Week 7: Time for a break

Week Seven is finished and now it’s time to take a break, though not too much of a break as there are assessments to be completed and handed in after the holidays.

Monday – Systems Administration

A pretty relaxed start to the week with re-installation and documentation of the virtual server continuing. Still a bit of progress to be made, but that will be taken care of during the holidays. Then on Monday afternoon I received a phone call. Thursday, 10:30am. Internship Interview. First step is complete, now it’s time to crank things up a notch and nail the interview.

So Wednesday will be spent doing some prep work for Thursdays interview and trying to relaxing and not stress about it. We’ll see if I can succeed at that.

Tuesday – Professional Practice and Network Design

Time for what is my most hated of assessments, a mock interview role play assessment in front of the whole class, while being filmed and interviewed by two top local and national IT sector professionals and a recruiting specialist. We had Mason Parker from PN Personnel; Pat Debnay, IT Manager for Fujitsu NZ; and Mark Smith, the National Manager of Spark Digital.

After a short presentation from the interviewing panel, it was straight into business. I was the fifth person to step forward for my interview which was incredibly daunting, with not just the three person interview panel and the lecturer, but the whole class watching. It turns out that I managed to not fuck it up and I got an A for the assessment. Which made me feel a lot more confident going into Thursdays interview at Computercare, but more on that later.

I chose to stick around until the end and head to Network Design late, after having talked to my Network Design lecturer on Monday morning to see if I would miss anything if I did. Unfortunately, the interview panelists were not able to stick around for long as they all had places to be so I didn’t really get a chance to talk to them, although several of us were able to have a quick chat to Mark Smith.

Thursday – Internship Interview

Time for the weeks main event! With the interview taking place just a couple hundred meters from my school, I parked up in one of the campus parking lots to take advantage of the cheap parking ($1 for four hours or $2 for a whole day compared to $1 an hour in the council parks on the street), then grabbed a hot chocolate from the cafe across the road from school before slowly walking down the road. I sat down on a bench about halfway there to kill some time and calm my nerves a bit before heading inside with about 5-10 minutes to go before the scheduled interview time.

I won’t bore you with the details of the actual interview, but I think it went well. I will know by the end of next week if I got it or not so will post an update here. After the interview, I had a short technical quiz and application form to fill out. I didn’t do nearly as well on the quiz as I would have liked but they seemed pleased with my result.

Friday – Advanced Database Concepts

To finish out the week and term, it was time for one last trip to Advanced Database Concepts. We were giving our first assignment for the paper this week. Due to the stress of the interview assessment and then an actual interview, I was feeling mentally drained and exhausted so I skipped out of class early after the lecturer was finished going over the assignment.

Usually on a Friday night I get together with some friends and play some board games but not this week as I was just too mentally drained. So now it’s time to rest for a few days before getting stuck into my Systems Administration and Advanced Database Concepts assignments, both of which are due the first week back.

Week 6: 404 – Clever Title Not Found

Almost at the halfway point for the semester and things are starting to heat up! Except the weather, that’s starting to turn to shit as we approach winter. And there is only one more week to go before the term break.

Monday – Systems Administration

As always, first up this week was Systems Administration on Monday morning. An uneventful start to the week with the only thing of note that happened was we were given our first assignment – documenting our server install. Which I knew was coming and means I have to reinstall everything from scratch as I have had a few issues with it. But I will be documenting everything as I go. Due to needing to reinstall my virtual machine, it was a short class as there was no point in sticking around and starting it so I headed home and spent some quality time with my girlfriend.

I sent it my CV and cover letter for the internship I am applying for for my Industry Project next semester, should find out some time this week if and when I have an interview for it.

Tuesday – Professional Practice and Network Design

New lecturer for Professional Practice started this week. She has taken to it like a duck to water, although it probably helped that she had essentially already taught the same paper but for a non IT course, so it’s not very difficult to change and adapt to the IT focused version.

We had some group activities aimed at preparing us for our mock interviews next week as well as a PowerPoint presentation detailing what to wear and do and what not to wear and do. We should also get our results back for the CV and cover letter assignment in the next couple of days, so by the time you are ready this, I will already have my first result for the semester! (Keep reading to find out how I did!)

Then I had Network Design. A very good and informative class even though I didn’t get much done. I found out that the big assignment that is worth 50% of the papers grade isn’t actually due until June 24, not May 22 as the assignment handout we were given said, so that’s a bit of a relief as I can take my time with it a bit more now and stress about it.

Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday morning I got my result back for my CV and Cover Letter assignment. B. A bit disappointed and some of the feedback is frustrating as we weren’t told some of the things I lost marks for. Then I started rebuilding my Systems Administration virtual server, documenting things as I went, so now I have a good start to the documentation assignment. Then on Thursday I had a play around with Frenzy, so I’m almost ready to get started on my Network Design assignment. I also spent some time on both Wednesday and Thursday learning Laravel.

Jeffery Way from Laracasts.com is an amazing teacher and able to explain things nice and clearly without dumbing them down too much. The example code he provides as part of his tutorials is also very nice and easy to follow. Be sure to check him out if you want to learn web design, I believe he also has some videos on YouTube on general web design stuff.

Friday – Advanced Database Concepts

To finish off the week, it was off to Advanced Database Concepts for what is starting to become my favorite class this semester. I had planned to stay late after class in order to make sure I got everything done as I still had to finish off last weeks work, which ended up taking me a further hour, but I actually found this weeks work quite easy and was able to get it completed a lot quicker than i thought I would, so was walking out of class on schedule at 3pm.

I took the opportunity to go and have a chat with my Professional Practice lecturer and discuss my CV and cover letter assignment. I managed to get an extra half a mark out of it! Not that it changed my grade. I got a lot off good feedback from her that wasn’t included in the feedback that was returned with the marked assignment. Overall I’m much happier with my mark after having talked to my lecturer about it. Talking to my lecturer about my marks is something that I find helps as I am often able to get additional feedback about where I went wrong.

Weeks 4 and 5: Sullivan’s Return!

A munch more interesting two weeks than the previous two. And my cat was found and returned home! Trying something different with the headings this time, drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

Monday – System Administration

Monday started off with heading into class early to get some more work down and avoid falling behind. I’m still not fully up to date, but I’m only about an hour or two behind. I know have my server virtual machine set up as a domain controller and my client machine joined to the domain. Next step is working on writing some GPO’s for software deploment, and setting up some organizational units and user groups, then writing scripts for automating user account creation. Then I’ll be fully up to date. I’m going to head into class early again after the Easter break to get this done.

Monday afternoon, I worked on my assignment for Professional Practice in between doing housework while watching TV. Got it submitted nice and early at about 8pm, with several hours to go before the 11:55pm deadline.

Tuesday – Professional Practice and Network Design

This weeks Professional Practice class was focused the upcoming mock interview assessment and on the project we are required to source this semester and then complete next semester as part of the Industry Project paper. All the details were explained to us and then our lecturer informed us that he was moving to a different position at the university, and would not be teaching the paper after the end of the month. We were also introduced to our new lecturer, then handed an information pack to hand to potential project sponsors. I’ve got a fun couple of weeks ahead as I hunt down a project.

Network Design this week was spent going over the the first assignment we have. Not very interesting but it’s worth 50% of our grade. I’ll be getting stuck into it after the Easter break. We have the option of working on it either individually or paired up with someone else, I’m not sure yet whether I’ll do it on my own, or with someone else, I put my name down on the paired side, but don’t yet have someone to work with, so we will have to see what happens.

And that was the end of classes and the start of a NINE day weekend, with Easter meaning no class on Friday, Monday or Tuesday

Wednesday and Thursday

Most of these two days was spent working on writing a cover letter and re-writing my CV to apply for an internship for my industry project. I have just a couple of small formatting issues to sort out and then I will be sending them in.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Friday was a day of rest, nothing interesting happened, although Speedway Friday night was really good, with demolition derby teams racing. Saturday was spent doing housework and moving my main gaming rig to my office, which now gives me a proper battle station setup with dual monitors. Then it was off to speedway again on Saturday night for more demolition derby tams racing along with Sprintcars and Midgets, another very entertaining night of racing!

Sunday was then spent preparing my main rig to for a full system reinstall, all my files have been backed up and saved. Monday was another rest day, with a bit more work on the CV and cover letter.

Tuesday

The day started out nice and relaxed and only got better as I received a message from my mother informing me that my missing cat was no longer missing. He had been found the week before in Kairanga and was returned to my parents house on Tuesday morning. Then in the afternoon it was off Fielding for some afternoon tea.

Then I decided to delay reinstalling everything on my desktop so I could teach myself to build a custom image that would have a bunch of programs that I want to have installed by default, it should also allow me to set the start menu how I want it, and won’t have any bloatware from OEM’s

Wednesday

I almost abandoned my plan to create my image as the hoops I’m having to jump through were starting to annoy me. Instead I delayed my plans until the weekend, after I’ve grabbed an ISO from one of my class mates in class on Friday. Also on Wednesday, the first of two auctions I posted to get rid of some of my old computer parts and bring in a little extra cash finished. Thirteen assorted sticks of DDR and DDR2 RAM sold for $13.50. Second auction is for six Intel CPU’s, that will be finished on Saturday morning.

Thursday

Thursday dawned cold and a bit chilly, winter is coming.

Friday – Advanced Database Concepts

First and only class for the week was Advanced Database Concepts on Friday afternoon. Things are starting to get really fun and interesting, and are increasingly becoming about finding the answers and code we need on our own, with less and less being given to us. I’ve also started learning Lavavel in my space time, in addition to restarting my project to build my own Windows image, now that I have all the files I need.

That’s it for now, see you next week!