20 years – a life in telecommunications
The 31st of May 2008 will see me complete 20 years in the field of telecommunications. Twenty years ago, on that date in 1988, I joined the Royal Air Force in the L Tech TC (Electronic Technician Telecommunications) trade, thus starting a long, and interesting, career enabling people to communicate with others.
I spent 12 years in the RAF before I joined Marconi, one of the most famous and recognisable names in the field. I started working with much more modern telecomms equipment, mostly SDH but also touching on some photonics and data. However, Marconi became a victim of over-ambition and when the telecommunications bubble burst the company hit some big financial problems.
Luckily for us Ericsson stepped in with an offer to save a large part of the company, thankfully for me the portion that I was working in. Optical Networks fitted into a gap in the Ericsson portfolio and we were spared redundancy like so many of our peers.
Unfortunately the dreaded “R” word has reared its ugly head once more. Ericsson are performing some “site consolidation” and my Beeston site is going to be shut later on this year. This was announced on the 12th of March this year to a stunned audience of Beeston engineers. All of our jobs are on the line. Much of our product portfolio is being moved abroad (to cheaper countries) and we’re going to enjoy the prospect of reapplying for a reduced number of vacancies in Coventry.
From the company’s perspective this is all very understandable. The industry is suffering at present and most of our competitors are also consolidating and shedding jobs. However, this doesn’t make it any nicer to take.
I’m going to be pushing hard to make it to the new site in Ansty. I like working for Ericsson but I also appreciate that there may be other opportunities out there closer to home. I don’t want to move from Beeston and I’ll commute down to Coventry if I have to, but I’m also going to keep an open mind about any potential local jobs.
To help me with this I’m going to be making several posts about my past career. I think this is going to be interesting for me to write, but will also focus my mind, and memory, on past expertise. I’ve worked on a wide range of technologies and I think that blogging about my past work will help me to recall much of this in the event of my attendance in an interview. It’s important to make a good impression and I’d want to be able to express myself positively and knowledgeably. I’ve done some great work over the years and I think I’d be a real asset to any employer – I want to make sure that I put that across well enough when the time comes.
So, expect some lengthy posting on various telecommunications topics ranging from the 1950s technologies of TACAN and Clansman radio to SDH, Gigabit Ethernet and various operating systems. It’s revision for me and may be of interest to others – at least, I hope so!