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My life – it is a’changing…

I recently accepted a new job and am changing careers sorta from that of support in the IT department to one where I provide services. The new title is Integration Consultant with SunGard Higher Education. This should be a very exciting role for me where I will have the opportunity to develop solutions for a wide assortment of Universities around the country. The position will also give me the chance to travel and meet new people. The work will include translating business requirements into system integration use cases. Identifying web services and other integration touch point/adapter needs – quickly learning new business processes. I will also be able to play multiple consultant roles from analyst to trainer to implementer and tester. They told me I should not be scared to roll up my sleeves to learn and implement diverse technologies. Some of the specific technologies I’ll be working with are EAI, SOA, Use case development and UML design.

My hipper thoughts about me…

Chris Fontenot has worked on many different enterprise level IT projects since deciding that commissioned sales was not the life for him. Although he started programming games on the Commodore 64 back in the 80s and learned HTML so he could build Web1.0 sites, he didn’t really get into full-time technology positions until he started building ASP web applications for a little company in Nederland, TX during late 90s.

Soon thereafter, Lamar University asked Chris to join the IT division to help design and implement Active Directory and Exchange on campus to help facilitate removing the many disparate NT domains and old POP3 servers. After becoming more vocal about creating better single-sign on methodologies he was asked to join a team that was considering new hardware for the Banner and Luminis implementations and ultimately to lead the systems implementations of those products. Since 2005 he has been involved in shaping a new culture at Lamar where they are embracing EAI, SOA, SSO, and other buzzwords that most of the people don’t understand. Actually, by “embracing” what is really meant is that Chris is asked if he can make this or that happen automatically, usually he says yes, figures out how to make it happen, then explain to them in the most simple of terms how it works and what they need to do to continue the smooth flow of information. They think he is a magician – Chris just smiles, nods his head, and hopes that even more fun and interesting projects keep coming his way.

What the PR person wrote…

Chris Fontenot began his lifelong work in the IT realm in his early teen years when programming games on the Commodore 64 was something he did for fun and to challenge his own knowledge. He soon began to explore the world of the Internet where he began programming HTML in order to build Web 1.0 websites. It grew from that fascination into a professional career where he can utilize his multiple talents in the IT industry.

His IT career started in a small company building ASP web apps for small to mid size clients. The ball was rolling and as he finished his degree at Lamar University he was recruited to join the IT team at the University. He then found his knowledge base expanding into design and implementation of systems like Active Directory and Exchange. He was instrumental in consolidation of resources to the newer more versatile set of servers. Knowing that the University environment was conducive to a Single Sign On platform, Chris began to be vocal about the need to move toward an IT structure that supported this technology. Chris was asked to join the team that created the plan to implement Banner and Luminis as well as lead the systems implementations of these products. As always, Chris stays abreast of the latest trends in the technology industry and assesses the need for those technologies in the environment for which he is responsible. In doing so, he has been instrumental in shaping a new culture at Lamar University that will embrace EAI, SOA, and SSO.

In summary, Chris is adept in converting “IT speak” into layman’s terms that others outside of IT departments can understand in order to assess needs and implement plans to reach those goals. As Chris says, “They think I’m a magician – I just smile, nod my head, and hope that even more fun and interesting projects keep coming my way.”

What the PR person wrote after I asked for fewer sentences…

Chris Fontenot began his IT career in a small company building ASP web apps for small to mid size clients. Upon finishing his degree at Lamar University he was recruited to join the IT team at the University. He then found his knowledge base expanding into design and implementation of systems like Active Directory and Exchange. After working in this capacity, Chris was asked to join the team that created the plan to implement Banner and Luminis as well as lead the systems implementations of these products. As always, Chris stays abreast of the latest trends in the technology industry and assesses the need for those technologies in the environment for which he is responsible. In doing so, he has been instrumental in shaping a new culture at Lamar University that will embrace EAI, SOA, and SSO.

Original thoughts about me…

It all began in the early 70’s soon after I was born in a Southeast Texas hospital…

I am a systems admin at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. At LU I manage several IBM/AIX, SUN/SOLARIS, and SUN/RHEL servers. The applications I’m supporting on these boxes includes SCT’s Banner ERP and Luminis web portal. Everyday is a learning experience on these boxes!

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