NOC Technician – Tier II
NOC Technician – Tier II
Team Member Spotlight
Q | Tell us a little about yourself.
A | I was born in Russia and grew up in a small town about 480 miles east of Moscow. We didn’t have a computer until I was older, but we always had a lot of puzzles and books, especially language books. My parents wanted me to learn foreign languages so I would have more possibilities in the future. I started learning English when I was about three. And a couple of years later French, and then German. As a kid, you don’t always want to study when everyone else is doing whatever they want, but in retrospect, I’m glad I did. My parents helped open many doors for me.
When I was 19, I moved to Austria to study at the University of Vienna and occasionally traveled. I mostly took courses in psychology, philosophy, and Asian studies and worked as a tutor. I liked Vienna and my time there was great, but I always had a feeling I wouldn’t stay there forever. In 2019, I met my husband, Brian, who was living in Phoenix, AZ. I moved to the US just before the 2020 lockdown.
I started working in tech in 2021. My first job was overnight NOC support for an ISP. I’m not sure what got me interested in this field, but I remember always thinking that people who can resolve their own technical issues were really cool. The problem was I thought you needed to be really good at math for that to happen, so I didn’t even try.
One day, I found a YouTube video explaining the TCP/IP model. I dug deeper and found that many people don’t need a CS degree or Rain Man math skills to build amazing careers in tech! It sounded like getting certifications, adapting to a fast-changing industry, and following through on the skills needed was the key to success. I decided to give it a go and studied for CCENT/CCNA. That cert helped me get my foot through the door and land my first job. About a year later, I transitioned to CCR. I’ve been here for a little over a year now, and I’m currently working on completing my second cert, the LPIC-1.
A | Warren Buffet once said that one of the best things you can do is surround yourself with people that are better than you. He believes when you surround yourself with competent and positive people, you’ll end up drifting in that direction over time. I agree and feel like our team definitely has a lot of people much better than I am, people that inspire you to progress and improve your skills. I value the fact that many people on our team are ready to share their knowledge and even appreciate an opportunity to teach, that doesn’t always happen in tech. I’ve never encountered a situation where I’m left alone with a difficult issue, if anything, someone would reach out to me and ask if I need help. We all push each other to improve, and that drive can be contagious.
Q | What are you interested in outside of work?
A | I’m interested in people and their stories. We live at a very unusual time where it’s never been easier to communicate with people from all over the globe. But at the same time, many report feeling lonelier and more depressed than ever. I volunteer at a suicide crisis line, CommUnity based out of Iowa City, and some stories that folks share over there could be worthy of a novel. Volunteering helped me realize experiences that feel unique and painful to us are universal and shared by all. I realized that simply listening and trying to truly understand someone’s experiences is usually way more effective than offering solutions, advice, and “troubleshooting” the problem.
I’m also into movement and like to exercise as much as possible. Most jobs these days are pretty sedentary, and tech is no exception. Sitting in a chair for long hours is probably the hardest part of the job for me. I’ve been bodyweight training for over five years and lately got more interested in acrobatics/parkour. Right now, I’m working on improving my handstand and back lever.
Other than that, I love spending time with Brian on the weekend and watching Formula One together. If there’s a race, we usually make a day of it. Racing might seem boring at first. It looks like they just go in circles around the track. If you start to get into the stories of the people involved, the team strategy and how it can make or break a race, and the engineering behind the car, then it all starts to get really exciting!