Meet Lane Smith, Technical Support Engineer

Lane Smith

Lane Smith

Lane Smith got his start in IT back when he was in elementary school in Arkansas. His father was a student at the time, and he had a job at a university IT department. He brought Lane with him sometimes, and the boy found the work didn’t look that difficult.

“At that point it was just kind of pushing ‘next,’ ‘next,’ ‘next,’” he said.

Lane discovered he could use even a little bit of technical expertise to his advantage. For school projects, he started building websites, and he found his teachers were impressed.

“In five minutes, I could have an A on a report,” he said.

These days, at 25, Lane has much more substantial expertise in technology. He needs to, because his job involves addressing all sorts of client issues, from minor hardware issues to server problems and email glitches.

“You have to be kind of proactive, staying up to date,” he said.

Lane has been with for a little over a year, and he said one of the things he likes about the job is that there aren’t any low-level employees who have to follow a script to respond to issues. “Everyone kind of knows what they’re doing,” he said.

That means when clients call in, their questions get answered quickly, and the work environment stays calm.

Aside from working with customers remotely, Lane does on-site work at various offices a few times a week. “It’s kind of nice to see how the buildings are set up,” he said. “Kind of put a face and a name together.”

Of course visiting outside offices isn’t always possible. With one client in Sweden, Lane uses a webcam setup to take a close look at their equipment so he can diagnose whatever issues they’re having.

Lane isn’t just a computer person. When he’s not in the office, he’s studying history at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He’s especially interested in the beginnings of the Cold War after World War II.

And beyond being a student and a full-time IT pro, he finds time to brew his own beer. One of his favorites is a strong winter ale. On occasion, he’ll even bring a few into the office for everyone to enjoy after finishing up the work week.

Meet Ditmar Tavares, Network Engineer

Ditmar Tavares

Ditmar Tavares

Ditmar Tavares is from Cape Verde by way of Canada, and he now lives just five minutes away from work in Framingham, Mass. While many of us think of Canada as a calmer version of the U.S., Ditmar lived in busy downtown Halifax, and he said he appreciates the more relaxed atmosphere in Framingham.

“Massachusetts is perfect for me,” he said.

He also likes the work he does at Although he was trained as a software engineer and got his first job in that area, he said he finds dealing with networks and servers more rewarding.

“I enjoy this work a lot more,” he said. “In this field there are a lot more interesting things to do. “

Ditmar said he’s a detail person, and he loves studying all aspects of IT.  “I spend a lot of time reading and researching, and sometimes spending my own money going for further education,” he said.

In fact, Ditmar said, it’s not unusual for him to work from 8:30 to 5 and then go back home and study from 6 to 2 a.m.

Aside from his technical training, Ditmar, who’s 30, said he’s working on his language skills. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and Creole. While his English is already excellent, he’s trying to perfect it so he can work more comfortably with customers. His goal is to eventually start his own company.

“I hope I can own a business pretty close to this one,” he said.

Touching Facebook

They say that there’s no such thing as bad press.  Well, those guys weren’t around to see Facebook’s stock flounder and the brokers pull their hair out.  Many investors feel that Facebook is aloof.  It’s value too intangible.  The only major asset that Facebook totes around is the data is has on its users.  Knowledge might be power, but it doesn’t always equal money.   So what does Facebook has that has value that we can touch?


To house the 590 million users’ data plus all the ads and such, Facebook is estimated to have 60 thousand servers.  That pales in comparison to the estimated one million servers that Google has.  Facebook has also built a facility in Prineville Oregon.  That massive structure is one the greenest severs in the state with PUE rating of 1.15.  Facebook has even revealed the technical aspects of their servers.  You can see the specs here.

The Future:

Facebook has seemed to bank on transparency and cloud computing.  Unlike Google which plays its self-made server cards close to the chest.  We’ll have to see if this commitment to cloud and green technology will help Facebook in the future.