We're spotlighting Craig Sutliff today! Craig is another of our Littleton, Massachusetts superstars, acting (in part) as a Support Product Manager. A busy guy with family and work balancing, Craig has some great insights on success, skills, and one of the best tips/tricks I've seen! Read on to learn more about what makes him tick, and don't miss our previous interviews too!
Tell us a little about yourself: who are you, what is your role in Rational Client Support?
My name is Craig Sutliff. I'm 32 years old, living in Methuen, MA with my wife Erin (Who works for Rational's TeleSales team in Westford, MA) and 3 yr old son Aiden. I'm currently on Holly Bloomer's Release Readiness team as the Support Product Manager & Global Enablement Program Manager for the Enterprise Architecture/Analysis, Design & Construction Segment. I am also the Rational Brand Consumablity Strategist.
How long have you been working for IBM and Rational?
I started with Rational in 1999 and was with the company up through the IBM acquisition in 2003, when I was laid off. I was hired back as a TSE in 2004 (more details below in next answer)
Have you had any other roles in Rational?
I started with Rational as a Temp, working in the mail room in 1999. I was hired on Full time on the Rational Facilities team shortly after starting, and managed the Lexington office shipping department through 2003. During this time I was going to school at night, finishing my BS in Information Systems at UMASS Lowell. When I returned to IBM in 2004 (after completing my degree), I joined the Integrations Support team in Lexington. After 1.5 years with the Integrations team, I joined the SPM team, and have been there till this day
What are you currently working on?
2011 Consumability Strategy for the Rational Brand, among standard SPMGE duties (enablement planning and delivery, Release quality tracking, interacting with Development)
Describe a normal day for you.
Wake up at 5:30am, and either head to the office (or my couch if I'm working form home). Have a coffee and then put my bluetooth in my ear for a long day of calls/meetings. Pick up my son from day-care and hang out with him for a bit. Then Dinner, and some TV (occasionally with the lap top open) before going to bed.
What project are you the most proud of?
This is an old project, but in my early years with Rational, the company was growing/expanding and a very fast rate and outgrew it's 20 Maguire building. The project of expanding our offices in the Lexington area (to the 12 Hartwell, 81 +83 Hartwell and 91 Hartwell buildings) was very fascinating and a big undertaking.
Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?
Hmm...Too many to count. I'd like to have a round robin shadow opportunity for a lot of different roles in Rational for the learning experience and potential for identifying/defining my career path.
Are you a gadget person? What type of gadgets do you use?
I guess I have to say no. I try to keep up to date, but usually don't get to dive too deep into getting around to using them.
What type of gadgets do you use?
Blackberry is probably about it on a regular basis. IPod/ITouch. Does a PS3 count? Considering a IPad or some e-reader to replace actually reading the physical newspaper each day (yeah, I'm old fashioned like that!)
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without?
Since it's also my cell phone, my blackberry.
What's the coolest piece of tech news you've heard lately?
3D television. Will be interesting to see if this really takes off or not.
What is your favorite part of working for Rational Client Support?
The people. I know this is a stock answer, but since I started working with Rational when I was 20 years old, I really have grown up with many of the people in Rational and RCS.
What inspires you in your work?
Challenges, meeting them, and getting the job done.
What are you passionate about?
Passionate might a strong word, as I like to view myself as pretty even keel. Outside of work, I'm a big fan of Professional sports (NFL/MLB/NBA/Golf/Tennis). I'm also a big music fan.
What tip or trick would you like to share with the class?
If you don't know, don't be ashamed to ask
How do you define success?
Understanding what is being asked of you, and executing to those requirements.
In your spare time, if you have any, what hobbies or activities interest you?
Being with my son. I'm also a huge NE Sports fan and a Red Sox season ticket holder. I love music and when I can, getting on my PS3 for some "sanity time". In the summer, my family goes boating, and now that my son is getting older, we'll be starting to ski more in the winter.
What tools / skills have you acquired that you feel are vital to your success in this field?
Negotiation would be at the top of the list. Learning to understand and analyze business metrics, and presentation skills would follow.
What specifically drew your interest to become involved in your field?
To be honest, not sure. Just kind of fell into it. Originally went to college to be a Veterinarian
Do you have any big plans for the future?
I try not to look too far ahead, and not take the present for granted.
If you were stuck on a technology deprived island, what single technology could you not live without?
Good question. I think I'd have to have some form of music around, whatever form it takes.
What is on your nightstand with regard to reading?
"Caught" by Harlen Coben, latest Rolling Stone magazine and some section of a recent Boston Globe and/or Boston Herald
What is your favorite technology that fizzled or failed to live up to the hype?
Mini discs. Man did I waste money on a bunch of those!
How do you prefer to find answers to your questions?
My own research whenever possible. The process of doing it myself helps me learn/remember. But usually due to time constraints, I find an SME and ask.
How are you using social networking today?
Twitter and Facebook. Mainly to keep up with old fiends, and gaming (on FB)
How could you see yourself using it in 5 years?
Probably in the same manner
Are you a blogger in the blogosphere? no ... Are you a YouTuber? not really ...Are you an Author? no .... Do you Tweet? ..occasionally, but not much.
What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow?
Don't really have any. Mostly just follow friends on Twitter
What publications / websites do you read / visit?
Read the Boston Globe and Boston herald every day. Typically visit ESPN.com once a day. For Magazines, I read Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Spin, Game Informer