I’m James Piper, an Information Technology Professional from Livonia, MI. Computers, technology, audio and all things electronic has been a part of my life from my earliest memory. I got started in 1983 with a Commodore 64, a small home computer that was quite the multi task of it’s day. From gaming, to writing papers for school all the way to light programming, that computer did it all. Eventually, we swapped the Commodore out for a IBM AT clone machine, which featured a 386 Processor, 4MB of RAM, 60MB hard drive and very early VGA graphics. My love for computers continued while calling Bulletin Board Systems and then eventually Prodigy and Compuserve internet service providers.
In my mid teens, I was hired at a local Radio Shack store as an Associate Sales. I sold Tandy 386 and 486 computers, audio, video, communication and all things electronic with good success. My sales were among the highest in the district for part time employees and was proud to help the community with electronic parts and equipment for many years. I learned a lot working there, how to problem solve, be fair to others and developed the work ethic I have to this day.
After graduating from High School and some college classes, I was hired in 1996 to work as a Call Center Associate. I took phone calls from Accounting Professionals, Bio-Tech, OEM computer manufactures and others. I learned how to troubleshoot computers, more or less blind. We didn’t have the internet at our desks, no remote technologies, only walking through over the phone to fix computer issues in a Microsoft Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 operating systems. One major project was moving from a mainframe messaging application to Outlook, some of the users barely knew how to move a mouse.
After making a short stop at another organization in 1997, I was hired at a large automotive supplier in 1998. My responsibilities was technical support at a production Print Shop that was a whole owned part of an automotive company. This company had some talented and experienced Information Technology professionals who taught me more about networking, servers and computer hardware. They allowed me to make mistakes, gain experience and helped me develop troubleshooting skills beyond what I learned in the call center.
In 2000, I was hired as a Desktop Support Technician for a large, local government agency. This job was all encompassing, being responsible for desktop computers, networking, servers, storage, backup, projects and main support for a IBM AS/400 application written in DB2. I worked with a DB2 programmer and a DBA for the AS/400 to insure that two important applications were always working and available 24/7/365 days a year. Beyond the AS/400 duties, I worked with multiple departments and elected officials in day-to-day support functions. After Hurricane Katrina, I was a member of a team that setup technology as part of the County’s response to the disaster. This included standing up a processing center of displaced individuals that needed refuge in the area. There was no technology present at this location, it was built from the ground up. I was recognized as a key contributor to the effort.
2006 brought on further change as I left the agency for a position at a large Law Firm in Detroit. My role was again, all encompassing as a the lead Technical Support Analyst / Systems Administrator. In that time, I have worked with Attorneys, Support Staff and Executives in all things computers, networking, storage, database, projects, mobile devices and printing. I have seen the change from Novell Netware to Windows, hardware servers to virtual machines, PBX to cloud and finally, local applications to the cloud. I continue to provide service to the user community, recently celebrating my 16th year.
I continue to learn new technologies and efficiencies to make the user experience better. I utilize industry standard, common sense solutions to quickly and correctly solve problems that have long lasting effectiveness. It is important to react quickly, think on my feet and come up with creative fixes to problems if appropriate. Working as a team, being reliable, professional, communicating my activities and treating people with respect are part of my daily work.
How can I help today? Drop me a note on Linkedin or send me a comment.