About the podcast

Join Paddy Dhanda, QA’s Agile Practice Director, and John Gordon, Software Practice Director, on their mission to inspire anyone into technology, regardless of background, and meet some amazing tech industry guests.

Meet the hosts

Episode details

Episode 1

Episode 1 – Introduction to DevOps with Mark Solomon

Mark Solomon, QA’s DevOps Practice Director gives you the ins-and-outs of DevOps:

  • What is DevOps?
  • What does DevOps mean?
  • Why DevOps is critical in achieving business goals
  • Why you should be interested in DevOps
  • Do Agile & DevOps fit together and how?

Episode guests:

Mark Solomon, DevOps Practice Director

Mark is a master technology architect and IT strategist with over 21 years' experience designing and delivering innovative IT solutions at scale, using DevOps and Agile practices.

His experience features countless examples of where he's been a cornerstone to building the strategic approach for IT transformation with some of the world’s most well-known brands and progressive organisations; as well as initiatives where has marshalled massive global teams to deliver these strategies on an enterprise scale.

Mark’s abilities to create both the strategic and technology vision as well as drive their delivery allows him to break the silos that too often derail DevOps transformation initiatives, which makes him uniquely suited to help advise and guide our clients taking that same journey.

As the QA DevOps Practice Director, Mark continues his career of DevOps leadership from his previous leadership roles at Accenture, which includes Global Lead DevOps Platforms Architect, Global DevOps Strategy Lead, and Global DevOps Training Lead.

Full episode transcript

Mark's author page

Episode 2

Episode 2 – Agile Certification Distilled: ICAgile with Elisia Choi and Susana Esparza

Elisia Choi and Susana Esparza introduce you to ICAgile and discuss:

  • How organisations can achieve true agility
  • Why agility is achieved through people not processes
  • What are the current trends in the industry
  • How agility transcends technology into business agility
  • How ICAgile’s Business Agility roadmap can help you achieve organisational transformation
  • The benefits of certification

Episode guests:

Elisia Choi

Elisia is the Sr. Director of Marketing at ICAgile where she is responsible for all aspects of ICAgile’s marketing efforts, including strategy, customer communications, branding, and media relations. She has more than 15 years of experience in strategic communication across various industries including finance, tech, energy efficiency, and fashion. She has won numerous awards and has landed media coverage for high-profile brands such as Microsoft Bing and the Port of San Diego.  Elisia received an M.A. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.A. in Communication from the University of California, Davis.

Susana Esparza

Susana is the Director of Member Programs at ICAgile where she is responsible for core products and services offered in support of ICAgile’s mission and Member Organizations. Prior to joining ICAgile, she worked across various industries as an agile practitioner and business leader, helping organisations pinpoint business goals, identify customer needs, increase efficiencies and drive teams to success. Her international background enables her to leverage her fluency in multiple languages to build connections for businesses and relate with different audiences. Susana is passionate about exceptional digital experiences and was pivotal in earning her team an award with Nielsen Norman Group. Susana received a Master’s in Information Systems Technology from George Washington University and two Bachelor’s from Webster University (B.S. Computer Science and B.A. Business Administration).

Full episode transcript

Episode 3

Episode 3 – Agile Certification Distilled: APMG with Richard Pharro

Richard Pharro, Founder & CEO of APMG talks to Paddy Dhanda, QA’s Agile Practice Director about:

  • Who APMG are and why they have certified over 2m learners globally
  • The breadth of their certification portfolio
  • How their portfolio has developed in line with business needs and technology over the years
  • The ‘culture’ of certification
  • Why certification is even more important right now in looking for new roles
  • The Obashi methodology that helps you see dataflow
  • The success of the Agile Project Manager qualification
  • The up-coming trends in training and certification
  • The rapidly accelerating world of virtual learning

Episode guests:

Richard Pharro

Richard is the founder and CEO of APMG, one of the few privately owned international accreditation and certification bodies. Started in 1995, APMG has expanded its portfolio to 66 products across the management spectrum on behalf of many National and International organisations and has offices in 14 countries.

Richard is a Chartered Director and Civil Engineer who, in his early career, worked on projects in Europe and the Middle East. His book, The Relationship Manager – The Next Generation of Project Management, was published by Gower in January 2003.

Richard believes APMG’s success is due to the organisation’s focus on innovation and customer service. He was delighted when in 2012 APMG was recognised for the hard work and commitment of everyone within APMG by being granted The Queens Award for Enterprise in the International trade category.

Full episode transcript

Richard’s LinkedIn profile

Episode 4

Episode 4 – Cloud Academy, the online training platform with Andy Larkin

John & Paddy cross time-zones to chat with Andy Larkin about the Cloud Academy online blended learning platform, covering:

  • What the Cloud Academy platform is all about
  • How Cloud Academy can help you be even more successful in your tech roles
  • What content and courses does the platform contain
  • How Cloud Academy’s blended approach works for all learning types
  • The importance of Certifications through the platform

Episode guests:

Andy Larkin – Head of Content, Cloud Academy

Andy is fanatical about helping business teams gain the maximum ROI possible from adopting, using and optimizing Public Cloud Services. Having built 100+ Cloud Academy courses, Andy has helped over 90,000 students master cloud computing by sharing the skills and experiences he gained during 20+ years leading digital teams in code and consulting. Before joining Cloud Academy Andy worked for AWS and for AWS technology partners Ooyala and Adobe.

Full episode transcript

Episode 5

Episode 5 – A CEO’s Perspective on Learning with Paul Geddes, CEO of QA Limited

John & Paddy talk to QA’s CEO, Paul Geddes, about his career journey and how he ended-up at the helm of a tech learning company. Hear about:

  • His career journey
  • What an average day looks like for him
  • Why he joined QA and what he loves about the business
  • His favourite things about working for a tech company
  • What exciting projects are in the horizon for QA
  • His best bit of advice for someone getting into a tech career

Episode guests:

Paul Geddes – CEO, QA Limited

Paul Geddes joined QA as CEO in September 2019. Prior to joining, Paul was CEO of Direct Line Group (DLG), where he led the successful IPO of the business, delivering strong customer and business performance. Under his leadership, DLG was recognised in the top three of the Sunday Times Best Big Companies to Work For ranking.

Paul is a Non-Executive Director of Channel 4 Television Corporation.

Prior to Direct Line Group, Paul was CEO of RBS Group’s mainland UK retail banking business, following a successful career in multichannel retailing and marketing at leading companies such as Kingfisher, GUS and Procter & Gamble. He read PPE at Oxford.

Full episode transcript

Paul's author page

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