While Dell TechCenter's readers live all over the world, some of our best TechCenter members live right here in the backyard of Dell headquarters in Round Rock,Texas.
Dustin Hedges, a Dell TechCenter Rockstar based out of Austin, is an IT professional who specializes in Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) and Operating systems deployment. On TechCenter, he's been active in the Enterprise Client forum helping answer other community members' questions and helping to share best practices.
Dustin also contributes to the larger IT community. He writes his own blog about OS Deployment related topics and participates in both the Central Texas Systems Management Users Group and myITforum.
Because we appreciate him giving back to TechCenter and helping other IT professionals, we recently interviewed Dustin to get to know him better:
Please tell us about yourself. What is your current role and where do you work? Do you specialize in any particular IT technology?
I am currently a Sr. Systems Engineer on the Global Client Engineering team at eBay Inc. My primary focus is on Enterprise OS Deployment leveraging SCCM + MDT. As part of this role I manage ~45 different models (mostly Dell) and am responsible for driver management, hardware certification, image creation and am one of 3 OSD (OS Deployment) Engineers that handle OSD Customization Engineering.
As part of my role, I also tend to adopt newer technologies as quickly as possible so I am also in the process of testing out and certifying Windows 8.
How did you get your start in the IT industry?
I’ve always been drawn to technology and in the 5th grade I wanted to be a Systems Analyst (had no idea what that actually meant at the time). I built my first PC during high school (Windows 98 baby) and got an Associates in Computer Networking while working for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as a desktop technician. That was my first real IT job just prior to being brought into eBay Inc.
What are your biggest IT challenges on a day to day basis?
Some of the challenges I face is simply the pace at which technology changes and the demands of our end users. The “Consumerization of IT” has been a hot topic pretty much everywhere and adapting our processes to meet the demands of the users, while still conforming to our security and operating policies has been quite a challenge.
What aspects about Dell TechCenter do you find helpful in your role?
Dell TechCenter is a great place to not only interface with like-minded people dealing with the same technologies that I do, but it’s a place to find a ton of information about Dell’s products and services. Whether you just want to find an updated driver or figure out how to use OMCI or CCTK to do something, or things are more involved where you need to ask people “How’d you do that?”, you can find it all (quickly) at Dell TechCenter.
What would you like to see on Dell TechCenter in the future?
While Dell TechCenter is great in its current format, I think a stronger focus on social interaction (actually getting people more engaged and talking to each other) would be a huge help. I (luckily) have a closer relationship with many members of Dell IT and the Dell TechCenter crew primarly because I am located in Austin and have the opportunity to meet them face to face and speak in real time. While not everyone get that experience, being more engaged in the community (and offering up help in addition to asking for it) builds those relationship.
The only other thing I would like to see is an easier way to find what you are looking for leveraging better search technologies. And having a “suggestion” or “request” section so if something isn’t there, you can ask for it to be added (and others can see that and either submit the content, or vote it higher).
To keep up with Dustin, follow him on Twitter @dhedges01
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