I rocked Microsoft’s “12 amazing tech jobs and the women who rock them” list!


OTTC_2013 Colleen Alber

If you check out Microsoft’s most recent ebook, “12 amazing tech jobs and the women who rock them,” you’ll find me. Though what I do might be defined as a “tech job,” it’s not exactly what you think. It’s much more interesting. And not that long ago, I didn’t even know I was so passionate about it.

My job isn’t to develop software, it’s to give it a voice. I translate technology into business value – communicating the benefits of enterprise content management (ECM) to prospects, customers, partners and coworkers. My goal is to make ECM tangible to users and drive the adoption of it in order to optimize business processes at organizations around the world.

It’s not like I grew up dreaming about a career in ECM. I wasn’t a little girl frustrated by too much paper, imagining an electronic world full of software and automated processes. Yet here I am, nine years after joining what has become one of the largest independent ECM companies in the world. I’m right in the middle of a transformative technology – and there’s no place I’d rather be.

I used to consider myself “non-technical” because I wasn’t a computer programmer. I was a marketing professional. But the more I just dove in, asked questions and learned, the more I realized I’m technical enough for a career in software. We all are.

My first job out of school was at a bank. While I enjoyed what I did, my heart wasn’t “all in.” So, I applied for a job at Hyland. I’ll never forget my interview with the CTO, who was dressed in a tie-dyed t-shirt and sweat pants. He had me draw architecture diagrams on a whiteboard and asked questions that made me think differently. His passion for solving customer problems was undeniable. I knew I would fit in perfectly.

I was hired for my “eye sparkle” and my first day was two weeks later. I’ve been a Software Product Evangelist with Hyland, creator of OnBase (and loving it!) ever since.

Although I didn’t have a background in public speaking, that quickly became my favorite part of the job. The excitement I get from describing the magic of OnBase to a live audience gives me energy. And when someone has that “Aha!” moment, well, there’s really nothing like it.

You don’t have to be a “nose to the code” developer to get what software can do for you – and that’s what it’s about. Technology is nothing if it doesn’t solve a problem or make work/life easier in some way. Just like software itself, my job is to make the complex simple.

I’m grateful to have found a home at Hyland. The company has invested in me and I’ve invested in it. We spend so much of our lives at work, I believe passion for our jobs, companies, products and the people we work with is imperative. Whether it’s a text from my manager to confirm I’ve landed safely overseas, laughing with a coworker during a presentation or a genuine hug from a longtime customer at the OnBase Training and Technology Conference (OTTC), I feel the community we’ve built far beyond a website or software solution.

Many people equate success with happiness. To me, it’s the other way around. If you love what you do and the people you do it with, you’ve “made it.”

To be included in Microsoft’s “12 amazing tech jobs and the women who rock them” list leaves me speechless. Considering I talk for a living, that’s saying a lot.

Colleen Alber

Colleen Alber is a dynamic, energetic software product evangelist who inspires others with purpose and passion for technology, yoga and life.

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