Some people that read this blog may not know me very well. Here’s a quick Q & A to fill that knowledge gap.
Q. Who are you?
A. My name is Ben Boyd and I’m a network architect/engineer/consultant for Torreypoint/Proteus Networks. I have two amazing little kitty cats!
Q. What is a network architect/engineer/consultant?
A. Well, it basically means I’m a networking guru. I help design, implement, and troubleshoot networks of all sizes. I’ve worked on global internet service provider networks, global enterprise networks, some of the largest data center implementations in the world, as well as smaller networks for universities, hospitals, banks, etc.
Q. How’d you get started in the industry?
A. My parents are both in IT, so I guess I just inherited it. My dad was a programmer and my mom was a database administrator. I remember reading my dad’s C++ books in 3rd grade and my mom’s Oracle 8i books in 9th grade. I really loved computer games (Quake, Half-Life, Civilization, Sim City) and just gravitated towards anything related to computers. In high school I interned as a systems analyst and the rest is history (excluding the first semester of college when my major was Political Science).
Q. What’s your favorite job in the industry?
A. Wow, I don’t know. I’ve been a website developer, system admin, programmer, network guru, database developer. If I had to choose one, it would be website developer. Making changes to pages people actually use is really rewarding. It also gives me opportunity to script in all sorts of languages, which I love.
Q. What’s your favorite operating system?
A. For portability/function it would have to be FreeBSD. For easy of use, definitely Windows 7. For a perfect mix of the two, Mac OS X Lion.
Q. What’s your favorite programming/scripting language?
A. For programming, I’m a big fan of Java. I haven’t used it in a few years, but I love the platform independent-ness of it. As far as scripting goes, whatever is fastest, but I typically float between perl, python, and PHP.
Q. You’re pretty technical, how much of your day is on a computer?
A. More than I’d like to be. And when I’m not working, I’m researching, learning, or surfing ON A COMPUTER!
Q. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
A. I’ve had several over the years: Building a content management system, managing a 4 million dollar budget for my markets for a large service provider, my two JNCIE certifications, work all around the world for major projects, but I’m probably most proud of the data center security consulting I provided for the launch of the iPhone for a certain service provider.
Q. You run your own blog in addition to contributing to other blogs and forums, why?
A. I’m of the firm opinion that the Internet is a great place. The wealth of knowledge it contains is awesome. It’s the ultimate freedom of expression where people can provide their input/expertise on any subject they want. When I have problems, where do I go? The Internet, and I find my answer almost 100% of the time. If my blog helps anyone solve a problem, then it was worth it.
Q. What are your hobbies and interests away from the office?
A. I’m stuck at a desk inside an office for at least 40 hours a week. My hobbies are pretty much ANYTHING outside. I like to stay in shape. I play football, basketball, baseball/softball, frisbee, tennis. I also like mountain biking, hiking, walking trails, rollerblading, and just being outside. I’ve always said that my motto is “I like long walks on the beach, with my laptop.”
Q. You travel a LOT, what do you do on a plane?
A. I love traveling. I love flying and planes, so I try not to take work on a plane and ruin it. I like to make the experience as pleasant as possible, which is hard to do with today’s “Greyhounds of the air” mentality. I typically read a book on my iPad, play a game, or read the inflight magazine. Flying with the noise canceling Bose headphones is a MUST for any frequent traveler.
Q. What/who are your influences in life?
A. My faith is my biggest influence. I try to let my relationship with Jesus be my biggest influence. My dad and grandpa are huge influences as well. They are two of the wisest people I’ve ever met. My mom is also a huge influence. She’s probably the one who gave me the work ethic I have. As far as outside influences go, I try not to be influenced by any one person or thing. I like to take the qualities I admire in people and incorporate them into myself.
Q. What’s your favorite Food?
A. Lasagna. Let’s just say I’ve been called Garfield before.
Q. What’s your favorite T.V. show?
A. There are so many different TV shows out there, but my favorites are Scrubs, Psych, and any Star Trek series.
Q. What’s your favorite Book?
A. I enjoy just about anything from Hemingway. My favorite is a Farewell to Arms. I also love Mark Driscoll’s books.
Q. Who’s your favorite Recording Artist?
A. Hillsong is definitely the most played in iTunes, but I really appreciate any talent. My “favorites” playlist includes Metallica, Rob Thomas, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Anberlin, and Sublime to name a few.
Q. Any advice for those new to the IT industry?
A. Try. I’ve noticed so many in this industry that just “eek” out a living. They put forth the minimum effort to get a paycheck. They don’t want to better themselves or their company/customers. They just want a paycheck. Be better than that. If you give your job 100% of your effort, you’ll succeed and succeed tremendously.
Q. What’s the future have in store for you?
A. I really have no idea. I’d really like to author a technical book. I’d also like to move into upper-management. I may try my hand in the training arena. The possibilities are almost endless.