Old McGoogle had a server farm.. A.I,A.I, Oh?

Employment

Supermassive Games, Guildford – February 2023 to Present
I.T. Infrastructure Engineer

Working in a small team alongside the desktop and facilities teams, my responsibilities include managing and maintaining the studio infrastructure that includes everything from networking (switches, firewalls and VPN equipment as well as multi-site connectivity through VPLS), remote access, media transfers between the studio and vendors, licence management, Perforce server wrangling, asset management of equipment and software, Microsoft 365 services including MS Teams, Sharepoint, SSO integration with third party services, Active Directory management, VMWare vCentre and ESXi servers and associated SAN and NAS storage clusters. There are some services that run under AWS and Azure. Additionally, I perform daily checks of the backups across our estate (Commvault) to ensure all our services have consistent and reliable backups and continually work alongside a third-party vendor to develop and provide continuous health checks of the backup system.

As well as day-to-day management of these services, time is spent on helpdesk tickets which can vary from dealing with network and server issues affecting production through to allocating storage to projects, moving data between servers (data wrangling) and setting up or removing users on third-party services.  

When not working on tickets, the rest of the time is spent on project work (for example, generating stats from licence servers to monitor usage, or writing system documentation) or working with the development/tools team to help manage the infrastructure used to build the games we produce. I have also introduced a new service to the company called Massive (which uses S3 as a backend) to replace the ageing FTP server so that teams and vendors can share and store large files between teams and vendors quickly and easily.

KPS, Wimbledon – August 2017 – February 2023
Senior Systems Administrator

I’m a senior systems administrator responsible for looking after the backend infrastructure for multiple high-end e-commerce clients hosted across multiple Cloud platforms (including AWS, Google Cloud and SAP Cloud) utilising the Java-based SAP Hybris platform. I rewrote many of the scripts required to maintain one of our client’s Google Cloud Platform (incorporating the ability to create new, updated system images, deploying new versions of the application and general image maintenance). Ansible is being used more in the day-to-day management of each environment and I’m looking at new and better ways to automate our systems.  

I also handle many SEO related tasks for clients, usually with Nginx maps. I’ve also recommended (and implemented) the use of Cloudflare (or Akamai) and settings for clients to ensure they have security at the edge (and between the edge and origin – and, obviously, security at the origin too). This can involve additional interaction with Rackspace WAF, IDS and load balancing systems (depending on the client).

I also help manage and support the business infrastructure including desktops, laptops, network connectivity, VPNs and software. I’ve recommended (and subsequently deployed) the company’s Dell laptop and desktop fleet, evaluated and deployed Sophos Central-based Advanced Intercept-X with EDR anti-virus/anti-malware, and recommended the Ubiquiti Wi-Fi APs and associated switches and services (which I help maintain). I’m also helping to develop the business’ BYOD policies and procedures, and currently managing both company and BOYD Apple devices using Apple Business Manager and JamF Now.

My latest projects include moving the company’s vulnerability scanning system from Tenable to Qualys, including redeveloping client scan profiles and adding web application scanning and flexible reporting and setting up an internal VMWare ESXi server for use with network management, auditing and possibly migrating/virtualizing the current Active Directory server. I recently migrated a .NET project between two Rackspace accounts to new versions of Windows Server including moving development and deployment systems associated with it. Additionally, I have been responsible for converting the company’s CMS based website (based around EPIServer) to a wholly static website which is hosted within a Google Cloud Storage bucket and served through Cloudflare to provide SSL functionality. 

I also provide out of hours infrastructure for our clients (1 week in 2).

Memset Ltd., Guildford – 2008 to August 2017
Senior Systems Administrator & First Line Team Leader

Working as part of a team of system administrators and reporting to the service manager, I manage a small team of junior system administrators to provide first-line operations support for Memset customers’ dedicated and virtual server platforms and our own internal systems. This includes first-line support via email (using the open-source Request Tracker system) and by phone. 

The company deploys around 750+ dedicated customer servers and 3500+ virtual servers. The virtual servers run on 300 Xen-based Dell servers. We support three flavours of Linux: CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu. We also support Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012.

Out of hours emergency support is provided to our managed clients as part of a scheduled on-call system for the ops team – usually served one week in eight – and this also covers dealing with any issues that are raised through the company’s Nagios-based monitoring system.

I am personally responsible for customer backups (Linux and Windows) – including provisioning and installing new customer backup servers and ensuring that all backups were completed successfully (or if not, determining the cause and fixing it). I am also the project manager for the company’s SquirrelSave online backup service – including technical support, provisioning of servers, and helping to test and develop the cross-platform client (currently Windows, OS X and Ubuntu Linux). I have also helped with QA relating to the Memstore CDN platform (based on OpenStack), IPv6 tunnelling and many other internal beta projects before their release to the public.

For Memset’s increasing use of Mac laptops in the office, I commissioned a dedicated Mac Mini running OS X Server and an external Thunderbolt-based storage array to back up staff laptops while they’re in the office. While away from the office, staff laptops are backed up to our SquirrelSave service.

Imagineer Systems, Guildford – 2008 to 2008
Systems Engineer

As the only systems engineer for the company, my many duties included providing internal systems support for the developers’ workstations and servers.  

As well as this, I was responsible for managing the company website and customer forum system (running as CentOS-based Xen virtualized machines), setting up and maintaining the OS X-based X-Serve based build system for the Academy Award-winning Mocha tracking software, and testing new storage options for products in development.

I also served as hardware technical support for customers worldwide. I travelled to Munich and New York to set up hardware and software – and worked with the development team back in Guildford to ensure everything was configured properly.  

The role also saw me charged with filming the company’s promotional video that was shown at the NAB 2008 show in Las Vegas that featured interviews of prominent members of the visual effects community who were testing our products.  This also involved flying out to Las Vegas for NAB to set up the demonstration equipment.

I also transitioned the company’s self-hosted Zimbra (community edition) email system to Google Apps for Business.

The Moving Picture Company, London – 2002 to 2008
Production Systems Engineer

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1279160/

Working as part of a small team of systems administrators, we were responsible for the administration of computer equipment used to produce visual effects used in major feature films and television.  

The scope of this involved everything from managing the company’s web server, email server, FTP servers, firewalls, switches, render farm machines, artist workstations and software. I was put in charge of the firewalls that included the migration from Sun-based Checkpoint firewall to hardware-based Juniper and Fortigate network appliances. Additionally, switching to VLAN-based network segregation using HP Procurve kit was also one of my duties as part of a merger with multi-national Thomson (who also own Technicolor) and integrating MPC’s existing network into theirs. I was also responsible for coordinating and setting up IPsec VPNs between major film studios and clients. 

Other duties extended to maintaining artist workstations – including provisioning of hardware and software and hardware replacement, render farm maintenance (hardware and software), and storage systems management (provisioning, monitoring and replacing dead disks). This is in addition to providing out of hours on-call support for the company and occasionally special projects that involved me visiting film studios in the UK and abroad to ensure that artists had the right equipment, software and connectivity to be able to do their job.
   
Overall, there were over 1,000 render farm IBM-based render-farm machines – all running CentOS Linux. The artist workstations totalled around 500 and ran CentOS, with some running VMWare Player to run Windows alongside to run Photoshop on the same hardware.

Webcoin Ltd., London – 2001 to 2002
Systems Administrator & Customer Support

Working by myself, I was responsible for managing all servers (Linux – mainly RedHat based – less than 20 servers in total) used by the company and by its customers – eventually planning the move to a dedicated rack at Redbus, in London’s Docklands.  

Other duties include preparing Sun server clones for sale to customers – installing the operating system and configuring as per customer instructions and providing support for customer websites and email hosting.

Internet Assist Ltd., Kingston-upon-Thames – 2001 to 2001
Systems Administrator & Customer Support

I managed all internal systems, including company workstations and servers – overseeing the transition of manual “tar” tape backups to the Arkeia backup management system as well the migration of the company’s older Sendmail email system to Exim. All servers (around 4 in total) ran RedHat Linux.

I also managed the company’s servers hosted at Rackspace and was responsible for moving all customer website data from another provider over to Rackspace. 

NetDirect / ISION Internet Ltd., London – 1999 to 2001
Systems Administrator

I was part of a team of systems administrators responsible for managing the company’s Sun Solaris and Linux servers (around 50 of them) that ran the web services (using the commercial Zeus web server), DNS, and (Open) LDAP authentication, and email servers. I also provided third-line support from time to time.

I took on the responsibility of looking after a new product called NDO which offered a free .co.uk domain providing customers were using its dial-up service.  

Part of my duties included stopping customers from abusing the free domain registration and reporting back to the developers in order to prevent further breaches of the sign-up system as well as acting as primary third-line support for the product.

Net Communications Ltd., Norwich – 1998 to 1998
Support Manager & Systems Administrator

As the company’s support manager, I lead all technical support services provided to customers. This included monitoring email and telephone support, visiting clients on-site and installing modem equipment and configuring their LANs and desktop machines to access the Internet.

I also assisted the technical manager with various system administration tasks.

Albatross Networks, Norwich – 1996 to 1998
Technical Manager

My first duties at Albatross Networks were to build, service, and support PCs that were made and sold on the premises. This later grew into building and maintaining the servers and infrastructure for the company’s dial-up and web hosting service.

The email, DNS and Usenet servers all ran Caldera Linux. As Microsoft’s Frontpage was popular at the time, we deployed Windows Server for serving all customer and company websites. We were also the first ISP in Norwich to offer Demon-style catch-all mail addresses for email (a blessing and a curse – spam was not as big a problem back then).

I part sourced, part-wrote the Windows software that customers used to configure their Windows machines to connect to the Internet using the WISE Installation system and various Windows Dial-Up Networking (DUN) utilities and scripts. I provided full technical support to our customers for the dial-up service and 24/7 on-call.

I was responsible for brokering and implementing an informal peering agreement between Albatross Networks and another much larger ISP, U-NET, for a complete Usenet feed to fill in the gaps provided by our upstream provider, BT.

I designed and developed the company’s website and was commissioned to develop websites for customers and provided hosting and support for them.

During my time at Albatross, I designed new email infrastructure solutions for clients, including replacing a Novell Groupwise email system with a local Windows-based mail server providing localised POP3 mailboxes and a dial-up network connection to pick up mail from a catch-all email address hosted on our servers.  

We also offered on-site callouts for customers, and I would regularly travel around Norfolk (and occasionally to London) to resolve dial-up and Windows-related issues.

Interests

● Keen cyclist

● Interest in all aspects of cinema & TV including filmmaking and production workflow

● Founder member of the Anglian Linux User Group and provided initial hosting for web site and mailing list which I managed for several years before moving back to London

● Former Google Apps Top Contributor. Between 2007-2009 I regularly assisted other users of Google Apps on the official Google Apps Help Forums. I’ve been using Google Apps since it was initially Gmail For Your Domain 2006 and have been using it ever since.

● I have interviewed award-winning screenwriter Jane Goldman on her adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, Stardust, for film. I was also in attendance at Neil’s personal private screening of the film prior to its release. I have also interviewed several other literary writers. 

● I have a very keen interest in writing – including maintaining my own blog and developing screenplays.

● Personally recommended and moved the Raindance Film School/Film Festival (part of BIFA) to Memset after noticing how bad their website performed while researching lessons in screenwriting. I took the lead in migrating and managing the server until they were ready to manage it by themselves.

● In my spare time, I like to experiment with home automation (mainly consumer products currently, but looking to go much deeper)

Skills

● Linux system administration (CentOS, RedHat Enterprise Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, and Amazon Linux)

● Windows Server system administration (Windows 2003 through to 2019)

● Mac OS X 10.4 through to macOS 13.3 (including Apple silicon Mac) systems administration using Apple Business Manager and Jamf Now

● Software package management systems (yum, rpm, aptitude, chocolatey (Windows), Homebrew (macOS))

● Shell scripting (Bash, automation of repetitive tasks, currently learning Python)

Skills (continued…)

● Basic PHP coding (have written a simplified interface to Mailman for VFX production)Basic Perl coding (managing and automating web hosting accounts)

● Change and configuration management (Ansible, BitBucket, Git, Perforce)

● Ticketing systems (Request Tracker, JIRA, OTRS)

● Monitoring systems (Nagios, Ganglia, MRTG, Pingdom, New Relic, LibreNMS, SolarWinds, Pingdom)

● Extensive experience with Google Workspace administration and usage (former Top Contributor)

● Video encoding, codecs & administration of Adobe’s Flash Media Streaming Server; experience with managing Adobe Cloud applications

● Post-production workflow (rendering, distributed storage, high-performance storage including InfiniBand systems, iSCSI, SAN, NAS and DAS)

● Video editing (Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X) & photo editing (Adobe Photoshop) including the whole Creative Cloud suite (I run it at home)

● Email server administration (Exim, Postfix, MDaemon, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365)

● Commercial Backup products (Arkeia – Linux, Idera/R1Soft Server Backup – Windows, Commvault)

● Web-based Server Management Software (cPanel/WHM, Plesk, Webmin)

● Netscreen (now known as Juniper Systems), Fortigate and pFsense firewall/routing appliances

● SSL/IPSEC/PPTP/L2TP VPN tunnelling (hardware & software-based, inc. OpenVPN)


And here’s what the A.I. produced:


Summary

Accomplished IT Infrastructure Engineer with 26+ years of experience in web hosting, e-commerce, film/TV post-production, and gaming industries. Expertise in designing, implementing, and managing complex cross-platform (Linux, Windows, macOS) systems and cloud infrastructure. Proficient in troubleshooting, automation (scripting, Ansible), and providing exceptional client support.

Skills

  • Systems Administration: CentOS, RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu, Amazon Linux, Windows Server, macOS
  • Cloud: AWS, Google Cloud, SAP Cloud
  • Networking: Firewalls (Juniper, Fortigate, pFsense), VPNs (SSL/IPsec/PPTP/L2TP), Switches, VLANs
  • Virtualization: VMWare (vCenter, ESXi), Xen
  • Monitoring: Nagios, Ganglia, SolarWinds, New Relic
  • Backup: Commvault, Arkeia, R1Soft, SquirrelSave
  • Web Servers: Apache, Nginx
  • Scripting: Bash, Python (learning)
  • Ticketing Systems: Request Tracker, Jira

Experience

Supermassive Games, Guildford | IT Infrastructure Engineer | Feb. 2023 – Present

  • Manage studio infrastructure including networking, licensing, remote access, Perforce, asset management, SSO, AD, and VMWare.
  • Maintain Microsoft 365 services and cloud systems (AWS, Azure).
  • Perform daily backup checks (Commvault), provide helpdesk support, and work on project-based improvements.

KPS, Wimbledon | Senior Systems Administrator | Aug. 2017 – Feb. 2023

  • Managed backend infrastructure for high-end e-commerce clients on cloud platforms (AWS, Google Cloud, SAP Cloud) using SAP Hybris.
  • Developed scripts and implemented Ansible for streamlining system management.
  • Handled SEO tasks (Nginx), security (Cloudflare, Akamai), and infrastructure support.
  • Deployed new laptop/desktop fleet, anti-virus, Wi-Fi, and BYOD policies (Apple Business Manager, Jamf Now).

Memset Ltd., Guildford | Senior Systems Administrator & First Line Team Leader | 2008 – Aug. 2017

  • Led a team while providing front-line support for 3500+ virtual servers (Xen-based) and 750+ dedicated servers.
  • Oversaw customer backups, managed internal systems, and provided emergency out-of-hours support.
  • Project-managed company’s SquirrelSave online backup service.

[Additional Roles]

  • Imagineer Systems | Systems Engineer (2008)
  • The Moving Picture Company | Production Systems Engineer (2002 – 2008)

Interests (Omit or make this concise if space is limited)

Education

  • If relevant, list degrees/certifications and the awarding institutions. Otherwise, consider removing this section.

Gemini even goes on to explain the breakdown:


Breakdown of Changes:

  • Concise Summary: Highlights your value proposition, focusing on transferable skills.
  • Skills Section: For quick scanning by recruiters and ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).
  • Quantified Achievements: When possible, e.g., instead of “Managed customer backups,” try “Ensured 99.9% backup success rate across 200+ client servers.”
  • Role Consolidation: Combines past companies with similar skillsets to save space.
  • Consistent Formatting: Bold headings, bullet points, etc., for readability.

Additional Tips

  • Prioritize: Adapt the order of roles and skills depending on the job you’re applying for.
  • Keywords: Study job descriptions and incorporate relevant keywords (without sacrificing readability).
  • Proofread!: Several rounds are essential. Consider asking a friend for help.

This revised CV provides a much stronger professional presence. Let me know if you’d like more targeted customization for specific job postings.


Overall, not a bad job (but I’ll be keeping my own format for now). I’m also testing it with getting it to write code and making sure it doesn’t make any mistakes (which happen frequently in things like ChatGPT). It’s certainly an improvement over the previous free consumer-grade and even Google Workspace Bard. It can’t generate images yet – but that’s not a bad thing to be honest.

I even asked it to write a story featuring Deadpool and Doctor Who. It’ll even read it for you in an almost human-sounding voice. Almost. And it can’t do other voices.


The TARDIS materialized with a groan and a shudder that only an ancient time machine could make. The Doctor stepped out, tweed jacket flapping in the nonexistent wind, his eyes scanning the desolate cityscape.

“Bit of a mess, isn’t it?” he commented dryly to no one in particular.

A blur of red and black zipped into view, landing in a shower of broken concrete. “Nice ride, Doc! Though could use more skulls, if you ask me.” Deadpool bounced around, eyes impossibly wide behind his mask. “Hey, isn’t this one of those Weeping Angel jobbies? Love those guys! So creepy, just don’t bl–”

He stopped, having taken a closer look at the statuesque forms scattered around the square. “Uh, Doc,” Deadpool’s voice had lowered an octave, “those, er, those kinda look more like Daleks.”

“Of course they’re Daleks!” the Doctor snapped, suddenly very serious. “Extermination imminent! Where’s my sonic, where’s my sonic…?”

“Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!” shrieked the Daleks, sliding forward on glistening trails of slime.

“Dibs on the one with the plunger arm!” Deadpool shrieked back, pulling out twin katanas and an absurdly oversized mallet. Leaping forward, he decapitated the offending Dalek in a spray of sparks and ooze.

“Deadpool,” the Doctor hissed, yanking a very peculiar device from his jacket, “violence isn’t…”

“Doc, shut the quiznack, okay? It’s either them or us, and I vote ‘them.’ Also, are Daleks a type of robot? ‘Cause you know how I feel about robots…”

As if to punctuate his statement, Deadpool smashed the mallet into a second Dalek, then used its remains to trip a third. Explosions pockmarked the square, sending flaming bits of scrap skyward.

The Doctor blinked in confusion. “Actually… well, maybe sometimes violence is an answer.” He grinned, flipping a switch on his device. A high-pitched hum grew louder, shaking the surrounding wreckage. The remaining Daleks froze, circuits glowing.

“Whatcha doing, Doc?” Deadpool grinned, “Playing them some dubstep? Oh, I love this plan! This party’s about to get lit!”

“Not precisely,” the Doctor smiled, a familiar mischievous glint in his eye, “more of an upgrade. Turns out these bad boys run on Windows 95.”

As if on cue, the Daleks let out a single, synchronized electronic sigh before slumping lifelessly. Deadpool threw up a fist pump, “Now THAT’S how you get the job done! Chimichangas are on me, Doc, as soon as we find a bar…”

The Doctor shook his head, already striding back towards the TARDIS. “I don’t think ‘chimichanga’ is a menu item anywhere in this galaxy, Deadpool,” he called back over his shoulder.

“But…but MAXIMUM EFFORT!” Deadpool yelled after him, a hint of despair in his voice, “Think of the MAXIMUM EFFORT!”

The TARDIS faded away, leaving Deadpool alone among the smoldering Dalek carcasses and a strangely poignant silence. But then, with a shrug, he bounced to his feet. “Ah well, I suppose a hotdog stand will do… extra mustard this time!”


Google’s Gemini Advanced isn’t bad. But I still say it’s not quite worth the extra £10 on top of the 2Tb Google One tier. I can’t see myself using it often to make it worthwhile, so I’ve already cancelled the trial – but my access to Gemini Advanced won’t stop until mid-April.

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