Meet Rob DeVita, Project Manager!
Rob DeVita wants you to know he’s available. Well, specifically for his team and his clients, we mean. Between balancing an onslaught of team meetings, client check-ins, timesheet reviews, budget reporting, project tracking, and more, this PM will always have your back.
To get a better idea of who Rob is and what drives him, we sat down to talk with him to learn more!
What’s your background in/ how did you come to work in this field?
I enjoy working with a bit of everything and it’s been a big journey! I have always had this love for technology, so my story starts at Boston College, where I majored in Computer Science and, after graduating, worked at a “software for small businesses” company.
I worked my way up from customer support to software product manager, then to manager of all customer products, learning what customers found difficult or helpful and honing in on how to make the best product for the customer.
I then got into SAAS, which is when I got more into project management and then into web development. I’ve worked with WordPress and on Drupal projects, as well as Craft and other CMSs, so I have good experience getting top level down on how each CMS handles code.
One thing that I love about my career is that it keeps things interesting. I can contribute more from lots of different perspectives – everything from development to design and understanding the client – as much as possible.
What fuels you?
I have always had an interest in technology and a love for understanding what makes things tick! I love looking under the hood and picking things apart so I can put them back together, as well as building things from the ground up.
In regards to web development, I’ve always loved turning code into something more physically substantial like a webpage.
Is there any one thing that constantly surprises you about your job?You know, with all the different projects with different asks and needs, there’s a commonality that nothing is static. What the client asks for in the beginning is never what they want at the end; what they are looking for changes over the course of a project. You need to be versatile. You can only plan so much. It’s a balancing act of prioritizing needs and refining a middle ground, and remembering that with enough elbow grease, anything is a problem that can be solved.
If you could give advice to a just starting out PM, what would it be?
Be open minded. Be willing to learn every day. Be available and help encourage others to be better, and don’t be afraid to let clients and peers help better you too.
Are there any publications of influencers or tools you find to be helpful resources?
I try to make Google my best friend! Using the internet as a solutions tool so we can connect and learn; if we have a problem it allows us to expand beyond our team to see if others have run into issues.
Slack has been huge too. Having the ability to communicate ad hoc allows me to be available to folks!
Being virtual, do you have any go to tips for working with clients digitally, or building screen to screen relationships, or working from home in general?
It’s difficult to not be face to face and have no eye contact, but we have to work with what we’re handed. Hopping on zoom whenever and turn on the camera, it humanizes folks in a similar way to being face to face. Sending messages can feel sterile, so being on the phone can be best.
I’d say another big part is just remembering that at the end of the day, everyone one is human and we’re all trying to work through this together.
You know the saying “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”? Well, I don’t think that’s true.
What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned on the job?
Don’t be afraid to rely on others. You know the saying “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”… well I don’t think that’s true.
Being surrounded by critical thinkers focused on success – individually and together – is wonderful, and helping each other out is a huge thing. I love it when everyone is willing to work together and be flexible.
What’s the most rewarding part about what you do?
I’m a people person, even going back to preschool or kindergarten. I’ve always enjoyed making people smile or laugh. Helping others is satisfying; if I’ve helped make someone’s day easier – or made their day better – that’s what I find most rewarding.
How do you challenge yourself to continuously learn?
Right now, I’d say it’s in the subject matter from a breadth of clients; right now I’m learning and absorbing tangentially what clients do from Bass fishing to aerospace and defense, and that helps me challenge myself to learn.
I also challenge myself to learn what it is that is making things tick, then once we’ve figured out how something works, and we know how we’ve accomplished things in the past, I like that I can help provide better information for the next time we run into something similar.
If you were a superhero, what would your name be?
The Go-To Guy! If there is anything anyone needs help with, I’ll be there to step up, offer help, and figure things out!