Darrin Jillson, Technology Manager, Walsworth-St. Joseph
Describe what you do at Walsworth.
I manage the local apps department which includes many digital products like digital editions, digital storefronts, e-commerce. I work with any digital project that doesn’t fit into a group. With these projects I do research and development, design, and then I build it up to become a product we can use.
Now, describe what you do like you are meeting someone at church or at a party.
I work with computers. You get much more into that and peoples’ eyes glaze over. Sometimes I’ll say we build mobile apps and other digital products.
How long have you worked at Walsworth?
I’ve worked at IPC and now Walsworth—Saint Joseph for almost 22 years.
What made you start working at Walsworth?
I did a stint in retail, but once I had kids, it was time for me to get into something that didn’t work nights and weekends. I also had a lot of experience with computers and print. So, I started in the prepress department doing stripping on the old light tables. It was kind of far away from my job, but I knew how to do it. Before too long, an opportunity opened in the IT department and they move me there. That’s where I climbed the ranks.
What is the coolest thing you get to do at work?
Building apps, that’s pretty cool. But I think what a lot of us like about the print industry is that you get to do a little bit of everything. There’s graphic design, app building, coding , user interfaces. The projects are also something our customers can use.
What is your favorite work story to tell?
Wherever we deliver on a new product it’s exciting. It’s also fun to be able to name drop some of our customers. Back at IPC I got to go to Apple’s headquarters to work with them on a few of their divisions, as far as our fulfillment. We created an e-commerce solution for them and we also worked with them duplicating floppy disks.
What makes you want to come to work every day?
Being able to provide something that customers want. We’re an ethical and high-quality company. I’ve been in IT for 40 years, printing almost as long, and to see all those other print facilities consolidate and Walsworth continue to grow, it’s a testament to the quality of the company.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a person who is looking for help on how to deal with our current times, with regard to your area of expertise?
I’ve always said in IT whatever you do now, plan on 90% of it changing in the next three years. You should constantly redevelop your skills and continue to learn. It’s not just a nine-to-five job. You almost need to look at finding how you can replace yourself, and then learn those skills. Tasks we did five years ago we have code for now. Technology just keeps moving, and no matter your relationship with it, you have to keep learning to keep up.