Industry Talk: People are the biggest challenges in IT

1st Sep 2017 2:10pm-3:10pm
Presenter/Speaker: Thomas Coats, IT Manager, J Swap Group of Companies, Cultivate IT Chair
Location: G.1.15

Academic study provides foundation and theory. Technical excellence is essential in many areas. Thinking logically and understanding systems is important. Most careers are in business and involve helping people solve problems. I’ve found that the most effective developers can communicate.

Research suggests that some people go through an epiphany - a turning point where they begin to measure their success not through their own personal accomplishments, but through the accomplishments of those around them. When a developer stops measuring their success technically and starts measuring their success through the impact it makes on others wonderful things start happening.

In this presentation I talk about my own epiphany and the new world of challenges it opened for me. I will also go deep into a technical project, what happened and the technical and people challenges uncovered. I will also present a timeline of my career - decisions I made along the way, and the changes that those decisions caused.

At the end I can answer questions about: Getting a job in IT, Successful IT projects, Leadership in IT, IT in the Waikato, The future of IT, and Running a startup.

Thomas Coats has a BSc and PGDip CompSci majoring in Artificial Intelligence from The University of Waikato. He has worked within organisations focusing on animal improvement, education, power generation, transportation, civil engineering, meteorology, software development and politics. Thomas is IT Manager of the J Swap group of companies, Chair of CultivateIT - a non-profit organisation to cultivate technology in the Waikato, Co-founder of Asset Altitude - a risk-based asset management startup, and a member of the Institute of Directors. Raised on a dairy farm, Thomas lives in Matamata with his wife and one year old son.

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