CHI St. Luke's Memorial Hospital
CMS IP Technologies
Skitzen Tech. Services
I worked for Hudson ISD beginning 2005, first as a student aide then once I turned 15 I became an official employee. The reason they had found me was because I had a game (exe) on the network in my personal folder. I had asked my Geometry teacher if I could turn it in as an assignment instead of the homework… because I forgot about the homework.
Initially I started as a PC Tech, but they found me more useful in being trained on how to develop the website. I conveniently already knew PHP, which our internal portal was built on. I worked with my coworker most of the summer on this internal portal dubbed the Workbench. It was essentially just Timesheets, a Daily Dilbert comic, and that was about it.
In 2008 or so my coworker had left. No one else in the school knew how to achieve anything with PHP. Our Email & System Administrator was also heading into retirement. I proposed we switch to Google’s mail system, Gmail. Despite much pushback on how it operates, or the fact that they have to learn something new, it stuck.
Just a short time prior, I had changed the Workbench from Workbench to Employee Console. The reason for this was that someone had approached administration at the school and promised them that they could develop a system to do teacher evaluations on blackberrys. I took this idea and ran with it since they couldn’t deliver and it had been months. I created the evaluations with ease, expanding out of our internal-to-IT Workbench. These used an XML format that could be kept outside of a database. From this point I had noticed that I was having to touch a lot of PC’s (especially in a lab) and did not want to have to login and sit at each one.
Hardly anything was automated. The tools to achieve any basic level of automation for what was then Windows XP was too expensive. We were still using Groupwise and Novell for the email and logins. Since many of the applications back then did not support a silent/quiet install, I had to find a way to move the mouse to install it anyway. I called it AMMT, for Automatic Mouse Mover Thing, which is essentially robotic process automation. It worked very well, except one time that I was trying to show someone what it can do and it glitched and they had to retype their paper. Luckily they weren’t far into it.
Around 2009 I had done the full migration to Gmail from Groupwise. I was able to pull this off only because the Employee Console did not hash their passwords. So if they had ever signed into it then they would be migrated. This covered the majority of the campus. I know some cringe about me having that much control and authority in High School or as a graduate thereof. Taking note, I did not cause any significant problems or abuse it for malicious means. I spent more time in the IT office than I did in class, but when I did traverse the dimensions it was to a small group.
I continued to build out my software and something I called myHISD. myHISD was a Java application (outside of the C# client/service + LAMP backend) that took Google’s APIs and set up their Drive, Calendar, Contacts, etc. so that teachers could access a certain folder from them and that students had all their test dates on a calendar. Unfortunately the pay did come with it because no one believed I was capable of anything. Our previous boss had left and we were given a new one that was also head of maintenance. All I remember is that he said “Verizon” does not have wireless at all. I remember arguing and trying to explain that my phone is Verizon (DROID), but he was just that way I guess.
In addition to myHISD was the inventory. You basically put a QR code on the device and you can pull up exactly what device it is and assign the appropriate location on it. Along with AMMT, I had created a map to get a better idea of where computers were needed and how old they all were.