Junior BI Developer, Swedish Match
By MAXX Potential
Spence Weiss worked as an Apprentice for over a year, attaining Level 2 Apprentice status and gaining valuable on-the-job tech experience before he exited MAXX Potential to work at Swedish Match as a Junior BI Developer.
What were you doing before MAXX Potential? What drew you to pursue a career in technology?
I graduated with a degree in business but struggled with finding a job that didn’t involve sales. Eventually, I started getting into SQL due to many jobs having it as a required skill, but I still struggled to find anything with my lack of experience in the field. MAXX Potential came to my attention through a friend of mine who had success with them, and I decided to apply — best decision I ever made.
Can you talk about what you’re currently working on? What are some of your job responsibilities?
I am a BI Developer, and my job mainly revolves around creating, improving, and maintaining Power BI reports for our production and sales teams. These include the standard dashboard-type reports. I also try to create automated solutions with Power Automate or SQL stored procedures whenever possible, and recently, I have also been involved in our organization’s shift from on-prem to cloud-based data servers. SQL is really the common thread behind our data organization and what my team does on a daily basis.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your current role?
The elation that comes with successfully solving a meaningful problem is second to none, be it the creation of a desired report, the fixing of bugs, or the creation of an automated solution to a time-consuming task. It really gives me a sense of meaning when I can create something that helps the business in a visible way.
How do you keep your skills up to date? What’s the best way to learn new concepts, technologies, programming languages, etc.?
Having to use my skills every day gives me plenty of practice! Also, from time to time, I like to take online courses to bring my skills up to the next level, and conferences/seminars can also do the same while also exposing you to different perspectives. Luckily, my organization encourages both. Honestly, the best way to learn new technological skills is to find a learning format that most interests you. For example, I love to view it as a problem-solving exercise, either one I created myself or one I found elsewhere. For me at least, solving problems is much more fun than reading textbooks!
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone early in their IT career or looking to get their start?
Find something that you enjoy doing, get good at it, and network with groups/organizations that involve that thing. Really it’s that last part that is the most important, and it’s also the thing we, as IT professionals, tend to neglect the most, unfortunately. MAXX Potential is a fantastic environment to do both, so if you want a career in IT and are reading this, apply!