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Inside the Head of a... Wintel Consultant

Inside the Head of a... Wintel Consultant

September 26, 2013

In this edition of ‘Inside the Head of…’ we talk to Carl Johnston, a Wintel Consultant who shares his thoughts on what it’s like to work in IT.


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Tell us about your job. What does a Wintel Consultant do exactly?

A bit of a mixed bag, really. Broadly speaking, I specialise in Windows Server support on Intel architecture (hence Wintel), centralised SAN storage and virtualisation technology, specifically with VMware.

I tend to get involved with project based work for a client, with a focus on the technologies listed above (although my most recent project involved procuring, implementing and migrating to new backup infrastructure) but I’m very flexible and am happiest when I’m busy, regardless of the task in hand.

Where do you sit within the organisation? Do you work with other people/teams?

At the moment I’m working on a contract basis within a team of three similar specialists, but I do interact with other teams, such as the Service Desk, 2nd Line Support, Software Development and E-Commerce Teams, especially when there is a BAU emergency.

Describe a typical working day for us – what do you get up to?

The main focus is on my project work, which involves planning, implementation, support and documentation. I also provide knowledge transfer and mentoring where required and as mentioned above, sometimes get involved with BAU work as and when the need arises.

What are your objectives? How do you know if you’re doing a good job?

My objectives come from a specific project plan. For instance, I’ll have key milestones that I’ll need to hit within a project, which is generally an indication of how efficiently I’m working. As long as I hit my milestones and deliver projects accurately and on time, my clients are happy.

Why did you become a Wintel Consultant, and how did you get into your industry?

Whilst I studied computing at high school, I didn’t initially work in IT but was given an unexpected opportunity to do so and found that I had the right mix of curiosity, talent and attitude for it. I was also lucky enough to be allowed the time to study Computing at HNC level, on a day release basis, which gave me a solid starting platform.

I started working freelance in 2010 after taking voluntary redundancy from a public sector position, which gave me enough financial stability to take a risk and try a different way of working.

What software/tools do you use to do your job? What do you find most useful?

Google is my friend! Seriously though, the internet is a great problem solving and training tool and has the single most positive affect on my working day (other than coffee).

The other tools that I use are too numerous to mention, as I cover quite a broad group of technologies.

What’s the best thing about being a Wintel Consultant? What isn’t so good?

I get to work with lots of different clients and new technology, and get to meet lots of new people. There aren’t really any negative sides, other than when I need to find the next contract opportunity.

What do you think makes a great leader?

Someone who listens, acts and leads by example.

Take me back.

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