With over 13 years with One North, Architect Mike Skutta knows what it takes to be successful in the digital world. While it’s true that Skutta works remotely in Florida, he is oftentimes seen rolling down the office hallways using the remote bot and is in constant contact with the team members based in Chicago. Skutta is also in charge of the mentorship program for recently graduated developers at One North.
In the following Q&A, Skutta explains his day-to-day, his proudest accomplishments and advice for technologists entering the workforce.
What’s your day-to-day look like?
It’s a cliché, but every day is different. I often focus on research and development for cutting edge technology for the agency to consider in hopes of anticipating client needs. Lately, and more specifically, I’ve been working on building a bit of a Sitecore starter kit for clients when they first begin using the platform. It’s basically a jumping off point that anyone can start at, focusing on the most common tools clients would use and improving their back-end user experience as they become more familiar with it. I spend a lot of time on the phone, obviously, but one plus of working remote: unlimited snacks.
Greatest lesson you’ve learned throughout your career?
Be open about everything. If you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to admit it, because it could bite you in the long run. It can be difficult to admit a mistake when you’ve done something wrong at work, but being open and transparent is always the best policy. Similarly: overcommunicate. I always try to make sure my managers and the people I work with always know what I am working on. I never want others to wonder what I am working on, especially when being remote.
What’s it like to work for One North?
Well, I work remotely from Florida, so my perspective is a little different. That being said, even though I’m not in the office day-to-day, One North has a friendly and open environment. I can discuss anything regarding projects easily with everyone I work with – everyone can have and voice their opinion - which lends itself to the collaborative nature of our work and culture. In some sense, it feels a little like a family, since I’ve been with the organization and the people for 10 years.
What’s your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest professional accomplishment probably focuses on my work with Sitecore. I helped One North adopt the Sitecore technology and continue to work on many of the implementations around it. Earning my MVP title was a great affirmation of all the hard work I’d put into the platform for our business.
Can you tell me about the apprenticeship program and your role in that?
The program was created to ramp up new hires – those coming straight from a university setting to a professional one – to become as productive as we can as smoothly as possible. We don’t want them to flail. Instead, we want to give them the right tools to ask questions and create an environment that provides support during the transition period. My role focuses specifically on devising the curriculum so our new hires know what to focus on based on their particular needs. I want to make sure our program is tailored towards “today,” where we focus on new technologies and train our developers to continuously look toward the future.
For more from Mike Skutta, read his blogs here.