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I have been a member of Neowin for almost eight years and was made an MVC about three-and-a-half years ago. I had actually meant to write something like this earlier, but never seemed to get around to it. I did want to do something special for my 1,337th post, though, so here it is.
My name is Aryeh Goretsky and I grew up in the 1970s in Silicon Valley, where I had my first experience with 8-bit microcomputers such as the Apple II and the Commodore 64. I became more interested in computers in my teen-aged years and attended user group meetings, bought a modem and dialed into the local BBSes (the Bay Area was fortunate enough to have several free computer newspapers, which regularly printed their telephone numbers).
One of the BBSes I frequented was purchased by an engineer named John McAfee, who at that point worked at Lockheed during the day. John was an entrepreneurial sort and always looking for ways to make money, and eventually started using the BBS to distribute and provide support for software for his fledgling anti-virus business. In 1989, I asked John for a job and became the first full-time employee of what would eventually become McAfee Associates, sitting at John McAfee's kitchen table, answering the single-line telephone. At a small company, one tends to wear a lot of hats, and for the next five-and-a-half years I worked at various tasks there, ranging from running the technical support department to writing documentation, training new employees, setting up the first QA lab, running the BBS, CompuServe and AOL forums, managing the Internet gateway and so forth.
In 1995, I followed John to Woodland Park, Colorado, a town just outside of Colorado Springs, where we started a company named Tribal Voice. There, we developed one of the first chat and instant messaging clients for Microsoft Windows, called PowWow. Tribal Voice was a tremendous amount of fun, and I learned quite a bit about networking, at least at the Winsock level and above. Unfortunately, although it was a technical and a critical success (we invented a lot of the technologies used today by contemporary instant messaging software), Tribal Voice was not a financial success and in 2001 the last remnants of the company disappeared with the popping of the dot-com bubble.
From 2001-2004, I sub- and sub-subcontracted around Colorado Springs, working for the local WISP, various consultant around town and so forth. I found myself spending even more time online, in order to continue my education and keep my troubleshooting skills sharp. One of the places I gravitated to was a new web forum started by Chris Pirillo as part of his Lockergnome web properties. I had known Chris since he started mailing out newsletters in the mid-1990s and was an occasional contributor of tips and tricks, and thought I could spend some time asking and answering questions there. However, as time moved on I found myself answering more and more questions, eventually becoming a moderator and then an administrator of the forum.
At the beginning of 2004, I received an MVP Award from Microsoft for my helping Windows users with networking questions. Microsoft no longer provides an award in that category, since networking is no longer a specialization but something baked into all their products, but I have not stopped answering questions and Microsoft has continued to re-award me for my efforts to help Windows users. Lockergnome no longer has an active web forum, but I am also active these days on Scot's Newsletter Forum, Lenovo's support forums, my employer's support forums and, of course, Neowin.
In 2004, I found myself back in Silicon Valley, working at a startup making VoIP hardware, such as PBXes, handsets, PoE switches, UPSes and other datacom/telecom gear. This was some serious embedded systems territory: The company custom-designed boards using PowerPC, ARM and MIPS cores running MontaVista Linux, a distribution designed for real-time applications, to build all of its products. I learned quite a bit more about L2/L3 networking there, and spent endless hours going over SIP stack traces to determine why a particular handset would not communicate with a particular PBX, PBXes wouldn't interoperate with other PBXes, BRI and PRI signalling issues, and even taking the occasional support call for the company's Windows-based management tools and IM client. Although I enjoyed learning about networking, the data communications/telecommunications space was not really what I was looking for, and the following year I started looking around for something else to do. I was even thinking about going back into the anti-virus, or as it was now called, the anti-malware space.
As luck would have it, while attending Microsoft's MVP Summit in 2005, a colleague of mine from McAfee suggested I spend an extra day in town to network (the social kind, not the physical one) at a private party taking place right before Microsoft's annual conference for anti-malware vendors. I did, and ended up moving to Southern California and joining an anti-malware company there in 2005 as their technical support department manager. A year later, I moved over to their research department and have been there ever since, where I do everything from managing internal research projects to looking at telemetry to helping design and test the next generation of products to more public activities like posting on the company's threat research blog, recording podcasts and writing white papers every once in a while. I enjoy that work very much, but I still also like helping people solve technical problems and answering their questions. Fortunately, I get to do that both at work and as a hobby, which keeps me happy.
Outside of the technological sphere, I enjoy reading, movies, going out with my friends, spending time with my family (both of the human and canine variety).
By Barney T.
Please join me in congratulating Mando for being awarded Most Valuable Contributor (MVC) status. His willingness to help others as well as his positive interactions with all members have impressed staff as well as other MVCs alike.
Thank you Mando for all that you do. This reward is richly deserved.
Please join me in congratulating Dipsylalapo, Zagadka and T3X4S to the MVC Team. Their perseverance, dedication and commitment to this site have earned them this honor and are well deserved and appreciated.
Thank you to all three of you for your helpful posts and insight, your contributions are much appreciated and have earned you this honor.
By Ryan Daum
I was hoping I could reach out to all of the pros out in the neowin.net community for some advice. I am trying to find a good training option and I am not really finding quite what I need.
My work is starting to get into continuous integration / automated deployments. I am somewhat familiar with TFS Build system already and have some build / release definitions created for several projects. I am most interested in the training covering migrating branching strategies and the more complex things you can do with creating custom build processes with the new vNext system. Does anyone know of a good online course that is offered that goes into this sort of thing? It could be an onsite deal if necessary instead of online.
The only online resources I can find cover more of the TFS administration, with only covering the TFS Build as a side item. This makes sense from the prospective of most PMs maybe, but it isn't what I am going for. I'm not sure if this is because since Microsoft gives such a good range of options for really making your build process do whatever you want that it is hard to cover a lot of presentation material on the subject or not, but it seems like there should be a paid option out there somewhere.
My company is willing to spend money to make this happen, so that is not a concern at this time, it is just a matter of finding the right resource. Worst case I could always try to find books on Amazon, but that is currently my second choice.
By Barney T.
Please help me congratulate jjkusaf on his addition to our MVC group. His helpfulness to members and dedication to making Neowin a great place to be has earned him this distinction by staff and other MVCs. Thanks so much for all that you do!