In this Pathfinder episode, we speak with Matt Forrest about his passion for solving complex Geospatial Industry challenges using modern, open and available technology. Matt joins us from his home in Brooklyn, New York and shares his journey from human geographer and cartographer to a VP of Solution Engineering. Culture is incredibly important to Matt and he is a relentless self learner who encourages his team to keep searching for creative solutions and find those "aha moments" that lead to transformation.
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As Matt has traveled along this career path, he has learned a few lessons that he shares with our Pathfinder community.
1) Try to commit yourself to an aspect of the industry that you love and surround yourself with people who you can openly ask questions to and who are supportive of your career and nurture your growth.
2) Remember, it is ok to make mistakes and fail. Spend an entire day researching, testing things out, breaking things and putting them back together because you will learn along the way and the lessons learned build confidence and resiliency.
3) Take as many online tutorials and courses as you can and keep constantly investing in yourself and learning new things. The training will fill your toolbox with knowledge and you will become the trusted go-to person for your chosen area of the profession.
Passion - Matt's passion for the industry is rooted in his desire to solve complex problems using technology. Clarity of vision and a desire to help others is what drives his work
Action - He turned this passion into action by aligning his career path to an innovative company and learning as much as he can about his profession. He now shares his knowledge openly online with the intent of helping others who are early in their careers with no intent for anything return.
Tenacity - Becoming a technology evangelist is not easy and he is tenacious at overcoming big challenges. At a certain point in his career, Matt knew how to talk about a problem to his customers but he had to roll up his sleeves and be able to actually do the work himself. He knew he had to start somewhere so that he could both talk and do.
Humility - This journey has taught Matt how much he appreciates his colleagues. When he sees them easily complete a task that he struggled with he realizes just how much we all depend on each other. He is humbled by the size of a challenge and he loves to understand how to get to the finish line without knowing all the steps. Matt creates a culture in the team where "aha" moments are found through mutual trust and respect.