WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
I lead SeaTec Digital, which develops software for our customers and for use by our Consulting and Engineering teams. We develop custom software to solve specific customer pain points, automate processes, integrate applications and implement commercial off-the shelf applications (COTS) that are available to all customers on a subscription basis. Data integration, migration, machine learning and analytics are core to much of what we do.
My role involves leading people, providing technical direction, architecting, and coding. I work with many different stakeholders which includes the software firms we partner with – Aerosoft, Aermetric, and Trekea Fieldlogs.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?
When I was a kid, I wanted to learn about computers and programming. A friend and I would take the bus down to the Atlanta library. I’d study books on different programming languages, and I would write programs on paper. And then when I got access to a computer, I would type them in and spend time fixing them. Of course, there were TV shows and cartoons like “The Jetsons” – the Space Age – and I thought, “Man, this is awesome. I’ve got to do this.” … though I’m still waiting on my flying cars. Over the years, I got access to a personal computer and started pursuing a career. I’ve always set “where am I going to be in five years” kind of goals. By my early 20s, I’d gotten the job I wanted, systems analyst. I went on to spend almost 18 years at Turner Broadcasting, writing software. During that time, I moved into management and earned an MBA at Georgia Tech.
How has your career been fulfilling, and why?
Getting computers to do what you want them to do has always been easy. Getting people to do what you want them to do has been very hard. So I looked at management as the next level of challenge, of, “All right, how do I learn how to do that, because that seems more powerful.” I found myself as a sort of bridge between technology and management. And it’s neat to straddle the two, to be able to live in both worlds and communicate on both sides.
A friend of mine – we’d worked together at Turner – joined SeaTec and was still saying good things after a few years here. I came and met with them, and there was pride as they espoused the SeaTec values and talked about the people. The very first day I started, my mother-in-law ended up in the hospital and passed away. I ended up having to take some personal time. And there was a very strong and positive outreach from SeaTec and from people in various positions. And it’s not stopped.
The SeaTec values are very much a part of the day-to-day work here and how people interact and treat each other. I really respect that, and it’s one of the reasons I’m still here. I’ve had multiple offers since I’ve been here and know people on my team have as well. And yet people choose to stay. For me, that says a lot.