The life of a programmer isn’t glamorous, and the work is often underappreciated. Yet, there’s one characteristic of this month’s highlighted employee that’s difficult to overlook—and even more difficult to keep to ourselves.
Lewis Paulino is more than a programmer; he’s a problem solver. Throughout his roughly 8 years with Vistacom, Lewis said that he understood something rather quickly that is inherent to the job. In order to create truly seamless and intuitive graphical user interfaces, you have to “see things from the end user’s perspective.” He explained, “it’s just a part of it. It has to make sense for them because, at the end of the day, the clients and their colleagues are going to use the system.”
The role of a programmer at Vistacom is a multifaceted one. Lewis and his team members are responsible for configuring and programming all user interfaces that our clients use to control their complex audiovisual environments—from conference room technology and hybrid classrooms with built-in advanced collaboration, to large format video wall displays and mission-critical operation centers.
Mark Ripley, Vistacom’s Software Development Manager, said that “it was clear Lewis had the basic understanding of programming that was essential when he joined our team of Developers.” However, he was not familiar with the concept of audio, video and controlling the “various functions common to the systems created and installed by Vistacom.”
Herein lies the value that Lewis brings to the team: his ability to overcome challenges and focus on the solution, rather than the problem.
From the jump, Mark said Lewis wanted to learn and grow, and “he was eager to talk about the requirements and to ask questions.” And today, Lewis said the most challenging part of his job—but also one of the most rewarding—is putting himself in the shoes of the end-user and fulfilling their technology needs. “We write the code, and if the devices aren’t communicating and the system doesn’t function as it should for any number of reasons, we’re on the front lines.”
Whether it’s a flat panel display, video wall or projector, sometimes devices just experience glitches. So, how do you explain that to clients? For the most part, frankly, you don’t. Lewis said, “we have to own the problem and then create the solution.” Fortunately, the problem is almost always found with Vistacom’s Shop team before it goes out on site, and from there, Lewis and his programming colleagues are tasked with expediting the problem-solving process.
“Sometimes you’re able to quickly solve a programming issue with trial and error,” he said. “But knowing when to ask for help from the knowledgeable resources within Vistacom, or through our manufacturer partners, is important because the end goal is really to find a fast and holistic resolution.”
Over the past several years Lewis has exceeded Mark’s expectations and continues to raise the bar for others. “Lewis is currently working on becoming a senior level developer, along with acquiring his Crestron Silver Certification and taking on the role of enhancing touch panel graphics for our clients.” Mark went on and made sure to point out, “he’ll be successful because of his great attitude and work ethic.”
In his free time, you can find Lewis watching a classic Sci-Fi movie, like Star Wars (of course), or jogging through the Lehigh Parkway and just connecting with nature. He said, “when I walk or run or just enjoy the greenery and fresh air, that’s when the ideas come that you don’t think about when you’re at your desk.”
Born and raised in the Philippines, Lewis moved to the U.S. at age 18. After attending the Globe Institute of Technology in New York for Programming and holding a few temporary positions in the Lehigh Valley area, he found not only a home with Vistacom, but also mentorship and a sense of family. “Because the job that we do can be stressful—it’s not flowers and chocolates every day—if you’re working with a team of people and in an atmosphere that encourages asking questions, then you’re never carrying the whole weight on your shoulders; you’re in it together.”