Welcome Josh – Linux Systems Engineer

Photo of Josh

Dogsbody are happy to announce the addition of Josh to our award winning team.

Josh joins us as a Linux Systems Engineer. Joining us with a lot of Linux skills that just need honing and expanding.

A former British Army officer (Royal Logistic Corps) and professional photographer, he is also a member of local disaster response charity RE:ACT (formally Team Rubicon UK) and has been deployed delivering lifesaving aid to stricken communities affected by devastating hurricanes/cyclones…so Linux sysadmin should be a breeze!

Josh has now started to help with customer work and is having fun developing his Docker and Kubernetes knowledge.

We’re about to start recruiting again so join our recruitment mailing list if you want to be the first to know when we open up new positions.

Vintage hosting – running from your past

Update: Yes this is an April Fools post. We love to reminisce about the old days (don’t get our director started, he’ll bore you for hours) but unfortunately technology moves on and that’s a good thing. Gone are the days of people bragging about how long their server’s been online… if that’s the case then they probably haven’t been installing kernel updates 😉 Please do get in touch if we can help you update your infrastructure.

 

Do you have a website which doesn’t run on the latest hosting packages?

Struggling to find a host that offers those bygone technologies you loved?

Fear not! Our Vintage Hosting is suitable for you.

Featuring:

  • Average Pages per day – 2000 (Calculations based on appr. 16kb per page)
  • PHP 4.0
  • Raw logfiles Zipped via Email
  • Internet and FTP ready so you can *quickly* upload your latest camcorder shots
  • Landline support
  • Floppy disc something? uploads?
  • Offsite vinyl backups as standard
  • Offering Email to Fax Forwarding
  • Linux 2.6.0 or Linux Ubuntu 4.10
  • 50MB Disk Space
  • 512MB Bandwidth

Contact us today to find out more…

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Vintage hosting

Being an Apprentice at Dogsbody

Hello, I’m Ashley and I’ve just completed my apprenticeship here at Dogsbody Technology and I want to tell you why it was AWESOME!

When I came to Dogsbody I was finishing my first year at University studying Maths & Physics. I chose being an apprentice with Dogsbody rather than continuing with University and have now finished with a distinction, a full-time job and some amazing colleagues.

IT and Linux were completely new to me, but I quickly knew I had made the right decision. I’d be able to use my problem solving, organisational skills and passion for learning whilst working towards my Level 3 Infrastructure Technician qualification. I really grew to love, enjoy and appreciate technology.

Going this route wasn’t without risk but I chose it for the three main reasons, all of which have paid off…

  1. Long days with working and studying separately
  2. Student loan debt
  3. The ability to progress through a career faster and choose the qualifications.

 

Working and Study Time

Being an apprentice meant I was able to plan my time more effectively. Having evenings and weekends free, without work and study played a large role in looking for an apprenticeship. I didn’t wish to give up education and really enjoy learning but planning time for university studying, lessons, reports & exams was becoming increasingly impossible. Not forgetting time for work, children and a social life.

After joining my apprenticeship I found planning my time a lot easier. I was able to start and finish work at the same time each week. Exams were booked around or in work times and I was able to book more solid childcare.

Student Loan Debt

Instead of paying for education with work (and parenting) on the side, I would be paid to work and learn at the same time!

My income was a set amount each month. Comparing this to variable part-time work wages alongside my university studies, it was much easier to keep track of my finances. I felt much more financially secure with the apprenticeship, even when the monthly wage was sometimes lower than part-time work for the first year.

It is important to check the current minimum wages for Apprenticeships and the National Minimum Wage to check if an apprenticeship will work for you.  It’s safe to say that now I’ve finished my apprenticeship I no longer need to worry about this 😉

Progressing through more personalised qualifications quicker

Learning from home using the Open University suited me at the time of applying but it quickly became obvious that it is a difficult way to learn long term.

Most of the jobs I was applying for were asking for practical experiences over qualifications. This meant I had less physical experience to gain whilst at university.

As an apprentice, I was hands-on, working day-to-day and learning through active means to achieve the tasks set. I was able to get advice and lessons from tutors, management and fellow colleagues.

Post Apprenticeship

Since finishing my apprenticeship I’ve been able to use the  skills I’ve gained, to progress further and become a full-time Linux Systems Engineer.

I’m excited to continue my further education, system administration training and career with Dogsbody Technology.

For more information about Apprenticeships visit https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/

 

Fancy getting a qualification, pay and a very high probability of a permanent job at the end of your apprenticeship? Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when we open application for our next intake.

 

Feature image by ThisisEngineering RAEng licensed Unsplash.

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Congratulations Ashley – Infrastructure Technician

Congratulations to Ashley on completing her Linux Systems Apprenticeship, gaining a distinction and qualifying as a Infrastructure Technician level 3.

We are even more pleased that Ashley has chosen to continue her career with Dogsbody Technology as a permanent member of staff.

Ashley joined us 18 months ago with zero Linux skills, proving an apprenticeship really can teach you the skills required for the work place!

Ashley now plans to continue her learning exploring programming as well as deciding her next qualification steps.

Fancy getting a qualification, pay and a very high probability of a permanent job at the end of your apprenticeship? Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when we open application for our next intake.

 

Ashley

Infrastructure Technician

 

Merry Christmas

2020 Christmas hours

As 2020 draws to a close (a year we are all happy to see the back of), we are taking our usual Christmas break as, quite frankly, everyone deserve it more than ever this year.

Our Christmas 2020 hours are:

  • Thurs 24 Dec 2020 – Office closed after 13:00.
  • Fri 25 Dec 2020 – Public Holiday.
  • Mon 28 Dec 2020 – Public Holiday.
  • Tues 29 Dec 2020 – Office Closed.
  • Wed 30 Dec 2020 – Office Closed.
  • Thur 31 Dec 2020 – Office Closed.
  • Fri 01 Jan 2021 – Public Holiday.

Person on phone via headset

Support

During this time, response to emails maybe slower than usual and any issues will be dealt with on an emergency out of hours basis. We will only be supporting customers who are experiencing a situation where business cannot function without a resolution such as Website / Server down and inability to trade online.


Life saver ring

Emergency issue

Contact us as normal. All calls and support emails will be routed to our on call engineer who will prioritise work as required.


Women with headset and thumbs up

Maintenance customers

Customers on our maintenance plans will not notice any difference. Systems and infrastructure will continue to be patched, maintained and monitored.


Hosting issues

Our status page will advise of any known internal and hosting server issues. Please do check this page before raising any tickets as the chances are we are already aware.


Normal service will resume on Monday 04 January 2021.

We hope you have a safe and healthy Christmas and a Happy 2021

Giving back in 2020

Whilst, I am sure, a lot of us would like to return (give back) 2020 for a full refund, this is about us giving back to others in 2020, working to look after our local community and beyond. This year is no exception.

We are very happy to report that our local foodbank is not accepting donations at this time due to the generosity of other locals; we have therefore looked at other core requirements of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to see where we can make the most impact.

So, as usual, rather than buying corporate gifts, we are contributing that budget to supporting three wonderful charities that help with shelter, clothing and a warm bed…


Step By StepStep By Step Logo

Step by Step passionately believe in supporting local young people who are going through hard times.

Taking a unique step by step approach, providing accommodation, personal development opportunities, and specialist support services, helping young people to realise their aspirations and reach their full potential.

Find out more at: https://www.stepbystep.org.uk/


RE:ACTRE:ACT Logo

RE:ACT is a humanitarian charity that provides direct action in emergencies and crisis, serving the most vulnerable people in need by deploying highly trained RE:ACT Response Teams.

Most are military veterans, many come from blue light services; others are simply people with a burning desire to make a real difference.

In March 2020, with the world gripped by the Covid-19 health pandemic, they mobilised their resources and deployed their largest operation to date, this time on home soil.

Find out more at: https://www.re-act.org.uk/


The Hope HubHope Hub Logo

Working to prevent and end homelessness in Surrey Heath Borough and surrounding areas.

The Hope Hub supports the vulnerable, those affected by homelessness issues and poverty in there community.

During Covid 19 they helped source and negotiate temporary (and at best, permanent) accommodation for all homeless folk within Surrey Heath Borough.  In the period April -September 2020, there services were accessed 4,704 times.

Find out more at: https://thehopehub.org.uk/


There are many worthwhile charities and this year, more than ever, charities are struggling as fund-raisers were cancelled and people started to struggle themselves due to job lose or reduced hours. We hope you agree these are great charities to support at Christmas.

We wish all our customers, suppliers and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021.

 

Open sign

Open for Business during COVID-19

There has been a lot of noise regarding the current coronavirus outbreak and I’ve been trying hard not to add to the volume.  That said, we’ve had a number of customers come to us this week asking what we were doing and what has changed so I wanted to address that…

Dogsbody Technology are open for business as usual. I could write paragraphs on how our business continuity plans swung into action but for now just know that: Our contact details remain the same and our services continue as normal.

We are all safe (thanks to everyone that has asked) and all working remotely without any issues.

Existing Customers

As above, you should see no difference in the service you get from us.  We are continuing to patch, secure and maintain your infrastructure.

Some of our customers will find themselves in a tough spot financially as a result of COVID-19. If you are having trouble keeping up with payments, please do get in contact with us, and our team will see what we can do to help. I urge you not to abuse this offer, please allow it to be used by those who need it most, who are otherwise unable to pay.

New Customers

We feel people need a bit of space right now. As such, we have shut down all our outbound marketing to try and reduce the noise.

If you need help then do get in touch. We’ve had some wonderful messages from existing customers saying that we are allowing them to get on with running their business while we ensure their infrastructure stays up and secure.

Be kind; stay safe

During these it’s important to know that we are all in this together. I feel that Martin Lewis has summed this up best talking about forebearance:

We’re all in this together.

Apprentice Guide: How to Impress IT Employers

This week (3-7 February) is National Apprenticeship Week 2020.  Dogsbody Technology have been hiring IT apprentices since 2013 and have seen A LOT of apprentice CV’s in that time!

It still surprises us that applicants don’t sell themselves well, and is one of the biggest reasons we still give telephone interviews to a vast majority of the CV’s we get sent.

Let us help you a little with our guide on how to impress an IT employer like ourselves…

Apprentices

Be more than just grades

Some people are academic and some people aren’t… apprenticeships are designed for people who can’t or don’t want to go to university (and let’s not even mention the minimum 27K debt for university graduates). At Dogsbody we are not just interested in a list of good grades; we want to see and hear about the things you are passionate about, what you have taught yourself, what you have done outside of education! It’s key to find things that keep you interested and just “play” with as much tech as you can 🙂

I set this company up to play with big servers and big infrastructure so why not get paid to do it … the best staff are the ones that just want to play with technology too. We come to work to play.
– Dan Benton, Director of Dogsbody Technology

Raspberry Pi & Arduino

There is so much affordable tech out there right now. Raspberry Pi and Arduino are at the forefront where you can get a fully working system for £15-45. With them you can learn everything from Linux internals, Python programming or Game design.

At Dogsbody HQ we are big fans of Raspberry Pi (we have 4-5 around the office doing a variety of jobs). It’s an awesome tool for people to learn as it’s cheap, powerful and, of course, open source.  There is a great index of projects that should be a great source of inspiration.

Arduino allows you to learn I/O based programming with ease. We designed a pizza order printer for one of our first customers using Arduino that is still in use to this day.  More examples can be found on their projects page.

Magazine, Blogs and news

Access to information has never been easier (back in my day we had a copy of Microsoft Encarta and were grateful 😉 ). Youtube, podcasts and free online courses mean you can learn anything you want for free off your own back.

We specifically recommend Raspberry Pi blog and their magazines, MagPi, Wireframe and HackSpace magazines which you can buy in the shops but are also totally free to download!

You’ll be amazed at what you can learn for free in your spare time.

Hacker Space / Maker Groups

A hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, hackspace, or makerspace) is a community-operated, often “not for profit” , workspace where people with common interests, such as computers, machining, technology, science, digital art, or electronic art, can meet, socialize and collaborate.

Check out your local maker spaces and any local after school or college clubs (they don’t usually have to be your school or college). A quick google should show you what is in your area but we particularly recommend checking out Code Club and CoderDojo. A great way to try new things, make friends with like minded people and find out what really interests you with little investment.

Of course if you want to go full geek – we highly recommend Glastonbury for Geeks – EMF Camp.

Fancy a career in Linux IT? Take a look at our our jobs page for our current openings.

Also check out our open letter to future apprentices to see more way to impress us or other employers.

Christmas Charity Giving 2019

Once again this Christmas, rather than buying corporate gifts, we are contributing that budget to two local charities.

This year we are once again donating to our local food bank and also adding a local homeless charity. Sadly, demand for both of their services are rising year on year.

Trussell Trust – Farnborough Foodbank

Update – We donated 69kg of food to our local Trussell Trust Farnborough Foodbank. Helping towards the Christmas Hampers and School Lunches they were packing.

For the third year running, Dogsbody Technology took part in the Reverse Advent Calendar #FoodbankAdvent. Donating essential items to our local Farnborough Trussell Trust Foodbank ,where demand still increases.

 

This year, to help end the need for food banks, the Trussell Trust commissioned a 3 year research project State of Hunger, the most authoritative piece of independent research into hunger in the UK to date.

We are proud to support this great local charity again although the increase for the service is sad to see year on year.

The Society of St James

Previous years we have donated to local charities. This year we decided to include The Society of St James an organisation that has been running for 45 years.

A homeslessness charity providing supported living services, drugs and alcohol recovery, specialist support accommodation and sports therapy.

Helping vulnerable people and the local community through social enterprises, such as cafe’s and a computer recycling and refurbishment service. These also provide valuable volunteering opportunities and work placements.

 

I hope you agree these are great charities to support at Christmas. Its never too late to make a donation yourself 🙂

We wish all our customers, suppliers and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020.

 

Silver Shutdown Button

2019 Christmas Shutdown

Its that time of year again, when too many mince pies are eaten and elves have an unnatural affiliation with shelves. We are taking some well earned time off by closing our office for the festive period…

Our Christmas Shutdown hours are:

  • Fri 20 Dec 2019 – Office closed after 15:00.
  • Tue 24 Dec 2019 – Office closed after 13:00.
  • Wed 25 Dec 2019 – Public Holiday.
  • Thurs 26 Dec 2019 – Public Holiday.
  • Fri 27 Dec 2019 – Office Closed.
  • Mon 30 Dec 2019 – Office Closed.
  • Tue 31 Dec 2019 – Office Closed.
  • Wed 01 Jan 2020 – Public Holiday.

Support

During this time, response to emails maybe slower than usual and any issues will be dealt with on an emergency out of hours basis.

We will only be supporting customers who are experiencing a situation where business cannot function without a resolution such as:

  • Website / Server down.
  • Inability to trade online.

Emergency issue

Contact us as normal. All calls and support emails will be routed to our on call engineer.

Maintenance customers

Maintenance will be ‘business as usual’ for customers on our maintenance plans.

Hosting issues

Dogsbody’s status page will advise of any known internal and hosting server issues.

 

Normal service will resume on Thursday 02 January 2020.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Stowmtropper in a christmas tree

Image by Duy Hoang on Unsplash