Steve Parker

Steve Parker
Hometown?
I was born in Vernon, CT. We moved to Bricktown, NJ for grade school, but I grew up for the most of my life right in Derry, NH.
What are your technology specialties?
My strongest technical specialty lies in having a strong troubleshooting mindset across a wide range of technical areas. I use the “If-Then” process (IF this works THEN move to this step. If not, proceed to this other step), logically progressing through an issue with a trial and error process, while keeping a mental log of everything and using any resources available, until narrowing down a root cause to an issue. Then, “Document! Document! Document!”.
What professional events do you participate in, or what skills or accomplishments have you attained, that sets you apart?
I have completed an associate degree as a Computer Support Specialist, and while this gave me a great theoretical foundation, I’ve found the real learning comes from hands-on experience in the field.
What was your first memory of using computers?
My very first memory of using a computer is in kindergarten, where they had an old Apple computer with a floppy drive. There was only a small selection of games at the time, but Oregon Trail will forever be imbedded into my memory. I had endless fun with this game even though it was impossible for me to beat! Since then I had some hands-on experience with computers, but what really started my deep interest is when my dad brought home an IBM with Windows 95 and a 56K modem with AOL online in the late 90’s! I would watch my dad experiment with the computer – and sometimes break it – so many times, which was a great learning experience. I would toy around with DIP switches, jumpers, overclocking and overheating, and eventually upgrading to a computer with a dedicated 3D Blaster video card and ZIP Drive! I didn’t know at the time, but this was just the beginning to a long journey in the field of IT.
When you’re not found in front of a computer you are…
Balancing out my love for IT with nature. When at all possible, I like to get outside and escape to experience new adventures outdoors. Whether it be hiking, kayaking, boating, snowboarding, camping, or just going to a nice State Park to enjoy the scenery and play my handpan for the afternoon.
What was the last great book you read?
Although these days I mostly just listen to audiobooks or online lectures, I did recently finish a book by Alan Watts called ‘The Way of Zen’. In the past years I have really been focused on learning about eastern philosophy. I enjoy reading anything that blows my mind and makes me think in a way I never considered before.
What is something unique about you?
I play an instrument that is uncommon in the US, called a handpan, or steel drum. It was originally created in 2001 in Switzerland by a company named PanArt. It has the same features as a steel drum that you would picture being on the sandy beaches of Jamaica, but looks more like a flying saucer, sits on your lap, and is played with your bare hands. Since the early 2000’s it has gained popularity and other creators have been making them all around the world. The handpan is unique instrument which has an angelic sound placed somewhere between a harp and a piano.
What would you do if you had an extra 5 hours every week?
If possible, I’d simply spend more time with friends and family, even if it’s just chatting around a campfire or having dinner. Life is so busy these days and through it all, I think we tend to lose focus on the simple things that matter most to us. I have friends and family spread all over the globe, and it would be great to get to spend more time with some of them who I don’t normally have the chance to see.
If you could go anywhere for an entire month, where would it be and what would you do (or why would you do it)?
If I had a free full month, I would travel to Switzerland. The breathtaking beauty is simply endless. I would take the time to explore the amazing hiking trails, small towns, and travel to the Swiss Alps to snowboard on the many amazing mountains I’ve only read about and dreamed of riding. I would also be intentional to delve in the culture as much as possible, taking advantage of every moment.
What are you most frequently heard listening to?
I’m all over the place with music. Some of my recent and all-time favorites are Modest Mouse, System of a Down, Radiohead, Interpol, The Magnetic Fields, HIM, CKY, Ramones, Tom Petty, and Gary Numan. If I’m not listening to music, it’s between Joe Rogan podcasts, Howard Stern, or various philosophical lectures.
Favorite sports teams?
Although I’ve lived in New England most of my life, my #1 football team is still the Dallas Cowboys from my dad growing up in Texas. I grew up when Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Jay Novacek, Daryl “The Moose” Johnston, and Michael Irvin were all at their peak! That being said, I still root for my home teams and love the Pats, Sox, and the Bruins!