Benno works as a network administrator at Live Consulting. Since the age of 13, he has been fascinated with computers. He even operated his very own computer shop while living in Mexico before he could legally lease the space for it himself. Read on to learn more about Benno and his experiences from growing up around the world.
What places have you lived?
I have lived in hundreds of places. I kid you not. Because from ages 3 to 8, I lived in a mobile home, and we traveled all over Europe and North America. The places I’ve lived for a while would be Belgium, Lake Chapala Mexico (pictured), which is an awesome little place, it’s like the Boulder of Mexico. I’ve also lived in Tennessee, and here in Colorado.
What was the mobile home life like?
I had a new backyard every day. I loved it, because I love to explore things and figure things out. I grew up seeing very diverse people. [The house] was tiny- it was a converted school bus. We started in an actual mobile home, and we took that all over Europe, and realized that it was too small. So my dad went and bought this school bus, he found it for cheap at an auction. He totally gutted it and rebuilt it, like a mobile home, and then we had twice as much space. And so the hermit crab family upgraded their shell and kept going to different beaches.
What was your parents’ motivation?
They were actually sick of the rat race and they saved up and they said, “We want to see the world,” and that’s what they did.
What things do you do for fun?
A random fact about yourself:
The way I grew up is pretty random. People will ask where I am from, and I’ve been to lots of places, but can’t really call any of them home. I really do love it here in Colorado though. It was one of my dream places to live, it was a goal to move here.
What TV show/movie do you love?
I don’t watch a whole lot of TV. “Mr. Nobody” is my favorite movie. It is about a guy that lives multiple lives at the same time. I like it because it is one of those mind-bending movies that makes you stop and think.
What is the best vacation you’ve taken and why?
A trip down to the Yucatan in Mexico. It was awesome because there is nothing quite like the perfect white sand, crystal clear water, and you can see the fish swimming around from the shore. The reefs, all the ecosystems you can see- it’s awesome.
What was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
When I was 13, I knew a guy that fixed computers. He was a British chemical engineer that had retired, he then took up IT and did that for about 10 years. He was the local pro in this retirement community. I asked if I could sit in his work shop and he said sure! From there, I learned a lot. By the time I was 14, I decided I was going to charge people to fix their computers, and that’s how it started. I went to my first house call, I was super nervous, but I fixed the issue. People started talking, and it spiraled from there. Before long every phone call at my house, was for me. I eventually had to get my own phone line. My bedroom would be filled with computer stuff. Eventually, it was too much, so my dad rented a spot for me. I would pay the rent, but I was too young to be able to lease a building, so he did it on my behalf. The day after I turned 18, I made a trip to get myself registered and get a tax payer ID. I actually had to petition. I created a petition with all my clients to let the government let me work there. In Mexico, they are very protective about their jobs, they don’t want a foreigner coming in and taking local jobs, so you have to prove that you are adding a value, and that you are not taking someone’s job. I went with a fat stack of signatures, and took it to the tax place, and they let me work.
If given a chance, who/what would you like to be for a day?
It would be cool to be a bird for a day, preferably a bird of prey, so nothing kills you that day.
What do you enjoy most about IT?
I like the constant challenge. I get bored pretty easily. I don’t like to do the same thing a million times over. I like to have new things to work on and new things to figure out.
My dream of something to accomplish someday is to have something completely automated, down to the point where everything just happens. You hear these stories of these IT guys that script everything, and program their whole job, I think I’d like to try that one day.
If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save?
I would carry my computer out- I really would. I have a custom built desktop, and I’m attached to it.
What are three words that describe Live Consulting?
Energetic. Growing. Close-Knit.