The term “I.T.” encompasses an entire alphabet soup of computer-related programs. Bobby Reed is a master at putting the right initiatives in the right place. He is the owner of Capitol Tech Solutions, which operates in the shadow of the capitol building in Sacramento. His company regularly contributes to discussions and provides solutions for a myriad of state and business technology issues and needs.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Reed struck out on his own after being laid off during the dot com bust in 2002. That was the impetus to start his own business. He says he feels fortunate to have taken that path. The choice of doing so in the state capitol was a natural for his chosen field.
When you were deciding on your degree, what brought you to the I.T. field?
“When I entered college, I thought I wanted to be an electrical engineer. MIT actually combines its electrical engineering major with computer science, both considered Course 6. At some point, I ended up changing my career focus from electrical engineering to computer science. I didn’t have to change majors. I have a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and computer science.”
What is the focus of your company? What is your role?
“On any given day, I am the owner, president or CEO. Since I own the company, I get to choose my hat for the day. In 2003, I started writing software for political campaigns. In 2010, we incorporated and became much more serious with the business. We now focus on being an online solution provider. We have three main focus areas: energy efficiency applications, online fundraising and software consulting.”
How has your education been of benefit to you in your field?
“My education has been a huge benefit to my business. When I first started, I had very little experience. People believed in me because I had a degree from MIT. My customers were impressed with the school. Because of that, I was able to convince them that I could develop what they needed. I don’t think I could have started the business without the degree.”
Do you continue to learn on the job? Are you getting additional certifications or degrees?
“I continue to learn every day, but not with certifications. As the owner of a business, the role is constantly changing. From H.R. requirements to bookkeeping to account managing, and managing employees, every day presents a new challenge and something new to learn.”
Could you have gotten to where you are without your education?
“I don’t think I would be anywhere close to where I am today without my education. One big help from school is that I work with some of my former classmates. The connections gained from attending MIT are extremely valuable and they continue to help me in my business.”
Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.