Meet Jon Benjamin!

Hello, my name is Jon. I have lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, my entire life, and I became interested in technology at a young age. I must have been in grade school when I remember my uncle setting up a video game console on my grandmother’s TV. It blew me away. It was pretty basic with different variations on the pong theme, but at the time I thought playing games at home on a TV was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. Eventually, I got an Odyssey 2 for Christmas (in the late 70s or early 80s), and I’ve probably had at least one game console hooked up to a TV ever since. Then in the early 1980s, our next-door neighbors got an IBM Personal Computer, and that introduced me to PCs, PC gaming, and also a little bit of basic computer programming.  I took programming classes in high school and then at the University of Nebraska in the late 80s, but programming did not ‘click’ with me at the time. (I blame this on Fortran.) Back then, I remember saying that the personal computer would go down in history as the pet rock of the 80s.

A few years later, my father purchased a PC to do some work from home. I had injured my leg in a backpacking accident a month or two before this, and due to this injury, I could not drive or work, so I kept myself busy by learning everything I could about this brand new PC that I had at my disposal. And I discovered the internet. Networking was the killer app for the home computer. I wanted to learn everything I could about networking and how the internet works.

After being “that person” (you know, the person that everyone goes to when they have problems or questions about their computers), I decided to enroll in some hardware and software classes.  In one of the classes, we had to learn C on a Unix machine. For me, using Unix was like having the training wheels taken off of my bike. I thought that the “Unix philosophy” — that having simple, short, clear, modular, and extensible code that can be easily maintained and repurposed — was eye opening. The instructor for that class told me that you can walk into a store and get this thing called Linux and run something similar to Unix on a PC at home. I picked up a boxed copy of Redhat 5.2 on my way home that day. I wanted to learn everything I could about Linux and Unix.

For a few years I played around with different Linux distributions and a few of the BSD variants as a hobbyist, but I wanted to have my own “official” Unix workstation. The first computer I bought for myself was a Sun Ultra 10. Over time I acquired a number of retired Sun workstations and created a little home network. I learned as much as I could about network security. I ran servers like Apache, BIND and Sendmail to see how they were configured and how they operated in the real world.

My professional career ended up taking me down a different path.  For the past 20 years I have worked with databases instead of Unix system administration.  But now I have been given the opportunity to bring all of the aspects that I enjoy about technology, both personally and professionally, to Sprious.  I think this is a rare thing and I feel lucky and excited to bring these things I enjoy personally into my work life.

I have been working at Sprious for about a month now and it has been a rewarding experience. Sprious is a small tech startup with a family feel to it. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. I am very happy to be a part of this team and I look forward to achieving great success for Sprious and for our clients.