Build IT Together is all about two things: IT and community, and we’re aiming to bring these together under our monthly blog series, 12 for 12.
By interviewing 12 IT leaders over 12 questions, we’ll get to know each other a little better, and get unique perspectives on the industry. This month, we meet with Chris Jimenez of Team Detroit, in Dearborn, Michigan.
What is your official title?
Business Enablement Manager at Team Detroit—I work with operational data and internal metrics to help make our client business more efficient, and also to improve the work we do internally for the agency’s performance.
What does “IT” mean to you?
To me, it’s about identifying the best ways that technology can improve the business. It is a team that is helping the business work smoother and harnessing the power of technology whenever possible to make our agency more efficient.
What daily task in your job do you find most fulfilling?
When people realize how quickly and efficiently our solutions can improve their work. It’s so rewarding those first couple times a user realizes that our solution can really help them and free up more time to add insight rather than only processing tasks.
You can choose one common IT problem that you can instantly solve with the snap of your fingers, every time. What problem would that be?
Data integrity. If I could just snap my fingers and not have to worry about the data and know it’s reporting exactly the way it should be, that would be a big weight off my shoulders.
What’s one step that you never miss when taking on a large project?
Whenever I encounter a particular project or problem, I work with the idea that this won’t be the only time I have to do this. Basically, I ask myself: “what’s the most scalable way I can handle this right now?” and “What do I have to do to ensure I never need to do it again?”
When I approach it that way, we usually end up with some kind of innovation for the agency, and a better way of moving forward.
What has been your most memorable support issue in IT?
I once had a customer that could not access a site I created. Every time we talked I reminded her that it had to be viewed in Firefox. Over the course of last 8 hours before a big meeting, I was screamed at, emails were escalated, and all of my leadership was made aware that I was not being helpful. Everything was going to hell, we’re all a bunch of idiots. You know, the usual. Eventually I had to go out to the customer’s office to see if I was insane and maybe I was actually to blame. When I asked her to pull up the site she opens it in IE. We get few opportunities to be 100% right and I’ll tell you, it felt great when I got back to my office and explained what was really going on. I learned a lot about client management that day.
Can you tell us more about your background, or a passion you have outside of IT/technology?
I play hockey—we have a work team at Team Detroit, and playing with those guys is a lot of fun. When I’m not working, I spend a lot of time with my family, and if I have the chance I’ll sneak away and play some videogames. Family, sports, and videogames pretty much!
What was your favorite 1990s (or fading) piece of technology?
Probably something videogame-related—I’m going to have to go with the Nintendo 64. When I’m hanging out with my cousin, we’ll have a beer and bust out WWF No Mercy or Goldeneye. I think it’ll always survive.
What is the Medieval/fantasy equivalent of an IT professional?
I’m not sure if this counts, but honestly, the wizard. Technology is so much more than if it’s working or not. There are so many components and skills required to make technology useful, and having just the data set or interface available, that isn’t really enough—you need to get inside users’ minds really and develop something they may not have even realized they wanted.
If you could have lunch with any technologist/innovator that’s ever lived who would it be?
From an innovation standpoint, I’d want to meet with Kevin Feige at Marvel Studios. He’s a true visionary that has revolutionized storytelling on a grand scale. What I find most inspiring is how his career has evolved from his first pitch to Marvel execs to make Iron Man to the multi-billion dollar success that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. People take risks every day. Kevin Feige was playing with other people’s money and was confident that his vision would work. He would have been ruined if it didn’t. Very few people get the satisfaction of not only being right about their vision but being massively successful in implementing it against all odds. It’s inspiring.
Is step 1 always, “turn it off, then on”?
Oh yeah. For almost everything—clear the cache and then see if it works!
If you could make one piece of SciFi or futuristic piece of technology a reality, what would it be?
I’m a superhero and science fiction fan so there are a lot of things to pick from. But the one piece of tech I would love to see in my lifetime is the Star Trek teleporter. After a long day at work, it would be awesome to be back at home in 5 seconds.
Chris, thank you for taking the time to meet with us and sharing your thoughts! Keep up with Chris on Linkedin, and check out Team Detroit while you’re at it! For more tech stories and news, visit Newmind Group and Build It Together online.