Interview with George Bara
Solutions Director, EMEA Government | SDL
Tell us a few things about yourself. Where did you study, where do you work?
I studied Computer Science at the “Politehnica” University in Timisoara, graduated in 2006. My specialization was Automation and I actually spent a couple of years writing code for heavy machinery, such as robots, conveyor belts and automated storage systems. I then moved onto database and web development, then made a switch into software sales. I now work at SDL as a Solution Consultant for the EMEA Government Intelligence team.
What is your typical day at work?
At work I’m balancing my tasks between fire-fighting (can’t avoid that working with Sales), talking to customers, designing software solutions, also speaking at industry events and visiting customers. Recently I am involved in more strategic intiatives around SDL’s Machine Translation business, such as go-to-market strategies, partner management and pricing.
My specialization was Automation and I actually spent a couple of years writing code for heavy machinery, such as robots, conveyor belts and automated storage systems.
Knowing the end-to-end process of designing, selling, budgeting, developing and supporting a software product is still something you learn as you go.
What inspired you to be active in the community?
I’ve always been involved in the areas I was working in at a certain time. When doing database development I attended industry events abroad, published a technical book on this topic. Now I’m trying to share my experience in the presales area with the local community, mainly because it is not that well known or documented. I had the unique opportunity to act as a presales solution consultant for global companies and public institutions; I believe my experience would be beneficial to companies who are just starting building up their own presales group.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
The business side of software. Knowing the end-to-end process of designing, selling, budgeting, developing and supporting a software product is still something you learn as you go. There still aren’t a lot of good courses or documentation on this topic, especially for software products.
Could you recommend some books, resources that young IT professionals might find useful?
The presales “Bible”, in my opinion is “Mastering Technical Sales: The Sales Engineer’s Handbook” by John Care and Aron Bohlig.
What you do to “recharge your batteries”? What are your hobbies? Do you have time for them?
When you have a family you can’t really have time for hobbies, but once in a while I swim, bike and read. I am an avid reader, but I mostly read novels (transgressive fiction is my favorite) and book on recent history. Once in a while I write articles – politics and geo-politics – for local newspapers.
If you could go back in time and choose a different profession (outside of IT), what would it be?
Carpenter or novelist. Or both 🙂
What do you think about ITCamp, and what brings you here?
It’s the first time I ever attend the event, so I’m glad I’m doing it as a speaker. It’s good sign that the event is also looking at other software- related topics, outside coding and technical.