Meet Thomas Dale!

Hello, My name is Tom! (Or Thomas, whichever sounds better to you.) My family and I live in Florida, and we love going to the beach together. Our youngest (4 years old) likes to build mini-cities all over the beach and kicks and screams when we have to leave, even if we’ve been there all day and just want to eat lunch! LOL. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania (Go Steelers!) and became interested in technology at a very young age. It started when I was 8 or 9, and I took apart the family Compaq desktop. I started to get into PC Gaming as a kid (well, almost a teenager) in 1998 or 1999. Counter-Strike was the game of choice, and this was back in the day when it was an add-on for half-life, haha. Little did I know, this would kickstart my career for the rest of my life. I loved playing that game so much, I wanted my own server for my friends and I to play on! This is where I discovered Linux and how I learned to ASK JEEVES (Do you remember what you used before Google?). 

Finding gaming and Linux forums and chat rooms became an everyday thing for me. I was self-taught by trial and error, always figuring out how something worked so I could reverse engineer it to fix my problem. In high school, I did something called “half-day vo-tech”, which allowed me to take my normal classes in the morning, and for the rest of the afternoon, I could learn a real-world skill. They had a computer programming class, so of course, I instantly signed up. (However, that is where I learned that programming is 100% not for me, haha.)

After graduating high school in 2006, I worked a bunch of dead-end jobs while going to school online for my BS-IT. I was working at Walmart when I realized I didn’t want to change oil and tires for the rest of my life. So, I went to college. During my first couple of semesters, I got my first IT job.

Working full-time, having a family, and going to school weren’t working out for me. Unfortunately, I had to get rid of the only practical thing in the equation: my job. Just kidding: school 😞. But I kept progressing so quickly at my first IT job that in a span of 14 months, I went from a low-level support tech to a Network Operation Center (NOC) Engineer. 

However, I eventually had to look at other opportunities to progress my career even further. In 2013, I went from NOC Engineer to System Administrator, and that’s when things became serious. I did that for the next 3-4 years until I was presented with a problem, a problem I never tackled before: networking. Starting off on the same networking gear that every engineer thinks about when they think about Cisco, I started to learn. This was just as challenging as System Administration, if not harder. After about a year of getting used to Cisco, I found the second love of my life: Juniper. (My first love’s name is Nicole. Sorry, girls! I’m taken 🙂.) I’m sure the networking gurus reading this can go tit for tat all day on Cisco vs Juniper, but Juniper is my go-to for all my needs. Juniper is my number one, and deploying data center infrastructure is my game. Although I never got to finish my BS-IT, I did get certifications, which honestly I believe worked out better for me in the end. 

This leads us into the present day, working here at Sprious. Covid has put a damper on things for so many reasons, but I plan to put in practice my entire life experience into deploying and maintaining the best networking experiences in Sprious. Together, we will have a stable, resilient, and fast network. I look forward to providing all of our customers with the best experience possible. 

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