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Introduce yourself - what has your career path been to where you are now?

Hey everyone,

I thought it might be useful to have an intro thread, but instead of just focussing on who you are and what you're doing now, give a bit of background on how your career path progressed. Others can then use this information to get an idea of where their existing skills and experience may lead them to, or, if a community member wants to work towards a specific type of job, the steps that they may want to consider to work towards it.

To kick it off - born and raised in Sydney, Australia:

  • Started my professional career in 2000 as a front end web dev for a small agency
    • On the job training to learn ColdFusion + ASP + PHP + relational databases
    • ~ 2 years
  • Changed companies and moved to a much more customer facing role while also doing hands on development. Got a great understanding of how to interact with senior staff on the client side as well as a much better understanding of the business problems that we were trying to solve.
    • ~ 7 years
  • Changed companies to a more full service IT organization, headed up the web development team, managed hosting and IT service/sysadmin.
    • ~ 4 years
  • Moved to a digital agency as a sysadmin, but working heavily with the development team to work on streamlining processes. Was first exposed to the Atlassian tools (jira, confluence, stash/bitbucket, crowd). A number of the staff "didn't like the product" but in deeper discussion it became apparent that the product wasn't configured to support their business needs, so worked with the business users to understand their needs and reconfigure the tools better
    • ~ 1.5 years
  • Moved to the company I'm currently with (started as a Business Systems Manager) - again, lots of engagement with the business users to understand pain points and configuring the Atlassian (and other) tools to address those needs. As a large multi-national there's also a lot of compliance requirements so working with IT/security/finance/audit etc to ensure that all needs were met. Consolidated numerous Atlassian footprints in to a single regional environment. This environment then started to get traction at other offices around the world. What started as a common sense project to consolidate tools/processes and enable team sharing has now turned in to it's own sub-company with ~ 15,000 end users from ~ 200 different business units in ~ 80 countries and I was able to relocate to our New York Head Office to continue to drive further adoption and built out a global team to support the platform (business and technology).
    • ~ 5 years (and still going)

 

What has your journey been?

 

CCM

18 comments

Hi Craig & Everyone reading this.

I'm following Craig's template:

 

Born and raised in Tirana, Albania

 

  • Started my career in 2013, while in University, independent work, mostly web-development. (Same time worked as an audio engineer)
    • ~3 years
    • Beginner's compo :P (PHP + Javascript + MySQL db)
  • In 2016, started an intern program (as part of senior's year schedule). Applied & won the program in a multinational Bank. After program ended got offered an outsource position   in  IT Governance & Demand Management. This position greatly expanded my "Big Picture" knowledge, introduced to new concepts and also close interaction with Business users, understanding the organization's bigger workflow.
    • ~8 months
    • Demand Analysis, Reporting, Forecasting & Management, Process Automation
    • Got introduced to the Atlassian toolset, JIRA & Confluence (had previously worked only with BitBucket)
    • Implemented JIRA Software & Confluence for the HeadOffice users. The most challenging part, was definitely  the concept shifting towards agile methodologies (instead of existing strictly Waterfall) and overall Project Management & Documentation
  • During the same year, moved to Infrastructure unit,  mostly handling Atlassian tools (development & configuration) and Core Banking System closure of business process.  
    • ~6 months
    • Helped in acquiring much needed infrastructure concepts and overall knowledge
  • In 2017, moved to Core Banking Services unit, working as a Developer (Database development and integration with other systems). Still in charge of Atlassian tools development.
    • ~1.5 years (and still going)
    • Major "upgrades" in my financial concepts, projects which I was involved here helped a lot (such as IFRS9 implementation)
    • Crucial position, which got me familiarized with 90% of all organization's systems funcionality and applications linkage
    • Close interaction with International HQ, further expanding my functional & technical skills. Valuable experience
    • Got to implement JIRA Service Desk for the whole Organization and closely integrated it with current JIRA Software setup. By far this was the most fun project. Got to do a lot of dev work and also integration with other outside systems as well as linkage between SD and SW
    • Next targets -> Implementing DevOps workflows/practices throughout Development Department, integration to and from Atlassian tools/TFS etc. 

 

It's been a "narrow" journey maybe, since mostly worked in 1 organization, but a large one, so it has scaled well for me. It's been as fun as it was challenging :).

 

Best Regards,

Jimmy

Like # people like this

Hi everyone!

Was born and raised in Tiffin, Ohio (very boring place):

  • After college I moved to Kenosha, WI (also a boring place) in in efforts to find a technical career job in Milwaukee or Chicago market.
  • Started my professional career in financial operations where I was first exposed to SharePoint 2007.
    • On the job training to learn SharePoint 2007 & 2010
    • Became SharePoint admin for operations and troubleshoot helpdesk tickets
    • ~6 years
  • In efforts to continue down the collaboration career path, I took a risk and became a SharePoint consultant.
    • Worked on a WSS2003 to SharePoint 2010 migration project
    • Worked with international groups to keep each sprint on task
    • ~2 years
  • After the contract, I was picked up by my current employer who wanted my financial tool background. The collaboration piece of me itched for process improvement so I worked with a small group to evaluate current collaboration tools. Soon after, I helped implement Confluence Server and JIRA Core.
    • Became the local SME and admin of JIRA and Confluence
    • Joined a cool group of people on the Atlassian forums
    • Got ACP-CA certified
    • Became an Atlassian Community Champion
    • ~4 years
  • Will continue to learn the Atlassian products, be a valuable Community Champion, and get more certifications under my belt.  We will see what happens next!

Shameless plug: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-smith-a59a9064/

Like # people like this
Aaron Williams Community Leader Oct 02, 2018

Hey guys! I think I'll just follow the same format, as I don't want to act like a sore thumb...

Born in Elgin, raised in Lossiemouth, living in Edinburgh since 2010; all of this being Scotland, UK!

  • I started academics in 2008 working my way up through Access to Computing, HNC Computing, and finally BSc Information Systems (Interaction Design)
  • Officially began my career in February 2017 after finishing university in 2015
    • I started as an IT Assistant, now it's IT Support but the role hasn't changed too much other than landing in the Atlassian Suite with both feet
    • Initially the idea was to be the main IT guy for our two UK offices, reporting back into the Swedish office; this quickly changed into forming part of an IT Service team with a focus on self-service and global coverage
    • During the first 6 months I took part in two office moves, liaising directly with IT suppliers and spending my weekend (each time) in an overheated empty office finalising things; patching people up, configuring Google Meet rooms, hanging TV's from ceilings for signage, etc.
  • Introduced to Atlassian tools during an internship as (wait for it) Junior IT Project Management Assistant Intern... (yikes.)
    • Tasked with going through the backlog to close out issues they wouldn't work on (none of them got closed), escalating really important ones that needed immediate attention (none of them were successfully escalated; they were all super important), and deleting duplicate issues (I think I merged about 150 in a week, which felt like a lot back then)
  • Re-introduced to Atlassian tools in May 2017, as we migrated from OTRS (please do yourself a favour...) to JSD
    • We cut access from over 60 site-admins in an instance of 300 users
    • We fixed a lot of crazy permissions and badly named schemes (copy of copy of copy of copy of copy of jira workflow FINAL COPY DO NOT EDIT)
    • Took a lot of time myself diving deep into the backend of the system, cleaning, streamlining, renaming, fixing, and cleaning (so much cleaning)
    • On my way to becoming Jira Administrator Certified

Short space of time, huge slope climbed, and generally happy with where I'm at - we were recently acquired though, so I'm waiting with bated breathe for some news (good or bad...)

Like # people like this
Deleted user Oct 04, 2018

Hello Everyone,

Grew up in East Anglia, UK. Studied in Norwich Art University (2006) & Northumbria University (2009). Currently live in the North East of the UK.

Professional Career (Cannot remember dates for all of them)

  • Games Designer / Producer for 2+ years for a mobile games publisher. First taste of Atlassian stack with Jira and Confluence as a user.
  • Self-studied the Atlassian Stack in my own time.
  • Project's Coordinator for 3+ years. Admin to JS, JSD, CONF, PoJ, plus all the add-ons (so much fun :D ). 
  • Became a AUG Leader in Newcastle, UK in 2017.
  • Became an Atlassian Community Champion in 2018. 
  • Project Manager (late 2018) for Leighton, digital agency. 

Portfolio Management is my next step, however I would like to move industries to the financial sector.

Like # people like this

I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA when dinosaurs still roamed. and long before covered wagons  Yes, I am older than dirt.

  • I was planning to go into the sciences (environmental analysis), but an Intro to IT was a mandatory course and I found the little computer program we had to write easy and fun.  I discovered that I could get paid for having fun, and after swapping majors and getting a two-year degree, I was ready for work.. 
  • I worked as a COBOL and CICS programmer (young people will have to Google those) for quite a few years.  That moved into a Programmer/Analyst position as I started designing systems, and began leading development project teams over the course of fifteen years with the same company; a food distributor and grocery store retailer.
  • When I left there, I became a QC Analyst for an SAP implementation for an office furniture manufacturer, focused on SAP financials. I am still a perfectionist when it comes to testing and validation.
  • After the SAP implementation concluded, I became a Supply Chain business analyst and project lead for a supercenter chain.  A few years later, I was asked to be a full-time project manager and worked in that role until the end of 2017.
  • This year, I joined a company that provides financial compliance software.  They already had Jira and Confluence, so I set my MS Project hat aside and began learning these tools.  Jira is used for Agile development, issue reporting as well as managing smaller internal and external projects.  I’m still a novice, but getting better every day.

And may I say that the documentation on this site and the knowledgeable people on the forums are fantastic!

Like tom lister likes this
tom lister Community Leader Nov 07, 2018

Hello All

 

Grew up in South Wales, UK. Studied Environmental Biology (aka Ecology) at Aberystwyth University. Dabbled in landscape gardening before taking up an IT role.

 

I’ve nearly always worked in Finance in London although more technical than business. Worked for various major banks and small software houses. 

  • Advanced Banking Solutions Ltd (defunct now part of http://www.cor-ibs.com)
  • Actis in London (defunct)
  • ORIGIN UK Ltd
  • MTi(formerly WINTER PARTNERS)
  • Union Bank of Switzerland
  • Kleinwort Benson
  • Distributed Systems Ltd
  • AMRO Bank
  • NORDIC Bank
  • ARBAT (UK) Ltd
  • CAP (UK) Ltd

 

Certified JIRA Administrator. JIRA Workflow design, groovy scripting, and Adaptavist Scriptrunner. Java plugin development. JIRA requirement collection and building of business workflows for FO desks. Requirement collection for Agile development teams and Change Management release control.

 

JIRA Administration and developing business workflows

Workflow applications for 

  • software release controls within the bank
  • Front Office desk P&L Signoffs
  • Volcker Exception reporting
  • GL folder Authorisation
  • Agile scrum and kanban boards for teams
  • extensive use of Adapavist Scriptrunner
  • Writing technical guidelines for developers.

 

I shall be leaving my current role on 31st December 2018 and will be hunting for Jira Admin jobs in London

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Grew up in the Washington, D.C. Received my B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, University College.

I started working in Information Technology by accident around 2010 when my association made the decision to purchase an Association Management Systems.  I started working with the netFORUM AMS in 2010 until 2014.  I was first exposed to Jira in 2012 when I accepted a position at another association to work fully in the IT department.

I was re-introduced to Jira in February of this year when I accepted the contractor position I am on now.  I was tasked with the project of setting up the Jira Service Desk and re-configuring the current Jira platform to behave as a project management tool.

I am in the process of learning I can on Jira to prepare for my next opportunity when my contract ends in February or earlier if there is an opportunity before then.

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Hi!

Was born in Soviet Union.

Graduated from University in Uzbekistan (ex Soviet Republic) with degree in Economics.

Started my career in Uzbekistan as Russian-English interpreter before the university

Then moved to sales, in parallel doing IT tasks in companies I worked for.

in 2006 moved to full IT position in international FMCG company, in Moscow region, being responsible for infrastructure. Around that time started use and implement Agile methodologies in my team.

in 2012 started in international advertising group as PM and developer. Used Atlassian competitor products.

In 2017 moved to outsourcing company as support division head. Looked for Service desk tool with good knowledge base integration. Meet JSD and Confluence. Found and opportunity to sell such products to our clients. Passed certifications got partner status.

Currently lead Atlassian practices in the company.

Like Karen O'Keefe likes this

Hi everyone! 

Was laid off yesterday (last day is Friday at my current job--all contractors are being let go).

I'm looking for work as either a software tester or technical writer (senior-level).

To kick it off - born and raised in Los Angeles, CA:

  • Started my professional career as a technical writer for a Government contractor, then contracted at various companies doing everything from hardware/software/middleware/firmware/networking documentation, programming manuals (sometimes written in a native programming language--like PacBase). Although I was obviously a very technical technical writer, my undergrad and grad degrees are in English and writing.
  • Over time, I expanded my knowledge to developing online help for everything from mainframes to dos-based systems to server-based systems to web products. Eventually learned to do web- and computer-based training. As a technical technical writer working on software doc and help, I often discovered and reported lots of defects and kept being offered transfers to QA groups, which my bosses generally denied. Instead, I wrote documentation and processes for QA...and filed defects, often volunteering to help test after-hours (which made me a better writer).
  • I've worked as both a contractor and FTE for large and small companies, old and new companies, private and public companies, non-profits, and government offices (including NCR, LEXIS-NEXIS, the Air Force Research Lab, and lots of others).
  • Over the last 10 years, I have been employed as a Senior and Lead Quality Assurance Engineer, and as a senior/lead technical writer.
  • In both roles, I have spoken at international conferences, written articles for professional publications, and taught courses at universities (both undergrad and graduate courses in both software testing and technical writing/editing).

GOAL: Find a new job that leverages my skills/knowledge to help make the world a better place.

Shameless plug: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenokeefe/

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Hi Karen - hope that you've found something / find something soon. It's quite a tough market at the moment.

Hi all

My name is Yevhen (or Evgeniy) Rohovets. I am from Ukraine.

I started my work as a copywriter on freelance in 2015. Writing articles is an interesting and creative work, but in our area, one cannot earn money in such a position. ~ 8 month.

Before copywriting position, I tried my hand as a junior PHP developer, but I realized that learning another language, in addition to the ones you can speak, is not very interesting) ~ 3 month.

After that I worked in a charity, it was interesting, there you will have to learn how to talk with people. ~ 3 months.

After that, the introduction began really interesting) In 2016 I was taken by testers in a wonderful medical project. After half a year of work, I became the QA Team Lead, and a few months later the Project manager. It was a wonderful project, with an excellent team of professionals in which I worked for almost 3 years. It was a completely remote work, managing teams from 3 to 40 people were very cool.

In parallel with this, I was invited to work in a design studio, as a Project manager, they also needed to reorganize the processes, introduce quality control stages and help with the development of software. Half a year of work in this company taught me how to communicate with government agencies. This work was also remote.

Starting from a medical project, when I became a project manager, there was an interest in Atlassians. I managed to introduce Jira Software in the development here and in the design studio.

Now I work in a company Triangu. We are Atlassian Solution partners, we are engaged in consulting, setting up processes and introducing Atlassian products in different businesses, from small companies to the enterprise level.

If it became interesting to you, here is my linked in profile, we can write here or here and discuss any questions, I’m always glad to meet new people https://www.linkedin.com/in/evgeniy-rogovec/

Hi all

A heavily edited summary of my career is:

- Born and raised in South West Wales, UK.

- Studied Biochemistry with Medical Biochemistry at both University of Wales College of Cardiff and Trinity College Dublin, then a few years later I completed a Postgraduate Diploma (BA) at UWIC whilst working full time.

- Spent 4 years post University working in customer service as the job market in the 90's wasn't the best, plus I genuinely didn't know what to do career wise. Whilst I'd always thought I'd like to be a Doctor I found to my horror that I'm more than a little squeamish where large wounds are concerned and so after failing a pension firm's entry level personality test I was asked to on-board with their in house testing team instead. I sometimes wonder if that was a huge clue as to what I was letting myself in for!

- For the next 4 years I worked for Insurance firms as well as EDS (now part of HP) where I undertook roles such as Test Manager and Test-Coordinator, before finally taking the plunge into freelance work in 2004. 

- Since 2004 I've undertaken a number or software testing roles ranging from very technical automation and SIT / UAT analyst, through to Test Management, but the overriding theme along the way seems to have been the growth of the Atlassian toolset as the project's product of choice. Having implemented test strategies at corporate level I've often found myself the unwitting JIRA / Confluence administrator, re configuring both to meet the changing needs of the business and projects the tools serve.

- For the last 2 years I've been mainly focusing on providing Testing as a Service to my clients, but also developing my JIRA and Confluence skills as I would really love to move into JIRA admin full time - I'm open to doing that on a permanent basis too as I think that it will give me the foundation that I need to learn this product within an Enterprise environment.

If anybody has any leads into entry / mid level Atlassian Tool Admin roles then please d let me know.

Hi everyone,

I love this thread and seeing how your lives have twisted and curved into shaping their present. Opportunities and changes are the essences of growth ❤

Here goes mine:

  1. Always loved puzzles and challenging problems
  2. Studied mechanical engineering and specialized in robotics
  3. Found my first job sweeping the floor of a recycling plant in Worcester (UK)
  4. Jumped to supervising a garbage collection crew for the Wychavon District (UK)
  5. Kickstarted my work life again in tandem with my wife in Denmark as a food processing plant mechanic
  6. Jumped again to Tenerife (Spain) to maintain the irrigation system in a banana plantation
  7. Became a software engineer recruiter in Madrid (Spain)
  8. Self-taught developer -> go into BBVA as software engineer in Madrid
  9. Started freelancing as part of an incubator for Education 2.0 projects in Kortrijk (Belgium)
  10. Joined Atlassian in 2018 as a developer and now am happily learning to lead a team's drive, focus and motivation 😄

Wouldn't change a thing

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Evening everyone,

I'm a perpetual pupil, I've been in education since I was 4 when I got to school and now I'm almost 40 I'm planning my PhD!

I had letters after my name at 21 (in 2001), DipRSA because I'm a qualified personal assistant/personal secretary.

I was an adult learner, returning to college to take English Literature & Philosophy A-Levels in 2004. Then onto University to read English Literature and Philosophy, giving me BA after my name

For the last decade I've been supporting disabled students through University in the UK, whilst studying for my PGDip English Literature, Culture & Modernity 1860-1960, where my dissertation (that I wrote but never got to submit, hence PGDip and not MA) was on 19th century European BDSM pornography (if you're going to write 20,000 words, it might as well be on something interesting!). Giving me PGDip after my name

I've just finished MSc Psychology, giving me even more letters! MSc and MBPsS as I have an MSc and I'm now a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society!

I seem to be collecting letters! The next ones I'm aiming for are Dr Esme Crutchley PhD, but that's going to take quite a few years! I sort of have an idea of what I would like to do my PhD on, in Psychology, but it's early days yet. The closing date for applications is January 2021 to start in October 2021, so it's still in the very initial planning stages.

I have the best job in the world (personally), I work part-time in a University library and it's wonderful, I still get to help students and be in academia, surrounded by it, all the time, it's wonderful, but I get to have loads of time at home with my family, which is so precious to me!

I am an avid user of Trello (read: it's my life). I live in it, if it's not in Trello it's not happening! I use Trello Business Class because I want all the Butler commands & all the PowerUps, sharing a single board with my husband (so he can't mess anything up because my boards are gorgeous and I've spent days curating them to just how I like them, and if it's not the PS4, he's not very good with technology!).

So that's me in a nutshell! Collector of letters, academic to the bone both in career and studies and utterly in love with Trello! 

Like # people like this

😄Awesome stuff!!! I still dream of someday going back to uni as a fulltime worker... maybe someday :)

Like Esme Crutchley likes this
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Feb 05, 2020

What would you study @Fernando Bordallo?

I finished my MsC in Robotics nearly a decade ago and had to drop the dream of getting into my PhD on composite materials due to lack of funding -> Work on!

Since then my life has taken a turn or two :) I think I'd go back through the project management channels, focused on enterprise software. 

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Feb 05, 2020

I know what you mean about the funding, it's a nightmare!

DPK J Community Leader Mar 05, 2020

Mine is really simple,

College -> First Job and still here.

Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Came to the U.S. to attend college, and ended up starting a new life here. Today I live in Los Angeles, California.

  • I started my journey in software development as a QA Analyst.
  • I progressed from QA Analyst to QA Engineer, Senior QA Engineer, QA Lead and, finally, QA Director.
  • Today I am the Director of Agile Practices at a ticketing software company (TixTrack, Inc. tixtrack.com)
  • I've worked in many startups as well as large, well-established companies. I love both!
  • I've worked in software companies as well as IT departments that supported the operations of companies in the financial, insurance and entertainment industries.
  • I am passionate about quality and even more passionate about quality people. :)
  • I believe the best way to infuse quality into any product is to invest in the people building it and processes that support them.

P.S. I loved the energy behind the 2020 Summit. Even though it was a remote event, everyone I connected with was beyond friendly and positive. Great presentations and great chats. The experience inspired me to become more connected with the community here. Please feel free to connect on here and/or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elianacrema/ . Cheers!

Like Diana likes this

Brought up in the Bay Area - Silicon Valley.

 

  • Started my career as an intern working with mechanical engineers inspecting hard drive wafers
  • Move on to tech support after college for a short while and then became a system test engineer working on networking products
  • Change companies and work as a QA engineer of software applications and distributed systems. Great times since I got the opportunity to deploy the largest solution for the company that includes loads of servers, setting up networks, and all out applications. 
  • Then took an opportunity in the same company to serve as a field engineering lead abroad for a year and then build a team there to support the company products and services.
  • Came back to the Bay Area and grew my career in QA to senior QA, QA Lead, and then QA Manager. At this point, is where I discover Jira and Confluence and its capabilities. Took on the responsibility as the Atlassian Administrator. 
  • Change companies for another itch to travel abroad for an opportunity. Great opportunity to run a large program for one of the engineering product lines for a few releases and then became the Head of Quality Assurance. Got another opportunity to bring in Jira and Confluence and build out all the initial project and spaces. Also, took on the role as the Atlassian Administrator.  Completed my ACP-600 and now working my way through all the certification.

 

Been such a ride. I hope take on more interesting and complex challenges using Atlassian tools set. Able to help so many clients and functional teams through their pain points and challenges. Hope to attend the next Atlassian event in person!

My journey as certainly been non-linear. Born in Maryland, graduated from High School in Tennessee, and now I live in Colorado. I've worked my way up from a File Clerk, through to Administrative Assistant, onto Accounting, a Night Operations Manager programming an AS400, through to a technical Program Manager, Client Services, Project Manager, IT Project Manager, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Product Manager, and now a PMO Director. My undergraduate education was in Japanese Language, Art History and Archaeology, East Asian Studies, then a fellowship on Edo Period Woodblock prints, onto a graduate degree (Global MBA). I love to learn, experiment, and share my knowledge with others, so I look for opportunities that allow me to do those things. It's been a fun wild ride since I graduated HS in 1995 and began my Professional Career and I hope it continues to evolve in exciting and unexpected ways. 

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