Take a Proactive Approach to Your Career with Stephen Kuenzli

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Stephen Kuenzli

Stephen Kuenzli has designed, built, deployed and operated highly available and scalable software systems in high tech manufacturing, banking, and e-commerce sectors, for nearly 20 years. He has a B.S. in Systems Engineering and he loves working through challenging design problems and building solutions that are safe and enjoyable to use.

In this episode, Phil and Stephen Kuenzli discuss the need to develop non-technical skills to be able to progress your career. Stephen shares and effective way to be a continuous learner without over-stretching yourself or letting other things slide. Tthey also talk about the importance of sticking to your standards and refusing to be pressured into shipping a faulty product and how to do that. He also explains how to maintain the balance you need to stay successful.

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Stephen Kuenzil

Resources

Docker In Action – Check out Stephen’s book on the Manning website!

Mailing List for Cloud, DevOps, and Security – You can subscribe to Stephen’s mailing list!

Qualimente.com – Check out Stephen’s website and biography.

2 Top Career Tips

1) Be proactive about managing your career. Throughout his career, Stephen has blocked out at least 4 hours a week to be used to learn or practice a new skill. It is also important to ask for help. This is especially the case when you are trying to develop non-technical skills. Learning things like effective communication and project management skills is crucial. .
2) Learn continuously. But respect your personal and family limits. If you work too hard you will burn out.

Show Notes

Worst Career Moment

Sadly, Stephen was involved in launching a product before it was ready. They knew it was buggy, but the pressure was being applied by several influential parties. Now, Stephen would simply refuse to ship a product at that stage of development. To ensure he can do this, he has built up the cash buffer he needs within his business.

Career Highlight

His career highlight came about while fixing that flawed system that had led to his worst career moment. During the fix, they created a better way of debugging. They did not just bug fix. Instead, their focus was on improving the customer experience. As a result, that flawed product was transformed into one that the customer loved. They got the defect rate down to 0.007% of projects had issues.

The Future

Stephen enjoys the crazy pace of change. It keeps things interesting. Currently, in terms of cloud security code, the half-life is currently around 18 months. This provides a lot of opportunities for everyone to do things better and better. He also speaks about how containerization is helping to make more things possible in the cloud.

The Reveal

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.?

The fact you can get computers to take care of the hard things you cannot do. Freeing you up to enjoy making them do even harder things.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

His father advised him to do what you love and love what you do.

What is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

Stephen says he does not remember. He doesn’t really hold onto the bad stuff.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Probably something on the interface of biology and technology. For example, replacement body parts and the technology needed to make them.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Building a cloud security product that enables users to answer basic questions like who has access to each part of my data. Currently, this is far too difficult to do.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?

Learning to communicate and empathise with people.

What do you do to keep your own career energized?

Relaxing and disconnecting re-energises him.

What do you do in your spare time away from technology?

Spending time with his family and take good care of himself and them.

Contact The Guest

Contact Stephen Kuenzli through the following social media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/skuenzli

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenkuenzli/

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Tips & advice for advancing your career. Get my most powerful tips FOR FREE. No spam, ever.

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