September 17, 2021
We are switching up the September spotlight! Our Technical Director, Justen Britain, chatted with us about his typical day-in-the-life of a technology leader at Nortal.
“The biggest reason I decided to join Nortal is that I wanted to go into consulting. Since the consultants are the product, the company is incentivized to invest in it’s employees. This means that all the employees are highly skilled in technology, so I ultimately wanted to work and grow alongside these people.”
“I currently work on four different projects for our second largest client. I help to lead a total of 19 employees including four team leads, three technical project managers (PM’s), and 14 total developers on the account. These projects range from building software applications for physical security systems, to creating dashboards for real time building occupancy, printing proprietary badges for clients, and integrating human resource data into third party tools.”
The rest of the interview details Justen’s typical working day.
“My morning starts off with standups for each team where we prioritize tasks for the day. Then I catch up on client and internal emails. By the time I’m done reviewing my to-do list and touching base with our technical project managers for the day, the morning is gone. I am not a morning person by any means so I usually roll out of bed a few minutes before my first meeting, grab a Diet Mountain Dew and a bowl of cereal to get my day started.”
“Once lunchtime rolls around, I like to have a nice long walk with my wife around my neighborhood to clear my head before the afternoon. We like to listen to Five Finger Death Punch so I can be in a good mood for the rest of my day.”
“The rest of my afternoon is filled with 1:1’s with my team. I like to touch base with employees throughout the day so I can keep my folks happy and productive. During my 1:1’s, I like to get an understanding of any blockers so I can go into problem-solving mode for my team. Then, I’ll attend interviews for our internal teams and clients to help build out our team of software experts. After that, the rest of my day is typically filled with client and account management meetings. In between all my meetings, I am usually trying to stay up to date on all four chat channels as well as some coding projects. My developers like to correct my coding work which keeps me on my toes.
I have meetings right up until 5pm so it’s easy for me to shut work off and be done. I keep a clear delineation of what is to be done for the day because it’s really important for my family to follow through on that. Then I shuffle kids to tennis lessons, piano, boy scouts, and cub scouts. We do family movie nights on Friday’s since my kids have gotten old enough that they appreciate that. Two or three nights a week, I get some me time by playing Destiny 2 online with some of the folks that I work with.”
“Usually my 1:1’s. I like to see how people are doing and making sure they are happy. From that feedback I can gather what I can do better or change. I also like to remind people that it’s hump day every time Wednesday rolls around. As far as personally, I have two French Bulldogs, their names are Lilo and Stitch and I love when they sit in my office and sit on my feet for pets.”
“The thing I get most excited about is solving new problems and learning new technologies. Expanding my technical knowledge makes me really happy. Another aspect about projects I get excited about is taking what we learned on other projects, taking those skills, then delighting the current client by solving problems efficiently.”