We Are IT | Meet Steven Chandler
Born and raised in Tallahassee, Steven Chandler has spent his career in telecommunications. As a senior network technician, he plays an essential role on campus coordinating the installation and maintenance of internet, cable and phone networks at FSU. But in his off time, he leaves tech behind, and you’ll find him at the lake, kicking back and catching up with friends.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. My family is still in the area, and both my kids are still in town.
Why did you choose to work in technology?
I started out in the private sector working on phones and stuff, managing installation and repairs. Then my friends at my previous employer started coming to work at FSU, so I followed. There were no actual duty changes at all. I just went from one employer to another. And, as the years went by, progressed my way up.
How long have you been at FSU?
I started at FSU in 1996, back when ITS was still called the Office of Telecommunications, and I’ve been here ever since. I love it. I don’t want to leave.
What is your role at FSU?
I am a senior network technician. I mostly coordinate outside planned activities with contractors installing fiber optics for the FSU network backbone or upgrading the cable TV system on campus. Every morning, we have a technician meeting where we get together and find out who’s doing what. Then we gather our things and go out and work throughout the day—troubleshooting jobs, coordinating with outside plans and helping other technicians on construction projects when needed.
I also coordinate communication activities at every home football game. I work with reporters and make sure they have access to everything they need as far as IT and communications go.
How has the university’s recent shift to remote operations affected you?
I am still reporting to work every day. If a request comes in, I take care of it. There has just been a lot more coordinating with people who are out in the Zoom world lately. But I’m still here.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I just enjoy working and working with different people. I have always enjoyed what I’ve done in the telecom world throughout the years.
What’s the most rewarding project you’ve worked on at FSU?
Football. I’ve been helping build the football telecom program since I’ve been here. And installing everything at the stadium for the renovation a few years ago, I really enjoyed that.
I also really enjoyed upgrading the campus-wide cable TV to a 750MB system years ago. We had to upgrade the entire backbone infrastructure, pulling cables—changing out lines and splitters. It was a lot of early morning and late night work.
What is your go-to, can’t-live-without piece of tech?
For being in the tech field as long as I have, I’m not really into technology. I’m more of an outside in the world of nature and lakes and things like that kind of person. I still have a flip phone.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to go to the lakes and hang out with my friends. I hunt in Tallahassee, mostly deer but also wild hogs every once in a while. Otherwise, you can probably find me outside the house, doing some tractor work.