In Part 1 of this two part series, we heard from DISTek Software Engineers Gerardo Zamora and Chad Stapes, who recently completed DISTek U 210 – a DISTek training course offered internally to engineers wanting to embark on a path of growth and prepare themselves for the next engineering tier level. Gerardo reviewed the book, Eat that Frog!, and Chad reviewed the book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader.
In this Part 2, Michael Barnhardt, a Software Engineer at DISTek for over 5 years, discusses, The Power of Positive Thinking in Business, and provides an overview of the final component of the DISTek U 210 course, the mentor-ship program.
The year 2020 has changed how work is done on a daily basis. In August, I was a stay-at-home mom of 2 boys, Christian (8) and Michael (6). I had just accepted a position at DISTek and was trying to navigate the very murky waters of transitioning to a full time employee and a mother. It was overwhelming to say the least. If you recall August 2020, no one could positively say if school was in person, hybrid, all virtual or even if the kids would go to school and be sent home a week later to do virtual school due to the pandemic!
DISTek U210: E2 Track is a new DISTek course offered internally to engineers wanting to learn and prepare themselves for the next engineering tier level. We use a classification of E1-E5 here at DISTek with E1 being entry level. Although, it is mostly geared towards E2s looking to set themselves up for success in becoming an E3 or senior engineer, the track also welcomes E1s wanting to learn about E2. In this class, we went over three books, had a panel discussion with senior engineers, and a mentorship project managed by the students in the class. This course also offered the benefit of networking and interacting with other DISTekians who we may not normally get the chance to work with.
In this two part series, we will talk about each of the books and the mentorship program, with the first two books being discussed by Gerardo Zamora and Chad Stapes here in Part 1, and a final book and mentorshiop being discussed by Michael Barnhardt in Part 2.
DISTek has a long tradition of staying true to our guiding principles that help define who we are – our core values – and our commitment to treating others how we would want to be treated. Core values keep us focused and state the behaviors that we expect from each other, while also making our company unique. Yet words and ideas merely listed on paper are meaningless without the link to real action.
Between starting my first job out of school in the industry and being in the midst of a global pandemic, my first year at DISTek Integration was certainly one that anyone in the same position would remember. With DISTek being the first full-time embedded software industry position I have held, I was quite excited to get started, but felt a little nervous, as this was a new step in my professional career.
This year marked the 25th year of occurrence for the Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference (AETC). This year looked a little different, as it was hosted exclusively virtual on Open Water, a Zoom based platform. Attendees gathered from February 8-10 to attend the AETC, which is hosted by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. ASABE serves as an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems.
I just scrolled through old blog posts and realized I have been writing a Year in Review post since at least 2014. If I did not know better, I might think I was being typecast for this role. Either way, if 2020 is the last time I do a Year in Review, then it certainly is one that provided a lot of differences to highlight.
DISTek Integration has always been an employee owned company, dating back to its beginning days in the basement office of the then, sole proprietor, Matt Dickinson. As both the only owner, and only employee, for many years, “celebration” may simply have meant not having to work on Saturday.