User Experience: A career built on AS/400 expertise

User Experience is a series of profiles of Canadian IT professionals based on their career history, in their own words.

Dale Lung System Admin

? Experience

Failure Prevention Services (FPS) Ltd. (Saskatchewan), system admin 2003-2008

“My job is to purchase computers, set them up, install them, install networks, everything that has to do with the computers, with the printers, you name it. I was attracted to the challenge of the job: the company was growing and we had to go from a very small company into a medium-sized company. There were lots of growing pains. My work has grown, I do a bit of a marketing role as well. I’ve more or less always had a split job and I really do like it. The IT role itself in a small to medium company, once you’ve got it set up and operating, basically flows along pretty well.

“There’s such a vast array of stuff that I’ve learned in this role to do with the marketing, new product introductions to the public, advertising of new products, to tweaking people’s interest so that they want to find out more about our products.”

Highline Manufacturing Ltd. (Saskatchewan), system admin, 1999-2002

“[My previous] use of the AS/400 is what stepped me into this job. I was brought in to run their manufacturing system. They had just purchased an AS/400 and a manufacturing software program to run on it. Again, I still bought the computers, installed them, doing the networking, troubleshooting, helpdesk, you name it. I’ve been a jack of all trades and still am.

“I picked up a lot more of the technical workings of the AS/400 here. I was also introduced to their DB2 database and to SQL programming. That was very important to me, because I’ve never had any official university or college training.”

Baptist Healthcare System (San Antonio, Texas), IT admin, 1998

“My son happened to be in San Antonio at the time so I decided I would go there and spend some time. I was signed on a contract basis. At the time, we were installing all new computers. We had to change or upgrade everything that had an electronic chip in it that might cause problems when the year 2000 arrived. We were getting in hundreds of Dell computers every day, there were six different hospitals that we were setting up at the same time in San Antonio. We were also looking after getting computers ready for other parts of the southern half of the United States.”

Bourgault Industries Ltd. (Saskatchewan), IT admin, 1993-1998

“It was my first IT job. I learned a lot of information about troubleshooting networks. The company was just in the process of breaking into using an AS/400 as a mid-range system rather than strictly Novell servers, to run the manufacturing and do the accounting.”

? Giving to the community through IT

“[At FPS], when some of our computers get older, they are still good but not as powerful. We donate them to a school or some facility that works with the children. I have in the last two years moved seven complete computer systems to one of the local schools.

“They’re always looking for more money, more computers, more help in that area. And unfortunately, being in the middle of small town Saskatchewan you do not always get heard or get the dollars that are required. So we help where we can.”

? Career future

“This is going to be the last place that I’m going to be working in an IT capacity. it’s probably the very best place I’ve ever worked.” Tell us about a user who inspired you.

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