Matthew’s Blog – On the Road Again – A Trip to Orkney

It was a bit of an unusual start to this week, it definitely felt like it at least as I was getting up at 5am! The reason for this was a trip to Orkney to attend a business meeting with David. I’d never been to Orkney before and hadn’t been on a ferry in years so the 5am start didn’t really bother me all too much, I was looking forward to it.

Due to the amount of travelling on this day it was a good chance to talk about my job performance and generally all things Apprentice Store. Although my weaknesses were pointed out I’m glad they were as I know what I need to improve on and although there was a lot of deadtime in this day, I think the discussions we had were important for my development. It’s good to take an occasional break from the typical office environment, I found that it’s benefited me more than I thought.

Matthew’s Blog – Improvise!

The bulk of the work for my second Office 365 migration had now been completed with just a few finishing touches needing to be made. My focus shifted over to preparing for a workshop at the UHI for a group of RAF cadets.

David showed Vicky and I a website which had cyber security challenges and quizzes. The plan was to base the workshop around this. I found these really tricky, even some of the easy ones! I had a lot of questions but once these were answered and I’d tried the challenges a couple times I felt I was ready for the workshop.

Matthew’s Blog – Snail Mail to the Rescue!

The migration took place this week, our client could still access both old email and new email after we changed the mail flow so there was minimal disruption but I still felt the pressure to get things working properly. I had done all the necessary preparations but you never know what sort of problems could arise.

And a problem did arise, I was uploading email data to 365 from their server but found out that their connection couldn’t handle it. After a quick google search I found I could limit the bandwidth the upload command was using, this worked but it worked slowly. It was going to take 3 days at this rate, we’d be quicker posting the data!

Matthew’s Blog – Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
This week I was starting the work for my second Office 365 migration, this is for a far smaller company and we’re doing the service free of charge. This provides a great opportunity for me to take a bit more of a lead with my experience from the last migration.

I’ve learnt that IT requires a lot of planning so that was the first step, come up with a project plan. I used the one David had written for the last migration as a starting point and got to work. Now I had a rough idea of what I was doing I started to take action, using PowerShell to gather information about all the resources on our client’s server.

Matthew’s Blog – Phishing and Footprinting

I mentioned that we went to meet a client in Elgin last week, they were interested in getting Vicky to do a free penetration test on their network. I assumed that the work she would do for this would just go over my head but I was glad to find something I was familiar with. Phishing emails. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s basically a scam email claiming that you’ve won money in a competition or some other kind of scenario but in reality, they have some kind of malicious intent. What we were going to do was a bit different than the generic “You’ve won £5000!”, we were going to do a targeted phishing email with our client from Elgin as the target.

QA Apprenticeship

Matthew’s Blog – Manuals, Cyber Essentials and Ethical Hacking!

Office 365, Cyber Essentials, Modern Apprenticeship work and even some ethical hacking.  It’s been a busy week. I’ll start with Office 365.

As expected some small problems did arise after the migration, for example, some emails were getting let through our client’s spam filter. The Apprentice Store currently aims to not only support but to educate people so our solution to this was to create user guides so that’s what I did. I also made a user guide covering how to use the Excel spreadsheets I mentioned in the last blog post. I do think they help me a lot, you have to know a subject well to teach it. Later on, I did a bit of Windows PowerShell, I seem to be using it more and more so I plan to invest some time learning it in the future.

Inverness Kart Raceway

Matthew’s Blog – The Week of our First Migration

This week the Office 365 cutover migration I mentioned in an earlier blog post was taking place so that’s what most of my work was oriented around. So, for the first part of this week I was using a lot of Excel.

It quickly became clear to me, even though I had respect for Excel, that there is so much more to it. David taught me how to use PivotTables and lookups so that the data our client received could be interpreted within minutes rather than hours. We also wrote some Visual Basic code that scanned down a spreadsheet filled with Names, Usernames and passwords and sent an email to them.  I had always considered Excel a pretty boring piece of software used for finances and graphs but sending almost 100 emails in a matter of seconds? That’s actually pretty cool.

Matthew’s Blog – Working From Home

This week I was working from home, Airan had a week off and David was on a Business trip. The first task I decided to tackle was a presentation comparing a Business Essentials and a Business plan for Office 365. I thought that business essentials only costing £3.80 user/month would mean it wouldn’t have much to offer, I was wrong. I worked on this for the majority of the day but not to completion. The next day I continued to work on it but being overwhelmed with the huge amount on offer within this plan I decided to divert from this and take a trip to the office as I needed to take some photos to complete apprenticeship work on health and safety. I came back, worked on the presentation but, yet again, not to completion.

Microsoft Office 365

Matthew’s Blog – Office 365 Migration

This week we were focusing on data normalisation and preparing for an Office 365 migration, which is essentially taking their existing email system and putting it into the cloud. Oh yeah, Airan has got a PC to work on too however certain parts of the taskbar are frozen so we also had the task of troubleshooting this.

So, the data normalisation, we were working on the Apprentice Store database. I was still struggling with the whole concept of normalisation so a lot of time was spent simply just practising this. I did try to implement what I had learned into Access and I was semi-successful.

Matthew’s Blog – A Busy Week

Day 1 – Work Experience Guy

We’ve got a new addition to the Apprentice Store, Airan Mackenzie! He’s going to be with us for 8 weeks and he’s writing a blog of his own. So, the first part of today was mainly spent trying to figure out what to do with these two routers David had found us. After a bit of trial and error we finally connected to them only to be prompted with “WARNING: SOMETHING SOMETHING BT EQUIPMENT!!!” so the investigation of the routers stopped there. In the afternoon we headed to the UHI to watch some 3rd year degree computing students presentation. Why? Because one of the group’s projects was to design a web application for us. It was an interesting experience and I was highly impressed with the work displayed.