Because dataJAR


So, today was my last day at Pentland. On Monday I start my new role as Systems Engineer at dataJAR.

Below is a simple explanation of why & some hopes for the future.

To Tame A Land

When I took the role at Pentland, there was about 65 Macs known & no iOS devices.

At my previous role, I had administered an established Mac environment of about 300 devices using the JSS. But Pentland had no management at all.

Guy, (the hiring manager for the role), took a chance on me & I think both myself & Pentland got more than we bargained for (in a good way).

The role was varied, challenging & Pentland were very supportive of this blog, my open source projects & talks.

Caught Somewhere In Time

Truth is, Pentland‘s environment was very similar to what I had been in for the 5 years previous:

  • Macs bound to AD.
  • Exchange sever for email.
  • Windows file servers.

So whilst it was great to build something from the ground up, it was somewhat within my comfort zone.

Sure, there were exceptions with systems like Portfolio, Sedna, Airwatch & Box. But the core environment was one I’d been in before.

The Man Who Would Be King

Over the 5 years I was at Pentland, the Mac estate grew to 300 clients & around 1,200 iOS devices.

It’s been fantastic growth, & really enjoyed building something from the ground up. This has not been all on me though. The role I took became a team of 2 with a Manager & this team was part of a wider team of about 30 is folks.

Between them & the great user base I do feel like I accomplished my personal goal of building something decent from the ground up.

However, after building something from scratch & moving from architectural stuff to a more maintenance role. I started to lose my drive, which meant it was time to look at moving on.

Ghost Of The Navigator

So, over the past few months I’ve been documenting a heap. As well as tidying the odd loose ends that sometimes get left.

There are a few folks progressing for my role, & I have confidence that any of those in the process will be more than capable of taking on the environment & processing it further.

It was my baby, so it’s great to be able to type that.

Brave New World

I’ve known James Ridsdale (dataJAR’s Director) for a number of years. Bumping into him at the odd training course, conference or meetup.

We’ve often ended up having a laugh & over the years have spoke a bit more about work, getting a feel for each others approach & generally seeing we have a similar approach to things.

Things like:

  • Do it once, & do it right
  • Deliver something elegant. Technology does not have to be hard for your customers/userbase.

I’ve also been fortunate to meet & have a laugh with the rest of the dataJAR team, so when James & I started to speak about us working together it was a bit of a no brainer.

Can I Play With Madness

The role is one that will greatly stretch me, & I’ll have a heap to learn.

I’ll be coming out of my JAMF bubble in one way, but more JAMF as will later this year be delivering JumpStarts (ironically, I’ve never had one myself) as well as also managing Munki instances.

But, I am looking forward to the challenge! Even whilst finding it odd to no have an AD that i’ll be tied to as I have had for the past 10 years.

I’ll also have more exposure to different OS’s & infrastructure, again all exciting.

At the end of the day though, I’ll be hoping to deliver the elegant solutions to the same high standard that the rest of the dataJAR team already does.

Hooks In You

What does this change mean for this blog & my projects?

Well, not much really. I’m still able to continue with those as well as other community roles & give talks at places like JNUC.

Some projects may take a brief hiatus whilst I find my feet in the new role (funny due to last year), but I will come back to them soon & will be able to still maintain.

So no worries.

Run To The Hills

Even some more of my eccentricities will stay, (as per this posts headings – did you get the theme?), as at dataJAR they like to have a laugh & be British. And, don’t us Brits make the best eccentrics.

Oh, & if you’re a customer of dataJAR’s. I look forward to speaking to you soon (& please don’t run to the hills!).

5 thoughts on “Because dataJAR

  1. Guy

    Good luck Ben. Thank you again for your excellent work at Pentland. I wish you all the best in your new role and hope our paths cross again professionally as well as personally in the future.

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