Profiles in Networking: Robert Shimonski

A series of profiles on networking professionals who stand out from an already elite pack continues with networking engineer Robert Shimonski

Name: Robert Shimonski

Lives: Minneola, N.Y.

Job title: Lead network and security engineer, Thomson Industries, manufacturer of linear motion products, co-author of books including "Sniffer Pro Network Optimization and Troubleshooting Handbook" and SearchNetworking.com site expert on network management.

Robert Shimonski, network engineer, author

Age: 28

Education: Bachelor's in finance, State University New York, Old Westbury

Work experience: Network architect, Cendant. Rebuilt the Avis Rent-a-Car core network

First home computer: Commodore 64.

Toughest networking crisis: I've been in a lot of crises, but the one I think about the most was when a core switch completely blew out on me. We had a big power surge and a stack of hubs and switches cabled together was not protected and we lost the rack. In one day and one long night, we went from a Nortel to a Cisco platform. I've had a hundred of those types of crises.

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Favorite piece of hardware or software: Sniffer Pro, Network Associates. I use that thing religiously. Hardware, PIX Firewall from Cisco. It's easy to use and very secure.

Non-computer job experience: Four years in the U.S. Marine Corps working on helicopters.

Hobbies: I'll snowboard anywhere, but my favorite place is Killington, Vt.

Favorite song: "TK"

Favorite movie: "Star Wars," the whole thing. I'm a "Star Wars" guy.

Favorite book: "Anything" by Clive Barker.

Favorite Web site: slashdot.org

Networking mentor: Martin Grasdal started me on my writing career. He's the director of cramsession.com. I e-mailed his site, he replied and gave me my first writing assignment. I've been writing ever since

Advice for new networking administrators: Document, study and read. This is a profession; we are not blue-collar workers. We are in an ever-changing field and if you don't read, you're dead.

What do like best about this work: It's just as crazy as brain surgery. If you're someone who gets bored quickly, like me, then this is the field for you.

What you like the least: The hours. To be good, you've got to be obsessed with it.

We welcome nominations of your favorite networking experts for this series. Send your suggestions along to Jim Rendon, News Writer

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