In the most recent of our ‘Business First Meets’ series, we talk with Dwayne Armitage,Technical Capabilities Manager (TCM) within Global Cyber Security Company Liberty IT.
Give a brief outline of your career to date
In 2008, I kick started my career at Liberty IT as part of a 12-month placement from college. After graduating with a 2:1 in Computer Science, I returned to Liberty IT in the summer of 2010 as graduate.
Since then, I have been able to progress my career through internal opportunities and promotions to get to my current role as TCM.
Over the last 8 years at Liberty IT, I have had the opportunity to work on several different teams, technologies and strategic business units. The roles have varied from software engineering, system administration to management. In each of the roles I have had the opportunities to work directly with our business partners to technically challenge and deliver business value.
Early on in my career, I knew I wanted to be in a management role in some form or another. In the back of my head I always had this little voice asking the question, “what’s next?,” “how do I get there?” and “when can I do it?”. I am very ambitious and driven. At the beginning of my career, I focused on gaining the technical experience across the board; not just in software engineering. As a result, I moved around different business units to experience new product areas, technologies and customers. When I reached the grade of senior software engineer, I made the decision to take on a project lead role which was the stepping stone for me getting to my current role as TCM working in the Risk and Security unit in Liberty IT.
What exactly is a TCM?
A TCM within Liberty IT is a unique role in that it is all about the people. TCMs are responsible for not only coaching and mentoring teams and individuals, but they focus on unleashing potential and ensuring that the right people with the rights skills are aligned to the right projects.
A TCM helps drive technical excellence within agile teams and ensures there is a constant alignment and partnership with a wider leadership and support team regarding technical strategy at both a unit and organisational level.
They help create and maintain a coaching environment which allows individuals to continually learn and challenge each other.
What does a typical day entail?
On a typical day, a lot of my time is spent with individuals carrying out coaching sessions or having discussions focused on career aspirations and personal development.
When I am not working with people on an individual basis, I am taking part in team coaching sessions or meeting with the leadership and support team to drive our unit’s strategy and technical capability offerings.
At an organisational level, I would regularly attend our TCM community sessions. During these sessions TCMs discuss and help drive factors, such as talent mobility, work with our talent team regarding learning and development initiatives, discuss business development opportunities and skillset alignments.
What are the best and most challenging aspects of your job?
Best parts – The people I get to work with. The opportunities the TCM role provides make a massive difference to not only the organisation, but on an individual level in regards to employee engagement and technical development.
Challenging – I would say one of the challenging aspects to this role is that it’s so dynamic. No two people are the same and so, no two coaching sessions are the same. You have to constantly adopt and evolve your communication style.
How has this role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?
Unlike traditional manager roles, a TCM approach is to engage and coach individuals to take on completely new and exciting projects. Our conversations are no longer around how to develop product within a time period. The conversations are now fierce, transparent, empowering and engaging.
How would you describe your management style?
I would say my management style is quite relaxed, approachable, fair and I am always up trying out new ways of doing things. I am big believer in providing people with an environment that is safe, open, trusting and fun!
What are you most proud of work-wise?
Over the last 8 years, I have been able to work my way up into a senior manager position in such a short period of time.
What advice and/or tips would you give someone interested in becoming a TCM?
If you want a career that will constantly challenge and excite you, you enjoy working with and coaching people in a fast-paced environment, then the TCM role is the right fit for you.