Peter Cimino, Director of IT for the BNAR, shares his passion for technology and talks about conquering fear.
Peter Cimino, Director of Information Technology for the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors, sat down to discuss his role in his company, the Buffalo tech community, and his passion for technology:
How did you get started with technology?
“I started at M&T Bank as a collections guy. I excelled in my field, and after I finished up the bank asked me what I wanted to do next. All I knew is I wanted to work in technology, so I said I wanted to work at the help desk. I wasn’t really sure what that would mean, and if you go back twenty years there were no mobile units or devices, but I just knew I wanted to work with computers. I worked at the help desk for about a year, and I left after about a year and jumped to PCI (Personal Computers Incorporated), and I worked there for about three and a half years. During my time there I was outsourced to a few different places where I worked with technology and helped out those companies.”
What is it about technology that interests you so much?
“Part of it is that I just have this ability to technically figure out things very quickly. My father gave me a Time-X watch in the 80’s and when you pull out those documents and there is a long list of instructions and he thought he would never figure it out, and I took a look at it and instantly was able to figure it out. Stuff like that happened through out the entirety of my career, when you put me in front of something I’m going to figure out how to not only do it, but do it better.”
Biggest challenge in your career thus far?
“It’s fear. Fear of doing things, fear of jumping out of the box. It faces me on almost any task I do. Between work and my personal life, it is always me asking myself should I do it, will I fail, is it worth it? All these thoughts that come to you are hard to get by, but if you can face it and jump past it you will be very successful. A lot of people are held back by the premise of fear and failing, but not being afraid and getting through it is a major part of anyone’s success.”
Along your career has there been a book/blog/podcast that has helped you?
“Well there is one book that one of my friends gave me called Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Loyalty. It wasn’t necessarily an eye opener for me per say, but it was more something I read and thought to myself that everybody should be doing the stuff in this book.”
Any advice for someone looking to start out in the tech world?
“You have to work hard. In this world we have a lot of easy buttons to push that can make life simpler. Unfortunately, if you don’t have boots on the ground for 5-7 years where you’re working 12-15 hours, and I hate saying it because nobody wants to work that many hours, you are missing out on the necessary experience. As young people, we have a lot on our plate, but we also have a lot of free time especially with a normal job, so going that extra mile and putting in the extra time is where you fill that void. In life it’s a marathon, if you try to sprint the entirety of your 20’s, you won’t make it. Instead put in some extra time in the beginning so when you get to the end you get to work less and less.”
What would you like to see moving forward for the Buffalo tech community?
“One thing I would like to bring back is something called Unconference. There are a bunch of different formats with different speakers, break out groups and more. We are working towards figuring out when to do it and how to format it. Being able to go up and speak about anything you are passionate about, so people beyond the technology world can come too. We want people with great topics to share stuff that they love to do. A few years back people were waiting for permission to do things in this tech community. All the great people that have worked really hard in the past ten years to get this tech community moving forward really pushed the envelope and advanced this community.”
Beyond his time in the office, Peter is a passionate drone flyer and has even started his own division called Upstate Visual Property Services where he flies drones and captures stunning video of homes in Buffalo. He is also the incoming chair of Info Tech Western New York! Peter is extremely passionate about technology and has contributed so much to the Buffalo tech community.
A big thank you to Peter for taking the time to speak with us! Have any questions or comments? Leave them below!