31 August 2018

Meet the ComputerTalk Team: Darren Lobo-Pires

Written by Danielle Wong, Posted in ComputerTalk

Meet the ComputerTalk Team: Darren Lobo-Pires


Name: Darren Lobo-Pires

Function: Quality Assurance

Education: BSc Mathematical Physics – The University of Waterloo

What did you do before working at ComputerTalk?

I just graduated from The University of Waterloo and then I was planning a trip to Australia, so I needed a job quickly. I worked as a bartender for a few months in Mississauga, saved up all my money, and then travelled to Australia for 3 weeks. I spent all my money, came back, and got my job here.

What do you do here?

I work in the Quality Assurance (QA) Department -- we test the product and find defects before they get sent out. When a fix/defect/new release is created we assess its impact. What was changed? Why was it changed? How does the changed component interact with other modules?

We then create test cases that ensure the product functions as per the design, but we also check for whether it meets customer requirements (A product that works perfectly well but doesn’t meet the customer’s needs is still as useless as a broken product). It can be very challenging considering the amount of interconnectivity between many of our products, but I enjoy the technical and creative thinking required in creating these test cases.

How long have you been working here?

5 years and 5 months.

What do you like about your role?

My role is challenging and it's learning-focused. We're always learning in a new environment to test in, so it's very technical. And I like tinkering and breaking stuff.

Outside of ComputerTalk, what are you truly passionate about?

Rock climbing, snowboarding are three things I’m passionate about. It's fully because these are things I discovered in the past few years. I discovered snowboarding 2 years ago, rock climbing 4 years ago, and veganism a year and a half ago.

Rock climbing was introduced to me by Vivian who used to run marketing here [at ComputerTalk]. I thought it was a lifestyle you were just born into and that you only climb outdoors. I said she was crazy for doing it and then she took me to this gym, I tried it, and it was amazing.

Snowboarding – growing up it seemed like it wasn't an accessible thing, none of my friends did it; I thought had to go into mountains in order to do it; and then Flo (Server Build Engineer/Systems Support Technician) mentioned it to me 2 years ago, went to introduced at Snow Valley to try it and it was phenomenal. Because before I hated winter, I thought it was a garbage season, and now it's my favorite season because of snowboarding.

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I always had a problem with animals had been mass produced, but didn’t think veganism was a viable diet. I thought it would be super unhealthy if I did that because I grew up eating meat in rice. And then, luckily, in the media, we're seeing more professional athletes doing it. I tried it, just to see if it was possible, slowly I cut down, and then finally one day I just did it. There was a lot of failing for that because I went vegan right away and Devon, my girlfriend took out crackers and cheese and I said, "Can I have one?" [Laughs]. I cracked all the time at the beginning and you go out and you forget to ask if something has dairy in it and it would have dairy in it. I wouldn't realize it, so I would make a list of those going on. Had to cut out naan when I went to restaurants and I loved naan.

If you could have lunch with any three people (fantasy, dead or living), who would they be?

  1. The guy who discover Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh, was just a farm boy, he wasn't a scientist. He read books, created his own telescope, worked really hard, and took photos of planets. He sent them to a bunch of observatories and finally someone hired him. I think a full year, but he searched the night sky and found this planet that no one else had ever discovered.

  2. Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut.

  3. Harry Potter because the man had a crazy life.

What did you study and why?

I studied Mathematical Physics at UWaterloo because I enjoyed physics, specifically astronomy and space travel. It's a very neat using the language of math used to describe why everything is the way is it; what forces govern the universe and it's a very neat language of math. It's cool, just diving into the math you discover new things without even doing any experiments.

What drew you to ComputerTalk? What do you like about working at here?

I did a co-op term over here once and even back then before we started hiring all these people or before we had as big of a role on People Function, and I really like the people. The atmosphere seemed pretty laid back and they trusted us to do our own work and find our own challenges, so that's what drew me back here.

Where's your favorite place to eat/grab a bite in Markham (where ComputerTalk's head office is located)?

If we're sitting down, I enjoy going to Host, it's an all-you-can-eat Indian place. It's just so rich and fat and carb-heavy. If we're having it to-go, I like Fat Bastards for a nice fast food restaurant. You can’t go wrong with a burrito, right?

What was one of your favorite projects you've worked on at ComputerTalk?

It has to do with automation because I don't really have a programming background, so this one isn't finished, but it's ongoing and I get pretty excited when I get to work on it – it's creating a script that will automatically tests certain aspects of iceManager.

What is the best piece of advice that someone's given you?

When I do bad in something and I get frustrated, one of my buddies says, "failing forward is good, as long as you learn from it, even if it seems like a waste of time." I use that with pretty much everything I do – meeting people, playing sports, doing my work.


What is one thing about you that most people would be surprised to learn?

Depends when you met me. People now would be surprised how at much meat I used to eat. I used to bring steaks to work because I eat a lot of food and it used to be all meat. All my Mississauga friends and university friends, if I haven't seen them for a long time and if I tell them I'm vegan, they're very surprised by that. And they go, "You? Vegan?" Out of all my friends, if we'd go out for all-you-can-eat sushi and people wouldn't finish their food, I would come in. I ate a lot of meat.

What excites you?

Changing seasons excites me. I love when it’s the first hot day of the year and when Fall first comes and the leaves are changing color. Also, when it’s that first brisk day of winter, when there's a light snowfall. Even when I hated winter, I loved those days. I get excited when I complete a project in rock climbing. It’s what you call really hard climb that you’re struggling with. I always get super psyched when accomplish it.

Where do you see the future of contact centers and these emergences of new technologies?

We're going towards social media and text messaging. I don't know about other people, but I hate calling in, I think most generations nowadays want to text. Online chat's great too; that's where I got my new Internet service.

Interested in joining the ComputerTalk team? Check out our careers page to see our current openings!



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