Patrick Harmond

Systems Engineer

Years with MIL: 6

Why did you decide to join MIL?

In 2010, I graduated with a degree in Information Technology. I started with MIL as a Support Analyst, and ultimately took the job because I felt it would give me the exposure I needed for professional growth.

What is important about your work?

My work is important because it helps improve user experience by providing more efficient methods and tools so users can focus on their work, rather than the technology being used. In my role, I am constantly looking for more efficient ways to improve processes, and implementing solutions to streamline those processes.

What are the best aspects about your current job?

The best part of my job is having the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology. I constantly think to myself how fortunate I am to have the flexibility to work on everything from Amazon Web Services to Azure, along with other cloud services and technologies. This truly gets me excited and makes my job feel less like work. I also appreciate working alongside extremely smart co-workers that I can bounce ideas off of to get a different perspective.

Why do you enjoy working at MIL?

I enjoy working at MIL because of the opportunities for career growth and development. Throughout my time with MIL, I’ve been fortunate to undergo several career advancements. I attribute this to the training opportunities I’ve been afforded along with great managers that put value in placing resources in appropriate roles as our skillset expands. Along with the potential for growth and development, I also appreciate being provided the tools needed to perform my job.  I believe this has allowed me to focus on my work while developing myself professionally. Knowing there is a path forward and having managers who are attentive to your talents and efforts makes my job very enjoyable.

What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on at MIL?

One of the most challenging projects I worked on was the re-org of the International Trade Administration in 2013. The project was to redesign Active Directory and other systems to reflect the new organization structure. This project included creating new email groups, file share structure, creating new security groups and group policies, updating account lifecycle system, along with updating additional systems.

There was a small team working on the implementation approach, however, the project timeline was accelerated due to high chance of a government shutdown. I remember very clearly going into work and being briefed on the challenge and the plan to work through the changes prior to the government closing. Our team stayed overnight to complete the changes needed to reflect the reorganization of the agency.  The project was challenging because along with making the changes within a limited timeframe, we had to ensure systems were functional and our users were not negatively impacted at the start of business the following day. In the end, we got the job done and the government did close with only essential staff allowed to work during the shutdown. Aside from the tremendous effort it took to complete the project, I think it speak volumes about the team—most of which still work with MIL today.

If applicable, please share a memorable/significant experience that has occurred during your time with MIL.

My most significant experience was the very first system I was tasked to build: GOOD for Enterprise MDM solution. At this time, I had just gotten promoted from a Support Analyst to a Systems Administrator with about eight months of professional experience in IT. Working on this task felt like a true stepping stone in my career, as I believe it allowed me to build my confidence as an IT professional.

I remember jokingly saying to the IT Director, “Don’t worry I won’t break anything.” To which he replied, “It’s ok if do, just try to fix it.”

There was something in his tone that dispelled any fear I had regarding taking on the task. Aside from completing the project successfully, it really set the tone for how I approach unfamiliar tasks today.