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Meet Our Technologists: Ian, Data Engineer and Software Engineer

During Autism Acceptance Month, we’re highlighting the stories of our autistic technologists, including their growth and accomplishments in their roles for our client companies. 

Ian is a talented data engineer and software engineer who is focused, creative, and dedicated to his field.

“When I was in college, I disassembled my laptop multiple times and put it back together—it still works,” Ian said. He followed his interest in technology to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but he struggled to find employment in his field after graduation. Ian ultimately found the right fit at auticon in 2021, where he joined our partner Nationwide as a data analyst. In this role he worked on two data migration projects: an Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services migration, and a large and complex data warehouse project migrating from Netezza to Snowflake.

For the second data migration, a key task was testing large schemas—600+ tables of up to millions or billions of rows. To help Ian and his teammates succeed, they were given on-the-job training in Databricks, a platform used to perform analysis when running SQL queries on data lakes using python and pySpark. They made heavy use of Databricks, which runs the same queries against both source and target and ensures that export inconsistencies on either end don’t give false alarms. Read more about this project in our Nationwide Case Study.

Ian successfully completed the project with outstanding feedback and new skills to bring with him into his next role.

“Working with Nationwide was an excellent experience,” Ian said. “We were given on-the-job training opportunities, Nationwide invested into us and helped to develop skills that I continue to build on. I even had the chance to collaborate with another team and work on a video within Nationwide, which was a fun experience.” (Watch the video to learn more about Ian’s story.)

Ian is now continuing his career journey with another auticon partner, Health Catalyst, as a Platform Engineer. He plays a critical role in the configuration and upkeep of the company’s Data Operating System (DOS), an advanced platform designed for data-centric analytics and software development. In collaboration with Technical Directors who oversee client relationships, project timelines, and the DOS platform’s robustness, Ian leverages his extensive knowledge in ETL processes, database architecture, MS SQL Server, data modeling, performance tuning, understanding of healthcare data structures, and Azure cloud services.

“Health Catalyst has been an excellent partner,” Ian said. “The experience has been a great learning and development opportunity with a focus on learning by doing and collaborative environments.”

As an auticon technologist, Ian has received 1:1 support from a job coach to help him thrive in his roles. One of his professional strengths is hyper focus, but the flip side is that he risks burning out if he works for too long without taking breaks. Ian’s job coach has helped him focus on time management to support his well-being.

“I like working at auticon because auticon has invested in me, adding to my skillsets,” Ian said. They have taken the time to ensure that I have always been prepared for the tasks I have been given.”