Born and raised in Dorchester, David Facada followed in his uncle’s footsteps, going to UMass Boston and studying information technology.
“It was the cheapest option among the colleges I picked,” Facada says. “My parents were saying we support you, but you got to figure it out financially. That’s why I went. I was able to save a lot of money and work, and go to school.”
He went to Boston College High School, so he was familiar with the campus, and liked the location.
“It’s a beautiful location, and was convenient for me,” he says.
During school, Facada worked for an IT company in Savin Hill, and also worked an overnight shift at a supermarket. He spent one semester working 9pm to 9am during the week, and going to classes afterward.
“Everyone was working their butt off,” he says. “Everyone had a job or was working to get a job. That’s one of the things that I enjoyed about the student body is that since I was also a working student, I felt like we were all on the same page even if we didn’t have residence halls.”
“It’s always been a little different than most colleges. Everyone had an understanding of what it meant to go to school and work, and so it felt good.”
“My goal was to bust my ass, and be able to pay for my own schooling, and I was able to stay at home, save money on rent, but I still payed rent, and I was able to pretty much for the first three years pay for my school. Towards the fourth and the fifth year I needed a little bit of assistance, but it didn’t put me in the hole for more than $15,000, so it felt really good to graduate without a massive loan on top of my head.”
Starting as a Computer Science Major, Facada didn’t do well on calculus in his first year, so he started looking into other options.
“MIS looked interesting because it was a high bred of computer technology and management, which made sense to me. If you want to have a successful career you gotta learn how to manage at some point, so I figured that that was my best option.”
On campus Facade got involved in Real Life Christian Fellowship, which had a club space in the Campus Center. He found a group of friends for pick up games here and
there, and a reason to go to campus events.
“We had our own space where we could meet up. When I was there the campus was spread out, but there wasn’t a lot of hang out and chill places.”
The Campus Center opened for Facada’s sophomore year, and he vividly remembers its fresh smell the first time he walked through the doors.
“The sheer fact that you had a student center, and it was high tech, and it had the latest and greatest, it definitely changed the dynamics of the school. It was a place to escape once the garage started falling apart.”
Over time the landfill had shifted around the campus buildings on Columbia Point, causing foundational issues.
“Pieces of concrete fell from the ceiling in the garage onto cars, and it just wasn’t safe. So they had to close the whole thing down and use some parking near the JFK library, and right by the new student center. It sucked because sometimes you had to walk really far just to get to class, but it wasn’t too bad as long as you got there early.”
The classes Facada enjoyed most were outside of his major. He particularly liked a music theory class.
“We listened to classical music from all different periods and had to memorize songs, and be able to recognize them. It was really challenging because it’s not something I’m good at, but I love music, so it
was great to get exposed to some other types of music, and push my memory.”
Working in the IT industry during school helped Facada find a job in the industry once he graduated.
“I was taking these classes, and I quickly learned that they were behind in relation to the industry, and it was eye opening because compared to other focuses like nursing and business and whatnot, technology changes so frequently that you have to be consistently up to date, and some of my classes were three four years behind.”
In the IT field specifically certifications are almost worth more than degrees.
“You get a degree they go, ‘Great, you went through college. You survived. Do you have any experience?’ If you have a certification it’s valued a lot more. I realize looking back that I was doing the right thing by getting the experience and working while I was going to school. I’m glad I have my degree. I’m glad I went through that. I learned a lot. Grew a lot, but I also know that I came away with four or five years of working experience on top of graduating which I think made a big difference.”
Facada’s advice to anyone interested in the IT field is to start fostering relationships with employers early.
“One suggestion I would have, would be to link up students with potential employers and head hunters, job head hunters sooner than
later during the time that they’re there, because I think that would put everyone in a better position to be ready, and not to feel so green when they graduate.”
After graduation, Facada worked at an IT company in Dedham for a few years, before moving to Fort Lauderdale Florida, where he now works as an IT manager for Litai Assets.
“I figured it was that time to kind of spread my wings a little bit,” he says.
In Florida Facada got into the house music scene, and he began pursuing a second career producing his own tracks and DJing in clubs on weekends.
“I play some techno. I play some tech house. I love stuff with good solid vocals and bubbly base lines. I pretty much play music that you want to grove to, you want to move around, where it’s hard to just sit there and be still but not overbearing or ear shattering.”
It doesn’t pay well, $50-100 for a night, but it’s a chance for him to play his tracks in a loop with more popular ones, and see how the crowd reacts.
“I’ve aways worked with computers my entire life, so being in the industry is second nature to me. The music part was a hobby, something that I loved, and it grew on me over the years. It was something that I started to get good at. I wanted to get my tracks out, so what better way to get them played than to be the DJ.”