In both his career and his life, GlobalNOC software engineer Nathan Samano knows that things don’t always go as planned. As a result, he’s learned to adjust, adapt, and create a new path for success.
The first significant change to Samano’s plans came after his junior year at Indiana University. The Portage, Indiana, resident came to IU to study biology and chemistry, but eventually realized he wasn’t passionate about what he was studying. “At that point, I had to think about what I was interested in and was good at, rather than what I thought I wanted to do,” Samano explained. A lifelong interest in computers, combined with an affinity for problem-solving and logical thinking, led him to computer science.
After taking a semester off, Samano enrolled in the computer science program at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, where his friend (and fellow GlobalNOC software engineer) Alex Yong went to school.
Samano had always enjoyed working with computers recreationally, but he had no programming background. While the educational shift was a major one, he put his head down and discovered a talent for software engineering. “That course was the hardest one, but I probably benefitted from it the most,” he said. “As a result, I did a summer internship with one of my professors, which led to giving a presentation on creating single webpage applications to 250 people at the Open Source Convention (OSCON).”
After graduating from St. Joseph’s, Samano had to adjust his plans again. He had his eye on a specific position, and passed on other job offers. “I thought it would be all right, but maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision,” he said. When that desired position didn’t materialize, Samano started a new job search, and joined the Service Management Team at GlobalNOC in 2017.
Currently, Samano is working on adjustments of the professional sort at GlobalNOC. His team is responsible for implementing the first phase of bringing ServiceNow, a cloud-based service that automates IT operations, into GlobalNOC. “The initial work was setting it all up,” Samano explained. “Now we’ve begun migrating different networks from Footprints into ServiceNow.”
At the same time, the team is revamping their current tools to work with the new system, including notifications for network maintenance or outages, an operations calendar, and request forms. “Phase two is going to be adding more features and improving everything,” Samano said.
Outside of the office, Samano can be found at the gym. “I like to say I’m a software engineer by day, bodybuilder by night,” he said. “It’s a serious hobby—I probably work out 8 hours a week.” And he’s found value not only in the physical aspects of the sport, but in his life and mental health as well. Samano follows Kai Greene, a professional bodybuilder whose motto is “Thoughts become things”—for Greene, that translates to using intention to build bigger muscles. Samano focuses more on the alternate interpretation of the motto, which is that your actions are a product of thought; in order to achieve what you desire, you must think appropriately. “I think about it more in terms of personal hardships,” he explained. “During tough times, it’s easy to be negative, but in order to stay positive, you have to think positive.”
While Samano has weathered some challenges, he has a lot to be positive about. After securing his first full-time job, he bought his first car, a 2012 BMW 3-series. And working at GlobalNOC has turned out to be even better than he expected. “What I wanted to do was program all the time, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to do that because GlobalNOC is a network operations center,” he said. “But it turns out that I basically program every day. So that’s cool.”