Something about Claris Networks doesn’t really attract the typical nose-laugh-at-a-binary-joke IT guy. For example, Stefan Shurina (pronounced steff-ON shuh-REE-nuh). Stefan’s a “natural” bodybuilder.
Essentially, “natural” bodybuilding means you don’t use steroids. And besides working out for 3 hours a day and having a bench press of 425, it apparently also means you eat more meat in a week than most people do in six months. One look at Stefan’s diet and you can see how that’s possible. Today, for instance, he ate 1.5 pounds of turkey burger, 3 large chicken breasts, a chicken salad, and a steak salad. That’s over 5 pounds of meat and a pound of salad. Just a day in the life of Claris’s resident meathead.
“In a few months, I will participate in a natural bodybuilding competition. These competitions are more stringent than traditional competitions, where all the winners are on steroids. For example, my fitness coach is the only professional natural bodybuilder in the state. He is massive, and wins all the natural competitions. In the others, he doesn’t even place. For natural competitions, you take a urine test and a lie detector test. If you fail, you’re banned for life.”
How did you get started in this?
“My wife got me into it actually. She had just completed a fitness competition and she said, ‘You’ve always wanted to get in the best shape of your life, so do it!’ Then she signed me up. And there’s nothing like knowing you’ll be standing in front of hundreds of people mostly naked to keep you motivated.”
(Side note: Stefan is one of the funnier people you’ll ever meet. Our interview could have had its own outtake reel.)
When did you come to Claris and why?
"I started at Claris in 2004, fresh out of ITT Tech. In my interview they asked me what my conditions were for working here. I said, ‘You could keep me in a box. I have to work here!’” When I started, I barely knew how to do anything, but that’s why I wanted to be at Claris. I did a couple things, worked my way up to tier 2 onsite on call technician. Then I moved to a network engineer and am still learning a ton from everyone around me. Honestly, my nightmare would be to be a solo networking engineer with no one to bounce questions off of. That’s why Claris rocks. There are so many smart people here.”
Is there a connection between your bodybuilding and working in IT?
“Not to be cliché but, ‘Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.’ Just go in with a positive attitude and get it done.”
Keep an eye out for Stefan. He’s the dedicated, hilarious, brainiac network engineer who resembles a friendlier, less-green “Hulk.”