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THE LIFE OF A SENIOR INFRASTRUCTURE SPECIALIST

Monday 25th September 2017

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Senior Infrastructure Specialist Martin Pearce. In this guest blog he tells us more about his career journey and provides some useful tips to professionals looking to follow a similar path...


My name is Martin Pearce and I am a Senior Infrastructure specialist with a passion for application and software development! I started my IT career as a young computing graduate doing C programming for Cray Electronics (Anite), but found that I became more interested in UNIX/LINUX platforms. I have worked for global insurance and financial organisations such as Esure and Barclays Capital. 

Although I took up a role and career in Infrastructure, I never quite lost my interest in programming, as I loved automating systems to make them more efficient.  I have seen many changes in the industry as we have moved from client-server to multi-tiered and web based systems. Over time I have been involved with the installation and build-out of many Java Enterprise systems, and have increased my exposure and skills with Middleware and Web based.  

I also noticed that JavaSE was becoming more established as a useful and capable language that was really delivering on its earlier transformation and portability promises.  Java is a proven democratising universal platform and one that I see myself sharing a future with for a long time.


What initially attracted you to pursuing a career in the digital sector? 
I saw it as a green-field profession, with a world of opportunities, as IT pervades almost every human activity.  The potential and interest offered seemed unbounded (and I believe still are).

What’s an average day like for you? 
I’m currently contracting and involved in supporting legacy Unix systems and improving security on newer systems. Much of my recent work has also involved Java based middleware (JBoss/Weblogic).  I have an interest in Java programming and have developed some Java applications at home.

A Sudoku solver (a usual suspect), a Windows PowerShell front-end and an Android based Medicine logger.  I love working in Java, to escape the tyranny of C Pointers and to be exposed to the internals of a living breathing technology that so persuasive.  I have a longer-term project porting a C++ neural net based over to Java.


What’s your favourite piece of IT hardware or Software and why?
I would have to say Java, VMware and the majority of Apple products.  Java is still the go too product in my opinion, and for the most part delivered on promises, staying well respected and a very capable language. VMware has been simply transformation and has made possible a new generation of scalable business systems.  For all their restrictions Apple products are beautifully engineered for human computer interaction and fit like a glove.

What got you into IT in the first place
A belief that computers could make a real positive difference and improvements to work and wider society. For the most part my beliefs remain unchanged with perhaps some reservations regarding quality and over-dependence.

What do you like most in your role?

I often work on projects that involve building and introducing new systems to the Enterprise. It’s a collaborative effort, and I find it very satisfying to be part of a joint effort to push out a working system on time. Other times I may be involved in single piece of work, where I may need to script and automate something. I’m big on testing and always deliver the required functionality on time.

What challenges do you face getting into your perfect role?
Recognising the potential of the role - it’s a two-way street.

What challenges do you think are most prevalent in the digital sector at the moment and why?

The biggest challenge at the moment seems to reflective society, achieving a balance between the environment, security and openness whilst all the time striving to deliver improved IT systems.

How has BREXIT impacted your role (if at all)?

Difficult to forecast, but professionals may come and go further overseas.  This will increase diversity and should help team creativity.

As an IT professional, what attracts you to working for an organisation?

A sustainable environment, in for the long haul, that breeds innovative creativity, capturing knowledge and enthusiasm to create quality systems and a brilliant reputation throughout the industry.

What top three tips would you give to someone beginning their career as an Engineer?
- Learn two different computer languages very well, this will give you options when it comes to gaining a position. 
- Pass and share your knowledge with your colleagues, as we all benefit by being open.
- Get a non-computing pass time to get you away from tech now and again
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