csctechtalk

12/11 TechTalk Soundbites
CSC Distinguished Engineer Spotlight and 2015 Program Kickoff
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#csctechtalk01/22 TechTalk SoundbitesCSC's HR Transformation and Workday
Jerry Overton
To the other DEs: what did you think was the most difficult part of the application process?
Rick Wilhelm
I would bet there were two most difficult parts: finishing and starting. ;-)
Jerry Overton
For me it was the in-person interviews. Having to succinctly explain my style of technical leadership and how it can benefit CSC -- be ready for that.
James G Hayes
I found the application form to be the hardest part. "trying to remember" accomplishments...and then trying to weigh they were important enough. #csctechtalk
Jerry Overton
@JamesGHayes1 Yeah and trying to decide if an accomplishment was actually worthy of going on the list.
James G Hayes
Some advice - look back at your previous performance appraisals for those significant accomplishment nuggets...
Bob Donnelly
Selecting what to put where. The application fields have potential overlap. My goal was distinct items in each field versus reuse.
Lisa Braun
As the DEs have said, just doing the application is a good exercise in and of itself, as it forces you to take stock of your accomplishments, reflect on them, remember them :)
Jerry Overton
@drbobcsc Good one. I felt like was repeating the same thing over and over some times.
James G Hayes
If your not sure if its important enough - ask your mentor, manager, or even your family to get another point of view.
Lisa Braun
Okay, note to self (ie, the program team) about potential overlap in the application form!
Bob Donnelly
Lisa, it's more that one task could fit several fields: leadership, impact to business, etc.
Philip (flip) Kromer
the surprising number of "gosh I really don't have much to fill in on this slot, I hope the other things make up for it." Which we all later found out was true for the majority ( at least ) of us
Jerry Overton
Yeah, staring at those blank fields is the worst!
Lisa Braun
Yes, have heard not to worry if you can't fill in all the boxes -- that almost no one can. If you've got good stuff, definitely apply.
Philip (flip) Kromer
people considering applying: I cannot stress this enough, go through the process even if you have slots you feel fall short. Your *worst-case* scenario is a roadmap for next steps in career growth + contacts far from you in the org char
Lisa Braun
Yes, and increased visibility for yourself as "one to watch"
Jerry Overton
And don't leave anything out because you think it's not good enough-- my dad used to say "don't jump off the boat, make 'em throw you off"
Philip (flip) Kromer
One great way to really shore up a donut is to show momentum. So you don't have two years of blog posts? Make a blog and post two interesting things. So you don't feel like you have wide-ranging internal impact? Join a tech transformation workstream.
Lisa Braun
Can you talk about mentoring? How have mentors helped you in the DE process or your career, and on the flip side, are you an active mentor?
Jerry Overton
Have had a few aspiring DEs reach out to me. Its as rewarding for me as it is for them.
Jerry Overton
Going through the process myself, mentoring was key for me -- even if only to get a 2nd pair of eyes on my application.
Jerry Overton
Plus its nice to have someone encourage you in those times when you start thinking -- "I'm really not up to this task"
Bob Donnelly
Mentoring can be formal but sometimes it is just taking the time to learn, teach, and collaborate. It creates fuzzy math: 1 + 1 > 2.
Heather Simpson 🌈🍃
@JerryAOverton I'm loving the real talk from you and @JamesGHayes1 today, we're all in awe of your genius, but its nice to know we all question our abilities at one time or another. Hope this candor and encouragement will move a few to apply!
Philip (flip) Kromer
+1 -- key thing I got from mentoring is confidence that I could trust my engineering intuition. Also to know where I was weak/strong and how to use team to fill in / elevate those areas
Rick Wilhelm
@drbobcsc Yes... and sometimes mentoring is just asking the right questions in the right sequence... with mutual learning along the way.
Philip (flip) Kromer
I'll also say my career growth has been aided as much or more by mentor*ing* as mentored. Takes you to the next level of metacognition - must learn to explain and justify what you incorporated by experience. Sr engineers may need mentees more then mentors.
Rick Wilhelm
Mentoring rests on a foundation of trust; which in itself creates the type of environment where learning can take place; learning and fear don't mix.
Jerry Overton
Good ways to get exposure and get known? Any advice?
Jerry Overton
Just applying is a good start.
Heather Simpson 🌈🍃
Get involved in the Tech Transformation--I think internally this is a great way to get your name out there as someone who steps up to the plate and wants to "do more"
Bob Donnelly
Working on proposals. Broadens your contacts and is something to list on application.
Paul
Get involved in the tech Transformation - 12 streams of activity to pick from - volunteer to lead stuff - connect with the sponsors (many are DE's) - explore the Open Source activities and link to external communities - don't be boxed in!!
Rick Wilhelm
@heatherscsc right... anyone can get involved in Tech Transform.
James G Hayes
Volunteer...don't wait to be called upon.
Heather Simpson 🌈🍃
Go here to do get involved: https://c3.csc.com/c...
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Paul
Most all all stick your head above the wall - don't worry about what your immediate colleagues may think if you're serious enough about wanting to advance your interests and career
Jerry Overton
@phowarth001 Great advice. I was afraid to make it known that I even had the aspiration.
Rick Wilhelm
What are your thoughts about important *non-technical* skills you think that a DE should have?
Bob Donnelly
Communication but that is really a technical skill, too. There are many forms: papers, conversations, typing comments in so many characters.
James G Hayes
Communication ability is important. Written and verbal as we are representing CSC to the external world.
Lisa Braun
Mentoring. Leading.
Paul
not sure if these are skills or characteristics - but what I picked up was traits like curiousity, perseverence, enthusiasm, passion, and an ability to convey knowledge to to others in an easy to understand manner
Jerry Overton
Some kind of vision. That weird, quirky idea that you have that you think will get you laughed at...that's probably the deciding factor in making you a DE.
Heather Simpson 🌈🍃
@phowarth001 You're right! I've heard passion, curiosity and a love of "tinkering" as being great drivers for success among this group
Faisal Siddiqi
@JerryAOverton Weird, quirky ideas have a way of sounding less so if we can pull them off. Have you been able to pull off some?
James G Hayes
Caring and being passionate.
Paul
A question I meant to ask in the session was how much external stuff are you involved in - are you members of any professional bodies for example?
Jerry Overton
professional organizations, company consortia, informal data science meet ups. Any group that shares my passion and will let me in, really.
Bob Donnelly
I was elevated to IEEE Senior Member in 2013. Went on my DE application as did presenting at various IEEE conferences.
James G Hayes
I've been leveraged to champion DevOps to a major healthcare client both externally to the client and internally to our own staff (change is sometimes hard to accept)
James G Hayes
Sharing insights on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn); drafting papers for industry publication (ATCA Journal)
Jerry Overton
@JamesGHayes1 Definitely. Participating in the whole "outside in" movement has been a big part of my external contact.
Philip (flip) Kromer
Open source projects are basically like if anyone could walk in to a pick-up basketball game with LeBron and MJ. Prof societies have some value but direct value to you and signaling value of open source contributor weigh even more for me.
Rick Wilhelm
@mrflip +1 Yes... Open source is only a chance to contribute, but a great way to learn