In 2020, Avanade launched the Technology Leadership Career Path (TLCP), an opportunity for our deeply technical talent to mature their business leadership while continuing their pursuit of technical expertise. Technologists will no longer have to choose between their passion for technology and advancing their career as a business leader. On this path, they will do both.
Today we’re thrilled to announce Avanade’s first set of Distinguished Engineers – individuals who have reached the pinnacle of the TLCP. Distinguished Engineers have a deep passion and expertise for technology and are focused on creating client and business value. Congratulations to Chris Coveyduck, Sean Peterson, Simon Turner and Stan Laufik!
We sat down with Sean Peterson to learn more about the TLCP and what being a Distinguished Engineer means to him.
How does the TLCP set Avanade apart from our competitors?
The TLCP provides an opportunity for our technical folks to grow in their careers, while still staying technical and applying that technology to clients. It is also a means by which one can help grow others along similar paths and provides the space to interact and collaborate with other technologist to apply the best of technology to the market and our clients.
This career path is different from what other technology companies offer because it provides the opportunity to experience many different clients, technologies, and scenarios while delivering real outcomes to clients, as opposed to working on a single technology or project for many years without seeing how it impacts others.
What does being a Distinguished Engineer mean to you? What are you looking forward to accomplishing in this role?
Being a Distinguished Engineer (DE) is a humbling honor. To me, it represents years of applied passion and the help of countless others, including my mentors and teammates, who have helped me grow and learn. It re-emphasizes that you can be a deep technologist and a leader in the work we do, but it’s also a big responsibility. Clients, partners, and our people will rely upon DEs to bring trusted experience, pragmatic innovation, and technology insights to solve some of the toughest problems – and that is now in a title! I am more committed than ever to keep learning, trying, and applying to keep living up to this honor and its expectations.
I have always enjoyed collaborating and fostering relationships with others who share a passion for solving complex technology problems. Some of my favorite career moments have been with colleagues hashing and hacking through what seems like the most important problem for our client (yet!) – and now as a DE, it furthers both the ability and the responsibility to support Avanade in being the best place to grow and apply these passions and abilities, while working together to bring the best to our clients.
What sort of technological work is Avanade on the cutting edge of right now? And what’s next on the horizon?
I am constantly amazed at the tech work we do. We have teams creating OSS software that writes code for complex Change Data Capture rules to accelerate accurate delivery that enables eventual consistency of data. We have teams helping Microsoft engineer their multi-cloud capabilities, down deep in the fabric all the way up to providing analytics and insights for clients on how to optimize their environment. The consistent theme in everything we do is applying this new tech to latest outcome – not just tinker, not just talk, but do. That requires curiosity, brilliance, pragmatism, and often just grinding through getting the edge cases solved.
The horizon looks similar to many – cloud, 5G and edge, IoT, analytics, leading digital experience, infused cognitive services into existing business process, eventual consistency, API fronted systems, new energy in distributed systems, and this list goes on and on. But the difference for me now is that the horizon is coming faster and looks bigger as it gets clearer. I would say that horizon is now – a fun time for those who welcome that technology challenge!
What advice would you give someone who wants to follow in a similar career path as you?
Have an idea of what you would like to be doing over the next few years and work with other technology leaders to identify a path to that goal. Envision it. Look for diversity and rotation in the type of work, technology, and the lifecycles in which your acumen is applied – sales, solutioning, design, delivery, stabilization. And keep true to that goal – stick to what you like to do and discover how best to apply it.
I know from my career it is not always clear, but I can tell you that it is nearly all possible at Avanade. All companies are becoming digital companies, the diversity of technology skills and acumen has never been greater. There is often a pull toward the other aspects of our jobs that consulting, system integration, managed services, or advisory require – and many of us do need to ensure we round these skills out for ourselves, all our needed to make “big things happen” – but keeping that ”hands on” depth, expertise, and focus on technology has never been more needed to truly implement this new digital future, which is emerging right now. If your path is not clear, reach out, I always love to talk shop!