Working with over three million candidates on the Hired marketplace, we celebrate diversity in the career paths, experiences, and skills people bring to the table. Professionals are more than their resume and we’re committed to helping everyone – including those who took the path less traveled – find their dream job.
We talked to Jason about his career journey from music to tech and how he recently landed a job as Engineering Manager at the leading cybersecurity and endpoint management firm, Tanium. Read what he had to share – and maybe get some inspiration to pursue your dream career, no matter how you started out!
You have a music degree and initially pursued that path before going into tech, working in a variety of industries from online dating and healthcare to finance and now cybersecurity. What initially led you to the tech industry? And what was that journey like?
I always had a passion for technology growing up. My introduction to programming was through computer magazines that would include code you could use to create a game. They rarely worked because there was always a typo (either in the magazine or in my own code) and that’s how my debugging skills were born.
While I was teaching private music lessons in voice at the local school, I was writing software to manage my studio – keeping track of lesson schedules, billing, forms, etc. I ran across a job posting for a Developer Support Engineer supporting FileMaker’s product line and that is where my professional tech career started.
From that moment on, I never felt I wanted or needed to be tied to a specific industry in my career. As a musician, you are always learning, from new music to new techniques (and I still enjoy performing regularly throughout the country). The same holds true in technology, no matter where you are or what you do. I’ve learned so much in each job and each industry, continuously built on top of my previous experiences, and brought those with me to each new company. It’s been a really rewarding and fun journey.
How did your skillset evolve over the course of your career?
The UI (user interface) space is always changing and evolving – which is why I think I ended up settling on the experience side (UX). With each role, there were new challenges to be solved and it was an opportunity to learn new skills along the way. Getting to work with some talented teammates throughout my career gave me the opportunity to learn from some of the best in engineering and user experience. As I moved into leadership, I had some great mentors to help guide me as I grew in my career.
How did you develop a passion for technology and engineering? What excites you about the nature of the role?
I had a passion for technology from an early age. The ability to bridge my creative side with a more technical discipline was something that I enjoyed and gave me a path to create. In my new role, I am very excited about delving into the cybersecurity/endpoint management space. I believe this is a vertical that is set for incredible growth in the coming future and Tanium is a great place to be to help lead that effort.
What parts of your job do you enjoy the most?
I love working with teams to create enjoyable experiences, no matter what industry I am working in and who I am creating solutions for. The application experiences we interact with on a daily basis should always be intuitive. I also love how each industry has something they can learn from another, from online dating apps to airline booking systems and financial applications.
You have two Udemy certifications. Why did you decide to take those?
Those certifications were completed partially as an exploratory effort for some R&D work I was working on at Bank of America and also to stay current on new technologies. Even though I have been working in a management role for the last 9 years of my career, I still find it important to stay abreast of the current landscape so I can help make informed decisions. Certifications are a great way to help do that.
What was your job search experience like before joining Hired?
Many recruiters who have good relationships with hiring managers are primarily looking to fill individual contributor roles, not management roles. With other job boards and social networking sites, it was easy to get over inundated with opportunities that just weren’t the right fit.
With Hired, I was presented with opportunities to speak with several companies that were looking for people with my skills and experience. After my profile was live, I quickly received several requests for interviews, and Hired really made it easy to schedule and track the interview process all the way through to my offer from Tanium.
What are your future career plans?
I am looking forward to learning all I can about the cybersecurity and endpoint management space in particular and growing even more as an engineering manager with a great company like Tanium!
Any final thoughts or advice you want to share with other tech professionals?
Don’t be afraid of a new challenge. There are so many great things we can learn from our peers in varying industries and from small startups to large corporations.