My name is Bradley Schanche and I am a computer engineer. I use computer engineer to describe myself because I have worked in many different roles within the IT industry and I think the phrase best describes my expertise in a way that emphasizes my core philosophy and approach to IT work.
Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are people who invent, design, analyse, build and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost. – Wikipedia
I would not describe myself as an expert in any one area or discipline of IT, but instead have a ‘jack of all trades’ approach to problem solving. I believe in approaching problems without relying on fixed methodologies and I seek to develop new tactics for addressing IT challenges. As IT is so expansive and ever-changing, I invest in my ability to learn and integrate new competencies.
As is the case with most IT professionals, my experimentation with computers began at an early age. I started with a couple of IBM compatibles and eventually had an at home Windows ME machine. If you didn’t have the privilege, that thing needed some TLC.
My more formal journey in IT began in 2002, when I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in a Cisco Networking Academy that was run within my high school. As part of the curriculum, we spent two hours each day working in a simulated networking lab and operating as the school’s help desk staff. This time is when I really began to delve deeply into desktop troubleshooting and network infrastructure. During the summers, we worked on infrastructure improvement projects which included rewiring five district buildings and installation of new network hardware. Additional computer science coursework included courses on the full range of Microsoft Office software at the time and HTML.
In college, I completed a science degree in Biology, but I minored in Computer Science. This is when I did my first programming in Java. I also took coursework in Artificial Intelligence and Human Factors. While in school, I was granted a technology fellowship aimed at providing technology assistance and guidance to faculty. During this time, I worked on websites for faculty and taught myself CSS. I also presented regularly in an instruction lab for faculty and staff on courses ranging from Microsoft Office to Adobe Creative Suites.
After college, I accepted a position as a university webmaster at a local school. During my time in this position, I rewrote the entire site from scratch in order to implement a site that adhered to current standards. This was a far cry from the table driven site I had inherited. I had a lot of fun doing this as I was able to experiment with strict CSS-only designing. I also enjoyed coming up with custom tools in order to help facilitate content management. An example of this was utilizing XML as a light-weight and short-term storage for frequently updating content like activity banner ads and calendar feeds. Along side my webmaster duties, I also assisted the help desk. During this time, I became familiar with licensing, desktop image creation and management, and virtualization.
In 2011, I left work and went back to school to study Space Studies with a focus in Astrobiology and Human Factors in Space. I was seeking a new challenge and have always had an interest in space. My primary research areas were in microbiology and plant biology. I continued my website work by building a number of department and project specific sites for faculty and students.
In 2013, I moved to New England. Shortly thereafter, I began working as a Desktop Engineer for an investment firm. This was a definite step up in scale and a truly “Enterprise” level experience. In addition to standard level 1 and 2 troubleshooting, I worked on a number of projects as primary engineer. It was in this role, that my IT skills took a huge advancement. I worked extensively with Mobile Device Management and Backup & Recovery technologies.
As of now, I am looking for my next exciting challenge. In the meantime, I hope to work on a number of personal projects that interest me. I plan to document their progress on this site along with any other interesting content I come up with.