Meet 2017’s Distinguished Experts

Posted by · March 5, 2018 11:59 am

This year, we want to highlight our Annual Expert Award’s Distinguished Experts. These individuals earn the highest number of points in the awarded topics. The typical Distinguished Expert works behind the scenes, looking for questions in their specific areas of expertise to help where they can make a difference, all while earning points.

In this category of our Expert Awards, we recognize the top contributors in each topic as either Veteran expert winners or Rookie expert winners. The Rookie status signifies the individual has achieved this level within their first year of membership. The Veteran status is for individuals who have contributed their expertise on Experts Exchange for longer than a year.

Without further ado, please meet (and congratulate) our 2017 Distinguished Experts:

 

Security – Veteran

btan, Exec Consultant

Background:
My name is Bernard. I am an executive IT consultant with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and I’ve been in the profession for 15 years.
Fun Fact:
I have a love for sharing information. It can be interesting, as the content actually drives the desire to want to share with others in order to benefit them. I often post motivational writings at my organization, which can be rather strange for a tech guy, but I think that is the “soft” side of me. Some interesting topics that I come across include, “What makes a bad boss”, “How do we make ourselves more desirable and attractive in a fun way”, and “What do you see when you are in front of the mirror — have you taken a serious look at it?”. The content talks about improving our emotional quotient — be a leader, stay emphatic, and always seek to understand rather than to be understood.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
Experts Exchange has been a good pastime and online hobby as I pace myself to learn and relearn what I do daily in IT security. Learning from other experts in the community is great experience, as I also get to be “corrected” (which in my real life is the other way) — that is the fun of Experts Exchange. There is some bitterness, but the spirit and encouragement given helps push me to continue to contribute. I am glad that IT security has garnered more attention and is now in the award’s topic list since I first joined Experts Exchange.


Security, Windows OS, Microsoft Office, Windows 7, Windows 10 – Rookie / Active Directory Veteran and Rookie

Shaun Vermaak, Technical Specialist/Developer

Read his bio here.


Networking Veteran

masnrock, Senior Security Engineer

Background:
My name is Preston, and I’m a senior security engineer. I’ve been in the IT field for approximately 20 years. I possess a BS in Computer Science, as well as an MS in information systems with a focus in information security and assurance.
Fun Fact:
I did lend my voice to a Bud Frogs website about 20 years ago (this was NOT how I got into IT).
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
Experts Exchange makes me think about issues that I might deal with infrequently, and keeps me better prepared for those scenarios. I’ve found Experts Exchange useful in providing additional perspectives, particularly on issues that deal with policy and governance.


Networking, Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, Outlook, Storage – Rookie

Tom Cieslik, Database Administrator, Exchange Administrator

Background:
I am a database administrator and exchange administrator for Okna Windows and Doors Manufacturing. I have an MS in computer science from the University of Zielona Gora in Poland. I’ve been in the industry for about 24 years.
Fun Fact:
I’m a bike rider. I have a 2015 Triumph Rocket III motorcycle with 2,200 cc engine. I’ve made a trip from NJ to Sturgis, South Dakota, then through Yellowstone, Pikes Peak in Colorado, the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Tennessee, then home. It was a total of 5,200 miles in 10 days.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
I’ve seen Experts Exchange through many years and access to this forum was once very restricted. Many times when I had problems with a client’s computer, my Google search came up with results from Experts Exchange, but access was unavailable for free. Two years ago I discovered that I could become a member of Experts Exchange, so I did. Then I realized I can help other people using my skills and knowledge, so I started to do so. In my current work, I had a few issues I came across where I couldn’t find any help on the internet but I did [find help] on Experts Exchange, so that’s why I’ve stayed. If I have time, I try to be very useful to others.


Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office – Veteran

Shums, Assistant Financial Controller

Background:
My name is Shums Faruk Millwala and I am an assistant financial controller. I have a bachelor of commerce degree and have been in the industry for 19 years.
Fun Fact:
Since childhood, I’ve had a passion to be become an architectural draftsman, for which I’ve designed a couple of building models.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
I joined Experts Exchange in 2012 to improve my Excel knowledge. Since then, I have learned a lot from many senior experts which inspired me to become an expert. I started sharing my Excel knowledge to other askers in Nov 2016. I have earned 25 certificates in 9 months which is now a valuable asset on my resume.


Microsoft Excel – Rookie

Mike in IT, IT System Administrator

Background:
I’m Michael McNair and I’ve been a programmer analyst for 6-7 years. I have an AS in electrical engineering technology and a BS in computer engineering technology.
Fun Fact:
At Experts Exchange, I’ve mostly answered questions that have to do with Microsoft Office, but I’m also skilled with programming in several different languages. I have used PHP, VBA, Java, HTTP, CSS, X++, C#, and VB .Net since starting in the profession. Each has its own uses and I’ve used them all for different projects throughout the last several years.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
I’ve used Experts Exchange a couple of different times. The first time was for a corporate account and I was just an intern. At that time I was trying to learn all I could. Now, I am using it for myself and I enjoy being able to share the experience that I’ve gained. It’s great to be able to search through questions and find an answer to a problem that I’m having or to ask a question and have it answered quickly by other experts with the experience that I’m hoping to gain. Experts Exchange has been an invaluable resource when doing research into new projects and new languages that I’m trying to learn.


Microsoft Access – Veteran

Pat Hartman, Consultant

Background:
I have 50 years of experience that started with mainframe COBOL CICS/IMS/DB2 in the late ’60s, falling in love with Access in the ’90s, and never looking back. My entrance into the field was with a programming course I took with my boyfriend and two other friends. I was the only one who finished and I got an A because it just made sense to me. I mentioned the course on a job application and in 1968, employers were allowed to give applicants IQ tests. They liked my score and sent me to school.
Fun Fact:
Bridge (yes, the card game) is a great way to practice your logic skills and a great way to make new friends all over the world.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
While developing one of my first Access applications, I went searching for answers and happened on an early Access forum. I got my question answered by some kind person, and in the process noticed that I actually knew the answers to lots of questions. I still answer today because reading the questions opens my mind to what people are doing with Access and I love learning from other experts. Hardly a week goes by where I don’t learn something new. My husband was also in IT and occasionally had to help users with Access applications although that wasn’t his area of expertise. He always got a kick out of doing a search and coming up with an answer written by me. Ultimately, Microsoft noticed my online contributions and made me an Access MVP for a few years. It was quite an honor to go out to Redmond and meet the Access team and discuss the future of the product.


Microsoft Access – Rookie

Fabrice Lambert

Background:
I’m a french computer engineer and I work for a services company in computer engineering in Paris (France). I’ve been working in the business for over 20 years. I have a strong knowledge of languages, such as VBA, and I mainly focus on MS access and MS Excel products. I also like C++ and even if I don’t use it professionally, I keep myself up to date with the last standard available.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
I came to Experts Exchange because I like to share my knowledge, help others, and I want beginners to benefit from my experience.


Databases, Microsoft SQL Server – Veteran

Vitor Montalvão, MSSQL Senior Engineer

Background:
I have a bachelor’s degree in management and IT. I’ve been in this industry for 25 years.
Fun fact:
I adore programming and I’m a self-learner. In fact, I came into the computer world because I had the dream of creating computer games. I’ve had some good tries in many development languages, but never really created a commercial computer game or worked at a computer game’s company. I still remember that whenever I learned a new language, the first program I would create wasn’t “Hello world” but the Minesweeper game.
For a long time, that desire to create computer games has [left me] since I don’t program for living. I went down another path and came into the IT Infrastructure world and started to work with real servers — specifically with SQL Server. Actually, I’m writing some R code, mostly to perform some analytical analysis, and also just for fun as I’m learning R by myself and not for professional use.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
I came across Experts Exchange when I was a developer and had issues with Crystal Report. Even though I didn’t get my answer from Experts Exchange, I liked the way the experts tried to help me. Years after, when I started to search for some answers related to SQL Server, I came to Experts Exchange and found out that it was no longer free and I needed to perform a goal of 3,000 points monthly to maintain the free membership. So I started to answer SQL Server questions. Some time after, the points were no longer leading my interests in answering questions, but the pleasure to help others was leading my efforts.


Exchange – Veteran

Amit, IT Architect

Background:
My name is Amit Kulshrestha and I’ve been in the profession since 2001 — nearly 17 years. I have a bachelor’s degree.
Fun Fact:
I am into Aquariums. It’s been a hobby for the last 3 years.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
I joined Experts Exchange to challenge myself with more issues. On Experts Exchange, we have real users in real situations.


Windows OS, Outlook, Windows 7, Windows 10, Hardware – Veteran

John Hurst, Owner of Business Consulting Firm Hurst Technology Consulting Inc.


JavaScript, PHP – Veteran

Julian Hansen, JavaScript, jQuery, HTML specialist

Read his bio here.


JavaScript – Rookie

Leonidas Dosas


Linux – Veteran

Arnold, Linux, Shell Scripting

Background:
I’m an IT consultant. I have a BS in electrical engineering with a concentration in computers. I’ve been in the industry for almost 20 years.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
Experts Exchange provides insight into issues one might not run into in their day-to-day operations, and can potentially expose an issue that is going on in the field but did not reach me — thankfully. (i.e. patterns being reported or solutions for issues sought here could be viewed as a canary in a coal mine.) I think there was an issue dealing with a Windows 10 update and some systems that had a similar AMD ATI multi-monitor graphics card that stopped working after the update.


Databases, PHP, Linux – Rookie

David Favor, FastStableHosting.com – Owner


C# – Veteran

Fernando Soto, Retired Programmer

Background:
I’m a retired software engineer with more than 31 years in multiple areas of the industry, such as a computer hardware technician, computer networking, and software maintenance and development. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Central Florida.
Fun Fact:
I fixed computers and worked on computer hardware and lasers to identify individuals through fingerprint identification.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
Helping others solve their issues has helped me grow.


C# – Rookie

Dirk Strauss, Senior Full Stack Developer

Background:
I have been a software developer for about 14 years now.
Fun Fact:
I’m an author of a few books as well as Syncfusion ebooks. I used to collect Google Doodles before they started animating them. I am also an ERP developer that does customizations for SYSPRO. In my spare time (as a hobby), I create WordPress blogs for small businesses at a very nominal fee (so that they have an online presence).
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
Experts Exchange has opened another world for me where I can do what I love, which is to give back to the developer community. There are very few sites that manage to strike a balance between professionalism and fun while not becoming an elitist “boys club” like some other sites. Developers can assist other developers and it is in the giving that I also learn. That is where the juice is for me.


VMware, Storage – Veteran

Andrew Hancock, VMware and Virtualization Consultant

Read his bio here.


VMware – Rookie

Ajay Chanana, Technical Support Engineer (Vmware Technologies)

Background:
Overall, I have 10 years of experience in Windows Server, Messaging, Archiving, and VMware.
Fun Fact:
I am good at sketching and painting.
How has Experts Exchange been valuable in your career/in your pursuit of tech knowledge?
I always look ahead toward having name and fame in the IT fraternity with Experts Exchange. I believe I am achieving it daily.