Friday, June 27, 2014

Eric Braithwaite: Pillar of Networking

The face of a boss
Every good IT department needs somebody like Eric.  He comes to work and gets stuff done, and then after a few projects have been taken care of, he'll leave for the day. Eric is punctual, direct, polite, relatively quiet, and efficient. If you had to build a perfect IT person out of a lego set, it would look like a lego-ized version of Eric.

Recently I stopped by his office to interview him so that you can get to know him better. When I stepped in his office, I got the impression that a serious IT professional worked in there; I'm talking, multiple switches on his desk, diagrams of stuff I can barely comprehend on the full-wall whiteboard behind his chair, and some miscellaneous tech things that look interesting and expensive. Here's what he said:

Q: Would you mind telling me a little about yourself?
A: Sure, I was born and raised here in Winchester, I went to school here up until I finished high school, and then I went off to college in 2000 at Longwood University. I graduated college in 2004, and since then I started working here. I have an undergrad degree in business administration with a concentration in computer information management systems, and my masters degree is a MBA with a concentration in information systems and computer technology.

Q: How did you end up at SU?
A: When I graduated from college in the summer of 2004, I had a friend who worked here in the Help Desk. My buddy gave me a call and told me that there was a position open in the Help Desk at SU so I applied, and I've been working here ever since.

Q: How long have you been working with technology?
A: As I mentioned, I've been in IC for the last ten years, but before that I interned at the City of Winchester in 2003ish. All through college I was involved in technology.  Heck, I built my first personal computer at the age of 13.

Q: What type of hobbies do you have?
A: I try to be outside as much as possible; I fish, shoot and hike a lot.  I still play video games every now and then, and I play guitar and write music.

Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: Rock and country. I'm not much of a metal head. I like modern rock and some indie rock.

Q: What's your most memorable experience at SU thus far?
A: I'd have to say it was my first week of work, August of 2004.  Back then, each computer that was going to connect to our network had to go through a computer certification process, which means every computer had to be checked, inspected, and certified with each individual computer. At the time, Ken (Lambert) said that I had been, "thrown to the wolves."

Q: What does a typical work day in your life consist of?
A: There is no such thing as a typical work day. I try my best to hack away at a never ending list of projects, but we often get pulled away to work on emergencies or something more important that pops up. It's interesting because the summer might be the easiest time for students, but here in IC it is usually our busiest time because we are trying to accomplish all the projects for the next year.

Q: What are the primary systems that you deal with on a day-to-day basis?
A: The switches, routers, wireless access points, sometimes even the servers if the other guys get jammed up.

Q: If you disappeared into an extra dimensional pocket for an extended period of time, and nobody took over your job responsibilities, what would happen after six months?
A: The main thing people think of when they think of "The Network" is internet access, and when the internet is disrupted people can get a little excited. I don't know, but if the network was in trouble for six months it would be bad. Luckily, we have other people in the IC department that could step up and patch up the network so that it is at least functional.

Q: If you could give end users a quick pro tip to make their life easier regarding the technology that you support, what would it be?
A: If it swims like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. So don't click on it!  Meaning, if there is a suspicious link in an email, don't open it.

Needless to say, Eric is a huge asset to the IC department! He's got superb skills and tremendous talent with regards to his labor, and the department makes sure to utilize these things during work hours. But most important, and beyond all the work stuff, Eric is a good guy who helps as much as he can.

No comments:

Post a Comment