I would like to introduce Rayda D. a Microsoft Windows Expert-Consumer MVP. Rayda has been an MVP since 2011 and is very active in online support communities, aside from her busy work schedule. As a fellow member of the Sysnative Microsoft support forums, I asked her if she wouldn’t mind being featured here as part of the ongoing WindowsTalk MVP Interview series.
Rayda, please tell us a little of your IT background and current employment.
Women in the IT field are still fairly rare and I take pride to be in this profession. I am currently holding a position as a Information Technology/Telecommunications Manager for an Environmental company in LA County. I’ve been a full-time geek for 13 years now although I started off doing Administrative tasks. After 5 months of working I was offered by a position in Sales and declined it. The CFO of the company showed me brochures on different computer classes as the owners of the company thought that I have a lot of passion for computers in general.
In the year 1999 I received my first computer training in hardware – A+. I went to a 7-day training at night while working during the day. Little did I know that I was the only female in that class and I wanted to leave the classroom and never return! However I ended up finishing the A+ Course. As I have progressed, I continued learning deeper and more complicated computer training – MCSE /Networking, Windows Servers, ERP (Microsoft Dynamics) and a few other Microsoft Classes. Luckily, my employer paid for them (and still does) and I’m grateful for these accomplishments.
I have an extremely hectic job. I work 40+ hours a week and up to 6 days a week including remote access virtually anywhere. I don’t know how I find time to be actively involved in various online communities, I guess it’s called “passion”?
To sum up, although I have earned a college degree in Business Administration major in Finance at a young age – only 19; I love my IT profession as I’ve learned so much: from removing a CMOS battery from a Motherboard, making Cat5 cables, cleaning out infected computers, setting up a network from scratch, troubleshooting network issues, configuring a hardware firewall, training employees, fixing server issues (AD, DNS, DHCP and other Server Roles related) and not able to boot up, setting up Virtualization, configuring a Mail Server – all accomplished without IT Outsourcing – but trained/learned thru different Certified Microsoft Training Centers, Community Forums and self-taught using online resources such as community Forums. Also, on the side I do consulting for SMBs, became a Microsoft MVP-Windows Expert Consumer and lastly I became a Content Writer/Author/Blogger.
How did you become an MVP, and what were your thoughts when you first heard of getting the award?
In September of 2009, I was searching the web for an answer regarding a networking issue, when I found techsupportforum.com which became my primary community Forum. I became a Networking Team Manager within a year and this is where I was discovered/nominated as Microsoft MVP. I would have never thought that in such a short period of time that I would get awarded as a Microsoft MVP – Windows Consumer. On April 1st, 2011, I was in the middle of my Microsoft Exchange Server Class – a 5-day course when I found out. I saw an email that got caught in my Hotmail Junk folder. I thought someone was fooling me since it was April Fool’s Day. I told my Exchange Instructor about the email, and he replied back: “Congratulations Rayda, Welcome to the Club”, he’s also an MVP. What a day! It was a very stressful day for me trying to learn Exchange 2010 before the implementation and ended up a great day for me. I didn’t think that I deserved the Award as I know a few community volunteers that are truly more worthy to be awarded as a Microsoft MVP. I am still thrilled and grateful to be awarded.
Now, like me you are a Windows Expert-consumer MVP, but what areas or subjects do you ‘specialize’ in?
- Home and Business Wired and Wireless Networking – Windows Clients and Servers Operating Systems
- Microsoft Exchange Server
- Mobile Computing – Blackberry, Windows and other Smart Devices
Tell us about some of the articles you have had published.
I have been motivated to write Articles that are based on my job involvement and interaction with Users/Consumers (Home and Corporate) on a day-to-day basis and SMBs. I’d given emphasis on personalization on almost all of my Articles as I’ve dealt with and experienced hands-on on a variety of technology products – most of them are Microsoft that will benefit the readers. My Articles are written for a non-computer savvy person to a computer savvy, easy to understand and precise.
In your experience, what is the greatest misconception or misunderstanding about Microsoft and/or Windows from either a consumer or SMB point of view?
There are 2 different type of Consumers – a regular Consumer that uses Home Edition products versus a Consumer that is a Business User using corporate edition products. This goes for both software and hardware, the only difference is knowing who uses, what type of device/software and what it is being used for – business or personal.
Downtime: what things do you like to do away from technology?
- Working out – Relieves a lot of tension, also to be physically fit and healthy.
- Cleaning – I’m a “clean freak”, occasionally cleaning and putting away clutters.
- Relaxing – Watching Netflix movies including English and Bollywood. Sitting outside my patio with my Pekingese dog, drinking wine at night to relax and unwind.
- Wine Tasting – I’ve been in different places in California for wine tasting, including Sonoma, Napa and Paso Robles.
- Traveling – I’ve traveled outside the country (Asia and Caribbean), been in a few States in the US (favorite spots – Hawaii and Seattle) including the Microsoft MVP Summit.
Thanks, Rayda, it has been nice chatting with you!
Check out the other entries in the WindowsTalk MVP Interview series