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We spoke with Jason about his career journey from music to technology and how he recently got a job as an engineering manager at the leading cyber security and endpoint management company, Tanium. Read what he had to share – and maybe get some inspiration to continue your dream career, no matter how you started!
You have a degree in music and initially went down that path before entering technology, and worked in a variety of industries from online dating and health services to finance and now cyber security.
What initially led you to the technology industry? And how was this journey?
I always had a passion for technology when I was growing up. My introduction to programming was through computer magazines that would include code that you could use to create a game. They rarely worked because there was always a typo (either in my magazine or code) and so my debugging skills were born.
While I was teaching private music lessons aloud at the local school, I wrote software for managing my studio – keeping track of lesson schedules, billing, forms, etc. I came across a job as a developer support engineer supporting FileMaker’s product line and that’s where my professional technology career began.
From that moment on, I never felt I wanted or needed to be associated with a specific industry in my career. As a musician you are always learning, from new music to new techniques (and I still enjoy performing regularly around the country).
The same is true in technology, no matter where you are or what you do. I learned so much in every job and every industry, I was constantly built on my previous experiences, and I brought these with me to every new company. It was a really rewarding and enjoyable journey.
How has your skill set evolved over the course of your career?
The UI (user interface) space is always changing and evolving – which is why I think I ended up settling on the experience side (UX). With each role, there were new challenges that needed to be solved and this was an opportunity to learn new skills along the way.
The approach to working with some talented team members throughout my career has given me the opportunity to learn from some of the best in engineering and user experience. When I moved into leadership, I had some great mentors who helped guide me as I grew up in my career.
How did you develop a passion for technology and engineering? What excites you about the nature of the role?
I had a passion for technology from a young age. The ability to bridge my creative side with more technical discipline was something I enjoyed and gave me a way to create.
In my new role, I am very excited about delving into the field of cyber security / endpoint management. I believe this is an area destined for incredible growth in the near future and Tennium is a great place to be to help lead this effort.
What parts of your job do you enjoy the most?
I love working with teams to create fun experiences, no matter what industry I work in and for whom I create solutions. The app experiences we interact with on a daily basis should always be intuitive.
I also love how each industry has something they can learn from, from online dating apps to airline booking systems and financial applications.
You have two Udemy credentials. Why did you decide to take them?
These certifications were completed in part as a research effort for some of the R&D work I worked on at the Bank of America and also to stay up to date with new technologies.
Although I have worked in a managerial role for the last 9 years of my career, it is still important for me to stay up to date in the current landscape so that I can help make informed decisions. Authorities are a great way to help make this happen.
How was your job search experience before joining Hired?
Many recruiters who have good relationships with recruitment managers are primarily looking to fill individual donor roles, not management positions. With other job boards and social networking sites, it was easy to overcome a flood of opportunities that just didn’t fit.
With Hired, I was offered opportunities to talk to some companies that were looking for people with my skills and experience.
Once my profile went live, I quickly received a number of interview requests, and Hired really made it easier to schedule and track the interview process up to my offer from Tanium.
What are your career plans for the future?
I look forward to learning all I can about cyber security and endpoint management in particular and growing even more as an engineering manager with a great company like Tanium!
Do you have any recent thoughts or tips you would like to share with other technology professionals?
Do not be afraid of a new challenge. There are so many great things we can learn from our colleagues in various industries and from small start-ups to large corporations.
Want to see how Hired helped Jason find his new engineering director role?
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