April 3, 2018 • Smart Resources
Getting Smarter with Eric Hetzer
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 Geographic Information Systems Analyst Eric Hetzer!
Position: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst
Years with Smart Resources: Coming up on seven years now. Time flies.
Professional Background in one sentence: A little over eight years of experience in the GIS field, mostly working in the public sector in the transportation industry.
Describe your typical day. Wake up at 7:30am, mostly likely after hitting snooze on the alarm two or three times. Drink coffee on the porch while catching up on the news. Days at work will always vary depending on the project(s) that I am working on, so I typically have a good idea of my tasks for the day, but there will always be things that crop up unexpectedly. I have to be prepared for a reshuffle in priority. My remit is pretty broad, so on any given day I could be doing some combination of script development, data management, writing documentation, creating test cases, data analysis and manipulation, configuring GIS services, or answering questions from end users. After work, I will usually be found coaching soccer, playing soccer, or getting together with friends.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The best part of my job is definitely the problem-solving aspect. Whether it’s identifying and correcting longstanding data issues, delivering new functionality to consumers, making processes more efficient, or helping others discover how GIS can enhance their work, there is always an element of continued incremental progress.
Tell us about the most memorable moment of your career. Not necessarily a moment per se, but this is probably my favorite achievement in a still-nascent career. I somewhat recently inherited a data delivery project that historically had taken a couple of months to complete from start to finish. Over the course of several iterations, I improved the process to the point where it can be performed and delivered in three weeks.
What career advice do you have for someone just starting out in IT? Be flexible and open-minded. There is almost always more than one way to achieve an end product, and technology is constantly evolving, so having a ‘set in your ways’ mindset is limiting. Only partially joking here, but always stay on good terms with your Database Administrators.
What will be the biggest tech trend of the next five years? The continued ubiquity of cloud data storage for both personal and professional applications, and the dramatic improvement in the ability of machine learning algorithms to make sense of and gain actionable insights from this deep well of ‘big data.’ Security of cloud infrastructure and consumer privacy protections are going to be major sticking points and need to evolve at the speed of the underlying technology.
Do you have a favorite software program? Eclipse is probably my favorite software to use at work because of all the handy little tools that make development easier.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Richmond area? While away weekend afternoons with friends at the river.
Describe your favorite meal. The sausage, kale, and white bean soup my girlfriend makes.
What’s your favorite song? “You’ll Never Walk Alone” being belted out by 50,000 people at Anfield before every Liverpool FC home game.
Do you have a hidden talent? Soccer is a major passion of mine. I’ve been playing for 25 years and still play on several teams year-round, as well as coaching youth travel teams.
What’s your favorite thing to drink in the morning? Coffee.
The best movie you’ve ever seen is: It all depends on the mood I’m in, but I always have time for comedies from Mike Judge, David Wain, Trey Parker/Matt Stone, and Christopher Guest.
What’s your most prized possession? I try not to place too much import on possessions, but the ones that bring me the most joy are my music collection and my ’96 Mazda Miata. Both would be tough to replace.
To learn how you can join the Smart Resources team of consultants, view our jobs here.