A career in tech must rhyme with curiosity and passion, according to Boeing's CIO

A career in tech must rhyme with curiosity and passion, according to Boeing’s CIO


To build a satisfying career in the enterprise of the 2020s, tech professionals must not only master the tools and platforms, but also understand the end results customers see. No matter how complex your organization, even aircraft manufacturer Boeing needs a holistic view of the business.

“In IT, we have a single view of business operations that impacts every aspect of the business,” said Susan Doniz, chief information officer (CIO) and senior vice president. for Information Technology and Data Analytics from The Boeing Company, to ZDNet.

Susan Doniz urges tech professionals to have an insatiable curiosity about their business, to constantly think about ways to make things better, and most importantly, to hone and refresh their own skills and perspectives.

A lifelong learning

For Susan Doniz, IT professionals need to be curious, even beyond essential technical skills. “I consider the most important thing for an information professional, or any other professional, is to be a lifelong learner,” she says.

IT professionals should also strive to “continually improve their coding skills, stay on top of their specialty, and be well-rounded,” she adds.

The other key element, according to Boeing’s CIO, is to fully understand its broader business. “If you’re a consumer or a retailer, understanding how people shop is a critical skill. Or if, like me, your work supports aviation and all the amazing components that keep America’s largest exporter running smoothly, knowing how to make pilots’ jobs easier and how to improve factory flow is essential. and manufacturing processes,” says Susan Doniz.

Automation and artificial intelligence bring new opportunities

Susan Doniz observes that “much of the easier, more routine work has been automated”. Where before “you really had to get into the guts of a system and do some basic stuff,” she says, increased automation means that “developers and people working in technology today and in the future will have a much more complex ecosystem to work in, and more complex problems to solve”.

For Susan Doniz, it is essential to work on a code that is “of the best possible quality”. Since “more and more teams are turning to DevSecOps and product models,” the lead explains, “if you don’t develop good code, you’ll have to support it when it breaks, and the code has tendency to break down at really inopportune times of the day”.

Susan Doniz sees automation and artificial intelligence (AI) as ways to “enhance human factors in computing.” For her, “the emergence of this technology is not a brake on employment, but has, on the contrary, the “power to create”. She cites, for example, data scientists or usability and design experts who “didn’t exist 10 years ago like they do today.”

In addition, “the new automation creates opportunities and space for good programmers and good developers to focus on high-quality work,” said Boeing’s IT manager. “What automation and AI allow you to do is automate on a large scale what a good developer or a good programmer would do on their own, so that it would have taken you a while to single program. So it’s all about scaling, increasing good practice and doing it as quickly as possible.”

The importance of having a holistic view

At Boeing, Susan Doniz’s goal is to ensure “Boeing teammates are focused on delivering strategic solutions across the enterprise, whatever the task.” Part of the work, she says, is hypothesizing. “You have to find out what the data is telling you and be able to explain it in a way that people understand.” Additionally, “with new technologies, you can perform experiments faster and adapt your theories to discover solutions faster and deliver better products and services to your trading partners,” she continues.

To flourish, IT professionals must therefore not seek “just to climb the ladder”, but rather “find their passion and their field of excellence” and ensure that they are “surrounded by people who will them better leaders and better human beings,” argues the CIO.

She adds that in IT, “we have a single view of business operations that impacts all aspects of the business.” According to her, you have to understand “how things work and then how you can help improve them”. Boeing’s CIO believes that “to get to the top, you have to be able to make things better, execute them with urgency, and work well with others.”

Source: ZDNet.com

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