Meet a Helpful Human – David Richards

Helpful Humans

We’re the employees you would hire if you could. Responsive, helpful, and dedicated in ways automation simply can’t be. We’re your team.

Each month we recognize one of our Most Helpful Humans in Hosting.

David Richard’s path to Liquid Web differs from most. He started his career as an English teacher at a middle school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, enjoying teaching immensely. He then moved to the Lansing area to try his hand at teaching college. All along the way, he continuously dabbled in technology. When his time at the college came to an end, he joined Liquid Web as a Windows Support Administrator.

Having spent most of his time working with Windows, he thought he knew plenty about Windows servers. He quickly discovered that he knew nothing about them when it came to web hosting and the plethora of ways customers use Windows Servers. After a fantastic year and half with the Windows Team, David landed a dream role as the Technical Writer for the Help Center. Not only does he get to work with technology, but also gets to use his language and writing skills to help the company and our customers.

We caught up with David to find out what gives him passion at Liquid Web.

Meet a Helpful Human - David Richards

Why did you join Liquid Web?

I’d heard great things about the company for years. As a long time Lansing resident, I knew many employees, and they all spoke highly of the work environment and the company as a whole.

I’ve always loved technology, so that was my biggest draw to joining the Hosting Industry. I love working in an industry that makes technology solutions available to small and medium-sized businesses that would otherwise have a difficult time implementing the servers/services they need to compete in the market.

Is there something specific at Liquid Web that you just love?

I really love the drive everyone has to solve each and every problem until resolution. I was challenged from day one to solve problems that came to me, not shelve them or “pass the ball,” even if the problem wasn’t part of my responsibilities. Every employee strives to be the best at what they do and actually seeks out problems to test themselves against. I don’t know if it’s the gamer background or something about being nerds, but everyone I’ve worked with gets very excited when they encounter a challenge they haven’t seen before. There is a definite thrill of victory that lives in our culture.

At the end of the day, helping the customer succeed in their business and have a positive experience while keeping their server and website(s) running smoothly is what matters most at Liquid Web.

In your eyes, what’s the difference between Liquid Web and other employers?

Liquid Web, from people and technology, to processes and projects, is laser-focused on becoming the Most Loved Host on our planet by being the most helpful we can to our customers, every time. At other companies, I was encouraged to simply stay in my lane and not go out of my way to do anything extra for others. At Liquid Web, we are all encouraged to help each other and our customers as much as we are able.

What is the biggest milestone you’ve accomplished?

While I was still a Windows Support Administrator, I wrote an article on How to Install Pip on Windows as part of our Internal Writing Program, which is a unique and fun program at Liquid Web designed to leverage internal expertise to generate new content. It was a simple little article that now has over 1.5 million pageviews since it was published in January 2019, and has the highest pageviews monthly of any KB on our site.

Tell us about a truly rewarding experience you’ve had with a customer.

One of the most rewarding (and terrifying) experiences I’ve had at Liquid Web is helping customers with migrating their servers. Getting server migrations right is critical for our customers’ businesses, as we need to ensure all of the data is moved successfully, and their sites and applications work as intended and are online as much as possible during the process. As I performed more and more server migrations, it became clear that my primary responsibility, besides performing the migration, was to make a potentially very difficult and scary transition much easier for our customers through communication.

Hearing the customers’ stress levels dissipate as I communicated during each stage of the migration, and created a positive experience with them, was truly rewarding. And it’s just as rewarding now to help customers proactively by providing help with articles on our Knowledge Base and Help Center databases.

What is one thing you wish our customers knew about their hosting?

I wish more customers were aware of how important it is to keep their code, applications, operating systems (OS) and software up-to-date. So many issues can be resolved by installing the latest patches and updates on a regular basis. Updating and migrating can be a scary process, but not nearly as scary as losing all your data to a successful ransomware attack.

Work aside, what are some of your hobbies?

My biggest hobby is spending time with my family. I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters that occupy the majority of my time. I also love to read Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, and I enjoy dabbling and tinkering in the garage on small projects.

What is your favorite TV show?

I’ve watched through Friends a number of times, as well as The Mentalist. At the moment, I’m really liking The Prodigal Son.

What is your favorite app?

Based on usage alone, it would be Slack. Both Liquid Web and my church use Slack for all kinds of conversations, and it has been especially useful during quarantine in 2020.

If you could have dinner with one famous person [dead or alive] who would it be?

I’d probably have dinner with Blackbeard, one of the most cunning and feared pirates during the early 17th century. He seems like a very interesting guy, and I’d see if I could find out where he hid all his treasure.

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