Jennifer is the Content & Communications Manager for MATRIX. Her mission is to understand what information our communities want and need from MATRIX, and to deliver it in ways that are enlightening, engaging and in sync with who we are as a company. She loves pop culture, Oklahoma football, and the great state of Texas.
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.
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.