Portland, Oregon, United States
I am the Director of Software Engineering for Vesta Corporation, a worldwide electronic payment solutions and fraud management company. We make electronic payment solutions for our clients that integrate wholly within their brand. I’ve been a software engineer since 1999 and have been with Vesta since 2010.
I manage 25 developers in 3 Vesta locations (Portland, Atlanta and Dundalk, Ireland), and 15 contract developers in Guadalajara, Mexico and Chennai, India.
I love my job for many reasons, but I most especially appreciate the people I work with and that I am learning something new every day. In this field, even when times are tough and money is tight, companies will pay a fair wage to attract or retain talent.
As your PivotPlanet advisor, I will share with you information about what it takes to transition from an engineering role to a management role, including:
• The different types of engineers
• Different styles of management
• How to develop a career path for yourself and for employees
• How to balance the tightrope of corporate politics
• Establishing your brand within the organization
Armed with a bachelor's degree in business administration, my first job was with an IT recruiting company. After about six months on the job, I realized I would much rather work in IT than find candidates to do so. I wanted to be a software engineer!
So I made a job change and worked in quality assurance for a large St. Louis-based company. It wasn’t a dream job, but it was a foot in the door. After about a year I was promoted to software developer and then after a few months on the job, I left to become a freelance developer.
For the next five years, even though I found clients and worked on projects, I was surviving, but not thriving. I didn’t feel I was making enough progress in my career. I was too busy and didn’t have a life outside of work.
There were times when I worked 70-80 hours a week, sometimes 7-days a week and I felt like I was only treading water. It’s important to find a work/life balance and to pursue other interests outside of work.
So, I moved to Portland, Oregon for the beauty of the area and the lifestyle it promised, but again found myself mostly working alone. I accepted a three-month contract at Intel and that gave me great experience and opened so many doors. With such a respected name on my resume, I found a few great jobs working for agencies and my career really progressed. Since then, I find that I am much happier working for a company than when I was a freelancer. Being part of a team feeds my soul and I enjoy managing and mentoring other employees.
My job is demanding, but it also provides a balance that I need in my life. I have time to explore my artistic side by creating modern art, learning about glass blowing and traveling to new places.