dcsimg

Career Story: Director Of Technology For A Major Public Television Station

Director Of Technology For A Major Public Television Station

Job Title: Director Of Technology

Type of Company: I work for the Interactive department for WGBH. WGBH is the PBS and NPR affiliate in Boston but, more importantly, it produces about a third of the national programming for PBS. My team makes web sites for these programs, including "NOVA," "Antiques Roadshow," "Curious George" and "Arthur."

Education: BA, History of Science, Harvard College •• M.Ed., Technology in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Previous Experience: I worked for Harvard University on a prototype for what became Encarta Africana. I taught courses on web design at Marlboro College, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Yale Design School.

Job Tasks: I am the Director of Technology for Interactive Content at WGBH. We make web sites and other interactive media (DVDs, interactive TV, mobile applications) for nationally broadcast television programs produced at WGBH. These include "NOVA," "The American Experience," "Masterpiece Theater," "Antiques Roadshow," "Curious George," "Arthur" and others. We also make non-broadcast, educational web sites that are aimed at teachers, informal educators and generally interested adults.

I am responsible for the budgeting, planning, architecture and implementation of the technical aspects of our work. As a non-profit, much of WGBH's funding comes from grants, either from government agencies, private foundations, or individuals. So a significant amount of my time on a typical day is spent working on grant proposals: planning the technical aspects of a project, developing the budget and writing portions of the proposal narrative. Once we've gotten funding, I often participate in the early planning and design phases of a project, doing things like online research, brainstorming, writing specifications and helping build schedules. Before I became Director of Technology, I was a web developer and spent more of my time writing computer code. These days I do little of that, although I try to do some to keep my skills sharp.

I also supervise a team of 16 web developers. The developers have a diverse set of skills and experience. Some of them perform tasks very similar to the ones I listed above. Others focus entirely on writing code, in the language of their specialty. I spend a portion of each day working on scheduling their time, and assisting them with their work.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with smart people who are dedicated to their work and excel at doing it. It's very satisfying to work on a team of people with diverse background and skills, who are all focused on the same goal. It helps also that the goals are usually related to education and making people's lives better. I also enjoy working for an employer who encourages experimentation and entrepreneurship. Innovation is encouraged and supported.

The worst parts of my job relate to working for a relatively large corporation, which is also beholden to national bureaucracies. Many decisions are influenced by larger economic and political issues which seem unrelated to my line of work. However, I try to take these in stride and see them as opportunities for problem solving.

Job Tips: Understand your user, and the ecosystem in which he or she works and lives. Understand the content deeply, or work with people who do. Understand the technology but be prepared for it to change quickly and frequently.

The user and the content, not the technology, should drive your decision-making, with technology only providing constraints and opportunities.

Additional Thoughts: In general, I find the most valuable people to be those who can communicate clearly about their area of expertise with people who have no such expertise. These translators, who can bridge boundaries are rare and powerful.

Popular Schools offering Information Technology Administration Management Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads
  • Programs: BS - Management Information Systems and Business Analytics, Master - Information Technology Management, Master - Project Management, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

Since 1949, Grand Canyon University has been a premier private university in Arizona, helping students find their purpose and achieve their potential.

  • Programs: M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management, B.S. in Business Information Systems, B.S. in Applied Business Information Systems, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

As a student at South University, Online Programs, you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Information Systems & Technology: Information Security Studies (MS), Information Technology (BS)
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

  • Programs: BA/Project Management, BA/Public Relations and Marketing - Project Management, MA/Organizational Management - Project Management, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: Undergraduate Certificate in Web Development
  • Degrees: Certificate
CodingDojo
Burbank, San Jose

Only Coding Dojo teaches five full stacks of the industry’s most in-demand web and mobile development technologies and languages with its onsite flex bootcamp.

  • Programs: Full Stack Web Development
  • Degrees: Coursework

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Information Systems - Bachelor, Information Systems - MSIS (Master's), Information Technology - Associate, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master, Associate

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

 

  • Programs: IT Management - Bachelor's
  • Degrees: Bachelor

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Mini MBA Certificate/Information Technology Management, Associate of Science in Computer Information Systems, Master of Science in Information Technology /Database Administration, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate, Master
ABCO Technology
Los Angeles

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

  • Programs: PMP, Project Management, CompTIA IT Project+ , more...
  • Degrees: Certificate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Computer Systems Managers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Computer Systems Managers, including:

Back to Top