A Look Inside Forrest Murray's First Year at Six Vertical
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June 2018 marks the one-year anniversary of Sr. Full Stack Developer Forrest Murray joining the Six Vertical team.
Forrest is personally responsible for a web application that is viewed all over the world and is driving millions of dollars in revenue. He’s working on projects that have real impact for our clients, and he is a vital part to the Six Vertical team.
Forrest has met big career goals, overcome challenges and earned his first Six Vertical Badge. Here’s what he has been up to during his first year on the team.
From humble beginnings to his first promotion
What first peaked Forrest’s interest to join Six Vertical was the work style. He enjoys having the flexibility to work from anywhere, and he enjoys being part of a boutique firm.
“I can really make a difference and have more responsibility,” he said.
At the conclusion of his first year at Six Vertical, Forrest met one of his big career goals: to be promoted to Sr. Full Stack Developer.
Forrest said his promotion is huge; it’s something he wouldn’t have set out to accomplish within his first year. It would have seemed too ambitious, he said.
“This was a goal I had for my career. I just never thought it could happen so quickly,” he said. “To see it within a year is great.”
In addition to becoming a senior developer, he was also promoted to Enterprise Commerce Practice Manager.
This is an internal role focused on collecting everything the engineering team needs to succeed and making sure the team is delivering the solutions that meet Six Vertical’s standards of quality and performance.
“I’ll know I’m doing a good job when our clients are completely happy with what they’re getting and our consultants are completely engaged in their work and are able to move as quickly as possible,” Forrest said.
Overcoming his biggest challenge
Although Forrest’s promotion came early in his career, it wasn’t without hard work and overcoming challenges.
A few months before his one-year mark, Six Vertical experienced a sudden departure that left a major responsibility on Forrest.
Forrest names this as the biggest challenge he has faced so far during his time at Six Vertical.
“Overcoming it was really about having the confidence and my own abilities to say, ‘Yes, I can do this.’ Having that confidence is important,” he said.
Because of Forrest’s ability to have courage in an unexpected situation and handle it with the utmost professionalism, he was awarded the Six Vertical Badge Courage.
Courage was a part of stepping up in that situation, Forrest said, but he mainly attributes his success to the work he put into it.
“Courage doesn't give you understanding to attack a problem. It’s more about curiosity and asking good questions,” he said. “If you're thrust into an unfamiliar situation, you have to have the confidence and say, ‘Yes, I can do it.’ You have to focus on what's right in front of you — the work.”
“Courage is more about actually letting yourself ignore all the noise. Then your skills take over,” he said. “I know how to do this.”
Forrest has accomplished a lot during his first year at Six Vertical from facing his first major challenge to his recent promotion.
He has also had the opportunity to take part in Six Vertical’s Culture of Teaching by helping on-board and teach our client KUKA’s developers. He makes sure the developers understand and follow Six Vertical’s standards of quality and performance.
“You cannot commit or check in code that hasn’t met our internal standards,” Forrest said. “We have to be very strict and opinionated about it because we know that’s what delivers results for our client.”
At KUKA Forrest was a key part of the team in creating their spare parts marketplace. The success of this online shop enabled KUKA to consider the site's potential, and now Six Vertical is aiding them in adding robots to the online shop as well.
This is much a success for him as it is for KUKA, Forrest said, as it gave him the opportunity to innovate. He accomplishes tasks piece by piece until he has reached innovation.
“We can start with the basics and drive toward the vision. That’s where my innovation comes out.”
Lessons from Six Vertical
Learning is a huge part of growing your career, and Forrest knows this. He has learned that the best practices and protocols he follows in building software are there for a reason. Best practices like not repeating yourself and writing in clear, modular code are not new.
“They’re there for a reason, and it’s important for us to embody those ideas,” he said.
When a fellow developer does things in a way that doesn’t match those best practices, Forrest has to be an advocate for that and drive the purpose of those practices to increase the quality of the code base.
As a senior developer, Forrest advises new developers to ask as many questions as they can. He encourages them to go outside their department to understand the business requirements of what they’re developing. Be inquisitive, ask questions and understand why things are done the way they’re done, he said.
“That’s ultimately going to help you make better choices yourself,” he said. “Stay inquisitive. Stay curious.”
What the future holds
Forrest sees his future success as part of the company’s future success. “It’s less about my goals and more aligned with our goals as a company.” he said.
Building an accelerator package is one of Forrest’s big goals. He wants to help Six Vertical scale its enterprise practice in the coming years. He wants to lead and build the engineering team as a tool to help Six Vertical grow the business internally. Forrest has already started his goal of scaling the business by seeking different tools to aid the sales team.
Over the next two years, Forrest wants to harness the team’s ability to create more internal tools to help Six Vertical grow.
“I want to be a technical leader and help grow the company,” he said. “I want to be leading initiatives at the front of the engineering team in the vanguard and doing the things that are going to deliver the most business value.”
About the Author
Shaelynn Miller is Six Vertical’s Content Marketing Coordinator. She appreciates everything she’s learned throughout her career journey, starting from pursuing two internships to earning her bachelor’s degree to today as a member of the Six Vertical team. When she’s not writing and marketing, she’s playing with her dog, walking in the park or baking.