10 Career Tips From Our Senior Director of Engineering

August 29, 2016

Dermot Reynolds is 'Senior Director of Engineering' at Datalex. Read his top 10 career tips on how to succeed in a fast-paced, tech environment. To find out more about career opportunities at Datalex, click here.

Focus on Building Great Products In Addition To Career Goals

When you go home at the end of the day, the most satisfying thing is when a customer has said that your team, product or feature has helped them achieve something. That’s the best feeling. Concentrate on that and achieving your career goals will follow.

Everything Is An Opportunity

I don’t think there is a linear career path - certainly not in technology - so try stuff. Even if you think you’re ‘moving sideways’, even if you fail, it could turn out to be a great opportunity.

Offer Solutions, Not Problems

Never just highlight a problem – that’s too easy. Show how a problem can be solved. In my experience, people and teams who present solutions are more successful. They also create a positive environment or DNA in a company, and that can be contagious.

Prioritise The Long-Term

Prioritising the long-term is a continuously difficult task, particularly in a dynamic work environment. What I try to do is focus on the important items now that will give benefits in the following years.

Put People First

People are everything in a business - employees, customers, peers, vendors. A leader’s job is to enable teams of people to be better. So focus efforts on enabling this and you won’t go too far wrong.

Successful Teams Are Autonomous Teams

Give teams and individuals enough autonomy to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and succeed. For high-performing teams or individuals, the role of leader should be to set a longer-term direction and only intervene in the short-term if the team needs unblocking.

Not All Leaders Look The Same

Not all teams are led by the same type of person – some teams need a completely structured leader, other teams need an evangelist, and so on. Matching individual leaders and personalities to the tasks that the team needs to perform is very important.

Be Open

Generally, people respond better when they know the reason why something is the way it is: be that the reason for a tough decision, or why a particular project needs extra effort. I find people appreciate being kept informed.

Don’t Just Network, Build Professional Connections

At Datalex, talking to our customers and understanding how critical our product is to their day–to-day business creates a professional connection. This means my team and I are more invested, more engaged in the truest sense, to help the customer be successful.

Get Excited

I heard a statement recently “Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again”. It’s so true. In our sector, airlines are becoming retailers that happen to sell flights too. The next 2-3 years will see radical change here. We are working on cognitive solutions that will blow your mind, and totally change how airlines interact with consumers.

We’re hiring. Explore the opportunities...