February 6, 2018 • Smart Resources
Getting Smarter with Blair Just
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 Senior Consultant, Blair Just!
Name: Blair Just
Position: Senior Consultant
Years with Smart Resources: 18 months
Professional Background in one sentence:
There’s a fine line between having a “checkered past” and being “well-rounded.” I like to think my years in a variety of industries represent the latter.
Describe your typical day.
In consulting, there is no “typical” day, but the common elements are lots of questions, lots of learning, juggled priorities, educated guesses, research, deadlines, coffee, humbling discoveries, dot connecting, conversations, camaraderie, more coffee, occasional frustration, and intense satisfaction. All of which come following a good run.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Hearing directly from an end user how much more easily, quickly, or accurately they are able to accomplish their work as a result of application/system/operational changes driven by my requirements gathering. Professionally, it doesn’t get any better.
Tell us about the most memorable moment of your career.
I once prematurely worked myself out of a brand new assignment when I uncovered a duplication of effort that saved a client $6 million. Of course, the client quickly replaced me with freed-up resources, but they have provided a glowing reference ever since.
What career advice do you have for someone just starting out in IT?
You can never have too much context or perspective. But you can over-share.
What will be the biggest tech trend of the next 5 years?
Acceleration. The big changes will come faster and faster.
Do you have a favorite software program?
Word. No kidding. Because when I’m working in Word, it likely means I’m capturing requirements, creating training, documenting processes, delivering analysis, and communicating. Everything I do in Word has impact.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Richmond area?
Run. Richmond has one of the country’s strongest running communities; I am fortunate to be part of it. From the gorgeous, technical trails along the James River to the endless variety of architecture throughout the Fan, Museum District, U of R, and downtown, I will never run out of room to roam.
Describe your favorite meal.
Anything Mexican. Especially chile rellenos. The hotter, the better.
What’s your favorite song?
Today? Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoff’s cover of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” Yesterday, it was Tom Petty’s “Square One.” Tomorrow, it’ll be something else. Rock and roll, most likely, but something else.
After formal training in piano and trumpet, I spent way too many years drumming in better-than-average garage bands. My bandmates might tell you it’s a very well hidden talent. Almost undetectable.
What’s your favorite thing to drink in the morning?
Good coffee. Life is too short to drink bad coffee. (Is that even a question?)
The best movie you’ve ever seen is:
Probably more than 10 years old. Or maybe 20. It’s true: they don’t make them like they used to.
What’s your most prized possession?
Family not being a “possession,” either my Boston Marathon medals or the pair of Max Weinberg’s drumsticks I was given after sneaking backstage during the “Born to Run” tour. Tough choice.
To learn how you can join the Smart Resources team of consultants, view our jobs here.