While many of us cringe at the thought of de-bugging our devices or trouble-shooting computer glitches, Mac Technologist Emiliano Paternostro finds pleasure in the process. Having worked for three years as a “Genius” (his official title) at an Apple Store before coming to Sheridan, Emi, as he’s known for short, explains how he finds satisfaction in supporting other people’s success.
As the person responsible for maintaining the function of all Mac Books and administrative desktops used by faculty and staff in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design, his day ranges from running maintenance checks and conducting repairs to finding ways to automate software installation on a mass scale. “Despite what you may think, the focus isn’t so much on the technology. It’s on the people using it. My job is to enhance the user experience and make technology as painless as possible,” he says. For Emi, that means asking a lot of questions to determine people’s needs and objectives, and understanding the limitation of time and resources.
“In this field, you have to accept that things change on a whim and suddenly a tool you’ve relied on in the past isn’t available any longer” – Emi Paternostro
Working through an ongoing and ever-changing task list is something else that keeps Emi motivated and at the top of his game. “If you do any one thing for too long, you lose your edge because it becomes monotonous. In this field, you have to accept that things change on a whim and suddenly a tool you’ve relied on in the past isn’t available any longer.”
In this type of fast-moving environment, success depends on paying attention to process. “There’s a lot of problem solving involved. The job I do may be very technical, but the ways that technologists arrive at a solution can be very creative. Anybody in our department who has a technical challenge – whether it’s related to curriculum or otherwise – is welcome to seek me out for support. Part of my job is to research solutions for them, which is a lot of fun.”
Over the past year, Emi worked with the media fundamentals program to ensure that 200 students using iPads could tap into the printing and file sharing capabilities available to students who normally work on desktops or notebooks. He’s done dozens of in-class support sessions alongside faculty members to assist students with their projects and to give technical demos. He also served as the technical conduit behind Sheridan’s first-ever global, virtual choir. Emi was tasked with finding a way to synch 40 videos of people from around the world who recorded themselves singing the same song with a live, on-stage performance of over a dozen other people who were performing the same number. To listen to this technical feat, click here.
While Emi’s ingenuity and relentless drive to make things better may have earned him a reputation for being a ‘how-to’ or a ‘get-it-done’ guy, it’s perhaps his philosophy that truly really makes him a tech hero. “I may just be toying with a line of code in a tool that in and of itself is very technical, but I know that the end result is helping a student learn or helping an instructor teach. Being part of that process is very rewarding.”
Pictured above: Mac Technologist Emiliano Paternostro. Photo by Photography Technologist Owen Colborne.
Written by: Christine Szustaczek, Director of Communications and External Relations at Sheridan.