DuraTech Industries is proud to celebrate its team members for their success, strengths, and expertise. One such example of greatness comes from Derek Mulhausen. Derek, a Software Developer at DuraTech Industries, applied his knowledge and experience with soft skills in Software Development to deliver a talk at THAT Conference in Texas.

While his position in Software Development at DuraTech is his first job as a developer – starting with the company nearly four years ago – Derek has prior experience in development with his past positions. He made the transition to Software Development after he earned his degree in Information Technology from Purdue University Global. Before he received his degree, he primarily worked in Customer Service and Tech Support – which has left him with skills he applies in his current role.

When Derek became a developer, he grew curious about a tech-focused conference held by THAT, a summer-camp-themed community that describes itself as “A full-stack, tech-obsessed community of fun, code-loving humans who share and learn together.” Derek has friends that are also developers and THAT-attendees, and he wanted to see what it was all about. He presented at a conference once before and spoke about using SQL with VBA (software languages). About his first time presenting at a conference, Derek recalls, “For VBA being ranked the number 1 most dreaded language by developers at the time in a stack overflow survey, I was pleased by the attendance” and “After that first time, I found I really enjoyed teaching and it drew on my prior experience in public speaking which I also enjoyed.” So, on May 24, 2022, Derek presented his first THAT talk as a Camp Counselor. The title of his talk was “Tips from the trenches for working with users” and focused on sharing soft skills “that can be used to create a safe space for the interaction such as body language, phrases to avoid and things to say to make the user feel more comfortable. It also shared about how to get to the heart of the issue and help to meet users at the technological level that they were comfortable with.”

After his experience with being a Camp Counselor, Derek describes THAT is, “In a word, community. Technically, it is a family oriented, polyglot technology conference that primarily focuses on software.” Derek explains that THAT is different from most tech conferences in the way that people are genuinely interested in each other and want to see each other succeed. He shares one such experience, “I saw this in Texas when there was a spouse who came with her husband who was already in software development.  She asked for help on how to get out of her work in HR and get into the software industry and had a lot of people sit down with her and offer advice and assistance.” Derek includes that THAT allows anyone to post an activity to their website – which can involve learning more about entrepreneurship or helping websites run faster.

Derek submits soft-skill related talks most of the time. He stepped into presenting in this direction because he was pretty new to the Technology field, and many other presenters were fairly seasoned. However, his experience in Interpersonal Skills from his years in customer service and tech support allowed him to offer guidance in a unique area. Nothing is set in stone for future presentations from Derek as of yet, but he has submitted some proposals along with developing a talk on IoT and integrating some of the parts that DuraTech can produce into technology solutions.

If you would like to connect with Derek Mulhausen, you can find him on LinkedIn. THAT has activities scheduled throughout the summer. To see what THAT is all about, check their site here.