A day in the life of an R&D senior manager: Brit Myers

Welcome back to our day in the life blog series where we sit down with Hylanders across different departments in order to gain a better understanding of the work we do.

This time, we had the chance to speak with Brit Myers.

What do you do and how did you get here?

Amy: What is your official job title and what does it mean?

Brit: I am a Senior Manager in R & D. I manage a few development teams that include back-end developers, front-end developers and testers. Our group is responsible for developing new features and maintaining ShareBase, our cloud-based file sharing and collaboration platform.

Amy: What made you decide to pursue this line of work?

Brit: It’s interesting, I was a math major out of college at Carnegie Mellon. I took a number of programming classes that I absolutely fell in love with. Through that, I was able to get a number of internships that further acknowledged that building software was what I wanted to do.

A little back-story: I was a collegiate basketball player, which was an amazing experience where I learned many valuable life lessons. Generally speaking, I love being a part of a team and being a leader always came naturally to me. I love organizing people and drawing out their strengths as much as possible, creating opportunities and environments they’re able to excel in.

Amy: What kind of education and experiences did you need before starting your current job?

Brit: My first internship was at a software development company focused on the defense industry in Dayton. That was my first taste of actual software development, not just in the academic sense.

From there, I was an intern and then worked full-time at the Software Engineering Institute in Pittsburgh. I left that position in 2012 because I’m originally from Cleveland, and I wanted to come back home. Hyland advertised open positions on CMU’s career site, which led me to apply and the rest is history!

Day-to-day

Amy: What are some projects you have been working on lately? 

Brit: Like I said, my group handles ShareBase, including the web, desktop and mobile clients, as well as the platform that ShareBase is built on. Most recently, one of my teams has been modernizing our delivery pipeline. They’ve been working to provide a pipeline that will allow teams to ship new versions of the software with minimal manual intervention. This work is tremendously valuable as it will ultimately enable us to quickly deliver value to customers.

We’ve also been pretty focused on ShareBase Search. We launched this new feature to U.S. customers a few months back, and the team has been working to continue to roll this feature out to international customers, as well as responding to feedback and iterating to provide better search results, faster.

Amy: What about your job gets you excited to come to work every day?

Brit: Solving problems for customers, whether they’re internal or external. Often, it’s external customers, but my teams also support other teams that are building products off our platforms. It’s thrilling to help provide solutions to complex problems.

Amy: What’s the biggest challenge of your job?

Brit: The meetings. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on this because I find myself in meetings so often. The toughest part is more the mental fatigue as there aren’t often breaks in the day. I’m an extrovert, so I’m energized when interacting with others, but it can still be very tiring jumping from one conversation to the next all day long.

Tech career advice

Amy: Any advice for someone looking for a job in R&D in the tech field?

Brit: What I look for most is passion and a desire to learn – and obviously, intelligence. When you mix these three things, the potential is huge for what an employee can accomplish.

Some of the people on my team don’t have a tremendous amount of experience, they have come in and been raised by Hyland. So don’t let your experience turn you off from applying! I look for people who can show they have ambition and are interested in and capable of learning new things and technologies quickly. These are incredibly important skills, regardless of experience level. Hands down.

In my group, and generally as the company works toward modernizing our products, there’s going to be a lot of new content. So even our seasoned developers don’t have a lot of direct experience to draw from. We’re all learning together.

Amy: What is one question you always ask a potential hire during an interview?

Brit: I like to ask about an exciting project that they’ve worked on. Their answer will tell me a lot about how they see themselves, what roles they take on and what makes them excited.

I also ask about their ideal team structure, not from an organizational chart perspective, but more on a personality level. For example, what are the types of individuals they work best with.

Amy: What are the most important traits of successful leaders?

Brit: Compassion. I think having compassion exposes you to other traits.  When you are compassionate to not only your team and your employees, but also the people who you interact with, I think that you are able to better support them, and give them what they need to grow and thrive. Having that perspective allows you to make better decisions for the team and ultimately up the chain for Hyland.

The HylandLife

Amy: What does #HylandLife mean to you?

Brit: I had a baby in March, and she has been attending the Childhood Enrichment Center in Building 1. So I am visiting her and I’m nursing her throughout the day, every day. That is something you can’t get elsewhere that is just invaluable to me.

My oldest also attends the CEC. Having them so close throughout the day is great. This year alone I’ve been able to participate in yoga with them, decorate cookies, participate in story time and so much more! Reinforcing family and encouraging me to make my family a priority throughout the day is priceless. That’s Hyland Life for me.

Amy: If you had one word to describe your time at Hyland, what would it be?

Brit: I’m a math major so this is not a fair question. (Laughing) I’d say exciting. I think I’ve had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects and new initiatives over my career here. I’m never bored.

Amy: If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Brit: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Is he an evil genius or a lucky entrepreneur? Inquiring minds want to know.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of the day in the life series. Want to find out what it’s like to be a scrum master? Tune in next time!

Meanwhile, do you have what it takes to work in R&D at Hyland? Check out our current openings and apply today!

Amy Awadalla

Amy Awadalla

Amy Awadalla is living and loving the #HylandLife as a social media intern. She is a graduate of John Carroll University with a degree in marketing. When Amy isn’t scrolling through her social feeds, she is trying new restaurants, traveling the world or spending time with her family in Canfield, Ohio.

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