Growing up as a science fiction fan, Tom Nolan was always captivated by the gadgets and technologies he saw in movies like Star Wars and Minority Report. He started off his career in engineering, and after recently getting a job at the Cullerton Group—an IT engineering and staffing firm—he now engages with customers on cutting-edge technologies that he says are akin to the genre he grew up loving.
“I am working on the frontline of emerging technology, and it’s really exciting,” said Nolan. “Some of the projects we are helping our customers drive around smart factories, smart production, IoT, big data and artificial intelligence are even cooler than what you see in science fiction.”
Nolan says this exposure to new and innovative technologies is what he likes most about working in the IT industry. One experience that stands out for him is helping to build and oversee a team that gathers and analyzes data collected from sensors on semi-trucks. “The concept of having all this data and being able to process it in a meaningful way is truly fascinating to me,” said Nolan.
Even in an industry that is evolving rapidly, Nolan says keeping up with the latest trends in tech is critical to success. “Tech is advancing so quickly,” he said. “If you’re pursuing a career in IT you’ve got to move with the trends and consistently re-learn what technologies are out there.”ies is what he likes most about working in the IT industry. One experience that stands out for him is helping to build and oversee a team that gathers and analyzes data collected from sensors on semi-trucks. “The concept of having all this data and being able to process it in a meaningful way is truly fascinating to me,” said Nolan.
Nolan says his fascination and curiosity with tech has helped him excel in this area. “I am a voracious studier of the tech industry through literature, magazines and blogs,” said Nolan. “I’m genuinely curious about tech and how it’s applied to manufacturing, engineering, supply chain and software development. I happily spend free time reading about these trends and it helps me professionally.”
Nolan is also a member of CompTIA AITP Chicago, and when it comes to keeping up with industry trends, he says the chapter “Has been paramount to my career development.” He referenced a recent chapter meeting that featured a presentation on blockchain from Jonathan Morley—a software engineer in the financial industry who authored a top-selling book on blockchain technology.
The first chapter event he attended featured a local CIO who spoke about best practices for managing IT teams, and Nolan says he’s been going to CompTIA AITP meetings ever since.
“Although we have access to more information than ever with today’s technology, there’s no substitute for hearing directly from local IT professionals about how they manage their teams or how they built a solution and then getting to ask them questions and talk to them afterwards, and that’s what you get at CompTIA AITP events.”