Hello there Ninjas!
It’s nice to see continued improvements happening to the community here keep on coming. It is strange to watch its progress from afar. I recall the cartoon/cute theme being pushed on me long ago and fighting it because I wanted IT Ninja to be a more edgy brand, but Nick the Ninja seems to be working out!
My byline will always lead with being the AppDeploy/ITNinja founder no matter what else I do (and I’m quite good with that!). Speaking of what else I do; I’ve been meaning to reach out and share an update on what I’ve been up to, so here goes:
Before I begin, I’ll plug the fact that I maintain a portfolio website where I have been doing a fair job keeping up to date with various projects and interests these last few years. You can find it at https://bkelly.com and it includes old articles, podcast recordings, videos etc. on packaging, desktop management and the like so you may find some free, relevant (though mostly old) material over there!
In the years since I left ITNinja, I’ve worked on many things, but I’ll just focus on these:
- AdminStudio Stuff
- Software Vulnerability Management Stuff
- Beer Stuff
I’m really loving the fact that, having made a career in packaging and deployment and product management, I get to PM the AdminStudio product. It’s great to steer the leading product in its space and take it to the next level! It is thought of by many as a repackaging tool you dust off when a silent installation can’t be uncovered, but it is so much more. It tests, corrects, reports, converts, wraps, and publishes setups both that you repackage and that you get directly from software vendors. Since taking on AdminStudio, I’ve shifted much of the focus in both product features and marketing messaging away from repackaging and toward the value it provides you in addressing the day to day deployment of vendor setups and updates. The most recent effort comes in the form of what I call the Package Feed Module; integrated access to command line details on over 3,100 vendor installers. From within AdminStudio, can now find the latest version, download and get a tested silent command line you can leverage to convert, wrap or directly publish in order to get new and updated versions of applications to your organization quickly. Check out this quick video (less than 5min) I made to describe and demo it here: https://youtu.be/NVBXkUgfq4E
Software Vulnerability Management Stuff
A close relative to challenge of packaging and deployment, is that of identifying software in need of updates in order to remediate critical software vulnerabilities. This is the focus of other product for which I am responsible. Commonly referred to as SVM, Software Vulnerability Manager was previously known as Secunia Corporate Software Inspector (CSI). Flexera has a security team that identifies, tests and documents software vulnerabilities across many platforms to create security advisories that simplify the task of understanding how serious any given software patch may be to your environment. It also includes threat intelligence details to help you prioritize remediation based on how likely a vulnerability is to be exploited. It’s pretty cool stuff. SVM can then publish updates (there are well over a thousand out of the box patches) directly to WSUS (or ConfigMan) to remediate the vulnerabilities you need to address. The need to stay on top of third party software patches and how SVM helps you do so affectively is something I speak about regularly; check out an example of such a session here if you are interested in hearing more: https://youtu.be/lgNZRJNz0CA
Although 99% of my time goes to technical endeavors, I do maintain a pet project or two. When I started AppDeploy, it was essentially an online resource where I simply shared research—I discovered something interesting, shared it, and (after a couple of years) others did too. Following that same playbook, I found that I was interested in visiting the breweries popping up around my city (Charlotte, NC) and started keeping track of them. Soon I realized I had something worth sharing and developed it into a blog site. So just as AppDeploy would share my observations about the relevant details of an application deployment, my CraftBeerSpots.com site shares my observations about the relevant details of various breweries, shops and craft beer bars. As I travel, I document some spots outside my home city but with the bulk of the content being the Charlotte area, I’m planning to release a mobile app that will let one browse this on a map of the area soon. Fun stuff!
Don’t be a stranger! Connect/follow me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rwkelly/