One minute with Keenan Newton, Content Management Group lead

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Keenan Newton of the Core Computing Division supports numerous content management platforms at Fermilab. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Keenan Newton of the Core Computing Division supports numerous content management platforms at Fermilab. Photo: Reidar Hahn

How long have you been at Fermilab?
A little over two years.

How did you get here?
About 10 years ago, I left the Chicago area to move to Seattle, where I was working for Microsoft. After about seven or eight years out there, my family and I were starting to get homesick. The opportunity at Fermilab was presented to me and I couldn’t pass it up, and here I am. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

What do you do at Fermilab?
I’m responsible for the main content management platforms here at the lab. This currently includes DocDB, Indico, SharePoint and WordPress. My team and I provide support, subject matter expertise and development assistance to further enhance these content management systems to meet the lab’s needs. We also provide integration components between the various content management systems so that the lab can leverage the right tool for the right job without having to be forced into one specific platform.

What is your typical day here like?
My typical day is spent in meetings trying to help others use the right platform for their needs. I help manage various projects, removing speed bumps so the projects can run as smoothly as possible. I also work with end users and senior management to define the vision and direction of the lab’s content management systems and ensure we make the best choices for the lab.

What’s your favorite thing about working here?
Working with the people. There’s definitely a wide diversity of cultures and personalities, and it’s a great opportunity to look at things in a different light.

What do you do outside of work?
I’m a volunteer firefighter at Lynwood Fire Department, the department that I was on when I originally lived out here, before I went to Microsoft. I’ve been doing that for just about two years now, at night and on the weekends. It can be tough, but it’s rewarding when you can help people. And I’ve always been a firm believer in giving back to the community.

What’s something people might not know about you?
I like gardening. Vegetables mostly. I eat my vegetables because my parents always told me I had to. My favorite thing to grow is corn because I find it challenging from a small-garden perspective. My wife likes tomatoes, so I grow those too. Also cucumbers, zucchini. The oddest thing I have is a Meyer lemon tree growing in my living room. It’s currently only 2 feet tall, but it has six almost-ripe lemons. People are welcome to come over for lemonade.