michael pumper SAW

Our Role is to Come in as an Expert and Advise

Michael Pumper, a National Solution Architect in our Applications & Cloud Technologies practice, discusses The White Stripes and being a technology evangelist.

Name: Michael Pumper 
Role: National Solution Architect 
Practice: Applications & Cloud Technologies 
Location: Chicago
Joined Sogeti: 2011

In my eight years with Sogeti, I’ve grown as a technologist and continued to learn more and more. I have had the opportunity to work in several different roles including technical lead, architect, development manager, engagement manager, practice manager, and national solution architect. The big thing about Sogeti is that if you have something you want to build or create or achieve, nobody will stop you. The people who succeed the most at Sogeti are the self-starters who find solutions to our clients’ problems no matter what their role is.

I’m a big music fan, particularly of The White Stripes and Jack White. There’s a documentary called “It Might Get Loud” that features Jack White, Edge, and Jimmy Page. The opening scene has Jack White building an electric guitar with a single string, 2 nails, a plank of wood, and a pickup. He plays a song on it, then says “who says you need to buy a guitar?” The message I took away is that when you look at a problem like building a guitar, it’s easy to get caught up in how hard it might be, but there’s usually a simpler solution than you think. 

That’s how I view my job. When I’m evangelizing new technology and strategy to our clients, I’m just trying to find that solution that will get them to where they need to be. Just about every company out there is pushing to rebrand as a “software company” in one way or another.

I love thinking about and talking about the impact of emerging technology and industry trends, and I spend a lot of my time advising clients on how to stay relevant in the market. For example, one of my current projects is managing an engagement with a startup in Chicago that is working on building out an artificial intelligence (AI) platform in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The point is that technology isn’t just changing fast; it’s accelerating. Cloud adds efficiency and saves cost, DevOps enables blazing fast time-to-market, Digital brings strategy and bleeding edge innovation. I love talking about all of it. 

However, ethics and technology is one of my favorite subjects to discuss. For example, Google Maps is awesome for checking how traffic is on the way to work, but in order to have traffic data, Google must know the location and speed of where you are at a pretty surprising level of detail. Do you know when you consented to that? Because you probably did! So, I think it’s important to also look at technology through an ethics lens.

When I went to Sogeti’s “boot camp” for college graduates, my counselor told me something that rang so true for me: You will learn more in your first six months on the job than you did during your four years in college. I try to pass that wisdom onto as many grads as I can, because it is a bit of a reality check. Yes, you learn a lot of useful things when you’re in college, but the real-world knowledge and experience that you get while you’re on the job is what will have the biggest effect on your career development.

I view my career as a journey. I have career goals of course, but knowing how fast things change, it’s tough to predict what things will look like even 5 years from now. Right now, I just hope I’m still helping clients build toward a better future. 

  • michael pumper headshot
    Michael Pumper
    Senior Manager, Digital Transformation