Network Administration: Working From the Ground Up

At the age of 10, Matt Hiltner took on his first IT job as one of the “computer boys” in Mrs. Turek’s sixth-grade class. Little did he know that this foray into technology would ultimately shape his future. It just took a while to get there.

Hiltner went on to study photography and accounting in college, but he failed to find his passion in either discipline. It wasn’t until he was working as plant manager at Step Industries, a cardboard company, that Hiltner unwittingly fell back into IT. His boss asked him to grow the company’s technology platform, which then consisted of a laptop and an inkjet printer, into a full-fledged, five-person workstation with a server.

During his 15-year tenure at Step Industries, Hiltner used his spare time to develop a personal Web site called “Miscellaneous Debris,” on which he and his friends posted jokes and pictures to pass the time. But once he realized the large amount of traffic the site was getting, Hiltner decided it was cheaper to begin hosting it himself.

“I picked up a couple of workstations, turned them into servers and did my own hosting,” he said. “That was me getting involved in networking technologies. One thing led to another, and I started hosting for multiple people. And that’s that.”

With no formal computer training, Hiltner made the transition from hosting Web sites to servicing networks. As a result, OliveJar PC and Network Services was born.

“I didn’t contact anybody to set things…


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