The following “Get to Know Your NOC” is the fourth in a series highlighting our employees, their contributions and their interests outside of work. Our support team is here to take your calls 24x7x365. As such, we hope to get to know you on a first name basis.
So, say hello to Marcos who works as a Junior Systems Engineer.
Hi Marcos, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Can you tell us about your personal and professional background?
Marcos: I was born in Puerto Rico and lived most of my life in a small fishing town called La Parguera before moving to Florida in my teenage years. My father used to repair workstations and ATMs for banks all over the Caribbean and Central America, so from a very young age I was introduced to computers and was fairly familiar with their insides by my teens. I studied Computer Science at the University of Central Florida and interned for a couple years at a LAMP web hosting company before coming to Highwinds. I’m an LPIC-1 and Novell Certified Linux Administrator and I’m currently working on obtaining the LPIC-2 along with the RHCSA/RHCE.
When did you start working at Highwinds and what attracted you to the company?
Marcos: I started working at Highwinds in April 2013. I was looking for a company with modern, enterprise-level products where I could have great growth potential along with a variety of work to keep me engaged. A few of my colleagues already worked here and raved about the company, its benefits and their day-to-day work so I went ahead and gave it a shot. It’s been a year and change and I can say Highwinds has delivered on everything I was looking for and then some.
Please share a specific challenge that you have handled in your role at Highwinds.
Marcos: I’ve dealt with a number of clients who have requested a certain feature or behavior from the CDN that I have not personally seen previously. It’s with these sort of situations where we as a NOC go into a collective brainstorm and discuss the request, asking ourselves numerous questions like: Have any of you seen anything similar? Do we have an obscure configuration setting we haven’t seen/used previously that helps achieve this? Is there a mix of settings that we can turn on to get this setup like the client wants it? Has a feature request been submitted to development in the past about this? We all go through these steps as a team and, if the answer to all of these is “no”, it’s always good to know that our dev team’s office is only a small walk away.
As you know, we pride ourselves on having our support team standing by for our customers 24x7x365. Can you give us an example of when a customer might have been pleasantly surprised that they were able to reach someone during what most would consider off-hours, given that your hours are primarily third shift?
Marcos: A couple months after moving to overnight I recall receiving a call on a Saturday night from a client that we had just turned up earlier in the week. He wanted some configuration options applied to his circuit along with a couple changes to his BGP session and he didn’t expect us to have anyone awake manning the phones (much less a network engineer to make the changes), so after he told me the changes he wanted he told me they could wait until Monday since it wasn’t an emergency. I offered to perform the change then and there for him, since I had configuration write access to the routers, thus eliminating the need to escalate the request to an engineering group. He was completely blown away with this; he certainly didn’t expect to be able to call in overnight, during the weekend, and have his changes made right then and there over the phone.
Tell us about some hobbies that you enjoy. Also, how about letting us in on something that nobody (or most nobody) knows about you?
Marcos: I love anything and everything related to the water: fishing, boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, etc. When any long weekend comes up, you can bet that I’ll be somewhere in the east or west coast of Florida! I also love checking out new bars and local food joints and with Orlando being a big tourist destination the selection’s pretty good.
What are some trends you’re seeing with the companies you work with? Can you share some insights?
Marcos: I’m seeing more and more games utilize the streaming method for patching where only about a 1/4 of the patch is needed before you’re allowed to start seeing the new content. It allows developers to issue a large patch without having end-users waiting for the whole download before trying out new content. Having a stable distribution platform is important for this since the game ends up downloading assets as you go through the updated areas/content.
What do you like best about working at Highwinds?
Marcos: One of the things I love the most about working at Highwinds is that I get the chance to interact with well-known companies on a daily basis. Just recently, I was charged with monitoring multiple live video streams for a very large eSports tournament with a prize pool of over $10 million dollars. I’m a huge fan of the game, and when word got out that we would be in charge of providing streaming service for the tourney, I immediately sent my manager a message calling dibs on it. I prepped for the tournament by developing new monitoring tools to assist me with keeping an eye on every single stream, bitrate and chunk. Using these tools we were able to see download speeds on a real-time basis, allowing us to pinpoint possible issues the second end-users are affected.
In addition, the overwhelming potential for growth within the company is certainly one of my favorite things. As a company that develops, implements, and maintains its own proprietary software and platform, the number and variety of available positions within it are simply astounding.
Thank you to Marcos for taking the time to give us a closer look at both his personal and professional life. Highwinds customers can count on Marcos and the rest of our talented support staff to troubleshoot issues and provide helpful tips to improve your content workflow. We never outsource support, and a highly-trained, professional support rep with full account access will answer your initial call every time.
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To reach the support team, click here. Interested in working at Highwinds? Check out our current list of open jobs. We update it often so please check back regularly. We’d love to have you join our team!