Hey, we all complain about work from time to time; we've all had lousy jobs. But before you call it a day and head off to the support group that meets at the bar, here are a few words from an IT pro that love their work.
Location: I am based out of CA’s Long Island headquarters, in Islandia, New York but I live in Agawam, Massachusetts. I split my time between CA’s Islandia office and its East Windsor, Connecticut office a few days in each office each week.
Profession and specialization: Are you familiar with Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly, G.I. Joe or Play-Doh?
I started my career in IT as a system’s programmer for Milton Bradley (now Hasbro Toys), supporting its IT systems and applying my engineering and computer science degree. I started off at the bottom of the barrel, an associate system’s engineer with CA 20 years ago. After years of company loyalty and gaining the vital field experience needed for the operations role I have now, I’m responsible for the strategy, planning, execution, and improvement of global CA Services Operations. I help improve back office processes and applications, manage components like analytics and corporate performance, analyze trends and help implement policy and standards.
I love my job because I love the unique usage and application of technology to solve a problem to make a difference for the better, not just for my team, but for CA. It’s rewarding to see changes you make improve teams, processes and technology. I also very much enjoy the people I work with and highly respect the executive management team. When you feel you make a difference, it’s a great job. And the most fun part of working in IT is that you are never be bored. There is always more to learn and challenge you.
Hobby: I’ve been horseback riding since I was eight years old. While I never competed, nor do I own a horse, it’s always been a passion of mine. Another passion is heavy metal music. This comes as a shock for most, but I’m a huge fan. I’ve seen Metallica three times, just saw Iron Maiden last month and love Tool, Ozzy, AC/DC, Audioslave, Motley Crue, Soundgarden, Disturbed and Godsmack. A new favorite, Dragonforce. This band is big with the Guitar Hero set. They supposedly have the fastest song on Guitar Hero 3, and I’m going to see them in a few weeks!
Last book read: I should preface this by noting these are my teenage daughter’s books, but I most recently completed the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfield, which includes the Uglies, Pretties and Specials. The New York Times best sellers are popular among teenagers, and are very sick books, but very entertaining. When I went to check out the alternate ending on the Web site, the author mentions how adults never read his books. I sent him an email noting otherwise, and just received an unexpected reply!
I also loved Stephanie Myers’s Twilight series, and I’m a huge fan of WIRED magazine--and so is my daughter. It covers the latest technology and is a very cool magazine.
Latest accomplishment: Ever kiss a sting ray? What about swim with sharks? Not many get to Bora Bora either. During a recent trip, I had the chance of a lifetime to face a universal fear and swim with sharks, and feed stingrays in the South Pacific Islands. I gave one of the rays a peck. As for the sharks, I kept my distance.
Toughest technology lesson learned: Don’t plug your flat iron into an outlet in Europe using any plug adaptor, you need one that is also a power transformer. On my first international business trip I fried my flat iron. I specifically asked for a power converting plug adapter at the airport kiosk and the clerk provided me with “something that will work just fine.” Clearly, not the case.
Advice to an up-and-comer: In today’s age of obsessive text messaging, instant messaging and emails, it’s really easy to lose the ability to communicate face-to-face and have proper phone or presentation skills. Young professionals today and professionals-to-be have been raised with the ability to communicate rapidly, but it’s too often digitally. If you have technical aptitude, my advice to up-and-comers is to cultivate this passion with strong, professional and personable communication skills.
[Know someone who thinks their IT job is awesome? Introduce them to me at debperelman [at] gmail [dot] com.]