Name: Chris Tinker|
Title: IT Field Technician
Organization: Code 750, Information Technology and Communications Directorate
What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard? How do you help support Goddard’s mission?
My days are fun. I mainly work in Buildings 8, 22, 23, 12 and the Hubble buildings. Some people have even asked me to make house calls, which I cannot do. I install new computers and make old ones work. You name it; if it is computer-related then I pretty much am involved. I work on laptops, desktops, and Macs. (Driving the point home, it was at this moment that Tinker’s Conversations with Goddard interview was interrupted by a service request.)
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Chris Tinker on his Harley. Credit: NASA/GSFC/W. Hrybyk
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Chris at the peak of a Double Black Diamond at Snowbird in Utah. Double Black Diamonds are the most difficult and steepest terrain and the skier generally has to forfeit all resort liability to even be allowed to ride the lift up there. Credit: C. Tinker
|At least a few times a week, I have to help someone whose hard drive has failed. These people are understandably extremely upset. In prior positions, I have even seen people literally smash their laptops on the ground out of frustration. So I always tell people with failed hard drives that 90 percent of the time we can still recover their data, and that for the other 10 percent of the cases we have already automatically backed up their data. Ironically, computer technicians really have to be as good with people as they are with computers. |
Do you prefer Macs or PCs?
I like both for different reasons. When I walk into a user’s office, it does not matter to me if I see a Mac or a PC. I can work with both types of systems.
What is the one more important piece of advice you would offer to a new person?
Find people that you can ask for help who are readily available to you. In other words, find a mentor who can explain the nuance of life at Goddard. I was lucky enough to have met Jimmy Campbell a few weeks after starting work here. He has become my mentor and always answers my questions and offers me sound advice.
Is there something surprising about you, your hobbies, interests, activities outside of work that people do not generally know?
I’m calm here to keep my users calm, but I’m actually pretty exciting outside of work. I started snowboarding when I was 12. I have placed in local snowboarding
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Chris racing one of his demolition dirt track cars. Credit: C. Tinker