Passionate, innovative and a hands on guy, Daniel Sterry is forever looking to push the boundaries and solve client problems. Based in IE’s Melbourne headquarters, I recently sat down with him to hear a little more about his approach and his recent promotion to Digital Project Manager.
Tell me about yourself
I am a Digital Producer at IE Digital currently working within the retail team. From a young age, I have always been fascinated with technology. I remember during my childhood I would always pull apart old electronics to see how they work. The problem was, to my mum’s frustration, I’d never end up putting them back together again.
I’ve always enjoyed building and creating things. It was in high school that I took up my first computer class. I began to learn all about coding and remember building my first website at the age of 14. From then on I always knew I wanted to work in digital. After graduating from high school, I attended Deakin University and studied a Bachelor of Computer Science and Software Development.
What experience have you had in the digital space?
Throughout my career I’ve always worked in digital. I got my first part time job at the age of 17 at an agency based in Camberwell. After graduating from University, I then went on to work at a boutique agency in South Yarra that specialised in building custom software.
Following this, I moved on to take my first position at IE working on the Telstra Digital account as a Digital Producer. During my time at Telstra I worked closely with the retail innovation and engineering teams to help deliver new digital products to Telstra’s flagship stores.
How long have you been at IE and what made you choose IE?
I’ve worked at IE for the last 2 years. When the opportunity came up to work for IE, I didn’t hesitate. I think what attracted me most was the company’s vision and expertise, as well as the great culture that comes with it. During my time at IE I’ve learnt so much from the people around me and I’m looking forward what the future holds for IE.
Why did you choose to become a producer?
Becoming a producer was the natural progression for me. This role allows me to use my wide range of skills and gives me the opportunity to work on a variety challenging projects. I now have the chance to work on all aspects of a project including: UX, design, coding, or project management.
What is a Digital Producer to you?
A ‘Digital Producer’ is really an enigma. Depending on the person and their skill set, they could collaborate with multiple project teams across both creative and technical. They may even manage an entire project, or even possess design, UX, or coding skills that parallel those of a graphic designer or programmer. I think this is what qualifies their ability to oversee, or be a part of, multifaceted projects.
What was the biggest difference transitioning from corporate life at Telstra, though within an agency, to traditional agency life?
All my life I’ve worked within digital agencies. When I was based in Telstra Digital, I needed to adjust to moving to such a big corporate company. I learnt very quickly that the larger the corporation, the more they can be encumbered by their size for digital transformation. Having to conform to processes and technology restrictions was always a big challenge. I think a lot of large Australian corporations are now trying to change the way they work, whether it’s adopting agile methodologies or encouraging innovation.
What’s been your favourite project to work on so far?
My favourite project to date would have to be during my time on the Telstra account. Working closely with retail, Telstra engineering, third party providers, and in-house developers to deliver a retail first ‘tap and take’ solution.
First rolled out to Telstra’s flagship store in George Street Sydney, it blurred the lines between the physical and digital world to give customers a unique ‘in-store to online’ experience. Digital touch screens were placed throughout the store, allowing customers to save products of interest to their own unique card, and later make a purchase online.
Working as part of the Telstra Digital team, I was involved in the delivery of the project leading up to flagship store launch. The most exciting aspect was seeing the final product being used by customers within the store. I think that was the most rewarding part.
Where do you see yourself being challenged most in the future?
I can’t see myself leaving this industry. I love digital because it is constantly changing and evolving. It forces me to expand my skill set, learn new things, and get better at something I’ve never touched before. I think once digital stops challenging me, only then would I consider moving onto something different.
What do you enjoy most about being a Digital Producer?
I like the diverse nature of a Digital Producer position, being able to see something through from start to end gives me a real sense of accomplishment. The fact that the role is ever changing too keeps it really interesting for me.
Finally, if you had to give advice to someone wanting to become a Digital Producer, what would you say to them?
Read and immerse yourself as much as you can into the digital space. Go to meetups. Take courses to make you stand out from the crowd. If you have no experience, try and get internships – if you’re determined enough someone will give you a chance.