EPISODE 6: THEA RASINS

Episode 6
41:29

Podcast Excerpt:

“I’ve been a business analyst in every project and every job I’ve ever had. If I was an executive secretary, I was making things better. If I was a project manager, I was trying to figure out how to map out the process so everyone would be on the same page. And so coming into the role of business analyst was normal for me. It was just a natural fit. Um, I’m a natural connector and so I network and connect ideas and, and I’m also naturally overly enthusiastic to the irritation of some. And so I, I share my excitement with new things we can do and, and how to improve things and how to improve employee engagement. And so all of this is just wrapped up into me doing mentoring and training and teaching and making people’s lives better. And that’s been my entire focus.”

Episode Transcript:

Tracie:

Hello everyone and welcome to the Traceability podcast! I’m your host, Tracie Edwards. And today our guest is Thea Rasins. Thea is a certified scrum product owner. She spent several years serving in the IIBA, Kansas City chapter and various roles, and she’s also contributed to the BABOK version three and has taught business analysis, project management, agile, and a host of other topics at local universities in the Kansas City area as well as national companies and overseas. So welcome Thea. We are so happy to have you here and thank you for taking time out of your schedule to be with us.

Thea:

Thank you Tracie. I’m delighted to be here.

Tracie:

Well, so I wanted to start out just by asking sort of how you got to be a BA. As I talked to most people, it isn’t necessarily on their radar. So how did that sort of work out for you?

Thea:

I tell people, I’ve been a business analyst all my life. My father was a master electrician and a farmer and my mother could take apart anything from a sewing machine to attract her and then figure out how to put it back together. I grew up trying to figure out why things were the way they were. Why did we do it the way we did it? Why was it designed that way? Why was it shaped that way? One of my favorite memories is going to thrift stores as a child and buying machines that I didn’t know what they were and taking it home and figuring it out. A cotton candy maker was one of my most positive reinforcements of that process. I thought I’d invented the name business analysis and I was thrilled when I found out there was actually an international organization of this analysis.

Thea:

I just felt so incredibly validated and then instantly intimidated because these people were professionals and I was just doing it on my own, but I’ve been a business analyst in every project and every job I’ve ever had. If I was an executive secretary, I was making things better. If I was a project manager, I was trying to figure out how to map out the process so everyone would be on the same page. And so coming into the role of business analyst was normal for me. It was just a natural fit. Um, I’m a natural connector and so I network and connect ideas and, and I’m also naturally overly enthusiastic to the irritation of some. And so I, I share my excitement with new things we can do and, and how to improve things and how to improve employee engagement. And so all of this is just wrapped up into me doing mentoring and training and teaching and making people’s lives better. And that’s been my entire focus.

Tracie:

And that really is the focus of, of business analysis. You know, when we get right down to it, right. Is, is we’re trying to sort of make sense of, of our world that we’re inhabiting in our careers and that kind of thing. Sometimes, yeah. To our detriment. Uh, not everybody is as curious and as much of question askers as we can be. It’s true.

Thea:

I was actually told you always want to know why and I’m like, yeah I do. I want to know why. Why do we do it this way? Because sometimes I have to ask that question. I call it my Colombo approach. Tell me why. Help me understand this. Because there may be something that they understand that I’m totally oblivious to and they are the SME’s of their project and their process. So I have to understand why or I have to ask enough questions where I feel comfortable that there is something hidden from me and I never claim to be the ultimate SME on anything because that’s their job. But it’s my job to understand it as well as I possibly can in the time limit I have.

Tracie:

Right. Which is something that is often I think a challenge for those subject matter experts to kind of do. They get so sort of wrapped in their process and the way they have of doing things and sort of get to the point where they don’t need to ask the why’s that we then sort of come along behind them, try to help them. Sort of think that way, but, uh, sorta going back to how did you even think to call this business analysis? So are you starting out as an executive assistant or, or, um, sort of, what was your first stop?

Thea

I homeschooled my kids for several years and whenever I decided it was time to get back into the workforce, I realized that technology had passed me by, uh, we’d gone from dial up to not dial up. And it was, there was so much that had changed in technology. So I decided I’d become a contractor and I became a contractor in a lot of different industries for three to six months. And I would get in and I’d learn it. And I realized that the skills that I was developing and the analysis that I love to do could be applied to any kind of business. It didn’t really matter what the business was. It was, it was people and processes and goals. And so I just decided I was doing analysis of business. So I’m a business analyst and many people kind of go, Oh yeah. So you look at it and go, yep, that’s a business and you’re done.

Thea:

Well, no, that’s not quite the way I work. And my daughter had to, while she was a teenager, she had to say, mom, you can’t introduce yourself as a BA. I didn’t know there was a different term for that acronym. Uh, I just thought everybody understood what a BA was. So I do introduce myself as a business analyst and then that even if they not like they know what I’m talking about, I go ahead and say, as you know, business analyst is someone who goes in and helps the business figure out what their root problems are and helps them figure what to do to solve it, and then they get it done to make everyone’s life better.

Tracie:

That is business analysis in a nutshell. That’s a really succinct way of pulling it all together, which is I think as, as we try and figure out sort of what value we provide as business analysts, um, sometimes it is a bit difficult for us to sort of pull that all together really succinctly like that. So, yeah, I really liked that. I’m gonna use that. So you spent several years contracting, so this was say the early 2000’s?

Thea:

okay. I was able to go into the first company that actually hired me as a contracting business analyst and my job was to document their processes from beginning to end for the customer path. And it happened to be a local utility company and so I was, I walked into the director’s office who was hosting the project and she said, this is what they’ve given me. And it was a couple of pieces of paper of we build a client or we provide service to the client. It’s like this isn’t the process, this is not what you want. And I came to find out later that I was actually doing the master’s thesis for this particular person. But that’s okay. I got it done from everywhere from we need you to bring a new line out to this property or we need, we’re moving into this apartment.

Thea:

We need electricity through billing issues, through theft of electricity, through cutoff, through changeovers. And then through the end of, okay, I’m moving out of the area or the houses burned down or whatever else. So after I got all of that mapped out through all the different departments, I was able to lay it out in front of the people who did not do the job, the middle to higher executives and show them where they were duplicating effort. They had bottlenecks. And in this case we could proactively alleviate a couple of regulatory and legal issues that would bite them later if they didn’t take care of it. But you see, without having it mapped out, the folks that could, that understood the regulatory and legal, they didn’t know it was happening. The folks that had the, the duplicated efforts, they couldn’t see in each other’s silos.

Thea:

So they didn’t know that was happening. And so it allowed them to not only streamline their processes and resolve issues, but laying it out in, in a document that was pictures. It basically, it was a giant flow chart, allowed them to easily understand it. And they showed me the power of putting things in pictures. And so I’m a big proponent of using swim lanes and using process maps to show the handoffs between the different groups because what happens is if he put it on the wall and you were able to walk people through it, they see where their piece of the process happens and where they fit into the overall process. And very often as you know, whenever you’re doing this for a group, you don’t get all of everything correct the first time. And so putting it on the wall allows you to, allows them to say, this comes before that or you missed this or you forgot this entire group and you get it on the wall and people are easily able to say, Hey, new person, this is what we do, this is where you fault, this is, this is our interactions, this is why we have to do it this way.

Thea:

And then whenever they want to change processes, it’s right there. Easy to change. Having that transparency creates accountability because if I know that everyone around me knows what I’m supposed to be doing, I’m more accountable to get it done. I also appreciate using things like RACI charts to identify who’s responsible for what, when is going to happen and how it’s going to be delivered because that way everybody there knows that I agreed that this is what I was going to take on and it just makes life a lot easier whenever people have their objects transparent like that. You’re doing this, you’re consulting, you’re making life easier for people in all these different industries. You start, you started in electric utilities and then from there then I went into tax preparation software and then I went into a website development for hallmark. I went into systems development, software development for blue cross blue shield of Kansas.

Thea:

Then I went to Quest Diagnostics and worked with their internal laboratory systems, which are as you know, highly regulated and now I am at VML YNR, which is an international marketing agency and I am getting to do the most exciting things I’ve ever done.

Tracie:

I’m stunned at the number of domains that you’ve actually been in over these last several years. Can you maybe talk about sort of some of the lessons learned as you’ve gotten sort of back and forth between different domains? Maybe some of the best practices? The um, cause personally my first time switching domains, um, was not necessarily successful.

Thea:

Well, I can understand that. Let me tell you about a unsuccessful job that I had. I was sent to Chicago to help a electric company, uh, consolidate three call centers into a single call center. And I had, I had one of those nightmare type of uh, positions where I was hired by one company, sold to another company and working for the third company.

Thea:

So the people that I reported to were not the people I worked with and I had everything ready to lay out in a do a, a requirements workshop, which is, as you know, you have 80% of the requirements. You need to walk through it from beginning to end with the SMEEs to be sure that you have it all because it’s so you’re working through multiple silos and you need to be sure you’re covering everything that you don’t have any gaps between them. The person I was working with, the person I was reporting to at work. Uh, I told her I was having a requirements workshop on the following Monday. I was going to go home for the first time in a month and I would be back on Monday just to run the workshop. She did not realize that a requirements workshop meant that I had only 80% of the requirements.

Thea:

I’ve been very transparent about that, but she assumed a requirements workshop meant I had 100% and I was going to embarrass her, but because I wasn’t mature enough in my understanding of other people’s lack of understanding, I didn’t say, as you know, that means that I only have 80% of the requirements and we’re going to go through them and fine tune them and get the other 20% so that we can move forward on the project. Well, before I got to the airport, I was getting a call from the people that hired me that said, they don’t want you to come back on Monday. I had done the entire job. I had done all of the work, but because I wasn’t clear and fully explaining the process, one person, a decision maker made a decision that kind of blew the, the entire project out of water because she didn’t want to be embarrassed.

Thea:

That for me it was the lessons learned. It was a very hard lesson learned. Um, I kind of try to overdo on doing a good job and there’s no way to go back for things like that because I wasn’t allowed to contact the person who’s making the decisions. But in other areas, here’s some successes, uh, in moving from one company to another, I have realized that every company has their own acronyms. They have their own terms. In one company I discovered after about an hour of trying to figure out why these people in this room couldn’t agree on it, on a process to manage warranties. These three different groups, they all managed warranties and they were doing it different ways. I finally stopped and said, wait a second, when you say warranty, what do you mean? And I went over to the board and I started writing down their answer.

Thea:

Somebody else tried to interrupt them and say, that’s not right. I said, wait a minute, let them answer. I found out each of the three different organizations in that company were using the word warranty in very different ways. We weren’t talking about the same product at all. We weren’t talking about the same service at all. And so basically I had to call the meeting and say, we cannot consolidate this process because we’re not talking about the same process or the same service. Um, that was a eye opener to me because of course they’re all talking about warranty. They’re all from the same company, but they’re in different departments. So I had to realize that whenever I talk to this person in this group, I have to use this word, but whenever I’ve talked to this person in some other group about the same thing, but it’s their piece of the process.

Thea:

They need a totally different word. So it’s not just glossaries for companies, it’s glossaries for groups and departments. And once again, creating processes and putting it on paper and making it where everybody could see the same thing has helped tremendously for people to get a common understanding and helps me tremendously in getting any people all on the same page with the same understanding. And it may be that they look at that and they go, wait a minute, this group wants it this way. This other group was it this other way. But until we actually get to that point and we get it transparent on the wall, we don’t have a conversation that we can have until then. It’s just this ambiguous, um, controversy. We don’t have specific things to talk about. We just have, they don’t like them, they won’t talk to them or whatever. So figuring it out and making it something we can all talk about and see the same thing has helped in ways that I can even explain. Uh, people often come to me and say, I can’t believe you were able to make that thing, that complex things so simple. But whenever you turn it into a linear process flow, there can only be one version of the truth. So you document it. Have you found that helpful?

Tracie:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I was on a coaching call today and I think, um, you know, really communication is just about the hardest thing there is for humans to do as business analysts. It’s about being skilled enough in the communication so that you could do what you did so that you could say, Hey, I think I’m, we’ve some disconnect here and let’s make sure we all are using the same terminology. And I ran into one of those in my organization today, they were talking about a fraud team. Well, there are three fraud teams and they report up to different organizations. You just have to be really, really specific or you have to, you know, just make sure which stakeholders it is that you’re engaging with are the, are the right ones. And it sounds like that’s been a big part of your skillset and a big part of how you’ve become successful consulting across industries.

Thea:

Well, let me talk about, uh, talking to stakeholders. I was surprised at the very beginning of my career that I had to go to my boss and say, I’m going to talk to these people that report up to vice-president John and what do I need to do to get to talk to them? Because I, I easily believed I could just walk over and, and take somebody’s time. You know, I’m there to help them. Why wouldn’t they talk to me? But, but the supervisor comes over and they say, why are you taking this person’s time? Or the manager feels threatened because they don’t know why you’re talking to their people. Or the director wants to know how you’re going to impact their workflow. So you have to figure out politically and, and for, um, the character, how the characteristics communicate. You have to figure all that out before you can even approach the individuals that are boots on the ground, that know what the real processes are for communication.

Thea:

Things like that are sometimes important in some companies, in other companies, for instance, where I am now, I can go talk to anybody about anything. And as long as it adds value, there’s no problem. Let me tell you one of the exciting things about where I am now. I’ve been a business analyst long enough where I’ve developed a few skills and the company I’m with now allows me to take on any project that I feel passionate about as long as I have bandwidth. And so one of the things that I’ve been able to do is say our processes could be better. So let me document our current processes so we can all look at it and tell me for instance, analytics would like to be included a little earlier in the process. So after I’ve got it documented, I said, this is where we, this is our initial part of the process, our discovery, our investigation before we get to prioritization and development, where in this do you want to start being included?

Thea:

And they were able to tell me very specific meetings or steps that they wanted to be involved in. Not necessarily every single time, but they wanted to know what the change was. So they could say, we’d like to lean into that or we might want to attend that or that has nothing to do with us and but creating this and putting it on the wall helps everyone have the same expectations. Another way that I’ve been able to help is communication. This project has grown a seed. A year ago they had eight people and now they have 80 people and so each group has, has created their own processes and their own prioritization methods and use their own communication tools and now we’re at a point where we’re not quite so sure what the other groups are doing in the project. Although we are all in one big project.

Thea:

So we’re working on figuring out how we can improve our communication on a regular basis to answer the questions. I’m starting to lean coffee so that we can answer questions for folks. I’m working on some of the new employee onboarding to our project to let them know what the project’s about, who has what roles. I have a relationship map that I’m creating to allow the folks on both sides that not only our client side but our side know who is it that’s handling this particular thing and who do they talk to at the client’s site. So that, so that we don’t have multiple people trying to talk to the client about the same thing or vice versa. These are all labor intensive and they have to be maintained. You know, you can’t put a document out there and then just let it languish. It’s gotta be, it’s gotta continue to be farmed and uh, but I think that it will be beneficial to the organization and the project and it certainly is what the client wants.

Speaker 3:

Uh, I was just sent down to Austin to take care of some client issues and it was honestly feel like we had some great victories. Um, not that I was fighting anybody, but it’s like we, we won together. That’s fantastic. It’s quite exciting. It’s fantastic. When you feel like you’ve got the sort of unity on a project. Yes. I’m reading a book called getting to, yes. It’s a classic book and I don’t know that I’ve ever read it before, but I have it on audible. And one of the things that talked about was presenting it as you and the person you’re working with are both judges and you have to come to a unified decision about how to move the project forward. And I love that, that word picture because we both have something at stake. We both have authority to though and so we have to work together to get it done instead of at odds.

Tracie:

So I’m hearing a lot of things that you have have done just as your career has kind of grown things that you’ve sort of added to your skillset, things you’ve done to sort of level up your career in. A lot of that has been with networking, um, with your lean coffees and some of those things. And um, getting involved with the IIBA. But maybe just sort of talk to me your feelings about what things other BA’s can do to sort of up level their careers, sustain their careers over time, not give up on their careers when they’re, um, say feeling discouraged about particular organizations or projects and, and that kind of thing.

Thea:

Okay. I do have things to say about that. I appreciate LinkedIn considerably. I have a fantastic network on LinkedIn and the only reason I do is because I work on gaining more network contacts and creating relationships with them.

Thea:

Uh, I work really hard to try to meet their needs. I asked them, is there anything I could do to help them? These are my strengths. These are my experiences. I have a little blurb that I sent out to all my new contacts. It says, this is who I am, this is what I’m doing and this is what I offer you. And let me know if there’s anything I can do. My hobby is help people find jobs. And so if someone reaches out to me, I’ll review their resume. I will coach them on anything I think they need and I shoot straight from the hip. You know, if they, if they’re having a problem getting a job because I think that they need to work on their personal hygiene, I’ll tell them that it’s not always particularly easy to do, but if that’s what’s keeping them from getting a job, that’s what they need to know.

Thea:

Then I introduced them to my network of recruiters and, and associates who are hiring for that particular job. And sometimes they’re not looking for the job they have skills for. They just don’t know that that job that they have skills for even exists. Uh, very often people have project management skills, but they don’t know anything about project management as a profession. They just know, I’ve managed this thing, you know, this project, we got this done. That’s wonderful. Have you ever looked into this? So I connect them to those people. Um, I also have volunteered for different organizations such as code for America. Code for America exists in most major cities. It is a not-for-profit. It’s designed to help people, uh, work for, create things for the city as well as local not-for-profits. But what I found out is that you get six or seven or eight or nine developers from different companies coming together and a few of them will say, I want to work on that project.

Thea:

And so they come around a table and they start learning from each other. And it’s almost like I can physically see them growing at my company. We use angular, Oh, tell me about angular. And then they show them their stuff and Oh, that’s so cool. We could use that for this. And, and, and we use Drupal and you know, but they learned from each other. And I made such strong connections with people who are [inaudible] about helping people. And they were there because they had skills they wanted to have useful. They learned something in college that they weren’t using in their current job. Uh, they were new to town and they needed a job. They were looking for new employees and they were scouting these, the places that good people might go. Uh, and then there’s always hackathons and other organizations that they need help. So I would lean into those for say six months at a time and see what I could do to help them.

Thea:

And if I felt like I wasn’t being effective or if it didn’t fit with my schedule, I would move on to the next opportunity. But I always found ways that I could lean in and help and learn and grow. I think that training yourself is always important and podcasts are a great way to learn new things. They’re free, they’re right there, they’re at your fingertips. I put a connection post on LinkedIn a few days ago of what’s your favorite podcasts and why? And some of my brilliant smart friends said, Oh, I love these six and I’m thinking, you listened to six podcasts? You know, they listened to them on their way home from work or you know, they don’t take very long, but they give you a peek inside of somebody else’s world and maybe a nugget of something that you didn’t even know existed.

Thea:

I was recently given the opportunity to help with a automated testing class and I’m going in it, I’m going to do the mentoring for the students and I’m going to go into it initially as though I were a student so that I can see in document what their strengths and weaknesses are. Because in mentoring you, you know they, they prison, it’s like an interview. You pretend to be somebody you’re not, so you can get the interview for the job that you want and then you get to the job and you say, I can’t be who I am because they expect this other person that I was pretending to be in this. I’m going to be able to say, you are strategic, you are tenacious. You are. You ask very clear questions, find the things that I can give them to say, okay, you’ve got good beginning.

Thea:

What can we do to get you over the finish line after you finish this training so that you can successfully get a job. But in doing so, I’m going to get to learn more about automated testing. So it’s a win, win, win, win.

Tracie:

Yeah. I like that openness to get in there and sort of give back to the community and it’s up being a win for you. That’s great as well.

Thea:

When I was volunteering for the IIBA here in Kansas City, I was the Vice President of Professional Development and Training for eight years. And because I was doing that because people saw that I was willing to do that, I started getting offers of would you come and teach for us in the evening? And that’s how I started teaching. And I do love teaching, but I didn’t understand how much I loved teaching. I didn’t know that creating curriculum for specific people or events was something that I was so good at. And that’s what led me into writing for the BABOK. And so I ended up writing most of the chapters for techniques underlying competency and the glossary. I’m just passionate about communicating clear ideas

Tracie:

That is fantastic in it’s given you, you know, that opportunity to, um, grow your career in new and interesting ways, sustain your career so that you could kind of continue down the path, I think. Uh, so maybe as I’m thinking about that, what would you maybe say to folks who, you know, have been in an organization for awhile, are feeling a little stuck, not quite content with where they are, but not yet willing to or ready to sort of, um, take the, take the leap. What would you maybe say to, to encourage some of those folks?

Thea:

Well, there’s two situations that they may be in under this. Uh, if they’re in a toxic job, they’re being beaten down and they need to be aware of that. They don’t need to think that that’s normal. Uh, a job where you’re fearful is not normal and you need to protect yourself from those situations. Um, if you’re in a job that it’s a good job, you just don’t feel like you’re making any advancement. Do a survey of your skills. Uh, how are you about public speaking? If that’s not a strength for you? Does it need to be, if it needs to be a strength for you, consider joining a Toastmasters group or, uh, volunteering at your church to, you know, read the announcements. Just something a little that’s controlled that gives you the opportunity to develop this skill. Because whenever I was in high school, I was afraid to raise my hand to talk because I was afraid for people to look at me and I decided then I can do something about this.

Thea:

I don’t want to be this way the rest of my life. And so I started those little events where I had to compete reading a piece of paper for poetry. And then I went into prose and then I went into debate and I thought, you know what? This is. This didn’t kill me. I thought it was going to kill me. But it didn’t. Seriously, the first time I did it I, my knees were knocking. I was so scared and I walked out the door and literally said, it didn’t kill me. Look what else I can do. And I’ve overcome so much. And I’m sure that people that put themselves in the, in the position where they have the opportunity to overcome, we’ll be surprised at what they’re able to accomplish. I’m not saying that it’s always good and always fine and always perfect, but you’ll grow from every single experience.

Thea:

There’s a belief in design that says there are no failures. There’s just new understanding and I adore that, so do an audit of what your skills are, what your skills need to be and what, what’s your gap analysis of how do you get to where you need to be? There are meetups all over Kansas city if you’re in Kansas city for so many interesting things. There’s SharePoint Saturday, there are, there’s BI groups, there are groups that are specific to different kinds of software and I guarantee you can walk into any of those meetups without having a membership or a bit of knowledge about what they’re talking about and they will welcome you because they’re excited. People are interested in what they’re interested in. Just say, I’m new, I don’t know very much about this. I’d like to understand more and I just came to listen.

Thea:

You can sit in the back corner, they won’t care. They’ll probably encourage you to join in. What do you think about that and say, I don’t have any background in that, but it does sound interesting, you know, give it a little encouragement, but you can learn so much. I did not know about a raspberry PI until I volunteered at Kansas City and I found out about a raspberry PI. And then the next year, whenever I was volunteering again, I was working on a little bit of marketing and I sent it to Lee Brant, who’s the guy that runs case CDC and I forgot what it was called and I called it a Blackberry pie. And he very kindly and generously said, no Thea, you’re talking about a raspberry pie. And I’m thinking, Oh, okay, is this raspberry pie? But I learned from every single volunteer organization that I go to and every time I mentor somebody, I learn more about them and more about myself.

Thea:

So if somebody feels like they’re stuck in their career, get a mentor. Figure out what you need to do to fix your own skills, challenge your boundaries if you have, if you have boundaries that have kept you stuck in a rut and do something that you think that up to now you’ve thought, I can’t do that. Nobody would want to hear me do that. People all over Kansas city need volunteers to to do things, to read to children, to uh, work at churches, to lecture, to give speeches, to help out at events. One time whenever I was working at KC DC, my job was to tell people where to go whenever they walked in the front door. And so when they walked in the front door, I was suddenly their tour guide and I told them down here to the left, you do, you’re going to go down here and sign it.

Thea:

Behind me is the displays to my right is the cafeteria. I just decided I was going to do it all the way because they’re not going to even see me if I just stand there and talk quietly. I had the opportunity to perform in ways that I never thought I could. And you know, I made some of them laugh. I made some of them cringe, but I gave all of them the information that they needed. That’s awesome. Love that you gave any, gave each of them a memory, I’m sure. Especially whenever I was responsible for validating their parking tickets. You parked straight in, you’re stuck in your stall and you turned off the engine before you got out of the car. Congratulations. That caused some of the left brains to go turn into right brains. Love it. Wrapping up now, sort of what is next for you?

Tracie:

Um, I know you have a speaking career that you’re hoping to do more of and the other teaching opportunities. So what do you see coming up in the next few years?

Thea:

Well, I do hope to do a lot more speaking. I plan on doing some more consulting and training for companies and individuals as they need it. I kind of try to do whatever God brings to me. I just got the international game developers association off the ground here in Kansas City. They didn’t have a chapter and I had too many friends or associates who work independent game developers. So I wanted to get to bring them together. They are now independent and running their own chapter. The next thing I’m going to do is bring the international requirements engineering board to North America. Uh, some people have said that’s going to compete with the IBA. I don’t think it will at all.

Thea:

It’s a very narrowly focused group focused specifically on good requirements gathering of the proper way to document the proper way to communicate. And so we’re just going to start a chapter here by organization. VML is willing to sponsor it here in the Kansas City area. And so I’ve been in talks with the folks over in Germany and they are very excited to be able to get into North America because they’ve seen good value in what they do. And most of their training is free. That’s even better. I mean, that’s incredible, right? Free training. Um, definitely something we should take them up on. Right. Well, I’ve tried to do a lot of free training because people are hungry to learn. Uh, there’s, there’s so many opportunities for free training in Kansas city. Incidentally, do you know about launch code launch code? Now, launch code is an awesome organization and I think it’s probably everywhere, but I know is here in Kansas City that trains people how to become developers and it’s free.

Thea:

And some of our very best developers here in at VML came through the launch code program. And it’s not easy. It requires homework and, and dedication, but they will place you in companies once you go through the program and as successfully completed and it’s not a hundred percent completion. Uh, there’s another organization that they’re running a training for automated development, I’m sorry, automated testing, which as you know, automated testing is, is, has a high demand and it’s, it would make people a career, uh, that, that particular one isn’t free, but it’s, it’s so inexpensive. It should be coal free. Um, and I’m going to help. That’s the group that I’m going to help get trained and help them get placed. Terrific. I actually have somebody in mind for the launch code, so I’m going to look into that one. Great. But there’s all kinds of opportunities in Kansas city to learn for free and we can, we can know something and then start learning and the things around it like BI or 3d development or Oh, it’s so exciting.

Tracie:

Love that. Um, and I think that just really speaks to, you know, we don’t have to stay in one particular area in our career, kind of all those are interesting. Then we can go off in many directions.

Thea:

I agree. I agree. I think there’s always something to learn.

Tracie:

Thea we’re just really appreciative of you being here this evening. Thank you so much. Um, been a terrific conversation, so I appreciate it. How can people find you on LinkedIn?

Thea:

That is the way I keep my, my professional networking going. I try to be as helpful as I can and I will connect you to whoever I can that I think could be of more help than me. But LinkedIn is my, my Avenue.

Tracie:

Fantastic.

Thea:

And, and they need to know how to spell my name. My last name is not normal. Neither is my first name, but nothing else about me is either.

Tracie:

well that’s, that’s awesome. And yes, so it’s the, uh, Thea Rasins, R A S I N S, so look for her on LinkedIn and you’ll be glad you did.

Thea:

I’ll try to make it worth your while.

Tracie:

We want to thank Thea for being with us today. I’m so appreciative of her and her comments and her encouragement. Um, if you liked what you heard today or if anything in particular resonated with you, please drop me an email at tracie@traceabilitypodcast.com, or follow us on social media. You can find me on Facebook at Traceability Podcast. Thanks for listening. We’ll talk with you again soon.

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