“I haven’t lost my love of getting my hands dirty fixing hardware”
This is the eighth in a series of interviews with the Certilytics employees behind our market-leading healthcare predictive analytics solutions.
When Jonathan isn’t pulling one of his own computers apart or fixing a broken toy for one of his sons, he heads up Certilytics’ infrastructure teams, ensuring the systems behind our industry-leading AI platform work seamlessly.
See how his love of infrastructure was born and more about Jonathan in our Q&A below:
Q: Hi Jonathan! When did you start at Certilytics?
A: One mid-fall afternoon, I was floating along the waters of Lake Pleasant. As I enjoyed the calm and cool day, I suddenly heard a large series of frantic splashing coming from the side of my small boat. I beheld a poor small fish, flailing about! “Oh no!” I exclaimed. “He’s drowning!” I declared as I lept into the water to save this poor soul from the cold watery abyss…. Oh…? You want me to answer these seriously? Oh… Easy enough!
I was recruited and joined the Certilytics team in October of 2018 as the Chief Infrastructure Officer.
Q: Can you describe what role your work plays at Certilytics?
A: As the head of the Infrastructure Teams, I manage the Service Desk, Network Engineering and the Systems Administration teams. We are responsible for everything with a power cable (real and virtual) – everything from laptops to large clusters of high-computer servers, application uptime and availability, provisioning accounts, and all the stuff in-between!
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at Certilytics?
A: It’s going to sound cliché, but honestly, it’s the people! Our leadership teams have done an absolutely incredible job of wrangling up some of the most skilled and amazing-to-work-with people I’ve ever come across in my entire career! Most of us take our work deadly serious, but not ourselves! We love to laugh one minute, then crack our knuckles and get to smacking those Command Lines when needed.
Q: How did you become interested in the infrastructure space?
A: This is one of my favorite stories to tell: My father was one of the Technical Writers for Hewlett Packard for over 20 years. My father would bring home “development” devices and write up the technical documentation for those machines. One day, he brought home a 286 machine. He hands me a flashlight and asks me to figure out what’s wrong with the device. After a quick review with the flashlight, I was able to spot a blown capacitor on the system board. He hands me a soldering iron and a fresh capacitor and says, “Great! Here you go! Let’s fix it!” That was how I was introduced into the world of Infrastructure! I haven’t lost my love of getting my hands dirty fixing hardware since then.
Q: What’s a piece of advice you’d give to someone just entering the field?
A: Learn how to find the right answers rather than try to memorize all the steps or solutions! With the amount of varying platforms, operating systems, applications to support and cloud platforms that we all need to manage, troubleshoot and maintain, it’s nearly impossible to memorize all this stuff! Learn HOW to find the answers to your issues!
I’ll add one more piece of advice that I try to give everyone that I work with directly: “You are going to make a mistake. You are going to take Production down. We are all human beings! Own the mistake, fix the mistake, and do what you can to learn from it and avoid it next time!”
Q: How have you seen the infrastructure field change over the years?
A: Okay, apologies ahead of time because this is when the gigantic tech-nerd in me gets to shine! Semiconductor/chip-manufacturing! Here’s the short version:
CPU’s (or Central Processing Units), the brain of every computer, is made by creating special sheets of silicon, treating it with special chemicals, then firing special lasers and lights through a template and lens, which then “projects” the CPU’s physical paths and valleys. This is done by a process (for the most part) called Deep UltraViolet Lithograhy (DUV or DUVL). For over twenty years now, scientists, physicists, engineers and chip manufacturers have been working on the next version: Extreme UltraViolet Lithography (EUV or EUVL). While these two work similarly, EUV is able to get down 15x smaller than DUV can! We’re talking 13.5nm (nanometers) of wavelengths! To put that simply, the smaller the wavelength, the more you can pack onto the chip itself. That means faster speeds, more data and all sitting on a smaller and smaller chip!
Q: What’s something people may not know about you?
A: I’m an enormous music nerd! I actively seek out new music constantly. I love a huge range of genres, weird musicians and bands, from all times. From Deftones to Depeche Mode, Fiona Apple to Flux Pavilion, George Thorogood to Gogol Bordello, Franz Liszt to Led Zepplin, and so much in between! I even create and share/swap playlists with some of my coworkers here at Certilytics!
Q: What’s a hobby you like to do outside of work?
A: Video Games! My two sons and I love the entire LEGO series games! We often try to carve out time every week to play as Marvel Superheroes or relive the Harry Potter franchise! When not playing with my sons, I’ll typically be playing a looter-shooter game like Destiny 2 or an MMO/ARPG like Lost Ark.
Tinkering with tech. I’m constantly tweaking and tuning computers’ hardware. Fixing broken toys for the kids. Repairing cables and swapping parts. And when I’m not doing any of those things, I’m probably taking one of my computers apart!
Q: What’s a saying or motto you live by?
A: “Fingers crossed, heels clicked, babies kissed, unicorns high-fived!” For me, it’s all about “double-check, validate, do it and hope it goes well.” It’s both practical and silly.
Q: What’s a favorite line for you from a movie?
A: “What is true in our minds is true, whether some people know it or not.” –from What Dreams May Come
“What is grief, if not love persevering?” –from WandaVision
“Adventure… excitement? A Jedi craves not these things.” –from Mallrats