Meet Reed Hoofnagle
Northern VA native Graduate of James Madison University
Father of 2 daughters
Favorite beer and BBQ: Fat Tire 1554, North Carolina pork
Reed Hoofnagle is a Compu Dynamics Smart Hands wizard. By day, he keeps customers’ remote servers humming. By night, he’s ready 24/7 to head out on an emergency if a server goes down. Reed’s been riding internet bubbles since the days of dial-up, and he still loves getting a server back on line. We talked with Reed about his life in the Compu Dynamics Smart Hands world.
What was your first “Smart Hands” job?
Reed: I got into the field in the go-go days of the 90’s, when the internet was exploding. No one really knew a lot then, but they needed people with mechanical abilities who could solve problems. I ran the dial-up machines for Erol’s internet. I maintained a box that had thousands of modems on chargers. Because people used them during the day, we had to go in at an ungodly hour of the night to do maintenance.
What does Smart Hands involve today?
Reed: Smart Hands is keeping whole networks up and running, but it’s still maintenance and emergency. When something goes wrong, I show up with my laptop and maybe some specialized equipment, but I still have my knife, a few tools and my intuition.
Why Smart Hands?
Reed: If you have a remote server, you never have to go to the physical data center location to fix problems. We do it for you. If you’re based in California, for instance, but have an emergency at a back-up server here on the east coast, we go in and fix it.
Why is Compu Dynamics so good at Smart Hands?
Reed: We’re really good at putting all the pieces of a data center together. And we’re small enough to care and give good customer service. You can call us 24/7 and talk to a technician immediately. You don’t have to wait on hold for a customer service person.
Your favorite thing about your job?
Reed: The hands-on aspect. I like doing the maintenance as well as the fireman adrenaline of fixing an emergency. I’ve been around the internet since the 90’s, seen how it’s grown and changed. It’s always satisfying to figure out a problem.
The worst weather you’ve gone out in for Smart Hands service?
Reed: Hurricanes, usually after they’ve blown over. I’ve gone out in some snow storms, usually when the building has lost power. Then there was Y2K. We hung out with the computers all night, because people were freaking out about what was going to happen. Luckily, the computers didn’t panic.