Meet Implementation Engineer Matt Desmond

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Matt Desmond aka @beardofedu has been an Implementation Engineer at GitHub for over three years, Matt enjoys enabling his customers to reach their goals with technical solutions and strives to give them the best possible experiences with each interaction. When he is not walking around the world, enjoying the world cuisine at Disney’s Epcot with his partner, Matt enjoys exploring his home state of Florida.

Hi @beardofedu, what’s the most rewarding part of your day to day work?
Interacting with customers and following their journey, whether they are new to using GitHub or they want to use it more effectively, they always have similar goals: “To take over their respective markets.” I enjoy being a part of helping them be better than their competitors and seeing the light bulb moments is a great experience!

I’ve had the luck of hearing your hiring story, would you mind sharing it?
I had been recently laid off and saw the trainer position open I knew I’d be a strong candidate…No, I didn’t necessarily check all of the job requirements boxes, but I had the desire and interest to learn more about GitHub. I got started by focusing on updating my resume and cover letter, then created a GitHub page

answering the questions from the job posting, giving more details about my experience. I wanted to show the company that I wanted this job more than anyone else.

During the interview period, I attended every possible free GitHub training that I could, and quickly became able to help and peer mentor others in the class.

My advice to job seekers is to keep this in mind if you see a checklist go for it even if you don’t check every box, having the desire to learn is going to show through more than your bulleted list on a resume.

GitHub is a very unique place to work. What would you say was the most surprising thing you’ve experienced as a new Hubber?
With the level of talent at GitHub, I was surprised by everyone’s approachability, I’ve never felt afraid to ask anyone in the organization a question or for help, regardless of level. I’ve always felt empowered to ask questions. In other companies, I’d never felt that sense of empowerment.

A side effect of everyone being so approachable including your managers is that projects are funneled up. One of my favorite memories is from meeting one of our VP’s at a GitHub event, he stopped me and recognized the work that I was doing. I didn’t think he knew me, but there he was very aware of my work. I don’t work for accolades, but it is always nice to hear that your hard work is appreciated.

Your role is vital for our relationships with enterprise partners, what do you feel is a critical quality an Implementation Engineer must possess to earn the trust of their customers?
The ability to listen is very important along with answering questions effectively is essential. The ask might not be appropriately worded and it is essential to listen to dissect the issues and get to the why of the question. I want my customers to feel able to fit all the puzzle pieces together when I leave them. Listening and providing feedback is very important to meet the customer’s need.

We work with lots of smart and talented people, lots of times the folks I’m teaching are not the ones who bought the product, and you have to work with them and help them to understand that no matter what tool you are using there are pain points. I’m not there to convince them of how great GitHub is but to help them identify and resolve any pain points and to empower them to use our tools better, and that includes leveraging amazing Open Source Software such as Probot, or the many quality applications available now in the GitHub marketplace. GitHub has excellent integrability, and we help you use that to improve your workflows.

It’s super important to keep a sense of humor! If you could only use one emoji forever, what would it be?
:fire: Fire emoji. I use it a lot, joking around with my coworkers! You should be able to have fun.

Feel free to drop any questions you might have for @beardofEdu about Epcot, GitHub workflows or integrations and we’ll be happy to pass them along :blush: