunities working for large enterprises (typically Canadian Banks) and large Telcos (Bell, Telus, MTS). Although most of our business was based in Canada, we also engaged with a number of large scale enterprises all over the world. Our skills led us to become expert in the IT Operations side of most businesses focusing on performance management, configuration management, incident management, and most extensively on event management.
In 2016, we decided that the partnership was no longer a fit for our three changing needs. All things evolve over time and we wanted to each take different directions in our work lives. For me, that meant the contemplation of a more relaxed work life. I am now working for the TD Bank in a full time position as part of the Data Centre Operations Team.