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A Conversation with David Riobo: A Look Back at Humble Beginnings and the Project that Changed Him


Introducing David Riobo

IT stands for Information Technology. But it could just as easily stand for Intense Training. I sat down with our senior tech, David Riobo, to talk about his journey with IT project services at GoComputek. From his family’s in-house computer geek to a level 3 tech, David has come a long way. It’s taken a lot of training and some steep learning curves to get him where he is now. One project, in particular, shaped him as a tech and a person.

Q. When did you start working at GoComputek?

A. In October of 2014.

Q. What was your skill level when you first got hired?

A. I basically had an A+ cert, but had no experience working with business-level environments. My family and friends would ask me to look at their home computers. I built some video-gaming rigs. Back then, we didn’t have smart homes, so the home-based units I was working on weren’t as complicated as some of the setups people have in their homes now. I did some WiFi extenders, stuff like that.

Heating Up

Q. So, were you overwhelmed when you first started working on IT project services?

A. No, because Jio (GoComputek’s president) didn’t let me do things that I wasn’t ready for. He trained me, and his training style is very methodical when it comes to IT project services. He would show me how to do something and then let me do it by myself. That one thing would be all I was in charge of doing for a day. Once I got something down, I would go onto to more challenging things.

Windows XP and 7 were what we were working with back then. I knew my way around it, so I got it quick. When I ran into a problem, he’d let me figure it out. There was more time back then to learn and be taught.

Q. When did the pace pick up?

A. The pace picked up in 2016 with PNS. They had an email service through a company that was terrible. All they had was Exchange, with 5GBs of space. They had to buy a bunch of separate licenses. They were getting ripped off. We got them off that and migrated their emails.

Then they decided they wanted to build a data center, and that’s when things really took off. Initially, the project was supposed to be 13 servers. It went from 13 to 24. They weren’t our only client, either. So, we were building this data center, serving our other clients, and answering helpdesk tickets. I started pulling 12 to 13-hour days. We lived in the conference room at PNS. Jio started writing the whole project down on the white board in the conference and all over the glass.

Professional Growth

Q. How did the PNS IT project services affect you as a tech?

A. I learned so much–I encountered so much new technology, learned how to install a Forcepoint firewall, and mastered server virtualization and VLANs.

Q. Are you still in the cycle of training and learning?

A. I’m not learning quite the same way. There are a few things that I’m still learning from Jio. We’re learning at the same rate, sometimes. For example, with the Forcepoint firewall installation. We were learning the process at the same time. He still helps me when I get to the end of what I know.

It’s my turn to train people now. And I’m not good at training people. It’s been a challenge for me to figure out how to explain a process to Victor or Randy. I notice, though, that as I try to explain things, I get a new level of understanding of something that I might already know. The same thing happened with the Forcepoint firewall. As I was explaining some things to Jio, I got a deeper understanding of it.

Personal Growth

Q. Do you feel you’ve grown as a person?

A. The PNS project helped me to grow as a person, for sure. With most of our clients, we would work on a project and then leave. At PNS I had to learn office politics and how to deal with people on a day-to-day basis. In IT you work with everyone in the company. We have to talk to everyone—not through email. You talk to them face-to-face. After a while, you get to know them on a personal level. We’re not your typical introverted IT guys, either. The people at PNS chat with you and get to know you. If I’m waiting for something to load or for something to finish, I can have a conversation. I’ve made close ties at PNS.

Q. What are you forward to in terms of new challenges?

A. Tier 3 IT is my next challenge–full-blown implementation of IT systems by myself and all the architectural aspects of infrastructure and testing. With the wealth of knowledge I’ve acquired from this project, I feel like I can adapt to anything that’s coming. I feel like I’m more ready than ever to attack anything that comes through. There’s always new technology that we have to learn. I had to master Forcepoint. I will master new things.

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