Cloud Computing – Student Profile Ken Gould

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Ken Gould tells us all about studying online for an MSc in Cloud Computing at Cork Institute of Technology. Ken is a tech industry veteran and currently works at Dell EMC as an architect on EMC/Federation’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution.

Name: Ken Gould

Course: MSc in Cloud Computing (online learning)

College: Cork Institute of Technology

Ken’s background

My name is Ken Gould. I’m a husband and father of three. I started working for EMC as an intern back in college.

For the first five years, I worked for the internal IT department. I administered Banyan Vines/Windows and Exchange, before moving over to Solutions Development. It was here I really started to build entire end-to-end environments for customer engagements.

This started from simple product demonstrations. However, over the years evolved to designing, building and testing solutions for specific industry applications such as Exchange/SQL and Oracle. This work included new approaches to design, deployment and protection of these applications. In addition, it involved creating white papers and evangelising the solutions at workshops and trade show sessions.

In early 2003, I was one of the first to start working on virtualizing mission critical applications on the VMware platform. This naturally led me away from the application world and into the virtualisation world. The net result of that was working on large-scale virtualisation solutions testing and eventually cloud deployments.

Why he decided to do a Masters

Why did I do the Masters? Cloud was one of the newest waves to hit the IT industry. My role gave me the scope to be constantly at the bleeding edge of what’s possible and help define some of the best practices that our customers will eventually deploy.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, this left me and the team I worked with constantly learning on the job, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. In addition, as we didn’t have official qualifications, we did not get recognition for a lot of our skills.

I saw the chance to help develop the Cloud Computing Masters and also to participate in its first rotation as an opportunity both to ratify my official skill-sets through a 4th level qualification. It was also a chance to round out my skills in aspects of cloud computing that I would rarely get a chance to dabble with.

Cloud is huge, and it encompasses just about every skill set of developers, administrators and architects across all sorts of hardware and software platforms. Throw in security and consulting and nobody does all that on a regular basis, no matter what their day job. The Masters gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet with things other than storage, orchestration and hypervisors.

The challenges of returning to college

Being at college is certainly not as easy as it was back in my teenage years. Having a full time day job and trying to get through lectures, assignments and study means that you really have to put in the time.

It’s been beneficial in all the ways I thought it would be. I definitely have a better all round skill set, which sometimes you don’t even really know you’ve garnered until you walk into a meeting and all of a sudden you realize ‘I get that’, where you wouldn’t have before. The hardest thing about college? Getting used to hand writing as fast as humanly possible during exams!


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