The “Geek of the Week” blog series highlights one of our exceptional community members each week, so you can get to know more about them, and what they do in and for the community!
Our Geek of the Week is:
- Independent Consultant at Gilwood CS
- Analyst at The Virtualization Practice
I specialise in delivering and optimising desktop and application virtualisation solutions. I’m working mainly with central government customers at the moment helping to define enterprise desktop strategies and deliver remote working solutions. As well as being a Chartered Engineer and Chartered IT Professional, I have been a Microsoft MVP for Terminal Services and I am a Citrix CCIA. In addition to being an independent consultant, I’m an analyst for The Virtualization Practice.
When did you decide to pursue a career in IT and what was your first role/project?
Before I started university. I got a job programming a custom lab reporting application for a small local company. My first proper job was programming in Progress. Amongst other things, I wrote a Bomber School type game in Progress for a green screen terminal. (It’s possible you can still access that easter egg!)
If IT didn’t exist, what other industry interests you and what job would you pursue?
Driving the dustbin/trash van. The hours are your own and it’s a skilled job so better pay.
What was your best subject in grade school, and why?
Computer Science. I thought computer science was very cool.
What is your favorite Citrix technology and why?
WinFrame. First loves never die.
What technical events are you looking forward to attending this year?
I’m very much looking forward to Synergy Barcelona and the next E2E conference.
What’s your favorite thing about living in the UK and what would you miss if you left?
The cornucopia of weather conditions and character-building public transport. Proper plug sockets and TV news that makes sense.
Describe a notable breakthrough that you’ve had while working with technology.
I designed a browse up solution for remote working to a secure network environment – that was pretty neat. That or getting my children to understand a ping test: both pretty useful.
What public figure (any field, past or present) do you most admire and why?
Vint Cerf – I got to meet him at a British Computer Society dinner and had a great chat with him. He is very cool. Amongst other things we discussed how if you have a job in IT, no matter what it is, you are your mother’s IT support technician and have to deal with the complexities of creating an interstellar network. When I grow up, I’d like to be Vint Cerf.
What motivates you to be part of the UK Citrix User Group steering committee?
At first it was because I reckoned UK Citrix users could give the best and most constructive feedback and collaboration, and when I think that we do – everyone else raises the bar. And who wouldn’t want to collaborate and share ideas with talented people like Jim Moyle and Neil Spellings?
Pick one and then explain why you did: zombies, vampires, or werewolves.
Zombies – we’re never going to be in danger from the other two.
What was the biggest Citrix deployment you’ve architected/implemented, and what were the takeaways?
Implementation for a university, about 10,000 seats. Takeaways: (1) never assume and (2) don’t be afraid to stop and start again with something completely different.
What is your all-time-favorite TV series (past or present)?
The IT Crowd is the one I end up watching the most.
Describe a Geek Speak session that you participated in and why it was memorable.
At Synergy in Barcelona last year – because it was my first. I’m can’t exactly remember what it was about but I’m pretty sure everyone agreed I was right.
Find out more about Andrew by:
- Checking out his blog where he shares lots of helpful Citrix technical content
- Following him on Twitter @gilwood_cs
- Meeting him in person at Geek Speak Live! and other community events
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