In case you haven’t already heard, today, the 26th of June, is System Administrator Appreciation Day! To celebrate in style, we sat down and had a chat with our very own Junior Systems Administrator, Michael “Radar” Raeder! Read on to find out just what a day at Turbosquid is like for someone in his position and a bit about his exciting, globetrotting, experiences as a life-long musician!
First of all, is there a story behind your nickname “Radar”or did you just adopt it because it sounds so similar to your last name?
Well, yeah, a little bit of both. It started out based on my last name, and then I took it as a handle in high school when I ran a pirate radio station out of my Pinto station wagon. We would set up and broadcast a couple hours a day out of a park in LA. People would leave song requests for us in a locker.
Do you have a favorite memory from your DJ days?
Yeah, someone kept requesting to hear speed metal, so we would just play Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” on 45 or 78 rpm every time.
As our Junior System Administrator, what do you do on an average day?
I set up servers, add users, and secure everything to keep the bad guys out. I write programs to automate things, write programs to amuse myself, and if something is not working, I make it work. There’s really no typical day.
In addition to working as a Sys Admin, we hear that you’ve had quite the career as a musician. Care to tell us a bit?
I have a lot of great memories. I’ve played literally thousands of shows since I was 9 years old. I’ve mostly played guitar in rock bands, but I also occasionally play accordion, slide guitar and have even played percussion for zydeco groups.
What’s your fondest memory from performing or touring?
Probably the most memorable one was when I was playing with a Cajun band in Quebec City, at an outdoor music festival. This was during the time when Quebec wanted to separate from Canada. We had one song on our set list called “Reveille,” which means “Awaken”. The translation to the beginning of the lyrics is something like “arise, arise, men of Acadiana, raise your guns against the English”.
The singer really wanted to do this, and I told him it was a bad idea. Sure enough, we do the song, and a riot breaks out. There are literally between five and seven thousand people going nuts, tearing things up. The police came on stage, told us to grab whatever we could, and forced us onto a bus . So, I carried two guitars, a couple of pedals, and got in. As we were exiting the fairground, the fence over on this one side fell over, and all these rioters came directly for our bus and proceeded to rock the vehicle back and forth. Then, from the other side, riot police started shooting tear gas and dispersing the mob. We were able to eventually get back to our hotel and berated the singer the whole ride over.
Word around the water-cooler is that you are a bit of a Russophile. What sparked this interest?
I got to visit East Germany when I was really young. Just seeing the artwork, propaganda, and uniforms– they had a certain aesthetic that really caught my eye. If I see anything reasonably priced, I tend to buy it. I have a belt with the East German logo, for example. I also love the absurdities of the Soviet Union, how they tell a factory, “You have to produce 16,000 pairs of shoes,” and they would follow it to the letter… they would make 32,000 left foot shoes, all of which would be the same size.
Titanic Sushi Boat by artist markflorquin
Do you have a favorite model on TS?
I do. I’d have to say artist markflorquin’s Titanic Sushi Boat 3D model. I was just really hungry and craving some sushi. Unfortunately, I didn’t get sushi.
I really like that I get to play around with all these different technologies. Some days, I’m really into coding, other days, I love just taking something apart and trying to fix it; at other times I want to just try something I’ve never worked with before. I would really like to try Autodesk 3ds Max. It just looks fun to play with.
Whether making our daily lives easier or on stage, this Junior System Administrator really does ROCK! Be sure to hug your Sys Admin today or simply say “thanks” for keeping your business up and running everyday. Let us know in the comments if you did anything special for SysAdmin Day this year.
For this week’s edition of our “Meet the Squid” series, I chose to introduce you to this year’s class of Summer interns. Turbosquid interns are given the opportunity to gain some real on-the-job experience, unlike some internships that result in training legions of glorified coffee couriers. The TurboSquid Intern League sat down to answer a few questions about the projects they are working on, their school plans and goals for the future.
Which school did you attend, or which do you currently attend? Do you have a major?
Alan Newman (Development): Stanford – I’m working on a Master’s degree in Computer Science
Andrew Freeman (Product Group): I was at College of Charleston in South Carolina, but now that I am back in New Orleans I will be attending UNO next semester. I am working towards a business degree.
Liam Craver (Content Group): I am a senior attending Benjamin Franklin High School for half the day, then New Orleans Center for Creative Arts for the other half. At NOCCA, I will be going into level 3 of Media Arts.
Oliver Hill (Product Group): I currently attend a boarding school called Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. My planned major is Computer Science
Silas Owings (Marketing): I graduated from Millsaps College in May, with a BA in Anthropology.
Taijon Robinson(Sys Admin.): I will be attending Louisiana State University this fall. My planned major is Computer Science, and I wish to one day work in game development.
What are you working on this summer at Turbosquid?
Alan (Development): I’m currently developing an automated framework to classify and score models, which will be used to enhance the search engine and handle new submissions.
Andrew (Product Group): Currently I am working on Feature Graph, organizing assets so that they are easily searchable.
Liam (Content Group): So far I have been mainly working on things related to the CheckMate inspection process. I’ve also done some stuff like learning Maxscript to try and tackle the pole detection problem… Yeah, way too detailed I know.
Oliver (Product Group): This summer I’m working with the Feature Graph team, working on the deep categorization of Turboquid’s products
Silas (Marketing): I’m currently doing a full-time internship in Turbosquid’s Marketing Department. My daily tasks at the moment are checking the site for crawler errors, keeping an eye on our social mentions (which shows what people are saying about Turbosquid on the web) and updating our Pinterest account. I also blog for the company and do a variety of tasks involving our site’s rankings on Google (Search Engine Optimization).
Taijon (Sys Admin.): This summer at Turbosquid I am working on small projects to get me familiar and comfortable with programming, as well as assisting with anything I can in the IT department under Radar and Foster.
What do you like about interning here?
Alan (Development): Good people, good work, good tea.
Andrew (Product Group): I really enjoy the people that I work with here at Turbosquid, but I come in every morning for the free cereal.
Liam (Content Group): Everything! No seriously, the atmosphere in the office is cool and relaxed but still has an air of business. The people working here are all masters of their individual crafts and quite happy to share their knowledge with others. Interning here also allows me to do what I already enjoy doing, but with more resources. Plus, it’s been a slight dream of mine to work here ever since Turbosquid started popping up in the local newspapers and on the web!
Oliver (Product Group): What I like most about working at Turbosquid is the atmosphere in the office. It feels like there’s a “work hard, play hard” attitude that’s shared among employees. People are productive but happy! Also, the 3D printer is really cool!
Silas (Marketing): I’m honestly not sure where to even start with this question, there’s a reason Turbosquid keeps getting ranked as one of the best places to work by City Business. The office is a very laid back environment with a whole lot of perks, but honestly, as a young man right out of college, the company parties are possibly my favorite part!
Taijon (Sys Admin.): First of all, I love interning here and am glad to even have the privilege, but I simply love having an opportunity to be in an environment with people who have similar interests to me. I also love being able to learn from all the friendly people at Turbosquid, who have already been through what I hope to do one day!
Andrew (Product Group): Anything that is 3D printable. So cool!
Liam (Content): Not actually a model, but rather a picture: qafish. By far my favorite thing I’ve found on the site!
Oliver (Product Group): I can’t decide on a favorite.
Silas (Marketing): By far, my favorite 3D model is Omama. Pump up the music!
Taijon (Sys Admin.): My favorite model is the Suzuki GSX-R 600 2011 because of the general beauty of the model and the detail on the bike. This impressive model would fit in beautifully with one of my fiction game ideas.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about? Hobbies, volunteer work, other jobs?
Liam (Product Group): I am currently volunteering at Children’s Hospital during the weekdays when I’m not at Turbosquid. I also am occasionally hired to do freelance work under my company/brand Lime Studios, which usually deals with coding or art. Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated with computers. I actually learned the coding language, Python, at a very young age. Currently, I’m working on the second edition of my gaming engine, LimeWorks. I also have had a lifelong interest in graphic design and animation, which I owe in part to Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, though French animation is actually my favorite style.
Silas (Marketing): I’m actually currently doing my second internship with Turbosquid! When I was in high school I used to come into the office with my dad (who works in development) once a week to do work in QA. I’m an avid Star Wars nerd, burgeoning beer snob, hopeful home brewer, and European history enthusiast. I also have a growing interest in tattoos, and got my first one in June.
Taijon (Development): My hobbies are playing video games and writing small pieces of fiction. I also enjoy constructing fictional worlds which I hope to bring to life, by either writing a series of books, or developing video games. Through working at Turbosquid, I’ve made a new hobby of learning code and making small projects that involve programming.
Senior Technical Artist, Calvin Bryson, moved from Austin, Texas to come and work at the TurboSquid office in New Orleans. With him, Calvin brought years of experience in developing pipelines for modeling, lighting, and rendering of 3D scenes, establishing guidelines on everything from edge loop placement to layer organization.
What does your day typically consist of?
I usually come into work before 9:00 A.M. to grab a bowl of cereal from our cereal bar and sort through all the emails waiting for me. That’s about where my typical day stops. The rest of the day varies pretty widely. Some days I’m helping artists through technical issues they’ve encountered while trying to reach a specific result. Other days I create training materials such as tutorial videos and documentation. I also do research and development on modeling techniques, shader creation, and rendering efficiency. It is more fun than it sounds. (more…)
Ready to meet another Squid from the New Orleans Squidshack? Virginia Larkins, better known as Ginger, talked to us this week about her many interests, including her fund raising endeavors for the New Orleans Children’s Hospital.
What did you do before coming to TurboSquid?
Well, back in Austin, I fostered dogs for Austin Pets Alive! I love dogs and having an extra pup around for my dog Gabby to play with was fantastic! It’s really rewarding work, even though you have to say goodbye to a dog you’ve cared for.
I have also registered for a charity called Extra-Life. You watch me play video games for 24 hours, over a live stream, to raise money for New Orleans Children’s Hospital. This doesn’t go down till November 2nd, but you can donate your money here.
And now that you’re at TurboSquid, what do you do as a QA Analyst?
I write test plans, run automation (sometimes), check to see if issues reoccur, and generally try to break websites. The breaking things part of my job really rocks.
What is your favorite thing about working at TurboSquid?
Free food when we’re trying to release something in a crunch. I also love the cereal bar and the fact that new stuffed toys appear on my desk. Currently, there is a Dalek, a kitty, a farting Jarjar Binks, and a Companion Cube on my desk. I have the best stuffed toy fairy!
Nice! Before we go, what’s something your fellow co-workers don’t know about you yet?
I guess one thing people might not know about me is that I love archery. I’m not particularly great at it, but its one of those relaxing things I do on the weekend. My father would always set up a make shift archery range in our backyard for me and my sister.
We’re excited about Ginger playing for this year’s Extra Life gaming marathon! To find out more about this charity, which benefits local children’s hospitals across the country, check out Ginger’s donation page.
It’s time to meet another Squid from TurboSquid HQ, and this week, we’re talking to Kevin Alimia, who was recently promoted to Assistant Technical Artist. Having previously worked in Member Services, Kevin utilizes his 3D modeling knowledge to help the artists meet a very high set of standards. Read more about Kevin below:
To start off, tell us a little about yourself! When you’re not at TS, what do you like to do?
Outside of work I do various things. I go out with friends, drinking. I like to go to the movies, I read, I draw/paint, I stay home and have movie days. In warmer days I like to just be outside walking around or go to the park. I also love to cook and bake, especially during the holidays!
What about when you’re at work? What does your day look like?
Typically, I come in early and work on personal projects. Once the official work day starts, I spend my time working on Custom 3D projects for various clients. That typically entails technical checks to be sure models meet certain standards and required points. When I have a little “free” time I work on improving my skills and speed. (more…)
In this week’s Meet the Squids, we talk to Kate Voisin, our marketing team’s graphic designer. Kate is a Louisiana native, growing up just outside of New Orleans, the city she has called home for almost a decade. Read on to find out about the many hats she gets to wear at the office, and why she suspects that TurboSquid may, in fact, be a cult (but in a good way).
What does a day at TurboSquid typically look like for you?
My days at TS vary. On the marketing side, I write newsletters, handle our socialmedia accounts, and help to make sure our site shows up in search correctly.
On the design side, I make infographics and ads, help to pretty up the website, and Photoshop Nic Cage’s face onto our manager’s pictures sometimes.
Basically, it’s my job to make sure TurboSquid is always reachable, approachable, and visually appealing.
What’s your favorite thing about working at TurboSquid?
Can I have three things?
1. I get to make fun, engaging content for a fun, engaging company, that’s seen by lots of people– it’s kind of what every graphic designer wants to do.
2. I have total access to the massive 3D model catalog, so getting to use the models in my design work is a real luxury. I could seriously spend hours perusing the catalog. (And sometimes I do! For work.)
3. My third favorite thing about TurboSquid is every single thing about TurboSquid. I know this is a total cheater answer, like asking for infinite wishes on your third wish, but whatever. I’ve worked in New Orleans for a long time, and the TS office is easily the most positive, employee-friendly workplace I’ve ever encountered. When I started, I was pretty sure I’d joined a cult, because about 5 people told me within the first week that it was the best job they’d ever had… and if it IS a cult, I’m completely happy to drink the kool-aid / eat the cereal / wear the tentacles. I love it here. (more…)