‘A Day in the life’ of a Hyland Solution Developer
Curious what it’s like to work at Hyland, creator of OnBase?
Not play badminton in the atrium or order the daily special from the diner. I mean work at Hyland. Do amazing work and feel great about it.
Our new blog series, A Day in the Life, explores what it’s like to work at Hyland, in one of a hundred different disciplines.
Today we chat with Tom Alspach, a Hyland solution developer.
OnBase Blog (OB): Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to Hyland.
Tom Alspach (TA): I graduated with a degree in MIS and worked at two small companies doing custom software development and consulting work in the Cleveland area before Hyland. I was aware of the company as I had friends working here, but was always concerned of losing my identity in a larger company, so I didn’t seriously pursue moving initially.
OB: How did you choose your career path?
TA: It took me a while to settle on what I’d really like to do, but MIS was a perfect fit. I really enjoy technology, as well as building things, so software development was a good choice. I found out early on that I really enjoyed helping customers solve their problems. Having some business knowledge in combination with technical knowledge has fulfilled that.
OB: What kind of education and experience did you need to land your role at Hyland?
TA: I attended a Hyland tech fair one summer on the recommendation of a friend. Basically to “give it a try.” I ended up talking for a long time with the person who is now my manager. I loved how he described the job and company. It changed my mind on what coming to a large company would mean.
We obviously work as part of a larger whole, but our group is small and close-knit. That made it a comfortable transition for me.
For my position, individuals with a technical degree and programming experience are desired. The technologies we touch vary from project-to-project.
OB: What technology do you closely work with?
TA: We work pretty closely with Microsoft technologies, but we can pretty much hit anything depending on the customer. In our role, it is relatively rare that we develop directly against a database, but not unheard of (typically SQL Server or Oracle).
The languages and technologies we use are really determined by the project. They can be anything from C# to BizTalk to web-based technologies (and many in-between).
OB: What projects are you working on and what do you spend the majority of your time doing?
TA: I am in an uncommon scenario for our group. I am on a dedicated project and have been for 15 months. Usually we’re on several shorter projects at a time.
It’s a web-based HR onboarding/offboarding solution that integrates with OnBase as hosted by our cloud services offering.
I spend a majority of my time doing development work, though my days vary depending on what part of the release phase we’re in.
My duties are similar, however, to most of our group’s projects where we’re responsible for discovery, implementation, testing and go-live.
In my time at Hyland. I’ve done AP integration work, college admissions projects, custom websites and web-services, signature pad development – it’s really all over the board. That’s what I love about my job.
OB: What are some of the common misconceptions associated with your job?
TA: I’m not sure if I’ve heard of one! If I had to name something it might be that we just do integration and scripting work.
OB: What is most enjoyable about your job?
TA: I love developing relationships with co-workers and customers and building something that really helps them day-to-day in their business.
OB: What are some personal tips for doing this job well?
TA: Having the desire and ability to pick-up new technologies quickly is an important skill. A good balance of communication and technical skills is also a must, since we’re responsible for interacting with the customer to get their requirements, as well as actually doing the software development following.
OB: What is the worst part of your job? What helps to deal with it?
TA: The nature of our job – installations, upgrades, and so forth – makes it necessary to sometimes do that work off-hours. It’s not frequent, but it does occur. There is always flexibility given around late nights/long hours to maintain balance.
OB: What is your advice for people who are interested in this position?
TA: Nothing beats experience, but I’ve also seen our group bring on people with expertise in one or two areas. In the end, it’s a desire to learn and contribute. If the job sounds exciting, I’d recommend applying.