Employee Spotlight – Adam Abbott
Tell us a little bit about yourself (include family info)?
Married (18 yrs) to Debby with 2 sons, Aidan (15 yrs old) and Brennan (8 yrs old). We love lounging around the house on the weekends and watching TV, but also enjoy going out and doing things as a family such as shopping, movies, fishing, or taking our dog (Lola) to the park.
Retired from the Marine Corps after 20+ years on active duty. Primary Military Occupational Specialty was 6842 – Meteorology and Oceanographic Analyst Forecaster…fancy words for Weather Man.
Was stationed at many bases across the U.S., and deployed numerous times overseas. Multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and also deployed to eastern Europe in the late 90’s in support of NATO operations against the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
Completed my B.S. in Computer and Information Science from University of Maryland, University College while still on active duty in the Marines.
As a Software Engineer or Systems Engineer at Northstrat, what is your daily routine like? Or is there one?
As a software engineer on the Bodhi program, my daily routine consists of reading through our team chat rooms to see if there are any important messages I need to respond to. I then check to see if there are any code reviews and corresponding dev-test links that need review/approval.
After that, I either continue working on finishing up whatever JIRA ticket I had been working on the day before…or pick up a new ticket off our sprint board.
I usually do a working lunch (eat from my desk), then team SCRUM at 1320. After SCRUM is over, I just continuing cranking on code for whatever ticket I am working. From time to time, there are planning meetings or Technical Deep Dive discussions we participate in.
What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?
I really enjoy problem solving every day. For me, each ticket represents a new “problem”, and I enjoy breaking it down and figuring out which approach I am going to take to solve it.
Seeing my code in action; be it fixing a bug or implementing a new feature request, is the most fulfilling part of the job for me.
What do you enjoy most about working for Northstrat?
What’s not to enjoy?!?! Seriously, it’s a great company, who really cares about its people. I can honestly say I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
What made you decide to become a Software Engineer?
I wouldn’t say anything in particular drove me to become a Software Engineer, but I’ve always liked tinkering around with computers and gadgets. When I was at the point I needed to pick a degree path to pursue, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Some non-military friends who worked in STEM fields encouraged me to look into IT related degrees. While looking, I stumbled onto the CS related degrees and started reading course descriptions and really got interested in the programming courses and thought that software development would be a good fit for me, so I went for it.
Did/do you have a mentor? Tell us about that person.
In my previous career, the Marine Corps takes mentorship seriously…they have entire publications dedicated to it. So, over the years, I had many mentors and was also a mentor myself to many junior Marines. I had so many mentors over the years it’s hard to think a single one influenced me the most; I learned so much from all them.
The following are some key things I learned over the years which I try to implement in both my personal and professional life:
Take care of your Marines (or family, friends, employees, subordinates, whomever). Treat them fairly and with respect, and they will take care of you.
When doing any task, do it with enthusiasm and to the best of your ability, no matter how menial or trivial it may seem.
Know yourself (your strengths and your weaknesses) and always seek self-improvement.
Any advice for young people who want to pursue STEM?
Do it! Don’t listen to the nay-sayers who may tell you it’s “too hard” or “you could never do that”. That said, it will require hard work and dedication, so refer to the mentorship takeaways above and go for it.