Interview With Luke Ogg, Product Owner

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.

One of the most unique positions at Computronix is that of the product owners. There are only two product owners in the company, and Luke Ogg is one of them. Specifically, he is the POSSE Land Management System (POSSE LMS) Product Owner, and he describes himself as being constantly “deep in the next release of LMS.” His role consists of constantly trying to improve the product, and evaluating the many ideas for LMS to see which ones are the best fit for the product, and will ultimately best serve Computronix’s customers.

A big part of his job, and a part that he loves, is finding solutions and solving problems. “Every day we get to solve problems,” he says. However, he says is that his favorite part of the job is actually when he is able to help people. He talks about the “lightbulb moment,” when he’s on-site with a client and there’s a realization of how POSSE LMS can make their job easier.

He enjoys working with the team and Computronix, praising them as “genuine and caring” people who make it a great atmosphere to be part of. Not only that, but in his opinion, they’re brilliant, saying “I’ve seen problems solved and solutions created at Computronix that are both award winning and amazing.” He praises the POSSE software and is proud to be part of the team that improves it.

Even though he’s no longer on the “front lines,” so to speak, as a developer writing code directly for clients, his job is still an integral part of providing a better experience for Computronix clients. “Better software is going to equal better service, because it’s easier for our team to implement.” And in Luke’s opinion, serving clients well is the most important thing Computronix can do.

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.

It can be scary to start a new job at a new company. There’s often uncertainty about whether you’re going to get along with your co-workers, how much you’re going to have to learn, and all the other things that go along with the transition. When Eissa Pavo started at Computronix a year ago, she had many of those same fears and worries. It was her first time working in the IT industry, her first time coding in Python, and she admits that she felt intimidated at first. “But after the first couple of days, I felt really welcome at the company. Everyone waved and said hi, even if they didn’t know who I was!”

As her comfort level with her co-workers grew, so did her familiarity with the job. She learned how to use Python, and found that “whenever I got stuck or got confused on something I could easily turn to someone and get help.” There is also a collection of books and resources that are available for employees to peruse if they need. Eissa says she loves the coding involved in her job. She compares it to a puzzle, where you can see the end goal and all the pieces, and it’s just a matter of doing the procedure correctly, in a logical way.

At Computronix, Eissa says that she feels like part of a team in a way she never has at any other company she’s worked for. Everyone is very inclusive and welcoming, and willing to support each other. This fosters an attitude where employees “come together to help each other out and make the company better” Despite her entry-level job, she feels fulfilled because “I’m always able to make changes and make things better. Even if it’s just a small change, I’m still making a difference.”

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.

Oftentimes companies refer to their employees as a “team,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every employee is going to buy into the team mentality. Frequently, there will be people who prioritize their personal success over their co-workers’, or allow their egos to run rampant. However, Senior Business Analyst Ron den Otter says that not only is this not the case at Computronix, but in fact, in his opinion, “the sense of commitment to the team is our greatest strength.”

However, it wasn’t always that way for him. He’s worked for Computronix off and on for about 20 years total, first starting in 1979. He’s been in his current role since 2009. He describes himself as an extremely competitive person, but it was a process of learning and growing to be able to use that constructively. “Now, I look for mutual wins. I’m still competitive, but I don’t like crossing the finish line alone anymore.” This was something Ron learned during his years at Computronix, particularly through having leaders like Herman Leusink around to mentor him and correct him when necessary.

In return, he is now able to be a leader and a mentor to other employees, which he describes as his favorite part of his job, saying that “I love figuring out what people need and how I can help them.” Ron is able to do this in his role as a business analyst because really, the primary responsibility is to “figure out what clients really want and need, and try to ensure we can provide a win for them, as well as for us.” He has a PhD in counselling, and he explains that being a business analyst requires “basically the same skillset.”

More than anything else, what has kept him at Computronix over the years is the way that “Computronix chooses to put people first.” It really does feel like a team, and on any good team, “nobody wins if everybody doesn’t win.”

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.

The vast majority of professionals in the tech industry are male, particularly among programmers and developers. This fact can cause problems with women’s work being undervalued or not taken seriously. A recent study found that although women’s code was actually rated slightly higher than men’s, the women were more likely to have their code rejected.

Theresa Ayers was the only female in her engineering program at college, and she experienced some of that prejudice from some other students and even a few professors. She admits that, “I was a little nervous when I started job searching, to be honest.” However, at Computronix she found that “the people here are very open-minded, they really took me in. I always feel supported and like an equal with my male coworkers.”

From the beginning, Theresa got the impression that it was a “genuine company that cared about the clients, the work and the employees.” She soon found that she was able to contribute to projects that not only challenged her and made her a better programmer, but also positively impacted clients, allowing them to do their jobs better than before. “It’s great being able to see how my work actually makes a difference for a client’s day-to-day responsibilities,” she says enthusiastically.

Like many others at Computronix, she emphasizes how employees will frequently come together as a team to complete a major project or to meet a crucial deadline, working together to come up with creative solutions that will provide clients with the best system possible. She says that to her, Computronix’s culture can be summed up by the word “Value, because everybody here values each other’s opinions, and the company values us as people and as employees.”

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.

One of the core principles that Computronix values is learning. Employees are constantly encouraged and given opportunities to deepen their knowledge in a wide range of areas. This could include anything from taking classes on programming or leadership, allowing for on-the-job mentorship, or just assigning people to projects that will require them to develop new skills. Chris Schulz has experienced a lot of this learning during his two years at Computronix.

Within his first year, he was given the opportunity to be a lead developer on a database upgrade for a client. Along with that, he was required to update their website to match the new code. Because he had never worked on websites before, it was a challenge, and it required him to learn and gain experience. However, whenever he was faced with a particularly difficult problem, he was able to consult with his co-workers and the other members of the project team to figure out how to find a solution. Chris described the project as “challenging, but it was a lot of fun.”

His position is somewhat unique within the company, because instead of working full-time with a large client, he serves a lot of smaller clients – seven at the time of the interview. This provides him with a lot of variety in his work, and also allows him to gain experience in a wide range of tasks.

Aside from the learning that happens within his team, Chris appreciates that Computronix allows and even encourages “cross-team working,” meaning that just because an employee is assigned to a specific project, doesn’t mean they can’t help out with other projects. This wasn’t the case for him with past employers. There is also a company-wide social network in place that allows people to post their questions and receive answers quickly. All in all, “It’s just a really supportive, friendly, fun environment to be a part of.”