Welcome to our Meet the 50 Team series, where we give you the lowdown on how the people at 50onRed get stuff done. This time we’re sitting down with our Senior IT Administrator, Mike Deonarain!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role here.
I’ve been at 50onRed for seven months now as the Senior IT Administrator. My responsibilities (to name a few) include managing the infrastructure, technology procurement and implementation, and providing day-to-day tech support. Mostly, I’m the guy that tells people to turn things off and back on again.
What led you to work at 50onRed?
I have always been enamored with the idea of being involved in a startup company, where I could be part of a small pool of instrumental people setting up a strong foundation to grow upon. While 50onRed has already established itself, it still gives me a huge opportunity to grow and ensure that the best resources are being made available to some of the brightest minds in the business.
What do you think makes working for a startup company in Philly unique?
One of the most attractive qualities of a startup company is culture. Philly has a diverse culture that is constantly growing and evolving, much like many of the startups in Philly. You can see Philly culture all over our office, from the Yards craft beer in the refrigerator to the view of the Art Museum in the conference room.
What initially got you interested in computers and IT?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always been passionate about knowing how things work. I would take apart all of my electronics and toys and put them back together just to get a glimpse of their workings. That passion quickly transitioned into computing and, before I knew it, I was well versed in technology (and even better at fixing it!). That led me to become an Apple Technician, where I gained many of the skills I utilize today.
What tools are essential to your day-to-day?
Chrome. Almost every service we use is cloud based, so having a robust browser to run it all in is key! Aside from that, I’d have to say Slack, Google Apps, iTerm, Zendesk, Spiceworks, Outlook for iOS, and Wunderlist.
What advice would you give those looking to break into the tech industry?
Dive in headfirst. The tech industry is constantly changing. It can be intimidating, but the only way to learn is to get in and get your hands dirty. More importantly, never pass on an opportunity just because you may not be familiar with it. You’ll learn as you go and gain valuable skills along the way.
What’s your favorite perk at 50onRed? Why?
That’s a tough question because there are so many. If I had to pick one, I’d say the billiards table. Having one in the office is a great way to bond with your coworkers.
In addition to your career here, you’re also a volunteer firefighter. How did you get involved with that, and what’s it been like for you?
I joined when I was 16 because I wanted to get more involved in my community, but it quickly grew into much more that that. You learn very quickly the importance of maintaining your composure in difficult or stressful situations. A rushed decision could cost you your life, or the lives of those around you. I have plenty of stories to tell, but I’ll save those for another time. Fun fact: I was the youngest president in the history of the Riverside Fire Company No. 1 (age 21).
Working on cars is something you’re pretty passionate about. What got you interested in mechanics?
Growing up, my father showed me the importance of being able to maintain your vehicle yourself, rather than taking it to a shop. I took much of that experience, as well as knowledge from books, research, and internet forums, to work on my own car. Shortly thereafter, I began working on friends’ cars, and then their friends’ cars, and so on. I wouldn’t consider myself a professional mechanic by any means, but I can do everything from a simple oil change to a transmission removal.
It’s Seamless Thursday, where you get to order anything you want for lunch on the company’s dime. What do you choose?
Tiffin, of course! Their butter chicken is second to none!
Want to learn more about 50onRed and see what opportunities we have available? Head over to our Careers page.