Networking is like putting together a puzzle. Making the pieces fit seamlessly and cohesively is a critical part of making sure an organization can ensure its employees can meet the needs of their customers. At ZAG, our engineers play a large role in building networks and making sure they’re secure.
As Principal Systems Engineer, Juan Carlos Garcia, focuses on networking and security projects, day-to-day support, and troubleshooting. He’s been a member of the ZAG team for more than 13 years, after getting his start as more of an IT “generalist” working as primary and backup IT engineer to various ZAG SMB client accounts.
Here’s a little more about him:
How and when did you get your start in the technology industry?
I got my start 28 years ago at my first office job. I started by assisting the IT consultant with basic tasks and eventually became the junior IT guy. My first operating systems were MS-DOS and Novell using 10Base2 Coax.
Why did you decide to join ZAG?
After interviewing with CTO Jim Hunton and President Greg Gatzke, I knew ZAG could be my next home away from home. I was looking for a company where I could continue to grow professionally, could be a contributor to the company’s success, and work with great people that take pride in the work they do for the clients.
What are the responsibilities you have in your role at ZAG?
Currently, I’m focused on networking and security projects, day-to-day support, and troubleshooting. Before that, I was more of an “IT generalist,” as primary and backup IT engineer to various ZAG SMB client accounts.
How would you describe your job to a class of kindergartners?
I work on putting puzzles (the network) together and am responsible for maintaining, repairing, or replacing of all the pieces in the puzzle.
What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t in IT?
Illustration. Any job that would involve creativity and art.
What do you like most about your job?
The challenges that it brings every day. No day is the same, from working on a client project, troubleshooting critical network issues, or a training course on a partner’s hardware or software. IT is always evolving – the fundamentals may remain the same – but with new and faster hardware, updated software versions, security, and cloud services, etc. This allows those in the field of IT to keep learning and retraining to stay current. This a cycle that happens every 3 to 4 years or so.
What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
You are not expected to know it all. If you surround yourself with the right people, you will do fine.
What is one piece of professional advice that you’ve received that stuck with you through the years?
Integrity is important.
And for more of the personal questions…
What was your first job?
I worked at a lumber yard in San Francisco the summer between my junior and senior years of high school.
Do you have any hobbies or interests you’d like to share?
One of my hobbies is going to the movies with my two boys. We especially like action movies with CGI and PIXAR movies.
What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know?
I also draw (sketch) random things from time to time.
What is your dream travel destination?
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife and I have been married for 26 years. We have 2 boys who are 6 years apart. Our youngest started college this fall. We’ve lived in the East Bay for 25 years.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Always speak up, don’t let silence define you.