This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Josh Roe, Solution Specialist at Elantis. After studying technology in school, Josh decided to begin his IT career working in basic coding, which spurred his interest in automation and robotics. Josh’s skills and experience led him to Elantis, where he enjoys a variety of projects in his role, including SharePoint migrations, business analysis, and business process automation using Nintex and Microsoft’s Power Platform. In this interview, Josh shares his positive outlook on technology and his best advice for anyone starting out in the IT industry.
Andrea Nwobosi: How did you get interested in technology? Was this something that you’ve always had an interest in?
Josh Roe: Yeah, so it’s something I studied at school quite heavily. That and sport, which is quite a contrast. I studied it at school and when I left school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So I did some work for my dad’s company which is in automation as well, but more like robotics and things like that. I got involved in that. I started working in some basic coding and just spurred the interest from there.
Andrea: Were you exposed to technology during your childhood?
Josh: My dad’s more in the management side of things, but I’ve been exposed to technology from a very young age. It’s something that we, as millennials, I guess, are exposed to anyway.
Andrea: Yeah, and it’s just a part of life, right? It’s like there’s no differentiation between where the technology ends and life begins.
Josh: I think it’s only a positive thing. It’s only a positive thing that we’re growing and using technology more and more.
Andrea: How did you know that this was something you wanted to do for your career?
Josh: So mainly through working for my dad’s company, they did automation and robotics. That’s what got me into the mindset of how automation works, I guess. My uncle also works in the same industry so I got into it that way.
Andrea: Describe what you do in a typical day at Elantis.
Josh: At the moment, I’m mainly doing business analytics, working with customers, identifying requirements, and designing a solution for them, which is definitely enjoyable. I also do business process automation, which involves building workflows, building forms, and things like that through Nintex and the Power Platform. It’s exciting!
Andrea: It sounds like a lot of variety.
Josh: Massive, yeah! I also do SharePoint migrations. So yeah, I’m doing pretty much everything here. It’s good exposure to have different days, it’s just something I guess that’s attractive about working in IT, is that every day is different. I’ve worked in quite a few other jobs where every day is very similar. With this role, it’s different challenges and it’s only positive.
Andrea: I agree, it keeps things exciting when it’s always changing and we’re learning new ways to keep up and stay fresh. How do you stay on top of technology and all the changes that always happen? Are there blogs you follow, influencers, or websites you read? How do you stay on top of it all?
Josh: It tends to just be research and things like that. I’m doing a degree currently in computer sciences, so that definitely gives me a lot of knowledge on current technologies and things like that. I have to read up on blogs for assignments and things like that. So that’s my main source of keeping up with technologies, and I also take a lot of training.
Andrea: With no day being the same at Elantis, has there been a moment either in your current role or prior to Elantis that you are most proud of?
Josh: I wouldn’t pinpoint a day, but what I would say is just delivering projects well and seeing customers happy with the products and the solutions that we deliver is something I’m continually proud of. Getting through user acceptance testing and bringing it from a design phase, where you’re showing them a proof of concept and then actually showing them an application at the end of it. Showing them something that they can physically use and that’s going to improve their business processes is definitely something that gives me a lot of satisfaction.
Andrea: What’s the one thing that you would say you wake up looking forward to most at work?
Josh: Working with the team, working with customers, and it’s the social side of it that’s massive, obviously. Although I work remotely, I still feel like this is a very social job and I enjoy working with people and talking to people. So that would probably be the thing that gets me up in the morning.
Andrea: Isn’t it amazing that working remotely as you do, you can still feel so connected and still feel like you’re part of the team, but also that you’re able to provide quality service to clients, just as if you were sitting right next to them?
Josh: Absolutely, yeah! The advancements in technology have been massive and I think COVID was a massive thing for working remotely and things like that. It’s been helpful for me, but I would also say that Elantis has a culture that helps with that. They want you to be part of the team. People enjoy speaking to each other and collaborating, which comes down to the culture at Elantis, so I would suggest that maybe not all companies would be like that.
Andrea: What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Josh: I’ve definitely had challenges with process automation. It was something that was very new to me. I’ve done a lot of training so I felt fairly confident in my ability to deliver things, but certainly when it came to actually delivering a project, it was a lot harder than perhaps I would have expected. I hadn’t had much exposure to actual project work and delivering a project based on customer requirements. So that was a challenge for me and something that I didn’t expect, necessarily. The way I got through that was just through talking to the team. There are so many experienced people here who are always on the end of a message or a call, and they’re always willing to help. So that’s a massive thing.
Andrea: What advice would you give to someone who is new to IT or new to IT consulting that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Josh: Ask as many questions as you can. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know something, and you think you should. You should just ask the question because as long as you’ve put enough effort into trying to find the answer yourself, if you go and ask someone a question, it might save you a lot of time on a project. Nine times out of 10, someone’s going to be willing to help you.
Andrea: What’s next for you in your career? How do you see your role evolving here at Elantis? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Josh: I’m obviously content with being at Elantis. I love it here so I’m going to be staying here. I want to build myself and work toward the architect role. Maybe not in the next five years, but certainly after university. That’s what I want to work toward.
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