Simply put, project management is something that comes naturally to me. Being a big brother in an often times latch-key and single-parent home environment, it was usually up to me to determine what we would do, where we would ride our bikes, how we’d build our forts, etc. It was this position of leadership and general risk assessment, along w/those decisions often being made on the fly, that really provided some great early career and personal conditioning.
Working in various management roles at places like Burger King & Blockbuster throughout my youth, high school and college years furthered my decision-making skills. Those experiences also proved to be a great introduction into the customer/provider relationship. Thankfully, most of my formative faux pas’ were made during those younger years — I believe that it is important to personally experience ‘failures’, ensuring, though, that something is learned with each one. Never stop learning.
My current incarnation as a project manager came about when I came into the web development world in the summer of 2008. I’d just left Florida State University’s Masters program in Meteorology and relocated sans job to Portland to get back to my Best Coast roots. The economy was in the toilet, which meant that there was very little government money to go around for things like road upkeep, social programs, and starving meteorologists. So I fell back on my coding skills that had been developed academically beginning way back in the 10th grade.
I was lucky enough to find a home in the Silicon Forest here w/in a few days and quickly rose through the development ranks there to project lead positions. It was in these leadership roles w/in that fledging young development shop that I found those management, leadership and communication skills to be greatly valuable, well used and appreciated. I’d found something enjoyable at which I was actually pretty well suited for. Imagine that.
Combined with my new professional understanding of web development & programming (I still like to hop into the code from time to time), it’s made me the Technical Project Manager that I am today.
Do you have a quote or mantra or swear word that gets you through particularly rough days?
These are for every day and I’ll give you one of each:
This quote by my favorite humor author Mark Twain always makes me smile: “Familiarity breeds contempt — and children.”
My mantra has always been “Do it.” No offense to Nike, but the “Just” part seemed a little superfluous and unnecessary — chalk it up to my being a fan of conciseness, w/o compromising being effective.
Swear words? The old standbys seem to work well…
What’s your favorite aspect of project management?
The ability to communicate and translate between the business and development worlds to provide great customer experiences to clients who are ultimately happy with their projects. Being on time/early and on/under budget are great whenever possible too.
Favorite thing to do outside of work?
Kickball, run training, traveling & daily adventures w/friends. I’m also a huge Timbers fan. RCTID.
Beer is a food right? I think it classifies as one in PDX anyway.
Actually, though I haven’t eaten any meat in over a year and half, I’ve gotta say a good steak would still be one of my favorites.
Do you have any pets? kids? plants?
My plants are both my pets and kids. You should meet Audrey II, but please don’t feed her…
Worst job you ever had growing up.
Never had one — or at least now I realize that I haven’t. I’ve been very lucky to have had some great opportunities, and those that weren’t so great have provided good insight; insight into the things I don’t really want to try again. Those ‘worst jobs’ have also allowed for some personal learnings that I’ve incorporated into my personality and grown with.
Try everything at least once.
Do you have any “heroes” (tech, sports-y, whatever)
The Earth, the Sun and the Moon — the Universe as a whole. It’s amazingly gorgeous the things that the cohesive forces of Nature are able to come up with.
Favorite thing so far about working for Staffing Robot (besides me)
The team here is just the bee’s knees. I <3 the Robots!