(HARLINGEN, Texas) – In schools, offices and businesses around the world, whenever anything computer-related goes haywire, it is the IT — information technology — professional who often comes to the rescue.
In observance of National IT Professionals Day on Sept. 20, Texas State Technical College recognizes two of its IT professionals, Armando Hernandez and Justin Zuniga, for ensuring that the college’s computer-related operations function efficiently.
Hernandez has worked with TSTC’s Information Technology department for three years as a field support technician.
The Harlingen resident earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Information Systems from another college in 2015.
Hernandez said the recognition brings a smile to his face.
“It gives me the motivation to continue doing what I do,” he said.
His interest in information technology began during his teenage years.
“I’ve always had a passion for helping others and working with technology,” he said. “I became fascinated by what computers, laptops and smartphones could do. That passion influenced me to pursue this career field.”
Hernandez’s responsibilities at TSTC are wide-ranging.
“I provide professional in-person and remote technical support for faculty, staff and students,” he said. “This involves areas such as computer hardware diagnostics and repairs, software troubleshooting, networking, and audiovisual technologies.”
The IT department’s contributions to TSTC are essential, and Hernandez is thrilled to be a part of it.
“IT helps empower our fellow faculty and staff with the technology and tools they need to provide excellent service to our students and the community,” he said.
TSTC alumnus Zuniga has worked at TSTC for 18 years and with IT for 14 of those. He has held the position of systems analyst, instruction specialist, computer network technician, project manager, webmaster, web application developer, and now IT enterprise integrations analyst.
“It came natural to me, and I pursued it at TSTC,” Zuniga said. “I knew IT is a very stable career path, and I enjoyed programming and computing overall.”
Zuniga earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Science Technology from TSTC in 2003.
He developed an interest in the IT field through video games.
“I taught myself to program when I was 16 years old,” Zuniga said. “I enrolled in all of the computer programming classes that were offered during my senior year of high school. I learned how video games are made, and I wanted to learn the foundation of how to create them. I used to write code for small trivia games in QBasic. I would create levels for games such as Doom in my free time.”
Zuniga’s contributions to TSTC’s information technology would boggle the minds of most people.
“I help plan, oversee, develop and support integrations to interface with TSTC’s new Workday system,” he said of the new online platform for employees. “I communicate with end users to ensure that the integrations we develop meet their needs. I gather details about file and web service requirements, and assist with configurations.”
He added that the work culture at TSTC is phenomenal.
“The freedom to find solutions to issues and departmental needs is excellent,” he said. “I love the fact that we are trying to solve problems that no one has been able to solve.”
Zuniga said being recognized on National IT Professionals Day is rewarding.
“Whether something operates efficiently or an issue needs to be resolved, thank an IT worker,” he said. “It really makes our day.”
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.