Peter is one of the names most of our hosting clients know and love. As an Agathon partner and our CTO, Peter’s responsible for the infrastructure that client sites rely on (which is no small task in itself!). He also spends quite a bit of time helping with client support, especially when it comes to trickier issues.
He’s great at not just solving those trickier issues but also at explaining them in a way that even non-techies can understand, helping to empower our clients while assisting them.
When he’s not saving the day for clients, he’s our resident baseball stats geek, remembering numbers about 100x better than people’s names. He loves travel—both the planning and execution—and watching sports and live music. And his family has a xoloitzcuintle, a Mexican hairless dog!
We recently sat down for a short interview. In no particular order, here are ten fun facts about Peter:
1. Let’s start with the most important question: cat person or dog person?
I’m definitely, 100% a cat person. I like dogs, and I like most animals as a general rule… but I love cats. I can be pretty low-energy, so I appreciate that cats tend to be more independent (though some might say “standoffish”!) than dogs.
2. Your family lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. How long have you lived there? What made you decide to make that move?
We’ve lived in Vallarta for just over four years. We fell in love with the idea of introducing our kids to the culture and language of Mexico in order to give them a broader perspective on the world. (See also #8, about “why we travel”!)
3. What drew you to computer science as a field? Is technology something you’ve always been interested in, or was it something you discovered as an adult?
I disassembled (and successfully re-assembled) my first computer before I was 10, which is also around the same time I successfully hacked my first computer game to give myself infinite lives. So I loved working with computers from very early on, but didn’t discover until I was an adult that people would actually pay me to play with them! That sold me, and I’ve been working in technology ever since.
4. Do you like podcasts? If so, what are you top three favorite podcasts?
I don’t actually listen to podcasts. I’ve tried, but the process has just never clicked. I either end up really listening (and ignoring the other stuff I’m supposed to be doing) or really doing the other stuff (and absorbing none of the podcast material). The only podcast I’ve ever spent any time listening to was “The Tobolowsky Files” by the actor Stephen Tobolowsky. I went through a short phase where I would listen to him tell stories on his podcast while I was flying somewhere, but then I found myself falling asleep while listening and having to repeat the same podcast over and over. So I’ve not really done podcasts since. 🙂
5. Your sister, Rachel, has been part of the Agathon team for the past 13 years as our Business Manager. What’s it like working with your sister?
To be honest, when we’re working together, I never think of Rachel as my sister. She’s such a professional that it’s pretty easy to forget that we’re related, and most people looking from the outside in are surprised to hear that we are. My favorite thing about working with Rachel as my sister is when we get to sneak away and go shopping or sightseeing together on Agathon retreats in places like Rome or London.
6. What one song or artist are you embarrassed to admit you like?
I don’t embarrass too easily with those sorts of things; I’m just as happy to roll down the windows and blast ’80s bubblegum pop or ’90s grunge and Britpop or ’00s screamo or ’10s electronica. I will say that living in Vallarta has given me an appreciation for the catchiness of reggaeton as a musical style, and that’s probably a pretty unpopular opinion among People Who Know.
7. You’ve been called our resident baseball stats geek. Got any interesting stats to share?
Tony Gwynn faced Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux 143 times. Gwynn hit .388 and never struck out. To put that in perspective, Pedro Martinez struck out nearly 28% of all batters he faced over an 18-year career. Greg Maddux won more games than anyone in the past 50 years. Both pitchers were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on their first ballot. And Tony Gwynn (who is also in the Hall of Fame, and who was one of the best pure batters in baseball history) owned those two guys.
More recently, 2019 was first year since 1878 that no player hit more than 10 triples. I love discovering stats from such an old sport as baseball where entire generations—and sometimes lots of them!—have come and gone since a thing last happened.
8. Travel is an important part of your family culture. What is it that you love about travel?
I love seeing new places or even visiting familiar places again. I love eating the authentic food of a region. I love being slightly uncomfortable due to a communication gap (though, as I get older, this is less exciting!). I love figuring out public transit in a new place; once I’ve figured it out, I love being able to field questions from other tourists. I love finding and using travel deals to create awesome, unexpected experiences for people.
I kinda love just about everything about travel!
9. Because no Q&A is complete without this question … If you could invite 6 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would you choose?
I would invite John the Apostle, Thomas Aquinas, Søren Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, and my dad. And, assuming in this fictitious scenario that there would be no language barrier, I would just sit back and let them talk.
10. As a Partner and the CTO of Agathon, you do everything from assisting on tricky support tickets to mapping out our server infrastructure. What is your favorite part of your role?
My favorite part of working at Agathon is taking our clients’ needs and designing the systems and solutions that meet those needs and blow away our clients’ expectations. It’s a complicated set of problems and tradeoffs that requires creative thinking in order to really resolve, and I enjoy being able to dive deep to come up with something no one expected but that everyone needs.