With the pandemic still top of mind, the new norm brings new adaptations for each line of business. We picked the brain of our trustee IT Systems Administrator, Nelson, to provide insight on how Chief Media has been dealing with COVID’s uncertainties. Our Q&A with Nelson walks us through what it’s like being in IT and how unforeseen circumstances drastically impact his role.
Q: Aside from being a big Baby Metal fan, tell us more about yourself! How did you come to be in the tech industry and how did you land at Chief Media?
A: When I was younger, I absolutely loved my family computer and it had sparked my interest in all things technology related. From there, my cousin had a huge impact on my love for computers by introducing me to new ways of getting information and connecting people far and wide. I really enjoyed troubleshooting computer problems and organically developed a knack for it, which is why I liked it so much.
Ironically, Nelson continued on with his passion and went to school for programming, which he came to find out was an entirely different field than what he thought it was or was interested in. He was hoping he would learn more of what he is doing now at Chief Media, and luckily for him, he has gotten the chance! Nelson heard of Chief Media through his friend and predecessor. Knowing Nelson’s passion for IT, he knew he would be the perfect fit.
Q: You have a unique role here at Chief Media, tell us more about it. Why is it important for the daily operations of our company?
A: For the most part, I manage all things technology related – software to hardware, cell phones to desk phones, servers, computers, and more. Like any company, my role is important because the operations of Chief Media rely heavily on technology. The company could not function without my position. I handle not only the users of our technology, but also everything on the backend that employees don’t see. And by that, I mean mainly the servers and the network.
Q: What, if any, are the pain points of your job? How do you turn it into a strength and become an expert in your role here?
A: In my first few weeks here at Chief Media, one of the servers had an issue after my predecessor had told me this specific server would never go down. Ironically, 2 weeks after he had left, that exact server went down! It took almost an entire weekend of being at the office to get the server back up and running. At the time there were no backups for this server, which was a huge problem because it was a crucial component that handles all the users accounts and computers in the office. This was one of my favorite Chief Media stories because it gave me such a huge learning experience while also allowing me to future proof the system so that this (hopefully!) doesn’t happen again.
Q: Having been here for quite some time and looking back at your day to day pre-covid compared to now, how have things changed during these uncertain times?
A: The beginning was extremely difficult. We were not really prepared for the entire office to go offline and work from home, as most companies I’m sure weren’t. A lot of requests came in at the beginning that involved getting people situated and connected. Having to get everyone up and running all at once was challenging but we prevailed. We have a handle on things and now the operations of our system are pretty much back to normal as if we were in the office working. One important adaptation that needed to be made due to the pandemic has been improving the overall reliability and stability of VPN for Mac users. It was necessary to perform this upgrade to allow working from home to be less painful and more efficient for our Chief Media Mac users, which is most of our office.
Q: Due to the current events and global pandemic, how do you foresee business operations will be permanently affected? What adaptations do you think will remain permanent?
A: I can potentially see that if we never return to the physical sense of the word office, I will have to move our technological systems from a physical office to a cloud-based office. That is an entirely different bridge I will need to assess if and when we decide that’s the way to move forward!
And that’s our favorite IT guy, Nelson! Aside from being our Chief Media hero anytime we have technology complications, he is also one of our company’s biggest runners! Last year, Chief Media took part in a company 5k that he participated in and he also completed a handful of half marathons last year. It’s safe to say he’s an outdoorsy kind of guy since he’s big into mountain biking in the summer when he’s not outside running or skipping rope (his newfound hobby), and big into snowboarding in the winter!