I provide all kinds of systems engineering, development/coding, security, administration, etc. for a large research institute (Frank Porter Graham) that studies early childhood development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I’m responsible for our Citrix Xenserver cluster, our four MySQL servers, our NetApp Filer, developing and maintaining our server gold images, designing/coding/maintaining our Nearline Archive System, administering our Linux and Windows servers, and designing/coding our internal applications (mostly a bunch of internal-only web apps). Basically, if I’m doing work that I think a computer could be doing for me, I write the program and move on to something else. My goal is to eventually be George Jetson: I’ll just have to push one big button every so often to do everything in my job description.
I’ve been working in IT since around 1994 when I left my research position as a contractor with the US EPA. Automating the lab was more fun than the actual research, so I jumped into IT. (It doesn’t hurt that IT pays significantly better than research, either).