Don Ferris

Senior IT Professional

Specializing in:

  • IT Management/Leadership

  • Advanced Troubleshooting and Problem Solving

  • Innovation/Creativity

  • Business Development and Strategic Planning

  • Cybersecurity

  • Outstanding Customer Service


In my IT career, spanning over 25 years, my roles have included CEO, IT Director, System Administrator, Project Manager, Advanced Support Engineer and Manager, Software QA Manager, IT Analyst, IT Consultant, and Web Developer.

Currently, I am transitioning my career to the exciting field of cybersecurity. Sparked by the weaponization of AI and a keen interest in digital forensics, I am actively pursuing a Google Cybersecurity certificate. Subsequently I plan to get my CompTIA Security+ certification. Concurrently, I am getting essential hands-on experience in my homelab. I look forward to leveraging my exceptional problem-solving skills, boundless creativity, and thirst for knowledge and professional growth to help organizations in combating threat actors and fortifying against cyber threats.Additionally, I bring to the table broad knowledge across a wide range of technologies, exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, meticulous attention to detail, and a personal commitment to customer satisfaction.

Career Highlights

As an independent IT consultant, I provide a broad range of services including...  Network/server configuration and administration
 Project management
 Data security
 On-site/remote support
 Ransomware/disaster recovery
 Setup and augmentation of client/server apps (e.g. point of sale and inventory/asset management)
 Front end/full stack web development
 Virtualization/cloud-based microservices and web apps
 Development of custom automation solutions and more
As an independent web developer/digital media provider...  Collaborated with a diverse range of clients spanning all levels of tech sophistication
 Provided project management services for website/web app development projects
 Created innovative, eye catching, memorable websites and print materials asserting the client’s brand
 Developed an award winning website for a 50th class reunion incorporating database driven social media elements at a time when social media was still in its infancy
As the CEO of a tech startup...  Conceptualized and set in motion a revolutionary, groundbreaking entertainment platform providing remote audiences with live, front-row-interactive entertainment
 Recruited a world class team of C-level executives from prominent companies like Gateway, eMachines, HBO, and AMD
 Project manager for all projects
 Served as IT Director and System Administrator, performing all IT-related duties
As the manager of a software QA team for a Fortune 500 company…  Significantly improved QA team productivity by designing, developing (full LAMP stack), and deploying intranet portal for rapid data entry of QA test results. Simultaneously providing the engineering team and management with up-to-the-minute reporting of software defects and detailed quality/performance metrics
 Leveraged shell scripts and virtualization to create an automated build system, improving feedback loop between QA and Engineering, dramatically reducing (from weekly to sometimes daily) the cycle of build testing, defect reporting, and bug fixes
As the manager of a combined Level1/Level 2 support team for a Fortune 500 company…  Opened channels of communication and fostered strong collaborative relationships with engineering and QA teams, giving customers a stronger voice with regard to product features and quality
 Developed shell script for automating collection of detailed, in-depth system hardware, software, and process information including network and diagnostic data. Output as HTML for easy navigation with links to external resources, allowing support engineers to analyze and diagnose problems quickly, substantially increasing customer satisfaction


General IT Skills
 Outstanding troubleshooting/problem solving skills
 Exemplary customer service/technical support
 Strong ability to explain technical concepts to laypersons
 technical documentation
Operating Systems
 Microsoft Windows (NT - 11)
 MacOS (Snow Leopard - Mojave)
 Linux (Debian/Ubuntu and derivatives, desktop and server)
 Chrome OS
 Microsoft Office
 Libre Office
 Many more
 Microsoft Teams

 Cloudflare/Secure Tunnels
 Google Docs/Sheets/G-Suite
 Leantime (Project Mgmt)
 Front End/Full Stack LEMP Web Development
 BASH/Windows shell scripting

Career History

IT Consultant, Augment Technology Solutions
Tucson, AZ/Las Vegas, NV
2012 - Present

IT consulting/remote user support - network/server administration, virtualization, self-hosted services, data security, full stack web development, and more

CEO, LiveTime Networks
Oceanside, CA
2007 - 2011

President, Evangelist, System Administrator, Project Manager, Web Developer (Full LAMP Stack), more

Web Developer,
Beach Bum Digital Media, Oceanside, CA
2007 - 2010

Designer of websites, digital media, and print materials for small businesses

Manager, Advanced Support/Software QA, Compuware
Campbell, San Diego, CA
1999 - 2007

Tech/Advanced Support Engineer, Advanced Support Manager, Software QA Manager

Global Support Engineer, Immersion Corp
San Jose, CA
1996 - 1999

Exclusive worldwide support contact for users of 3D digitizer (serial peripheral), providing broad support of CAD/engineering, medical, and commercial CGI/3D animation applications on Windows, Mac and SGI platforms

1980 - Present (Ongoing)

Extensive, ongoing self-study. Currently enrolled in Google's Foundations of Cybersecurity certificate program. Subsequently I plan to get my CompTIA Security+ certification. Concurrently, I spend quite a bit of time in my homelab (simulated enterprise environment) gaining valuable hands-on experience with advanced networking, cybersecurity, virtualization and clustering; multiple development projects (Python, BASH, Full Stack LEMP) with others planned.


I'm fond of saying that I graduated from the same college as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, Richard Branson........ in other words, I dropped out of college to pursue my career and I am entirely self-taught.I have Masters-level knowledge that comes with over 25 years in the IT field and I continue to quench my thirst for knowledge and career growth through self-study.I'm currently enrolled in Google's Foundations of Cybersecurity certificate program. Subsequently I plan to get my CompTIA Security+ certification. Concurrently, I spend quite a bit of time in my homelab where I'm creating a simulated enterprise environment and gaining valuable experience via hands-on self-study.Additionally, I spend a few hours per week learning Python programming which is invaluable in IT, systems administration, and cybersecurity.


A look into what "makes me tick" on a personal level..._

 Lifelong learner - I have always had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I LOVE learning new things, which is probably why I chose a career in Information Technology; there's always cool new technologies, always so much to learn!
 Home Theater enthusiast - there's no home entertainment like immersive home entertainment! I enjoy movies, TV shows, and sporting events on a 120" screen with an excellent surround sound system. (An upgrade to 3D surround sound is in my near future!)  Smarthome afficianado - currently in pursuit of the holy grail of home automation - rock solid (room-to-room) presence detection. (The true holy grail of home automation is probably, “Alexa, do the dishes” but I’m keeping it real…)  Dogs - I'm one of those people who thinks dogs are some of the best people I know! I feel pretty good about the fact that almost all dogs love me back. I enjoy the boundless love of two absolutely wonderful dogs - Lola (a black Golden Doodle) and Louis (a Bearded Collie) who is my best friend and constant companion.  ”Tikiphile” - I love all things Polynesian/tropical. I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by palm trees, with sand between my toes and a drink with a little paper umbrella in my hand. No matter where we live, my wife and I surround ourselves with tropical decor and try to maintain that “island attitude”.  Woodworking - my "zen activity", I'm never more at peace than when I'm creating things from wood.  Passionate about music with broad, diverse (sometimes eclectic) musical tastes. More than a "music lover", I live music; it's a crucial, ever present element of my life.  Singer/songwriter with a home studio for production. I own a beautiful arch-top electric guitar, a bass guitar, a keyboard, an ukulele, and several harmonicas. Someday I will learn to play them all but for now I can only play my vocal chords. (I was one the bandleader, frontman, and lead vocalist for a Tower of Power-esque 10-piece R&B horn band performing Soul, Motown, Funk, and a little Disco. SO. MUCH. FUN!)  Audiophile - when you love music like I do, it's almost essential that the music be reproduced with the best possible fidelity and sound as lifelike as possible.  Motorcyclist - While I don't own a motorcycle currently, I have for most of my life. (Fun fact: my first motorcycle was an 80cc Harley Davidson "Shortster"!) I have probably logged more miles on a motorcycle than I have in cars, including a 5 week, 13 state, 8000 mile cross country trip I took with my wife.  Open-air motorist - when I'm not riding a motorcycle, I prefer to be driving a convertible - top down. (Fun fact: my first car was a convertible and I drove it home with the top down - in spite of the fact that it was a very cold, snowy winter day in Central Illinois... and when I got it home, the top wouldn't go back up!)Last but definitely not least...

 Happily married to a beautiful, kind, creative, artistic woman - with a heart of gold - for over 20 years.

Clockwise from top left: my wonderful wife, Krista; my Golden Doodle, Lola Lou; my Bearded Collie and BEST FRIEND, Louis; my 3-monitor workstation; my homelab rack; my home music studio