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June 27, 2018 • Smart Resources

Getting Smarter with Gary Alston


 

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At Smart Resources, we aren’t just a big group of IT consultants or tech minds. We’re a family. Our team is not only one of the most skilled in the country, but also one of the most interesting. Each month, we feature a conversation with one of our great consultants so that you can get to know us better. This month, say hello to Program Manager Gary Alston!

 

Name: Gary Alston

Position: Program Manager

Years with Smart Resources: 1.5

Professional Background in one sentence: A series of disasters narrowly averted.

Describe your typical day. I start early, try to be the first one in the office. Drink coffee. We have a stand up at 8:30 with the full team, every day. Drink coffee. I review my daily meetings and prepare quickly, then it’s usually non-stop after that. Right now, I’m working on a Dynamics ERP that will replace a vintage Unix system. There’s a lot of moving parts.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? I like it when people are successful, so it’s great to help teams build plans and then execute. That’s the corniest answer I’m going to give.

Tell us about the most memorable moment of your career. I did a project in China once. They will eat anything with 4 legs, including the table. I was supposed to audit a process, but I gave up after a couple of days and concentrated on not eating something horrible.

What career advice do you have for someone just starting out in IT? Don’t quit your night job. Do everything, all the different jobs you can find on a project. Ignore people who complain. Don’t listen to anyone else’s advice.

What will be the biggest tech trend of the next 5 years? Automated laser tattoo removal kiosks in the mall, if there are still malls.

Do you have a favorite software program? Excel. If I were stranded on a desert island with only one software program it would be Excel.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Richmond area? I’m excited about all the micro-breweries that are popping up, so drinking beer I guess. It’s cool to see Scott’s Addition being used. There’s great small restaurants around too. I like the Rappahannock river so I go there most weekends. I was born and raised in Richmond.

Describe your favorite meal. Some wine with my wife Jennifer and something neither of us had to cook. Seafood is my favorite, softshells, oysters, rockfish.

What’s your favorite song? I have a new favorite every day. Today its Baby Please Don’t Go, Big Joe Williams. Spotify is awesome, you can find almost everything.

Do you have a hidden talent? I play guitar. I was a music major at VCU, applied classical guitar. I switched my major when I realized playing in bars and frat parties was way better than the performing arts center.

What’s your favorite thing to drink in the morning? Coffee, no sugar.

The best movie you’ve ever seen is: The Patriot. Aim small miss small, words to live by.

What’s your most prized possession? A 1962 Gibson ES-330TD, my first electric guitar. Tobacco sunburst. If the house were burning down I’d go back for it.

 

And…I have a wife of 30 years and 3 kids, mostly out of the nest.

To learn how you can join the Smart Resources team of consultants, view our jobs here.

 

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