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In my own Words
My experience is long and varied, even though I consider myself a young person. :-)
My first IT job was to develop a system for billing and stock for "Distribuidora Santander", a wholesaler of candy and kiosk products, the system was MS-COBOL 1, and operated in an XT.
The first work as an employee was in 1998 as a developer for SISTRAN Consultores, a market leader on computer system for insurance companies, who at that time focused on Universe and PICK OS.
I took part in the design and development of Frut-Pack (a system for controlling and monitoring production of fruit-vegetable companies), which was initially implemented in "Tres Aces SA". Upon completion of the project I was transferred to the a group dedicated to the insurance system, but this change did not convince me greatly, so after a few months I decided to take a sabbatical and resign my position.
I traveled to the United States, where I took the opportunity to study, improve my English and learn how to live in another society. Although, from a purely monetary point of view, this were "lost years", they were a great investment for my personal and professional growth.
Upon returning to Argentina, and via a consulting company, I stated to work at " Lautrec / Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising ", where I served as a junior administrator for VAX-VMS and assisted with development and help desk tasks.
Restarting my college studies force me to leave Lautec and seek work in the evening or night (as I assisted to college in the morning).
I struck luck when I found a position as night operator in Movicom / CRM SA. Here I administered servers running DEC VMS, and made my first contacts with the Microsoft world with a couple of NT 3.5, here I climbed to the position of Chief night operator.
In parallel with my work at Movicom, I started to work as laboratory assistant at the Faculty of Information Technology at the University of Belgrano . This was a part time, ad-honorem job that I carried out in the very little free time I had between College and my night job.
Clearly, 3 years working by night and studying by day are sure to wear anyone, so I thanked the day the university decided to open an evening course. Once again, I crossed my fingers and took a leap of faith, left Movicom and started looking for a new job, this time on a "normal" work schedule.
Meanwhile, I dedicated myself fully to study these "new" operating systems NT 3.51 and NT 4.
A few months later, thanks to the recommendations from a teacher, I landed an interview in a small but important consulting company " ICEBERG Consulting Solutions". A few days later they assigned me to work for "Banco Río" as part of the MCS (Microsoft Consulting Services) Task Force.
At Banco Río, I took part on the technological upgrade of various branches around the country, bringing each server and each workstation to Windows NT 4, and controlling (and automating the control of) WINS replication.
Upon completion of the project in Banco Río, the consultant assigned me to another MCS project, this time the development of an application for "Correo Argentino S.A". Here, in addition to working closely with the wonderful people at Microsoft Argentina, I experienced really fascinating technologies for the era, such as MSMQ and MSTS (cutting edge at the time). Microsoft even invited me to dictate a conference on their booth at the Local Comdex convention.
Halfway through the project "Correo Argentino", and thanks to my constant study, the consultant assigned me to one of its largest customers: "Perez Companc S.A." , as a Junior DBA for SQL 6.5, and technical assistant for developers.
In 1999, seeking better pay and the relative safety of a Full-Time job, I change companies and joined "Reader's Digest Argentina S.A.", where I worked as a functional analyst, redesigning the flow of information from the company, designing management systems, managing third party developers responsible for developing and implementing new systems for transfer of information with suppliers and banks.
In parallel, I certified as MCT and began teaching courses on Microsoft in different parts of the country and abroad.
The Argentinean crisis of 2001 taught me that Job safety was a utopia, and in July I had to start job hunting again. This search was extended until April 2002 when I was hired to work in USA.
In October 2002, after completing the legal paperwork necessary to immigrate legally to the U.S., I started working in New Jersey, for Interlink Transport Technologies , a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company USA .
This job allowed me to conquer some of my greatest achievements, including, among other things, building a nonexistent IT department into a technological benchmark for the global corporation; growing from a couple of server hosted at our parent company's IT, to and IT organization that provided them services and finally absorbed and replaced their own IT department.
After 9 years working in USA I decided to return to Argentina, in order to "settle down" and start a family. Great was my surprise when, upon my resignation, my boss offered me to continue working with the Organization as a sort of consultant in charge of researching new technologies and managing special projects.
In 2012, due to my MCT experience and involvement wit the community, Microsoft Learning selected me as MCT Regional Lead for Argentina, while I do not work for Microsoft I do have a close interaction with their LeX team and with the local MCT community.
Today, I distribute my my work time between teaching classes, consulting, and writing.
Mariano S. Cosentino