Texas Tech University, Department of Computer Science
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David Pace

Employer/Position: Senior Systems Operations Analyst XTO Energy Inc.
Academy: Academy 2017
Education:BSCS 1984

Short Biography

Born and raised in Fort Worth, David was first introduced to computers in 1978 as a junior at Southwest High School. He quickly became fascinated with the operating systems and the hardware design of computers. As a senior, David took part in a career mentoring program that placed him at the City of Fort Worth working with computer professionals as a Systems and Application Programmer. David spent his freshman year working for the City of Fort Worth while attending a local college. During this year David acquired the designs and components to build his first computer to use for his university studies.

In 1981, David entered Texas Tech University as a sophomore studying Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. At Tech he concentrated his studies in three areas: operating systems, data queuing and storage, and hardware design. He graduated with 54 hours in Computer Science and 24 in Electrical Engineering. David was extremely active in the local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), serving as Treasurer his junior year and Vice President his senior year. Through ACM, David was able to meet one of the pioneers of computing, Admiral Grace Hopper, one of the original designers of the ENIAC.

Upon graduating, David began working for General Dynamics as a Systems Programmer where he was introduced to running hundreds of complex applications and supporting state of the art equipment. During the next 6 years, David had the opportunity to train several people from Turkey in systems programming and supporting complex infrastructure. He also traveled with the Turkish team to Ankara, Turkey and spent several months helping build their system from the ground up. After returning home he earned a position as a lead systems technician supporting a classified project. It was during this time that David truly grew professionally as a systems technician.

In 1990, David took a position working for Pier 1 Imports where his primary responsibility was to support and grow the expanding company’s disk capacity. During his time with Pier 1, he introduced new technology such as SAN design, Data Lifecycle Management, advanced backup and recovery techniques, along with detailed Disaster Recovery Solutions. He also did not veer far from operating systems as he continued to help support the mainframe, becoming the senior UNIX administrator as UNIX was introduced into the corporate structure. When David left the company, he was the Supervisor of all platforms of storage. At Pier 1 David grew their disk capacity from 36 Giga Bytes in 1990 to over 300 Tara Bytes in 2005.

XTO Energy became the next stop in David’s career. David entered the company with a focus on building a robust SAN and Storage infrastructure to support advanced backup strategies for a rapidly growing company. After a few years, David found his function changing once again as a desperate need emerged for developing a second Data Center to support a Disaster Recover and Business continuance plan. He spent several years as the Lead Technician developing a solution to recover a fast growing server and storage environment. Once the second Data Center was built, he moved back into the Operating System support role and took over the IBM I infrastructure which was badly in need of upgrading. In 2010, XTO Energy became a subsidiary of ExxonMobil. Today David still supports the IBM I systems for XTO Energy but is also working with ExxonMobil utilizing his technical skills to support and transition off some of their older systems.

In 2012, David and his wife Karen started a scholarship program for Computer Science students at Texas Tech, and in 2014 they eagerly agreed to sponsor the building of a cutting-edge Computer Science Lab at the university. They currently live in the country just outside of Crowley Texas. David spends his spare time woodworking in his shop and volunteering with his church.