Episode 22 – It’s The Results That Matter with Thomas LaRock

 In Podcasts

In this episode of the I.T. Career Energizer podcast Thomas Larock explains why it’s the results that matter.  He also talks about the importance of being a generalist even when you are a specialist in one particular area of I.T.

Thomas is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, VMware vExpert, and former Microsoft Certified Trainer. Thomas has over 20 years’ experience in the I.T. industry in roles such as programmer, developer, analyst and database administrator.


Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:51) – Phil introduces Thomas

(01:46) – Thomas says that he fell in love with mathematics at an early age and subsequently this was his university major

(02:08) – Thomas went on to pursue a PHD but realised he could get a job before he completed it

(02:25) – The mathematics, analytics and logical reasoning led Thomas into a career in I.T.


(02:38) – Unique Career Tip: Thomas says that no one cares about effort because it’s the results that matter

(03:09) – Thomas says that it is a hard lesson to learn

(03:16) – People don’t want to be told why something can’t be done or how hard it is to do

(03:27) – If they need it and they want it you have to find a way to help them get what they need

(03:37) – Phil says that it’s the results that matter

(03:49) – Thomas says that you measured on the results and what you achieve


(04:36) – Worst Career Moment: Thomas talks about a planned power shutdown

(04:57) – Everybody knew that the power would go off and come back up again

(05:03) – A very old UNIX server did not restart when the power came back

(05:19) – Thomas and the team were unable to get the server up and running again

(05:38) – Three weeks later an incident required a production database restore but no backups had been taken because the licence on the backup software on the UNIX server had stopped

(06:23) – He was responsible even though he hadn’t done anything wrong

(06:37) – Thomas had to inform the business that they would have to rekey three weeks of transactions


(07:33) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Thomas talks about the time he got fired.

(08:05) – Thomas describes how he started in I.T. with Logica

(08:30) – Thomas’s boss promised to teach him everything he needed to know for his job

(08:40) – A few years later Thomas joined a startup company but his job was cut after about a year when the company was bought out

(08:53) – This turned out to be a highlight because it gave him the opportunity to find a company to work for as a database administrator

(10:16) – A year later the two other database administrators left and Thomas moved into their roles


(11:13) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Thomas talks says he’s really excited by Skynet; the machines are coming

(11:26) – Thomas says that the world of data is changing faster than ever

(11:36) – There is rapid growth inside of data technologies

(11:49) – Thomas says that he needs to know a little bit about a lot

(12:09) – Thomas says that we are in a period of rapid technical expansion and for this reason you need to be a little bit of a generalist

(12:15) – There is always something new to learn every day that can help you in your career

(12:34) – Phil talks about the concept of “T” shaped consultants who have a broad understanding of a wide range of subjects but also a specialisation


(13:53) – The Reveal

(14:00) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “Money.  I enjoy getting paid”

(14:13) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “Stop, turn around and listen”

(14:42) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I don’t think I’d do anything different.  I’d dive into the data wherever I could”

(15:13) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Data analytics and data science”

(15:56) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “Patience”


(16:41) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Thomas says that everybody thinks they need to have a blog to be successful

(17:01) – If blogging is something you want to do it has to feed your soul first

(17:16) – Write about something that is easy for you to write about

(17:33) – If you’re writing a blog for the people out there, you’re doing it wrong


3 Key Points:     

  1. No one cares about effort but they do care about results
  2. The world of data is changing faster than ever
  3. Only start a blog if it’s the right thing for you to do


Resources Mentioned:


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