Episode 26 – You Must Learn The Basics First with El Mehdi Marhoum

 In Podcasts

El Mehdi Marhoum is the Co-President and Co-Founder of benel Solutions.  He describes himself as an entrepreneur and lifelong hacker, and an expert in developing and architecting scalable and innovative software solutions.  Prior to founding benel Solutions El Medhi was an Enterprise Solutions Architect having started out as a Software Engineer.

In this episode El Mehdi tells us why I.T. professionals need to be patient when learning new skills as technology evolves.  He also talks about the importance of clearly defining and agreeing tasks with your manager before you carry them out

 

Time Stamped Show Notes

(01:01) – Phil introduces El Mehdi Marhoum

(01:35) – El Mehdi talks about having cofounded a couple of companies other than benel Solutions, some I.T. and some not

(01:59) – He has sold some and closed others

(02:10) – benel Solutions has been a success as a result of what El Medhi has learnt

(02:25) – El Mehdi also talks about his involvement with two other organisations and his involvement in Discovery Deep

 

(03:07) – Unique Career Tip: El Mehdi Marhoum says that one challenging aspect of I.T. is its continuing evolution

(03:29) – There has been movement from networking to cloud as well as 3G to 4G and so forth

(03:49) – One thing that El Mehdi has learnt is patience because you can’t know something immediately

(04:02) – Try to learn the basics of anything new first which will make everything else easier to learn

(04:16) – Phil says that it’s about putting the foundations in place first before getting technical

(04:36) – El Mehdi talks about the areas within I.T. and why you should try to learn a little about each

 

(05:14) – Worst Career Moment: El Mehdi Marhoum talks about a time when he changed from working for one company to another

(05:34) – El Mehdi says that this was a bad career move because the management within the company he joined was bad

(05:50) – Working in I.T. is about quality and delivering the best to your customers

(06:08) – Management blamed El Mehdi for results obtained under their direction

(06:27) – In hindsight El Mehdi would have documented every communication

(06:40) – Working in I.T., your manager may not always be “tech savvy”

(06:46) – It’s always useful to have a record of everything agreed and approved by your manager

(07:16) – Phil and El Mehdi talk about process and why you may not be able to rely on it alone

(07:48) – El Mehdi quotes Steve Jobs – “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

(08:16) – You should document what you intend to do first and execute second

(08:32) – El Mehdi did not document and clarify what was being requested

 

(09:12) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: El Mehdi Marhoum talks about how he got into coding at an early age

(09:31) – El Mehdi’s father bought him a computer when he was nine years old

(09:54) – Having a computer taught El Mehdi how to be a self-learner

(10:09) – El Mehdi even created his own Snake game in the nineties and says that he was always a software developer guy

(10:18) – El Mehdi talks about getting a networking degree at the University of Arkansas with a minor in software development

(11:17) – After completing his degree, El Mehdi took a master’s degree in satellite communication

(11:38) – It was challenging and El Mehdi loves challenging himself

(12:23) – El Mehdi talks about someone who helped him early in his career who he considers to be a mentor

(14:19) – You have to be detail orientated and be a problem solver

(14:51) – El Mehdi talks about setting up Benel Solutions, an I.T. consultancy, and his involvement in a small venture capital organisation

(16:43) – As well as his I.T. knowledge, El Mehdi has developed finance skills which has helped him and his business partner make Benel Solutions a success

(17:28) – El Mehdi talks about Discovery Deep which does 3-D video imaging for scuba divers

 

(20:26) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? El Mehdi Marhoum says that being involved in cutting edge technology and to always be learning is what excites him most

(20:47) – El Mehdi says that this has a bearing on his decisions as an entrepreneur and investor

 

(22:02) – The Reveal

(22:03) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “My dad bought a computer.  It was a challenge which I accepted”

(22:30) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

(22:50) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I would start a company earlier”

(23:28) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “I’m trying to evolve my entrepreneurial skills and my portfolio”

(24:04) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Finance”

 

(24:35) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: El Mehdi Marhoum says that success does not have a pattern

(24:47) – When things are looking up enjoy it but plan for the rainy days

(24:54) – When there are bumps in the road keep your head up; there’s always light at the end of the tunnel

(25:02) – Don’t be afraid of challenges or taking risk, particularly if you’re young

 

3 Key Points:     

  1. Always learn the basics first so that it’s easier to learn the more complex stuff
  2. You need to be detail orientated and be a problem solver
  3. There is no consistent pattern for attaining success

 

Resources Mentioned:

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