Stephen Wagner is a Tech Blogger, IT Consultant and IT Service Provider, VMware vExpert (vExpert Pro, vExpert EUC, and vExpert Security Specialization awards), NVIDIA NGCA Advisor, and Entrepreneur. At 36 years old, he lives in Calgary, Alberta, and frequently spends time visiting Vancouver British Columbia, and also travelling and attending conferences. He is also the President of Digitally Accurate, an IT Services Provider in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver and has been in business for over 16 years.
Stephen has over 22 years of experience in the IT industry and has assisted numerous organizations businesses develop and execute their IT strategy since starting Digitally Accurate Inc. in July of 2006. Since 2016, Stephen has had a focus on providing specialized remote IT Consulting services for a number of platforms including VMware Horizon for VDI, VMware vSphere for Virtualization, HPE, and Microsoft.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta (3rd generation), I’ve had the pleasure of also living in North Vancouver and Maple Ridge in British Columbia, before moving back home to Calgary.
I started out very young with technology. My father owned numerous Computer/I.T. companies over the years doing everything from business systems, to Point of Sale solutions. Growing up I had access to business hardware, software, and pretty much all the fun stuff that comes with it.
First memories I have go back to the days of Windows for Workgroup 3.11, NT 3.51, and Unixware around the age of 7. It was around this time that I really started my passion with computers and technology. I still remember how amazed I was when the NT 4.0 beta was released. I was fully building computers at this age (and my father was getting me to help with building systems and rolling them out to clients).
My main obsession was with networking. I found the premise of connecting computers to a large network and sharing information very fascinating, whether it was talking and chatting, sharing files and data, or playing multiplayer games. Around the age of 10 I was already wrapping IPX/SPX inside of TCP to play LAN games over the internet against other players, and had developed a thorough understanding of network technologies.
Shortly after this, my fascination with Linux started. I picked up my first copy of RedHat Linux 5.1 when I was 11 years old from a book purchased at a bookstore. And so began my dive in to the Linux world (I can’t tell you how many nights were spent doing live FTP installs over dial-up connections to get the latest versions of Linux).
Over the years I learnt about domains, active directory, clustering, and got more interested in business applications, infrastructure, and internet services.
Age 13 through 17 were spent learning about internet services, wireless services (and wireless hacking), bettering my knowledge of Linux, and more business infrastructure services. At 16 I could fully configure a Windows 2000 Advanced Server with all of the add-ons/roles enabled and configured (AD, Exchange, FTP, Telnet, Remote Installation services, DHCP, DNS, Clustering, etc…).
Around 17 years old I really started to dive in to Single Board Computing (using alternative architectures such as ARM and MIPS), and wireless technologies. I started off with a Soekris Net4801 board, doing remote PXE installations of RedHat Linux using PXE and NFS. I also picked up specialize wireless cards and specialized wireless antennas (learning about promiscuous mode on wireless cards, long range wireless links, and customization of wireless technologies to permit long range links). Over the years I also made it a hobby of installing/hacking Linux on everything I could (proprietary firewalls, Xbox, Wireless Access Points, etc…). I can’t verify this, but I think I was one of the first people to get the Redhat 9 distribution running on the First Generation Xbox.
Upon graduating high school in 2004, I initially was pre-accepted in to Electrical Engineering, however decided against immediately going to university so that I could get a job and save up beforehand.
My first big jump in to business was in 2004 as I was brought onboard with a major homebuilder as an I.T. Specialist.
During my time there, within 2 years I was promoted numerous times first to I.T. Coordinator, and finally to I.T. Manager. I managed over 80 workstations deployed across two offices (in Calgary and Edmonton), and over 20 sales centers split between the two cities. The technologies I implemented, managed, and supported included Windows Server 2003, Citrix, Terminal Services, SQL Server, and a number of Line of Business applications specific to the industry.
During this time, I fell in love with business and business I.T. infrastructure. After 2 years I resigned from my position to start my own IT Services business (at the age of 19).
Since then, I have provided I.T. Infrastructure services, solutions, and managed services for the SMB and enterprise markets, specializing in Virtualization, Line of Business applications, ERP/CRM solutions, Storage, Security, and I.T. Management.
My client base has expanded globally to include 6 countries, and I have helped over 100 companies develop, deploy, and maintain their IT strategies in the 14 years I’ve been in business.
I keep busy with work and typically start my day with the gym every morning at 3:30AM before getting to e-mails and calls with clients in eastern time zones.
For fun I also hike regularly, cycle, run, and love to travel! I also write and maintain this blog, and have been for over 10 years. This blog now averages around 140,000 unique visitors per month and I’ve met and keep in touch with tons of interesting people who frequent as readers.
The coolest thing ever is having strangers come up to me and tell me they’ve seen and read my blog on a regular basis! This happens on the street, when travelling, and also during business interactions. I appreciate all your support!