People Engineering

There have been a number of different events in my life right now that have caused me to start to looking back in my career. One of the biggest changes for me is the switch from having a very technical role to non-technical roles. Looking back, the change wasn’t as revolutionary in my career as I first thought; it was merely evolutionary. The main reason why technology development appealed to me is because it is one of the few ways that I can actually be creative in the way I solve a particular problem. When I first started out in development, much of the problem solving and creativity was isolated in the sense that both the problems and solutions were constrained to technology. The nice thing about technology is that it is binary. Things either work or don’t work for the most part. As my career evolved, my problem solving involved a mixture of business and technology; I was now using technology to focus on solving business problems. The business problems were interesting because the answers were not as concrete. There were a lot more variables to consider. In the past few years, my career has been more about building technology teams by setting up people, process and tools.

 

At first glance, my current career path seems to be inconsistent from my experience and reputation as a technologist. In earlier parts of my career, I was usually the person that people leaned on in a technical crisis. Even now, I still have 4 full 4U servers in my basement mounted on a server rack at home. While understanding technology comes rather easily for me, my passion really is in problem solving. Setting up organizations, building teams and implementing tools are simply a different way to solve a much broader and complex set of problems. At the heart of it all, the key to success for what I do now is people. Both tools and organizational structures are required to help people be sucessful at what they do which in turn helps me be successful in the problem I’ve been tasked with to solve. I call this people engineering and a big part of what is required for anyone to be successful in a role that involves organzing people is leadership. While I’ve written some blogs in the past about people or thoughts that have inspired me about leadership, I’ve decided to dedicate a whole section that focuses on my experience and struggles with people and leadership.