Don Ferguson, CA Technologies

By Dennis McCafferty

Craig Miller, the MAPA Group

"I'm a two-year guy. When a new problem comes up, you have a blank sheet of paper. (After) two years in, then it's grinding out the project. I'm competent at that. But my passion is the first two years."

Jerry Krill, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

"There is a dynamic tension that needs to be carefully cultivated between creative free thinking and the discipline of technological development. Helping understand which of these is important -- and when and how they work together -- seems key."

Amy Alving, SAIC

"I like to know how the world works. I started as an assistant professor on the tenure track. What was really valuable (then) is the ability to go really deep in a particular technical area. You're adding to the wisdom, so to speak, in the world."

Darko Hrelic, Gartner Inc.

"There's always another new technology, and you haven't even really gotten juice out of the previous one. It's a challenge. People change slowly. By the time you get going with something new, something else is almost around the corner."

Jeff Tolnar, BPL Global

"The only way you grow is through repeatable efficient process. There are days when you take a step back. Then the following day, if you take two steps forward, you're still a step ahead."

Don Ferguson, CA Technologies

"I am the worst manager and administrator in the world. There have been many people who have come to me and said, 'You know, I'd like to come and report to you.' I say, 'Well, I don't hate you, so I don't think that's a good idea.' "

Marty Garrison, National Public Radio

"I have a very cookie-cutter approach to my job. I look at people. I look at processes. The technology is easy; I don't worry about it. I don't really care if it's an EMC or a Hitachi frame. I care if I have people who are skilled enough to manage it."

Wesley Kaplow, Polar Star Consulting

"I probably need to network more. Part of the challenge is to stay reasonably current across a broad set of technologies. It's easy to get comfortable navel gazing at your problem. For me, it takes definitive effort to keep looking outside."

This article was originally published on 03-26-2012