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IT Career Paths at Elantis – Employee Spotlight with Tyler Dys

By Elantis on October 21, 2022
Tyler-Dys-Employee-Spotlight

This month, we shine the spotlight on Tyler Dys, Solution Architect at Elantis. Tyler has a key role on our project delivery team, as he leads and mentors a team of Solution Specialists. In this interview, Tyler shares how he changed career paths from oil and gas to IT consulting by drawing upon his passions for gaming and programming. He also shares his best advice for anyone starting out in the IT industry and why being inquisitive is one of the best traits you can develop.

Andrea Nwobosi: Welcome to the spotlight, Tyler! Tell me about your career path and what led you to your role at Elantis.

Tyler Dys: After my formal education, I got out of school and it was very difficult to find a job in the IT world. It was around that .net bust. So, I continued working in the oil field. I challenged a number of Microsoft certifications and ended up becoming a Microsoft Certified Application Developer.

After that, I was offered a position with a consulting company and I started developing bank software. During my time there, I ended up researching document management systems for them because they needed a new one and that ended up being SharePoint.

Once I got my hands on SharePoint, I ended up helping them deploy, maintain, and develop against that product. I spent seven years in that organization, five years with SharePoint and developing against it, and I’ve just kind of grown with that product over the years. That’s what brought me to Elantis.

Andrea: What sparked your interest in Elantis?

Tyler: I had worked with Dave [the CEO at Elantis] about five or seven years ago. Dave and Elantis were brought in as a consulting company, so I started working with him then. I was consulting out of Toronto and when the position popped up, I started talking with Dave, I talked to Chelsea [the Recruiter at Elantis], and I talked to the team. I was very much a lone wolf sitting at home working out of Toronto and I didn’t really have a team. Once I met the team at Elantis and engaged with them, I just kind of felt like this was the place for me. So here I am!

Andrea: What initially sparked your interest in technology? Is this something that you knew you always wanted to do when you were younger? Or was there someone in your life who influenced you down this path?

Tyler: My influence was gaming. I was always a gamer and was always playing on my parents’ computer, breaking it and fixing it. When I got out of high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and went to the oil field for a while and realized that wasn’t the life for me. I didn’t feel that would be a good thing to raise a family, being away that long. It wasn’t for me. So, I thought about it and I always had an interest in computers, just breaking things, and the challenges with programming. So, I started taking programming at school. That’s kind of how I ended up where I am today.

If anyone was pushing me, I guess it would be my father. He was the one who was always like, “You should do computers,” which worked for me because I didn’t want to get into his field [ha ha].

Andrea: What are you passionate about in your work? What really lights your fire and gets you excited?

Tyler: It’s the challenges. Being a programmer, being a solution guy. People bring you the nastiest things that they can’t solve, and we research and come up with solutions. It’s the end of projects: delivering something that you’ve taken on from the start that they couldn’t deal with, and we come out with a solution that is absolutely perfect and we hand it off.

Andrea: What are some challenges that you’ve faced either throughout your career or here at Elantis? How have you overcome them?

Tyler: It takes patience, definitely patience. There have been many challenges, sometimes with people dynamics, and that’s one beautiful thing with Elantis. We are a team. You turn around and ask something of anybody and everybody’s willing to jump in. In other companies where I’ve worked, everything was siloed. It was so difficult to get people to come together to work. That’s a big thing I’ve seen at a lot of larger organizations. So Elantis is not like that. It is such a nice place work and that’s why I love it here.

Another challenge I’ve experienced is being tasked with something you have absolutely zero clue on how to solve. That’s the challenge of everyday life as a programmer. How do you do this? You research and you draw upon the experience you’ve had. You start down that trail, come up with a solution, and then research that. Probably the number one thing I’ve learned as a programmer is no matter if I’ve done it a million times one way, there’s always a better way. There’s always a cleaner way to do it. I try to not be stuck in that box that there is the only one way to do something. There are a million ways to do it, it’s just taking the time to look and listen.

Andrea: So how do you determine when it is the best solution, knowing that it always has the potential to be better?

Tyler: It’s a puzzle. Everything’s a puzzle. You take a piece, you put it in, you look at that piece, and you go, “I bet there’s a better way.” So, you research how to find the better way. Or you ask the people around you. I used to work with one fellow at the bank, and he was absolutely brilliant, the way he always developed. I looked at it and said it doesn’t seem right, so we sat down one day and we just started messing with it. We were able to drop it by about twenty lines of code and we were like, this is much better. It’s just a matter of sitting down with someone and working something out.

Andrea: What has been your experience as a team leader at Elantis?

Tyler: I love it. I love having the group around. They come up with some interesting questions and are on a quest for knowledge. I love watching how inquisitive a lot of these young juniors are, and sometimes it’s just giving them those breadcrumbs to get to that final piece and it’s wonderful. I didn’t get a lot of mentorship myself; I was always kind of thrown to the wolves when I started my career. I just love having the opportunity to help them, to guide them, and then provide them with just the breadcrumbs. I don’t want to give them the solution because I want them to learn. I love it here. We have Julian Charles [Enterprise Architect at Elantis] and we have Christina Stimson [Solution Architect at Elantis]. I can just relay things off them and either they’ve seen it or I’ve seen it. It’s such a good team atmosphere and that’s why I love Elantis.

Andrea: What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?

Tyler: I don’t think I can pinpoint any single thing. Honestly, there are so many different things. I guess one of the funniest ones was having to wake up at 3:30 in the morning while being on call because the entire bank system went offline. Every single person was stuck with their offline credit limit of $500. So, I got up, drove to the bank, got into the big vault with all the servers, and then went line by line through code to get the system back up and online by 7:00 a.m. Then I went home, had a shower, and came back to work. It was that type of environment. I think that was the funniest one. That one made me laugh the most because you think of these poor people that are at the bar racking a bill and then they go to pay and they can’t!

Andrea: Who is your modern-day hero?

Tyler: Julian Charles [Enterprise Architect at Elantis].

Andrea: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the IT industry or is new in their role?

Tyler: Be inquisitive. Ask questions. Always ask questions. If you think you’re going down a rabbit hole, ask someone senior. They’re going to give you a breadcrumb and save you hours within seconds. So always listen. Yeah, that’s the number one thing. Always keep your ears open, ask questions, and research.

Andrea: What is next for you in your career? What do you hope to accomplish over the next few years?

Tyler: I just want to see this company grow. I think what we have is amazing. Let’s keep going, let’s see it grow. I want to watch these juniors grow, too. I want to watch them grow into the people they can be in their careers. We see it with a few already and see them sprouting out and I love to watch that. I think it’s just phenomenal.

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