Drive and determination
How Debra Leland navigated her impressive IT career
| by Emma Pownall
12th October 2020
Debra Leland has been working at Datel for over ten years. As Customer Support Director she is responsible for ensuring that every member of the team is dedicated to providing support to their clients. Recently, Debra spoke to IDG about her career, how she overcame early challenges and what advice she has for those looking to get into the industry.
Starting from the bottom
Debra is an invaluable member of the Datel team, and has a wealth of experience in the sector. However, at the start of her career she needed to rely on her own determination in order to rise through the ranks. She explains: “[As a junior] I was thrown in at the deep end with no training or understanding of the technical advancements that would influence the rest of my working life. I am completely self-taught in this area, curiosity and a need to understand was the driving factor.”
A dynamic industry
Thankfully, Debra persevered and has been thriving in the tech industry for over 25 years, seeing first-hand how it has changed.
“In the 1980s, IT was most definitely depicted as a male role and those involved were deemed to have no personality or social skills. I am very pleased to say this has changed for the better. People from all backgrounds and walks of life are now involved in technology.”
In the interview, Debra offers indispensable advice for those looking to work in IT, and says that although qualifications are important, she looks for commitment and enthusiasm in candidates. “We must not underestimate the value of those with experience, motivation to learn and a drive to achieve. I believe it's a failing to dismiss someone purely because they didn't follow the recognised educational route.”
Facing the challenges ahead
It’s clear that Debra has enjoyed a varied and fulfilling career, which does not appear to be slowing any time soon. Asked whether she has reached her career ambitions illustrates her continued enthusiasm for the industry. “At this moment in time I think I have, but then again there is always tomorrow and the opportunities that may bring.”
Debra has built the largest team of accredited support consultants in the UK with over 50 individuals on hand to deliver customer support and services. Many of her team have been working at Datel for over 20 years and have worked with multiple Sage solutions and additional applications. They understand how business systems can drive business success and are focused on providing a service to our customers that is second to none.
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