Steven Shorey and the Emerging Leaders Course

For our Computronix employee interviews, we sit down with people from all levels of our company and ask them about their jobs, and what it’s like working for Computronix.

Computronix employees are constantly encouraged and given opportunities to learn and become better at their jobs, and even to move into new positions if they so desire. As part of this emphasis on professional development, the company offers several programs, courses and classes, such as the Emerging Leaders course.

Steven Shorey is a Tech Lead at Computronix, and during his first year with the company he took the Emerging Leaders course. He felt that, although he had been in a few different leadership positions previously, he’d never really been taught the “right way” to be a leader.  He wanted to ensure that he was not only getting projects done but also maintaining healthy relationships with his co-workers in the process. In contrast to other companies he’s previously worked for, leadership at Computronix is “just helping somebody out and taking a vested interest in them.”

He found the Emerging Leaders course to be incredibly helpful and he was able to get a good picture of what is involved in being a leader at Computronix. He asserted that “the Emerging Leader course was very high-level and gave core concepts for how to be a leader.”

He said that he would definitely recommend the Emerging Leaders course to anyone, regardless of whether they hope to become a supervisor someday or not. He described the course as promoting and encouraging a lot of internal reflection and learning how to become more self-aware. As Steven explained it, “it’s something that anybody would benefit from. It’s a very solid personal investment, regardless of whether you want to be a supervisor at some point or not.”

Computronix has a strong emphasis on professional growth and development. Employees are encouraged and given opportunities to learn and become better at their jobs, and even to move into new positions if they so desire. One of the ways the company provides learning opportunities is through programs, courses and classes, such as the Supervisor Training course, or the recent Tech Lead Fast Track program. In the pilot Tech Lead Fast Track program, a group of employees were selected who were currently performing in a lead developer or an entry level tech lead role.    The goal of the pilot launch was to help those employees in newly assigned technical leadership roles a firm foundation by learning more about the responsibilities of the position and how to become more effective at their jobs. Three of them – Craig Porter, Jacob Carnegie, and Kevin Nanson – were interviewed, so that we could understand how effective the program was, and how it made a difference for them.

There were a variety of classes and topics covered, taught by various senior employees and leaders. In Kevin’s words, he found it really helpful to “be educated by peers, by people who have actually had that kind of experience.” Craig agreed, saying that the variety of speakers meant that “you got to learn from a lot of people’s opinions or specialties,” creating a very all-encompassing education of the responsibilities of the Tech Lead position.

Both Craig and Jacob found that they really took to heart Dave den Otter’s explanation of the Tech Lead’s primary role, namely that they “Own the Solution.” This means that, more than anyone else, it is the Tech Lead’s responsibility to make sure that “when the solution is delivered to the client, it’s going to meet or even exceed their expectations and requirements,” as Jacob put it.

All three found that the program made them much more confident in their roles and responsibilities. The training “makes my job a lot easier. I’m not flailing, I’m not wondering what I’m doing, I actually know,” explained Kevin. Craig was working as a Tech Lead on his second project while taking the program and he found that “I didn’t question myself the second time. I had more self-confidence.”

These comments from Craig, Jacob, and Kevin are confirmation that this program is on track to help train and equip our next class of emerging tech leads beginning early 2017.