Professional Development

This Best Egg service desk manager was basically born into tech

Dave Singh talks growing up with computers and embracing change in the latest edition of our How I Got Here series.

Dave Singh (Courtesy Best Egg)

This is How I Got Here, a series where we chart the career journeys of technologists. Want to tell your story? Get in touch.

Growing up in New York City, Dave Singh always thought he’d go into the legal field.

And he did, for a while — as a technologist for a few different law firms. Now 40, he has settled into his current position as a remote service desk manager for Wilmington-based fintech company Best Egg.

Singh’s road to Best Egg included a move from the mid-Atlantic to sunny Florida. He also held a fully remote job in 2014, before that was normalized. Read on to hear more about his tech journey, which started when he was a baby.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How did your journey into tech start?

My dad used to work for an advertising firm in New York City. He was pretty much like an IT manager — I think he was director of technology, he had a bunch of titles. So he would bring home computers in the early 80s, when I was basically still in a highchair. I had two older brothers at the time, I’d be in my high chair, and I watched him on the keyboard.

I like to tell people I was born into technology. Every day as I grew older, the pieces came together.

So you always saw yourself becoming a technologist?

I wouldn’t say I saw myself being a technologist. I always had an interest in it, but growing up I actually wanted to be a lawyer. It’s funny, I ended up working for three different law firms, but as a technologist, not as a lawyer. I started off in the hospitality industry. Then I went to legal and now I’m in finance.

I went to technical school after high school, I didn’t go straight to college. Because of my dad’s position, he was my role model growing up. You know, technology, helping people. My big thing is I love to help people. I think that’s part of the reason I wanted to be a lawyer. But in technology, especially in the service desk, that’s what you do — you help people. So it definitely aligned with my calling.

I went to technical school, got a few certifications, and I started working [in IT] in the hotel hospitality industry in New York City at a pretty young age, I just turned 19.

How did you shift fully into tech?

I was in hospitality while I was in New York City, and then I moved to Orlando. It’s been, next month, 10 years. It flew by. I remember I was telling my boss [in NYC] I was moving to Orlando. And he’s like, “Well, what are you gonna do when you get out there?” I was like, “I don’t know I’ll wing it, I’ve got the right skills, I’ll figure it out.” So my boss — he was a great mentor to me. He’s like, “Listen, let me talk to the company and try to figure something out for you.”

So I was the only remote employee for that hotel. This was back in 2014 When I moved so this was way before the pandemic. Remote work wasn’t a huge thing back then.

Why did you move to Orlando?

My son was born in 2013. We’d had back-to-back horrible winters. I was in Queens, a couple of miles out from Manhattan. I was born and raised there and I’m proud, but I wanted better for me. My wife at the time had family in Orlando and I had one cousin, but I didn’t really have much family there.

But I was like, people always say they want to make a change, but they’re usually either afraid or the timing doesn’t work. I said, if I don’t do this now, I’m going to be stuck in New York. Probably wondering what would have happened if I tried to change things.

My boss hooked me up, so I was working. But I had to travel to New York a lot. The first year wasn’t too bad because my son was a baby. Once he got closer to two years old and was like, “Where’s daddy?” I started applying to some jobs and I got a job at the law firm in Orlando.

Now that you’re in finance at Best Egg, what does your day look like?

I manage the service desk staff. We’re the first line of support anytime someone has an IT issue. I’m in a lot of meetings. We, as an organization, are starting to mature, especially from a technology standpoint, so we have a lot of initiatives going on. A lot of time is spent on managing those initiatives, making sure we’re staying on top of our deliverables. For me, it’s the customer support — I go back to as a child watching my dad always helping people from a young age, not just at his job but in general.

My father immigrated from the Caribbean and South America. I’m a first generation American. I saw the struggles of my dad and how he was always helping friends and family. So that was ingrained in me at a young age, always do what you can to help somebody. That’s a reason I never really went into software development or something like that. And it aligns with Best Egg because that’s our whole thing, right? Helping people with limited savings and limited finances. That really struck me when I interviewed with Best Egg.

You were sort of a remote work early adopter. What has changed about attitudes toward it in the last few years?

I know a lot of companies like Google and Amazon, during the pandemic and even a year out, were big on remote work. “Oh, we’re never gonna force people back to the office.” In the last six months to a year, their tone has changed.

And that’s one of the great things about Best Egg. Our CEO, Paul Ricci, when he took over as CEO, stressed that our culture has not changed and we’re not going to arbitrarily just force people to come to the office just to say we’re bringing people back. “Our culture is not changing. Policy is not changing. Don’t worry about what you’re reading in the news about these other tech companies.” And true to his word, here we are almost a year later.

What advice would you give someone looking to make a big move in tech?

I would say it’s okay to be afraid, but don’t let that stop you from doing something, because that, to me, is the biggest thing. I was scared to death when I made this decision. Even when I took the job at the law firm. I was there for less than a week and I called my old boss at the hotel because he’s still a mentor to me, and I told him, “Hey, maybe I should come back and work remotely.” He told me to stick it out. If you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you’re never going to change. You need to be able to change. It’s never too late to start, either. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s true. You can always make a change.

Companies: Best Egg
Series: How I Got Here

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