This week's Featured Employee is Charlie, who makes our lives easier at the office by ensuring all our IT systems are up and running at all times (and helping us when they aren’t). Also originally from the Garden State (like last week’s featured employee, Lisa), Charlie has internally coined the phrase “Reboot before Charlie” – a request made to Guidance employees to reboot their computers at the sight of any minor malfunction prior to opening a ticket for it. And almost 99% of the time, rebooting does the trick! We asked Charlie to answer a few questions for us, here's what he said:
What’s your title?
Senior Systems Administrator
How long have you been at Guidance?
Since July 2008 (2.5 years)
Tell us about your hometown.
I was born in Mt. Holly, New Jersey but grew in a town called Egg Harbor Township (EHT), just outside Atlantic City. The area around us was being heavily developed at the time (this was back in the early ‘80s, after casino gambling was legalized in Atlantic City) which led to a huge growth in population. It nearly doubled from the previous decade.
What city do you currently live in?
Culver City, CA. I’ve lived in L.A. for almost 15 years and one thing I’ll never get used to is the traffic.
How did you decide on this career?
This wasn’t my original choice of career, actually. I was a Finance major in college (University of Maryland), but I’ve always been into computers. From the Commodore 64 to the Apple IIe, I used to play with early-model computers and did a bit of programming back then. So, as part of the Finance/Business curriculum, I had to take a Management of Information Systems (MIS) course which reignited my interest in computers. After graduation, I moved to L.A. and worked at a computer parts distributor called ICN as their Sales/IT guy. The company’s Director of IT saw two things in me: that I was very knowledgeable in IT, and terribly bad with Sales. So he suggested I dropped the “Sales” part of my title to work with him in the IT department. That was 10 years ago and ever since then, I’ve been working in IT.
What was the oddest job you ever held?
I was once a lifeguard for a pool at a private complex. Kids using the pool were mainly on their early teens and somewhat mischievous, so one day I proposed a deal to them – if they outswim me, they could do whatever they want at or around the pool. But if I outswim them, they would have to leave. And so they did. It was quite a peaceful day after that.
What do you like most about working at Guidance?
The flexibility that Guidance offers us to do our jobs is simply amazing. I also like the location (I ride my bike almost every day) and the casual environment of the office.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on upgrading Guidance’s virtual environment from VMware 3.5 to 4.1 (the newest hypervisor, which is more efficient and powerful). It’s been already done in our colo facilities, now we’re doing the same in the office. I am also working on upgrading the infrastructure in the office – from the VPN, to the LAN, and the overall security of our systems, among other upgrades.
Here's a photo of Charlie at work!