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MATRIX Consultant Spotlight: Luid Hancock

This month's MATRIX Consultant spotlight is on Luid Hancock, an Agile Coach and Trainer working at a financial services client in Dallas, TX.

Tell me about yourself.

I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX.  I attended the University of Texas and Texas Tech, where I graduated with a degree in philosophy. Since Spanish was my minor, I was able to study in Mexico a bit where I have family. After college, I lived in San Antonio, Chicago and Dallas.

MATRIX Consultant Spotlight: Luid Hancock

What does your life look like outside of work?

My wife and I both work full-time, and we have 3- and 5-year-old boys. So, family-time takes up most of my time outside of work. Nonetheless, I’m fortunate enough to still be in touch with friends I’ve had since I was 5, and this time of year I enjoy beating up on them in fantasy football - we’ve been in the same league for 13 years. I also enjoy craft beer, and am a TV/Netflix junkie. I played soccer for 16 years, and I fully plan on being a coach as my boys start to play.

How did you get your start in IT/Agile?

I have always had an affinity with gadgets and technology. I still keep up on all the latest news about what’s coming out in mobile tech and emerging technology in general. With a philosophy degree, I didn’t exactly have a background in technology, but felt working close to it would be a good start. As such, I tried technical recruiting and computer service sales, followed by a stint as a business intelligence and investigations analyst for a risk consulting firm. My experience with various research databases landed me a position at a startup in Dallas. As in most startups, I wore many hats from client service manager, to project and ultimately product manager. The startup was successfully sold to a large investment research company, where I worked for a couple of years before getting involved with program management. Up to this point, my Agile experience was largely self-taught until I got into consulting. As a consultant, I had the opportunity to learn Agile from specialists and turn it into a niche specialty of my own. I am now in my twelfth year of IT management, and am currently contracting as an Agile Coach and Trainer.

What’s the most rewarding part of your career?

I really enjoy seeing a positive change in people. I love being able to see what I’ve taught them as something that they’ve embraced, something they’re enthusiastic about, something that gives them an “aha” moment. I also like digging into complicated problems and breaking them down into simpler terms.

Do you prefer contract or perm jobs?

Probably contract; I like the opportunity to tackle new problems, to experience new cultures and environments, and to carve out a value proposition for my services. I consider myself somewhat of a chameleon in that respect – I have an affinity fitting into myriad environments. 

What would you do if you weren’t a Scrum Master?

I have always thought about a career in medicine or law. Law would have been a natural fit being a philosophy major, and I enjoy rhetoric, but was not too keen on all the paper shuffling. My favorite job to this day was in college as a research associate at a hospital where I would go watch surgeries and jot down numbers from the anesthesiologist screen. It was super simple and didn’t pay much at all, but I was fascinated by the surgeries I got to see. If I had it to do over again, given my love of science and working with my hands, I would love to have been a surgeon.

What’s your best piece of advice?

Do what you love – just don’t spend your whole life figuring out what that is.

My advice to fellow IT consultants would be to not get too bogged down in the dogma. Ideals are a noble pursuit, but many times an impossible standard; so focus on incremental improvement and moving forward.

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