Celebrated annually on the third Tuesday of September, National IT Professionals Day honors the often unsung heroes of the modern era. IT professionals are often behind the scenes making sure everything is running smoothly.
Dwayne Minyard, director of infrastructure and information security at Wingstop, has more than 20 years of experience in IT – five years with us. He officially started his career as a help desk technician in college, but now leads our IT solutions for our team members. In his role, he is responsible for our information security program, while also ensuring we meet various compliance program requirements.
We got the chance to sit with him and ask him about his experience in the field as well as some advice he would share for others interested in pursuing an IT career.
Why did you choose IT as your career?
I started my career in the military/law enforcement, but determined that computers weren’t going to shoot at me. All kidding aside, IT was a booming career field and I found working on computers fascinating at the time. I enjoyed being able to configure an application or program to do what you wanted and see results – it was right up my alley. I like creating things and seeing the fruits of my labor, and computer programming gives me that ability.
What do you like about working in IT?
There are two aspects of IT that I like the most. One is being able to design and create something to solve a problem and being able to see the results. And second is helping others solve problems. Not only helping others solve their problems, but teaching them how to fix an issue for the future.
“Give a person a fish and they will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and they will eat for a lifetime.”
What skills does someone in your role have to learn to succeed?
While there are obviously a lot of technical skills needed, I believe there are more important skills needed to be successful. Even though it’s something you can’t teach, having “common sense” will go a long way. Additionally, having the ability to problem solve and be willing to do whatever is necessary to accomplish the task will have an impact on your success in this industry.
What advice would you give someone wanting to explore a career in IT?
As with any career, I would advise someone to find out what it is they love to do. If you truly love writing code, working on computers or solving problems, then a career in IT may be right for you. If you do what you love, you will never “work” a day. Make sure you don’t pick a career – pick a passion.
What do you wish everyone knew about their computer?
This is a tough question. I wish everyone knew that their computer is just a tool to aid in their job and daily life, and to not be intimidated by it. I have heard throughout my career that some folks get intimidated by their computer or the software on it. Don’t be afraid of it, just jump in and to try and fix something that isn’t working. That is how most IT professionals get proficient in their roles, by jumping in and understanding how they work.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is designing/architecting new solutions. Having the ability to think about various problems and coming up with a solution is by far my favorite thing. Being a man, I am always trying to “fix” something… at least that is what my wife tells me.
Thank you, Dwayne and the whole Wingstop IT department, for all of your hard work and passion for your job (and for fixing our computers!)
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