Friday, September 19, 2008

A little bit about me…

Here is a little background of myself. I currently work for EMC Consulting as a Senior Practice Consultant.

I am 29 years old and have two amazing little boys (Gavin 3yrs and Bryce 11mths) and a wonderful wife (Karissa).

I got my bachelors degree in graphic design from Plymouth State College, in Plymouth NH. My first job was at a printing company formally named NEBS. I spent most of my time there creating custom forms and stationary, not a fun job at all… I then got a job doing illustrations and production work for a small publishing company in Atkinson, NH called GEX. It was a laid back 9-5 job, but it drove me crazy… I was also doing some web design work on my own at the time for some family and friends.

I took a leap of faith and Joined Internosis in July of 2004 as a production artist. My Manager took me under his wing and molded me into the consultant that I am today. He gave me the opportunity to explore my creative side and work on my consulting skills (Presentations, leading meetings, etc.).

My first project was a logo that needed to be created for our first internal portal. My Manager asked me to create 100 logo sketches by the next morning. 100 sketches was he crazy??? So I set off with my designs, I stayed up all night and got 45 done… The next morning we put them all up on the wall and counted them. At first he asked where the other 55 were and I had no answer… We reviewed them and took down all but 3 of them that we thought had a chance. I asked him did he really think I could have created 100 of them? He said no, but if I had asked you to create 10 then I would get 5. This exercise even though extreme gave me the mindset that if you spend too much time on one thing you forget about all of the other possibilities and that you always need to push yourself to the next level.

I took another leap of faith and took a very old server test box that was sitting in the corner collecting dust and installed Windows Server 2003 and SPS 2003. I think it barely made the min. install requirements. 256MB ram, less than 500Mhz processor. Yea it was really slow but it worked. After I had it installed I needed to learn how to use it. My manager suggested that I could hit two birds with one stone. He had me go through all of the possible screens in SharePoint and make a wireframe of it. At this point I had a MAC Power book and did not have a lot of experience of Visio. I quickly requested a PC laptop and was on my way. Virtual PC on a MAC in those days was brutal. I feel that was the most beneficial exercise that I have done to date. This not only taught me how to use SharePoint but it also helped me get an edge and pave my way into the SharePoint world.

I then started to explore the world of SharePoint branding. To date I have successfully been apart of over 30+ MOSS client projects, 22 SPS 2003 client Projects, and created over 20 demo designs. I have created quite a few tools that have been really useful within the practice. The MOSS 2007 Toolkit (Consistent Wireframes of all top level site templates) and the SharePoint Style Guide (a guide to define CSS classes for SharePoint).

Most people know me for my experience in SharePoint branding, I guess you can say I am that go to guy. I do have some other tricks up my sleeve when it comes to SharePoint. I have expanded my knowledge in SharePoint IA including, wireframes, page layouts, taxonomies, governance, and workflows. I have also focused a lot of my time with SharePoint training, administration, and some custom development.

I was lucky enough to attend Tech Ed 2007 last year and the SharePoint Best Practices this year! It was a great experience and I really learned a lot. I then went out on a limb and got my first MS certification: 070-630 Configuring MOSS 2007, that is pretty good for a crayons guy.

If you would like to know more about me or had some questions please don't hesitate to contact me or leave a comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Erik, I'm an editor with Apress responsible for our SharePoint books. I really would like a book on branding and customization and you seem like just the guy to write one. :) Would something like this interest you?

Jonathan Hassell