This month's Employee of the Month is PJ Scalisi, a Project Engineer with just over 2 years of tenure here at Dynamic Computing. We sat down and talked about his big move from Alabama to Seattle, NASA, cheese, the Aliens movie franchise, and all sorts of things that make this all-around good guy tick.
How did you get your start at DC?
My girlfriend Catherine and I were moving from Alabama to the west coast. I was applying for IT jobs like crazy, and I finally found one I liked in Seattle. The rest is history.
What do you like most about your job?
Every single thing I do, for the most, part, is different. Every project is different from one client to another, and it makes every day exciting. I have this depth of knowledge that I get to apply in different ways, and I get to come up with creative solutions to problems. It feels good to make things easier for our clients, and to automate the crappy stuff to leave more room for the fun stuff.
What advice would you give 18-year-old PJ?
Stop trying to be someone you're not - embrace who you are! At that age, I was just trying to fit in with my more art-kid friends and fighting what came to me naturally. Instead of doing computer science, I tried graphic design, but because it wasn't the right fit I did miserably. When I finally figured out what I should have been doing all along, it made a lot of sense. I ended up at a really shady, cheap GeekSquad-type company, but at least I was doing something I enjoyed.
What would you be doing for a career if it wasn't this?
I don't know if I can think of anything else. I don't know if I'd want to!
What do you do for fun?
Video games - I play a lot of World of Warcraft. I like the strategy of it, where it's almost like a puzzle for maximizing your time. I also really like camping and hiking, and window shopping outdoor or computer gear. I love doing research!
What are some of your biggest pet peeves?
When sick people sniffle a lot, and not covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. I also really hate it when people don't take responsibility for their pets, like the guy at the dog park who lets his aggressive dog just go after other dogs. It's so rude.
What are you passionate about?
Animal causes, for sure. And space stuff! Huntsville, Alabama is where the NASA Space and Rocket Center is. Growing up, I went there a lot, and loved the fully disassembled Saturn V on display. They had rides, too! Yeah, I get really excited about space stuff.
Favorite movie of all time?
It’s tied between the first two Alien franchise movies - Alien was very scary and suspenseful, and Ripley is a total badass. For me as a kid, I’d never seen anything like that before. Aliens is just ridiculous and the difference between the two movies make them better as a franchise, in my opinion. I guess I'm also really passionate about the Alien franchise.
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ramen - not the ten cent ramen from the store, but the really good sh*t.
Do you have a surprising fact about yourself?
I am a cheesemaster! …although I’ve only ever made one good one. The rest were a total disaster.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Lala suggested James McAvoy, and I’m not against the idea.
Is there a proud moment or life highlight you’d like to share?
Getting my sh*t together and moving to Seattle - my life is pretty boring otherwise. I always hated living in the suburban south and felt out of place for a long time. Moving to Seattle was the best decision I ever made, for sure.
What is on your wish list for the next 10 years?
Catherine and I just bought a house, so I'm now just settling into things I wanted for a long time. It's not really a secret that I want to get married soon, and I've always wanted kids. In between all that and constantly working on our new house, I kinda want to get a cat and another dog.
Any life-hack or pro-tip you'd like to share?
Don't use spackle to skim coat your walls...just don't do it!
What PJ's coworkers have to say about him:
"PJ came to us as a Service Technician with years of prior experience...It was clear, early on, that he had potential above the Service Technician role and we helped to develop him into the Lead Service Technician position. PJ excels at any tasks we give him and continues to provide top tier support/consulting to our clients. In his newer role as Project Engineer, he gets to grow his knowledge even further through tough overhauls, integrations, migrations and more. I am confident that Dynamic Computing would not be what it is today without the efforts of such an established technician."
"PJ has been a great help in my time at DC. He's always happy to help, and knows how to break down complex ideas for even the least experienced tech to understand."
"He's intelligent, and incredibly modest about it. He has a light-hearted attitude, which carries into his interactions with our clients and makes him easy to work with everyday."
A little about us: Dynamic Computing provides managed IT services, IT support, IT consulting, & cyber security services to top performing small to mid-sized businesses in the greater Seattle area. We're focused on being the premier managed IT services firm in the Pacific Northwest, and we act as a complete IT solution for companies who don't have internal IT departments. Our clients typically range from 10 to 200 employees and we work primarily with professional services firms in the Puget Sound Region.