Apex |blog-CESpotlight-DudleyT Page Content Visit the main blog page. Follow us on our social media channels, where we share lots of great content and events! Contractor Spotlight – Dudley T. – Solutions Architect June 2018 “Dudley has been with our organization just over 5 years. The knowledge and professional approach that Dudley provides to our customers and to his team has been a great benefit to all of us, and our organization. Dudley’s background in development has allowed him to provide the highest level of insight & solutions related to the tools and processes in our environment. It has been, and will continue to be, a pleasure to have Dudley as part of our team.” - Quote from Dudley's Manager With 35 years of Information Technology experience, we were very excited to catch up with Dudley and learn about his path to success, lessons he’s learned along the way, and what Tech “up and comers” can do to differentiate themselves and advance! What do you do and what has your career path been? I began as a Software Developer, building database, commercial and simulation software/products, then moved into a Team Lead role, then a Dev Manager, and am now a Solutions Architect for a Tools Team, where we automate tools to better support Developers and Managers to ensure better processes, reporting, tools, etc. What qualities contribute to being a top performer? I’ve been lucky to have worked for some incredible organizations and people, who helped me develop mentalities to work by. I’ve always followed the concept of “Raise the Bar” where you “strive to hire people better than yourself,” which I learned at one of my first companies. Second, as an employee/contractor, you want to ensure your actions/behaviors are always contributing to a culture of “us” (i.e. focus is on betterment of the team/group/company, not yourself). Being a team player and focusing on team and overall success is vital to success for yourself. Third, be dependable, take ownership of what you do, be responsible, and be transparent. Take ownership of problems, and always be contributing to solving problems. Google is my friend! First thing I do when I have a problem is to search via Google. Lastly, find and take advantage of opportunities to learn. On top of Google, YouTube is another wonderful place! There is also no shortage of technology forums and online learning platforms for almost any technology concept, tool, etc. Everything is out there! On the flip side, what are things you could do that would hurt your professional image? One of the things I’ve seen over the years is a perceived lack of transparency and “knowledge hoarding.” Don’t have the goal of increasing your billable time with your customers. Rather, deploy and teach, especially as a service organization and in a “service role.” Think about “How can I make the customer successful and self-sufficient?” Don’t hoard knowledge. Build trust and a long-standing partnership with your customers through the “teach others to fish” mentality! What or who has helped you develop in your career over the years? Relationships. That’s the key. Establish good relationships, which stem from a push and pull (i.e. give and take) mindset. Develop trusting relationships, and make sure you’re both giving (i.e. knowledge, help, etc.) and taking (asking for advice, knowledge, help, etc.). Leave your ego at home, and don’t miss an opportunity to build relationships that are mutually beneficial. What are your thoughts on the value of certifications? Certifications are a necessary evil! You need certifications to get in the door at many organizations. As a Manager, a candidate with a certification gets a little more attention from me initially (i.e. resume/application). It’s a candidate advantage. It also shows initiative and an interest in furthering your skills, which I value in people. You need to really study up though, as certification exams are more about syntaxes and knowing the commands. A huge challenge for entry level IT professionals is getting experience and landing their 1st tech job. What’s your advice for them? You need to give a great impression during the interview process. Find out as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing at! Learn about the job you’re seeking to fill, and be enthusiastic about it! Demonstrate your interest level, and continue to be interested in learning! Also, dress to impress! Outside of work, what are your interests/hobbies? Golf, golf and more golf! In summary, Dudley stressed to have passion for your work, as passion is the key to success (and job satisfaction)!