How to develop a habit and make it stick. How to start a conversation and keep it going. How to identify a lead and pass along the pertinent information. Not content which is traditionally associated with technical trainings. Rather, skills that can help anyone wanting to advance his or her career and the content taught in DISTek U 110: Engineering 1 Fundamentals Track.
Recognizing that the internet is full of trainings teaching engineers the technical skills that they need to do their daily work, in 2018 we took a different approach in creating our internal training program, DISTek U. Our trainings leverage off-the shelf resources to help employees develop foundations upon which they can build their careers. We focus upon the soft skills that allow employees to grow and develop their careers beyond their daily workflow.
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.
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.
In 2018, DISTek began an internal training program called DISTek University, affectionately known as “DISTek U”. This training leverages off-the shelf training resources to develop a common foundation for DISTek’s employee owners to build their careers on. DISTek U promotes collaboration and camaraderie among all DISTekians, regardless of position or geographic location. DISTek leadership strongly encourages all employee owners to participate in these trainings – which help both the employee owner and employer. DISTek can point to numerous examples of promoting individuals to leadership positions after successful course completion and exceptional job performance.
Monday October 22 was a pretty exciting day, the day DISTek recognized the first set of graduates from DISTek U. These 7 graduates completed all the coursework required of the Potential Leads Track, which included reading and answering discussion questions for the books How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, and Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg. They also attended 7 Habits of Highly Effective People leadership training, and gave a presentation to the class and management team on their key takeaways. The group also heard from four current DISTek leaders on their perspective of being a leader, which was a highlight of the class. Below are some of the thoughts and experiences on the training from some of the graduates.