In January, Justin Boykin joined DRD as the team’s Technical Director. Here, he talks about his expertise and why he’s excited about DRD’s future.
Tell me a little bit about your background.
I have over ten years of experience in the Information Technology industry. I attended ECPI College of Technology and studied Computer Information Systems, and I started at a Virginia-based managed services company, Empower Information Systems. Empower gave me a strong foundation in operational sustainment; disaster recovery; and infrastructure engineering.
For those who might not be familiar with those terms, an operational sustainment team manages an application that’s already in use. Disaster recovery handles anything catastrophic that might happen with your application, and infrastructure engineering handles the software development and networking aspects.
In 2011, I moved to Charleston, South Carolina to accept a position with SPARC as a System Administrator. I held a number of roles during five years there—in addition to helping SPARC mature their Production Operations capability as the Director of DevOps, I led multiple cross-functional teams that were focused on project delivery. I was often called on to assist clients such as the Department of Veteran Affairs and other Federal initiatives that were in need of creative solutions to difficult problems.
In 2013, I took on a dual role at SPARC, providing leadership to and helping to grow SPARC’s DevOps competency while directly supporting the Veterans Benefits Management System project as a Project Lead. In 2015, I joined the DRD team as Technical Director providing strategic direction to the application development and DevOps teams.
What do you enjoy about IT?
I enjoy doing something different every day. You’re always solving new problems—technology changes every six months, so there is always something new. It’s exciting.
What is your role at DRD?
As the Technical Director, I provide strategic direction for the App Development team, ensuring the application is production ready, and ensuring we are using the latest technology to make it easy for our customers/partners to get the most out of the application.
What attracted you to DRD?
I come from a government background—I have done a lot of work for the government. They use older, tried-and-true technologies that can be a little stale. DRD is dealing with more cutting edge, current technologies such as cloud-based applications, open source, and containerization technologies. It’s exciting to be on the leading edge of an industry.
What’s most exciting to you about your work with DRD?
DRD is an industry leader with respect to the type of data they are aggregating. As we analyze and present the data that have been collected we are the seeing correlations and statistics that no one else has ever seen.
I’m also excited about seeing how DRD’s data and technologies will continue to evolve. As the data grows, and our understanding of the data evolves, we can continue to design ways to use and present it—that’s what I’m looking forward to as DRD continues to develop.
What impact do these cutting edge technologies have for end users?
They provide increased up time, faster response times, and faster feature delivery. We are able to incorporate feedback from users more quickly, which can improve the functionality of the application in response to users’ needs. It makes us more agile.