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.”

At Computronix, we have created an environment that is healthy and welcoming for all employees. Developer Kudzai Mboko, Tech Lead Andy Patterson, and Human Resources Director Dave Neumann share about what a healthy environment means for them.

At Computronix, we want all of our employees to have a balanced life. In this video, Operations Manager Chris Stolte, Tech Lead Yars Tsaytak, and Operations Manager Doug Fairchild share their their thoughts on how Computronix supports Work-Life balance.

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.

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.

At Computronix, a strong emphasis is placed on building personal relationships – not just between co-workers, but also between employees and clients. When clients trust that the people providing them with a service are trying to provide a win-win, and not just look out for their own interests, it is easier to work with them. Because of the value Computronix places on the client relationship, we work together to find the solution that is most beneficial for both parties. That’s why Andy Patterson says that the thing he is proudest of at Computronix is “the relationships I’ve built with clients and coworkers.”

Andy says that the relational foundation also allows employees to directly communicate with clients to “understand their core business needs and provide them with a system that solves their specific problems,” rather than a broad system that may or may not be able to help them.

He describes one smaller client that he worked for, where he was able to take them from a completely paper-based system to an online system that was much faster, more convenient and more efficient for everyone. Although Andy’s regular job is Tech Lead, because of the small size of that particular project, he was able to perform in a wide range of roles, from Tech Lead to Developer to Business Analyst. Because he was the central point of contact between the client and Computronix, he was able to build a strong relationship with them and the project was more successful because of it.

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.

When Brad Veenstra graduated from post-secondary school a decade ago and began looking for a job, one of the potential workplaces that really stood out to him was a small software company named Computronix. From his initial meeting with the previous CEO, Herman Leusink, Brad says that he could tell that it was “a very down-to-earth, authentic place. It felt like a really natural fit.” That first impression has proven true, and he describes his co-workers as “genuine, sincere people who want to be part of a team.”

He was a software developer during his first few years at Computronix and began to slowly take on more and more responsibility. After five years, he became a Tech Lead, which is the role he still holds today. As a Tech Lead, he is responsible for working with clients to design the system that best suits their needs. For him, it is “very rewarding work,” particularly because he is able to go on-site and see how clients are using the products and how much easier their jobs have become since implementing our business solutions.

At first, those on-site visits weren’t always enjoyable. Brad admits that he’s not an extroverted person, and it took some time and practice for him to become fully comfortable presenting to clients. However, he quickly points out that the company leadership supported and encouraged him throughout the process, saying that “at first, they made sure I had strong leaders along with me, so that I could learn from their example.”

That leadership is one of the things that Brad most appreciates about Computronix. He has a lot of respect for the executive team and the other leaders here.  In closing, he affirmed that “you could have the best job in the world, but if you don’t work with people you respect, it’s not going to be a very rewarding job. And there are a lot of respectable people here.”

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 thing you discover when talking to Computronix employees is that many of them are extremely committed to the company. It’s not uncommon to meet someone who has been part of Computronix for a decade or more, working their way from an entry-level job to a management position. Matthew Johnson is a perfect example of that, as he started working here 14 years ago as an apprentice who knew “very little about programming,” and is now a Technical Team Lead, responsible for leading a team of developers to build technical solutions for clients.

For him, the main reason he’s stayed for so long is the people. “I work with some of my best friends at this company,” he professes. It isn’t an empty claim either, as he regularly invites co-workers to his home to play board games and socialize. When asked what his co-workers are best at, his immediate response is “telling jokes!” He laughs at that for a moment, before adding “and we’re really good at innovating.”

People and innovation come up over and over again while talking to Matthew. His passion for inventive solutions is clear as he talks about the work he does, saying that his favorite part of his job is “being able to sit down and create, to solve a problem.” People skills, on the other hand, are something he’s had to learn during his time at Computronix, especially as he’s transitioned into more of a leadership role. It seems that this process of learning was really a joint effort between him and Computronix.

Matthew recalls one time when he was struggling to communicate with his team, and a senior staff member pulled him aside and explained exactly what the communication gap was, and how he could be better understood in the future. Situations like that are common within the company, and “that mentoring time has helped me understand myself more…it’s been fantastic,” he explains.

Ultimately, he’s been willing to go through these changes, to learn about himself and to grow as a person within a workplace context because he believes in Computronix’s vision of respecting, trusting and serving people – both employees and people outside the company. “It means I care about people, whether they’re the client on the other end of the phone or the guy sitting next to me.” It’s not always easy, he says as the interview wraps up, but “It’s a great place to work and there’s a lot of good people here.”