March is National Engineering Month in Canada – an opportunity to showcase the exciting opportunities that a career in engineering has to offer. We are proud to employ some of the best and brightest in the industry in Calgary, Halifax, and Ottawa and will be highlighting them throughout the month. 

First up is Chris, an Engineering Manager with our DevOps team in Ottawa

1. Tell us what led to your current role in engineering? 

I’ve spent a lot of time in my career working in development and test, identifying processes and practices that had room for improvement, and observing ways that teams were not being as efficient as they could be. In my current role, I get to help teams address areas that need improvement through tools, best practices, automated solutions, or better collaboration and integration. I’m passionate about engineering, about building products, and doing it as effectively and efficiently as possible.

2. What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

The most challenging aspect of my role is balancing the always competing priorities for cost, schedule, and scope. You always want to help teams build the right DevOps solution, but “right” looks different to everybody. It all depends what features they need, how much they are able to invest in it, and when they need it ready by. Ideally, you want to deploy common solutions that all teams can benefit from, but re-use takes more effort, and there are additional challenges as the number of stakeholders you need to collaborate with increases.

3. Why do you think engineering is important to our company and our customers?

Engineering to me is about building the right products that are going to meet the needs of our user community. We need to ensure we build our products to high standards of quality, usability, and reliability, especially since they are being used in mission critical situations. More and more these days, this means being smarter about the way we do engineering, employing modern practices like agile development, DevOps, and automation to make us more efficient so we can deliver better products.

4. What’s the one piece of advice you would offer an aspiring engineer?

I like to recommend engineers try a bunch of different types of work to help figure out what they DO and DON’T want to do with their careers. Doing co-op placements or summer jobs in university is a great way to do this before you start a full-time job. Getting some experience in a variety of roles and companies will give you some great perspective on different ways of doing things. That versatility will prove really valuable to your development as an engineer.