When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of Oliver Sims III, Sr. Director, Presales, is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
In his role at CA, Oliver helps internal and external customers get to the heart of their issues, and then enables a solution. As a leader in the Mainframe Presales organization, he and his team are at the center of sales opportunities that are not only are significant in value and scope, but are onramps for positioning CA as a go-forward partner. Internally, he has worked to nurture an impactful relationship with the Product organization – one that pay dividends for both sides.
Outside of CA, Oliver is an advisor and angel investor for minority startup companies, and serves on several boards including the Sam Walton College of Business Diversity and Inclusion Board, the Walton Colleges Deans Advisory Council, HackMy Future, Joyful Giver and the Community Empowerment Council (CEC) in his hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He is passionate about the mentorship of African American and other employees at CA, and creating a culture of inclusion, diversity and gender parity.
We asked Oliver a few questions on how he helps eliminate barriers, both at work and in the community. Here’s what he had to say.
How do you contribute to eliminating the barriers between ideas and outcomes for CA customers?
I believe most barriers are imagined and can be overcome with intellect and determination. Ideas are the beginning of all things and can come from anyone.
Why is it important that we all “bring what we bring” to contribute different and unique perspectives?
Experiences birth vantage points. The mere fact that every person has a different life story filled with unique experiences is clearly a signal that we’re all different. Those differences are valuable, especially when it comes to solving problems and creating new solutions.
Tell me a bit about how you’re bringing it outside of work with your recent appointment to the advisory board for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arkansas.
The University was a springboard for my career success, so I feel compelled to give back. Serving on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Board allows me to assist in the design and execution of programs that positively impact the minority student population. A student’s success on campus is key to graduating, which is key to becoming a contributor to our economy and society, so we don’t stop with on campus success. We also help students gain meaningful experiences through mentorships, internships and the acquisition of softer skills that are important to gaining a job – and thriving in it.
What did you learn from this experience that adds to what you do at work every day?
Working with other professionals to solve problems, design initiatives and sell those to the staff sharpen the skills that I deploy daily at CA. Both boards are made up of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, which provides an amazing opportunity for personal growth.
Why is it important to you that you’re making a difference – both at home and at work?
I feel the U.S. has vibrant and varied economic opportunities, yet still the level of poverty, blight, imprisonment and people who believe they don’t have a fair chance are trending the wrong direction. I’m aware of how fortunate I am, and I want to help others. I read See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar as a freshman at the University of Arkansas, and it greatly affected me. The premise is, if you help people get to where they want to go, you will, in turn, reach your own goals. Doing enriching work—for profit or not—breeds internal satisfaction that is difficult to match.
Thrive week at CA celebrates a diverse and inclusive workplace
March is a special month for us at CA Technologies as our people will celebrate Thrive week, which coincides with International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month in the US. Thrive is our internal initiative focused on driving an inclusive work environment that enables diverse perspectives, experience and thought — all of the factors that are key to driving innovation and business results for CA, our customers and our shareholders.
This year, the theme of International Women’s day, #PressForProgress, encourages us to push even harder toward greater inclusion, diversity and parity. I could not agree more. We must all work together to ensure equality for all – not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it drives better business outcomes. When we harness the power of everyone, we are more innovative, productive, and create better solutions – and that is simply, good business.
The innovative approach we take at CA embraces experimenting with different practices, failing fast and quickly learning from missteps to help move the needle. As I reflect upon all we have accomplished at CA, I am proud of the progress we have made thus far – but certainly won’t rest on our successes. I believe there is a strong need to press forward and continue the momentum as we focus on removing bias overall to create a more inclusive and diverse CA.
It is no secret that the Tech Industry – and all industries – are working hard toward a more representative workforce. Our goal at CA is to focus on inclusion first – we not only want to see a change in our representation, but also feel the change in our environment. Leveraging an inclusive mindset, we take a multifaceted approach to removing bias interpersonally and system-wide by evaluating our programs, processes and benefits to ultimately achieve a more diverse workforce and make progress holistically. We want to enable a truly inclusive environment so that we can realize the benefits of a diverse workforce and drive business value. We’ve made some big changes to our processes and policies to ensure we create an environment where equality and parity are foundational, bias is removed from our system, and our pipelines are fortified with diversity.
Pay Equity: Effective January 1, 2017 CA became the first company to no longer request current or historical compensation information from internal and external candidates during the interview and hiring process. Offering competitive compensation packages based on knowledge, skills and abilities helps eliminate any previous existing pay parity issues that may have been rooted in bias.
Diverse Candidate Slates: In an effort to build a pipeline of diverse candidates, we ensure we have a diverse slate of qualified candidates for our open positions. Since instituting the program five years ago, we have increased the diversity of our applicant pool by 25%.
Diverse Interview Panels: In order to embrace diverse perspectives during the interview process, we ensure we have a diverse panel of interviewers for our open positions.
Leave of Absence: Effective January 1, 2017, CA’s paid Family Medical Leave (FML) time off increased from 6 weeks to 12 weeks for leaves that are otherwise unpaid (i.e. maternity, paternity, adoption, care for ill family member, leave to care for self if approved for family medical leave but not approved for short term disability [STD]).
For maternity leaves, the 12 weeks begin after the conclusion of the any disability leave meaning a typical is fully paid for 18 weeks.
Leave of Absence Phase-Back Program: CA provides a generous, fully paid phase-back-to-work program for employees returning from leaves to care for family members automatically for two weeks to ease the transition back to work.
We further solidified our commitment to inclusion through our participation at the 2018 Makers Conference, where CA was one of 40 board members to raise their voices and announce a powerful initiative to advance women in the workplace. #Raiseyourvoice
“CA pledges to conduct a policy and process audit across the company to evaluate for possible areas of bias and implement solutions to remove bias where it exists.” ~ Lauren Flaherty, Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President, CA Technologies
I look forward to pressing even harder for progress in 2018 and beyond. Check out #LifeAtCA and #BringWhatYouBring on social media to join us on the journey, and meet some of our great people first-hand and see what they bring to CA each day.
Beth Conway, SVP, People at CA Technologies Connect with me on LinkedIn here Follow me on Twitter here
Ever wonder what it’s like to be in Communications at CA Technologies?
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond that and give you insight on these key facts from the perspective of a real CA employee. This Principal Communications profile is part of our careers blog series “A Day In The Life At CA”.
Archana, Principal, Communications, is very passionate about her work and is an avid writer.
Archana’s Career Story
This is Archana’s 3rd role at CA. Archana has made a real impact on the business at the India Technology Center.
“I had joined in the Solution Knowledge team for the ARCserve product team where I used to work on solution briefs, PPTs and help the SWAT team. When that team was dissolved, I joined the sales operations team where I used to help with Excel sheet for product SKUs. When I came to know that there was an opening in the Corporate Communications team, I applied as part of internal mobility and I have been with the Corporate Communications for 6.5 years.”
Interesting fact: This is Archana’s 2nd innings at CA Technologies. She had worked for 9 months earlier and quit and rejoined.
The Life of a Principal Communications
We asked Archana how she would describe her role as a Principal, Communications at CA and why she loves it.
“I take care of internal and external communications. Internal communication is for employees – taking care of internal branding, communicating the strategy to employees, organizing town halls, helping Executives with their presentations, helping out with site-wide event communication, writing articles for the intranet. As part of external communications, I liaise with the PR agency to arrange for media interactions for executives, write press releases, help with social media postings, write/edit articles, PPTs. I also help with CSR activities planning and CSR budgeting.”
A typical workday for Archana starts with replying to her e-mails and then organizing the top priority tasks for the day, before fetching the first mandatory cup of tea.
When we asked Archana about her favourite part of the job, she told us how she loves to interact with executives, some of whom put in their time and effort in guiding her and giving valuable tips and they feel happy when she succeeds.
“I also love researching, writing and editing articles. Sometimes juniors come to me to ask how to write an article or seek advice and I am always happy to guide them. One of the juniors came to me a few weeks ago to say that his mom asked him to say, “thank you” to me for something I helped him with. In my six years in this role, this was the biggest compliment I thought I got.”
Life At CA
Archana is certainly a fan of the office and the area of the business park. She likes the very neat individual working areas in the office and the clean and green campus.
“Best part of my workspace is the money plant (Scientific name: Epipremnum aureum) that I have on my desk. I feel happy to see the plant growing and when people come to my desk, they say wow such a big money plant, you must be rich :)”
Archana is extremely happy with the benefits that CA offers to its employees. In particular, she is a fan of the benefits that are offered to meet the work-life balance of the employees, which is one reason she loves her #LifeAtCA.
“Overall, I think CA offers great benefits, especially the comprehensive “Health and Wellness” program. One of the benefits that CA offers is the work from home option. Three years ago, when my dad passed away and my mother needed support, thanks to my Manager, I could get additional work from home option to help support my mother. I am truly grateful for this.”
Archana’s Career Advice
Archana would recommend a Principal, Communications position at CA Technologies to anyone who wants to be part of a large global software company with great career opportunities and company culture.
At CA, I have learnt a lot. Especially, in my current role, I can never complain of a dull moment. And there are multiple opportunities as part of internal mobility at CA, to shift and learn and network.”
We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks to Archana for sharing her Day in the #LifeAtCA of a Principal, Communications! You can follow her on LinkedIn here
Are you interested in a Communications role at CA Technologies?
Updating our goals for the new year is a time-honored tradition, and if career success is on your 2018 agenda, a resume refresh should be on your resolution list. The job market is changing fast, and whether you’re actively seeking a new role or aiming for a promotion, you’ll want to sharpen your professional presence and digital footprint to keep up with today’s demands. We’ve polled our own recruiters and dug into some new scholarly research to compile the top three tips for upgrading not just your resume, but your professional clout, networks and personal pitch.
Manage your personal brand
Job seekers should treat their public social media profiles like a company manages its brand1. Maximum visibility will result from best practices such as using strong keywords, professional images and engaging summaries.
Social media is disrupting the recruiting process, as candidates and recruiters connect and build long-term relationships online and skip the middle men, such as job boards1.Online networks provide ongoing relationships through the power of connection, messaging, big data and forum discussion. While LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform1, platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are becoming more frequent sources for recruiters looking for top talent. Most CA Technologies recruiters have Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, where you can connect with them and see regular job openings and other CA career updates in their posts. You can find them easily with a quick search for #BringWhatYouBring on your favorite social network.
Don’t limit your connections on professional networks such as LinkedIn to people you have worked or gone to school with. It’s wise to search for others with similar skillsets and recruiting professionals at the companies on your target employer list. Pro tip: recruiting professionals have various titles that do not include the term “recruiter” – “talent acquisition,” “headhunter” and “sourcer” are all common versions of titles you should value in your professional network.
Connections are most valuable when you maintain and nurture them through discussion. Regularly sharing interesting thoughts on industry news and collaborating with others in your area of expertise will demonstrate a passion for your work and keep you top of mind for your connections. And don’t just share; add your thoughts and expertise to spark a conversation. If you enjoy writing, a LinkedIn article is an easy way to publish long-form thoughts on succeeding in your line of work. The point is to craft a strength-based narrative and authentically communicate your career identity. According to data expert Rachel Cohen and career counselor Rebecca L. Toporek, successful career narratives can be achieved through both positive and negative stories and experiences, which can shape strengths and assets2. Identify your career narrative by attaching your real-life successes and lessons to hot topics on your timeline.
Learn the key to keywords
Be sure to identify active, clear keywords to feature in your resume. Building a solid keyword list to describe your work value can be key to standing out and confidently communicating in interviews, cover letters and profile summaries. According to master resume writers, you can build a strong list of keywords by thinking through five distinct categories3:
Hard skills and factual data
Include words that demonstrate key skills that apply directly to your tactical work, such as “media buying,” “programming” or “web design,” but don’t forget the specifics like “HTML,” “Java” or “data analysis.” These keywords should be featured in your skill tags on your LinkedIn profile as well.
Soft skills and attributes
Think of how you work with others, and try to be more distinct than “team player.” Terms such as “networking,” “time management,” “critical thinking” and “conflict resolution” will stand out and clearly communicate those qualities that are difficult to display in a portfolio.
Give specifics on the types of projects, products or services you’ve worked with. “Agile project management,” “DBaaS sales” or “gamification development” are more specific and intriguing than the same terms without descriptive adjectives. Additionally, list attributes of the industries of your professional experience. “Retail,” “transportation” or “finance” can go a long way in establishing yourself as a strong match for a role that prefers that background.
Education and training credentials
Give your schooling or certifications a plug wherever possible. You may have been an IT support technician for 10 years, but if you don’t have “A+” somewhere in your online profiles and in your resume, you risk getting missed on automated searches and algorithms that match talented people to open jobs.
Are you passionate about a cause, volunteer in your community or have an interesting hobby? Sprinkle some of that personality into your online profile summary to stand out amongst your peers.
Don’t just list skills, show them
You’ve probably been asked to show ROI on something in your professional career, and the same principal applies to “showing your work” on your resume and in your online profiles. There are two key ways to do this.
First, on a resume, you should add a few stats that show the results of the efforts you’ve listed under each title. Whenever possible, those stats should include a business result. If you managed a team, what specific steps did you take to develop them and what percentage of your total headcount were promoted? If you were responsible for ordering supplies, what did you do to improve that process and what percentage of your budget was saved as a result? Data is everything; be concise and specific about your impact.
Second, when it comes to your public online profiles, include links to case studies, blogs, Slideshares, images, gits, or videos displaying your work. If you don’t currently have any relevant professional content like this, you may want to consider compiling a portfolio for this purpose.
You can find many more tips on resumes, job search and interviewing in our Candidate Toolkit.
Macabe, M. (2017). Social media marketing strategies for career advancement: an analysis of Linkedin. Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences,29(1), 85-89. Retrieved January 9, 2018. ISSN: 1099-5374
Toporek, R. L., & Cohen, R. F. (2017). Strength-Based Narrative Résumé Counseling: Constructing Positive Career Identities from Difficult Employment Histories. The Career Development Quarterly,65(3), 222-236. doi:10.1002/cdq.12094
Enelow, W. S., W, CCM, MRW, JCTC, CPRW, & Kursmark, L., CCM, MRW, JCTC, CPRW. (n.d.). The Best Keywords for Resumes, Letters and Interviews: Powerful Words and Phrases for Landing Great Jobs! (2nd Edition). Career Planning & Adult Development Journal,33(3), 55-56. Retrieved January 9, 2018. ISSN: 0736-1920
If your New Year’s resolutions include finding a better job, you’re not alone. But are you ready for the hunt? Here are a few tips to get your 2018 job search off to the right start.
Update your resume
You may have heard it a thousand times, but it bears repeating: always have your resume updated and ready to go. Even if you aren’t in the market, that perfect job opportunity will often present itself when you’re least expecting it, especially as many companies ramp up hiring in January. As you’re scrambling to add your most recent experience to your resume, the company is probably already talking to other candidates who may be better prepared. If you want a competitive edge, you should be able to provide an up-to-date resume at a moment’s notice.
Send the signal
In case you missed it, LinkedIn now offers a button you can click to discreetly let recruiters know you’re interested in hearing about new opportunities. To access it, navigate to your LinkedIn profile, then scroll down to view your dashboard. Under “Career Interests,” click on the button to turn the feature on.
You’ll be directed to a screen where you can enter more information about the types of job opportunities that interest you.
Lock down your social profiles
More and more employers are checking out social media profiles of potential candidates before making decisions on interviewing or hiring. You may want to think twice about posting things like:
Risqué photos, memes or stories – While may it have been an epic wet t-shirt contest, chances are the pics aren’t going to impress a potential boss.
Polarizing political or social opinions – You are certainly entitled to them, but be aware that a recruiter may not share your views and find them off-putting.
Ads for your side hustle – There’s nothing wrong with selling cosmetics, kitchen gadgets or home goods in your spare time. However, if your entire newsfeed is devoted to it, a potential employer might wonder if your attention will be fully focused on their job.
If you want to continue doing you on social media despite the potential pitfalls, at least be sure to go into your privacy settings and make sure only your friends can see your Facebook feed and your tweets are set to private.
Now you’re ready to launch your 2018 job search! You can find many more tips on job search, resumes and interviewing in our Candidate Toolkit.
At the helm of ~400 team members from CA Technologies, India is Sakaar Anand. He is a CA Technologies veteran with more than 21 years of experience in Information Technology and Human Resource Development.
Sakaar joined CA in 2008 as a Senior Director, Software Engineering and since then has held various roles at CA. Today, he is the Senior Vice President of Software Engineering & leads an enthusiastic team of software professionals, who help CA customers gain insight into their applications, their networks and their infrastructure.
In this Q&A, we speak with Sakaar about his role at CA, his career journey, his thoughts about an effective leader and what CA looks for, in an ideal engineer.
Tell us about your role at CA Technologies?
My teams own the development of CA Products which become part of an organization’s DevOps toolchain. We also own the internal deployment of the same DevOps toolchain for CA Technologies.
How has your career at CA Technologies evolved since you first joined the company?
I joined CA as a Senior Director, Software Engineering in 2008. I headed Technology and Process Shared Services for CA India for 2 years. Then I became the Vice President of Software Engineering, where my role was to provide expertise to CA product development teams in the domains of usability, accessibility, business intelligence and localization.
After this role, I got an opportunity to head HR for CA India. Though I was never planning to move to HR but when the opportunity came my way, I grabbed it with both hands as I wanted to learn about the other lines of business like Finance, Marketing and Sales, to be able to understand these functions by working closely with these Business Units.
After heading the India Human Resources Team for almost 4 years, I got another opportunity in the US to head the Global People Team for product development of all the products. Simultaneously I started heading Product Operations. I was in this role for almost 2.5 years and it was a dynamic and changing environment for me where I got to work with new people, new processes, experienced new ways of approaching the problem, new challenges of business and in my journey, I continually adapted to the change and learnt that ‘to adapt is to grow’.
During this time, I became the Senior Vice President for Product Operations and Human Resources.
Very recently, I moved back to India as the Senior Vice President for Software Engineering.
I always feel that there are a lot of opportunities for those who can embrace the change to excel. It is imperative to adapt to the changing times by updating our skills and experiences to stay relevant for an exciting future.
In your opinion, what makes for an effective leader?
To me, an effective leadership requires real accountability. Accountability towards your goals, towards your work, towards your colleagues and towards the organization. Because when leaders take personal accountability, they are willing to face the consequences of their decisions and actions in all the circumstances.
That sense of ownership and responsibility also inspires the team and makes things happen. If you are accountable, the company can and will trust you.
How have you fostered a high-performance culture in the team?
I would again stress the importance of accountability here, because by fostering a culture of accountability in the team, you empower the employees to take ownership and when team members constantly demonstrate ownership and accountability, commitment to work increases. This results in high levels of trust amongst the team members and which ultimately drives high-performance culture in the team.
I always encourage all the leaders to drive the culture of accountability in the team and build trust through support and encouragement. Creating a culture of constructive accountability may require a culture change within the team but leaders will find the results well worth the effort.
Having joined CA in 2008 and then becoming SVP of India Agile Operations Team in 2017, what would you say are your top tips for climbing the ladder within an organization?
Three things that have worked for me are:
Never say ‘’No’’ to new challenges and assignments – Don’t get too comfortable in a role. Step out of your comfort zone and push your limits. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to take on more responsibility is a great way to grow personally and professionally. I have always felt that when you step out of a role to embrace something new, that’s when you make real progress.
I have never said ‘’No’’ to any role that the company has offered me. And a ‘’Never Say No’’ attitude towards any new role or a challenging project or assignment has made me reach where I am today.
Put the company first – Getting to the top position requires the simple concept of hard work day after day. As an individual who wants to grow in an organization, you shouldn’t get impatient and put the company first. Leaders should put the interests of their organization above their own. Give back to the company, create more capacity for people around you and it will automatically bring growth to you and to the team and the organization.
I have never asked, what the organization can do for me, I have always asked what can I do for the organization.
Don’t ask for a title, always ask for new roles and responsibilities – A promotion or salary increase is the most sought-after reward in the corporate race. And many people want to just go after a raise or a title. Instead, you should ask for new roles and responsibilities that you are willing to take on. Be proactive and look for opportunities, share your career goals with your leaders and talk about how you see yourself fitting in the new role.
What’s a unique career lesson you can share?
I always keep telling people that in today’s competitive world, those who are willing to take risks, those who are willing to step out of their comfort zone will be the ones achieving the greatest success.
Only when we take the risk & come out of our secure zone, can we take on a new opportunity, build potentiality and accomplish more. As we do, our confidence to take on new challenges increases.
I have never let anything, keep me from stepping beyond the confines of my comfort zone. We must continually introspect whether we are letting our fear of failure keep us from taking the actions that will move us forward and help us take the right decisions.
What is it about CA Technologies role that keeps you motivated and inspired?
I have been at CA for over 9 years now. We work in a unique environment that supports talent, innovation and creativity and the variety of projects, tools and technologies that we work on is truly exciting. My favorite part of my role is getting to work with inspiring people and my team, helping to make a difference.
Besides the amazing team and the exciting work that we do here, I have got tremendous opportunities to work in various roles, a wide array of projects and assignments. I have been lucky enough to get the chance to work in different geographies as well. The constant change and new & exciting opportunities have always kept me on my toes.
It is the opportunities for taking on new responsibilities and challenges that make working for a global company like CA so rewarding. These windows, in turn, bolster spirit and motivation.
We are consistently innovating and helping various organizations develop an agile architecture. The direct relation between the work we put in and the positive impact that comes as a result is so inspiring and empowering.
You’re hiring. What type of people are your looking for? What kind of qualities do you seek when hiring young engineer candidates?
We are a technology-driven company so we are looking for people who have a passion for technology, who keep themselves abreast with the emerging technologies, who have technical depth in their area of study, but at the same time can also expand the breadth of their engineering knowledge, who are inquisitive and fast learners.
In closing, do you have any advice for engineers who want to join the Tech Industry?
Be well rounded and don’t just learn to code. Be curious and study about latest developments in technology, technology trends and industry trends. And if you have a passion for technology, the grit to resolve the problem and the ability to see the bigger picture, then IT field is for you.
In addition, for any project team, agility is integral to the success of the project and it is extremely important for agile teams to be able to communicate their ideas well to the team members and the customers. I want engineers to be aware of this aspect as well.
We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks to Sakaar for sharing his thoughts and advice for young software engineers! You can follow him on LinkedIn here.
Are you interested in a Software Engineering role at CA Technologies?
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of one of our Digital Presales Engineers is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
Johnathan has been with CA for two years, working with the Digital Presales team in the Plano, TX office. He started as a Digital Presales Engineer supporting commercial business, and has recently moved to supporting Managed Service Providers in the CA Agile Operations business suite. Johnathan says he enjoys the diversity of the role.
“This role has several different requirements. I can spend one day doing a demonstration for a new potential MSP partner, and the next day I am assisting with a product install.”
What’s a typical day like?
An average day for Johnathan starts with a morning cup of coffee, calendar and email review and daily technical blog reading.
“The typical day varies and that’s what I love about the role. Always changing!”
The best part of the job
Johnathan says his favorite part of the job is the people he works with, both internally and externally.
“I have a really great group of teammates here in Plano along with my field counterparts. We have developed strong friendships, which as a result makes the workplace fun!”
Johnathan thinks the best part of the Plano office is the fun and collaborative environment. He also likes that there is an open workspace.
“I’m not confined to a cube. I get to interact with my fellow colleagues. It’s always nice to be able to turn around and ask a question to a colleague and get an immediate response.”
According to Johnathan, one of the biggest benefits to working at CA is the ability to move into different roles and positions.
“CA is very supportive in their employees exploring other avenues within CA.”
Why CA over other tech companies?
Many people who are new to the tech industry may not have heard of CA. We asked Johnathan why someone might want to consider us over some of the better-known technology companies.
“Everyone knows Facebook, Google, etc. The best thing about working for a lesser known B2B technology company is you get to help grow the company. You get to help increase brand awareness. As the company grows, you grow.”
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of one of our Team Leads for Digital Presales is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
Nathan has been with CA for three and a half years, working in the Plano, Texas office. He started fresh out of college in our Digital Presales Associate Program, which consisted of nine months of intense technical and soft skills training. Since then, he has moved up, first into a Consultant role supporting Service Virtualization, then into a Team Lead Role, running the Continuous Delivery Digital Presales team.
“As a team lead [I] help my team members achieve their personal goals and achieve success, and work with the sales team to strategically win business for CA.”
An average day
Nathan’s day typically includes a mix of customer discovery calls, internal calls and product demos. The first thing he does every day is check his email and calendar, then on to prepping for meetings or working on any projects that may be on deck.
Nathan says the best part of his job is helping people remove the barriers that stand in the way of their success.
“For customers, this is by helping them understand the best way to leverage tools and processes. For my team, this is removing barriers and teaching.”
Nathan says the people are the best part of the Plano office.
“The digital sales and presales teams are like a big family here in Plano, and that helps to make it fun to go into work daily.”
He also likes that his workspace is close not only to the presales team, but also the sales team.
“When you are next to each other daily, there is an atmosphere of continual improvement that begins to develop. It is also very easy to walk over to someone and have a conversation face to face.”
While CA offers a wide array of benefits, Nathan says that his favorites are the “tiny things.”
“For instance, the company caters breakfast on Fridays and they provide fresh, movie-theater style popcorn once a week.”
We asked Nathan why someone might want to consider CA over some of the better-known technology companies.
“I would say that we are well known within the technology space, but the cool thing about being focused on strictly B2B is that I know that I help most of the companies that people use daily create and execute on their vision, which then allows them to continue innovating.
“The other cool thing is that here you get to experience a company’s digital transformation first-hand with things like project Tensor and the move from mainframe focus to a more distributed focus.”
We work and live in a fast-paced environment, especially in the Tech industry. We are constantly evolving to stay ahead of the curve to achieve business results and win in a competitive industry. For many companies, diversity and inclusion has become a key focus; it is the “right thing to do.” It is good for employees and good for business.
A 2015 McKinsey report found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.
Simply put – diversity drives better performance and if we don’t embrace a diverse and inclusive mindset, we risk falling behind.
Research to prove this fact has often been based on characteristics that you can visibly see, but diversity goes beyond these factors.
Diversity and inclusion is not limited to what we look like. It’s about fostering an environment where people with different backgrounds and opinions can work together and challenge one another to elevate the collective thinking, creativity and actions of the group. Different perspective provides us the opportunity to challenge our assumptions and adjust our biases.
Every organization has a different strategy; at CA Technologies, our position is to focus on inclusivity and take a multifaceted approach to making progress holistically. Our goal is to remove bias by embedding a diverse mindset in everything we do. Our actions speak volumes to demonstrate our focus and commitment on building a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
We pride ourselves in taking risks and experimenting with different approaches to see what will move the needle. Over the last few years, CA Technologies has implemented several innovative strategies focused on eliminating bias, breaking down barriers and increasing the diversity of our workforce.
Pay Equity: As of January 1, 2017, CA Technologies became the first company to no longer request applicants’ previous salary history during the interview process for both external and internal candidates. Offering compensation packages that are competitive and based on knowledge, skills and abilities helps to eliminate any previous existing pay parity issues that may have been rooted in bias. The intent is to create a more level playing field and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to earn fair compensation for comparable work and advances an inclusive environment where our people can thrive. CA made this important shift not because of future legislation, but because it is the right thing to do.
Diverse Candidate Slates: Until recently, during the interviewing process, we required that at least one, and ideally more than one, candidate in every pool of candidates presented to a hiring manager qualified as diverse (defined as a woman, a person of color, a veteran, or an individual with disabilities).
In FY18, we raised the bar even further to require at least two women on each candidate slate for at least 75% of our filled requisitions. According to a 2016 study by HBR.org, their research demonstrates that having more than one woman or minority in the finalist pool of candidates would significantly increase the likelihood of hiring a woman or minority. When there is only one woman, she does not stand a chance of being hired, but that changes dramatically when there is more than one.
Diverse interview panels: Our benchmark aims to have a diverse panel on 100% of our requisitions to ensure that we have diverse representation to allow for a variety of perspectives in the interview process. Having a diverse panel not only helps manage unconscious bias, it also provides candidates the opportunity to meet and experience the diverse set of people who make up CA Technologies.
Unconscious bias training: “If you have a brain, you have bias.” Scary thought? Indeed. We all bring our own biases to work each day, therefore we implemented Unconscious Bias training throughout the organization to help employees understand, recognize and mitigate bias.
Casting a wide netas we source for our open positions: We pursue and engage with a wide range of job candidates through partnerships with diversity organizations, diversity focused career fairs and job boards, recruitment at universities whose populations include a higher percentage of women and minority groups as well as targeted social media and networking channels.
Job Descriptions: Often job descriptions are plagued with bias, which is why we’ve improved our ability to connect with and attract diverse top talent by looking closely at our job descriptions and job postings to ensure the language we use is inclusive and not biased.
Diversity is not just about hiring and fair pay, it is a team sport. It is about inclusion in every aspect of our work culture.
CA Accelerator is the internal incubation program of CA Technologies. Part startup, part venture capital and part think tank, the Accelerator is one way CA Technologies is encouraging internal innovation and breaking barriers within our organization. The CA Accelerator is a unique opportunity to join a big company, but have the feel of working for a startup.
As part of our “Day in the Life” blog series, we’re checking in with some of the people who build and define our latest projects and asking them what it’s like to work on an Accelerator team.
A marketing Jill-of-all-trades, Robyn Crotty is based out of our Denver Colorado office and works with the Yipee.io team helping the project gain awareness and make it to market. Robyn has been working for CA for 9 months, and has been working in different aspects of marketing at other companies for the last 7 years. Robyn has a lot to bring to the table on the Yipee.io team.
Team members on accelerator projects often need to wear multiple hats, particularly as the team is being built. What is Robyn’s title and what is she currently working on?
“Head of Marketing for a CA Accelerator Incubation – working on everything – strategy, digital marketing, demand gen, events, onboarding – you name it, I do it.”
Working for an Accelerator project is different than working for a large fortune 500 company, but it’s also different from working for a regular startup. What does Robyn like about her role on Yipee.io?
“Ability to work in a startup environment that is well funded with less risk. I can make quick decisions and grow my skills without many barriers to innovation.”
We asked Robyn what makes her current role with Yipee.io different from jobs she’s had in the past.
“More flexibility, ability to test and try new things, little barriers to getting the job done, but more uncertainty of success with a new product.”
Anyone who has worked in a startup environment can attest to the fact that building a product from the ground up is exciting, and at times chaotic. As with most roles in a startup, a typical day at work is the atypical.
“I am constantly working on different projects, initiatives and experiments, so each day/week/month is unique.”
The Accelerator environment is not for everyone. What would Robyn say to someone considering a role with the CA Accelerator?
“It’s a great place for people who want to work in a fast paced environment who are okay with working under a level of uncertainty. Great teams!”
Does a job on a CA Accelerator team sound intriguing to you? Take a look at our open jobs on Accelerator projects on this page.
If you want to learn more about how the Accelerator came to fruition at CA Technologies check out this article, featuring our CTO Otto Berkes.