My conversation with Scott Pullano, April 2014

Scott Pullano graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2006 with a B. S. degree in computer science. He has been employed by CVS Caremark Corporation since then at its Rhode Island headquarters. He has held various positions in application development and, today, is Senior Mobile Applications Architect.

FMC: Hi Scott, thanks for talking with us. What was your first job after graduation, and how did you get it?

SP: My first job after graduation was applications developer for CVS / Caremark. I actually interned at CVS while at URI during the summer internship program for 3 years. They liked my work and extended me an offer right after graduation. Interning was the best thing I did.

FMC: What did you do on a typical day?

SP: I was a Java developer working on the current platform. I worked with a small team to provide various enhancements to the website. On a typical day I worked on coding designs that were given to me by the development leads. I developed in Java in a custom built j2ee e-commerce platform which lives on solaris physical servers with weblogic as our appserver, oracle as our database, and apache as our webserver. I spent some days coding in Java, some in html / css within JSPs, and other days developing relational database tables inside of an oracle DB.

FMC: As your positions changed within the company, how did your daily work change?

SP: As I grew within the company, I found myself attending more meetings with all the technical representatives, hosting white-boarding sessions to design / architect the solution, as well as working closer with business to understand their requirements. I began to lead the team more, so I needed to get good at delegating to members of my team instead of trying to do it all myself. As I grew within the company, I was counted on to make more strategic technology decisions for the company. 

FMC: You are now Senior Mobile Applications Architect. What do you do in a typical day?

SP: Now my days typically consist of meetings, some of which are with the business to ensure their projects are on track, and others are with my technical team to make sure we are building the right solution the right way. We have 5 blue chip projects going on in parallel which I am responsible for from the technical perspective. Every day, I am working with my mobile architects to make sure we are moving forward and implementing a robust, high-quality mobile application. I attend development standup meetings to move road blocks the teams are facing and guide the team on how to solve a particular problem. 

FMC: Did college prepare you adequately for your career?

SP: College really taught me how to critically think and solve complex problems under tight timelines. It taught me how to program in various languages like Java, C, C++, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. It taught me how to not just solve the happy path but all the paths. 

FMC: How much do you enjoy your career? 

SP: I love my career. I am fortunate to be working in the hottest growing technical field for a fortune 13 company. Mobility is the future and keeps me going every day I go to work. I am excited to put my solutions for consumers world wide into the palms of their hands, while at the same time helping them stay healthier. I started developing websites when I was in junior high and have always had a passion for technology. I am a geek at heart. I don’t just deal with technology at work, but also when I’m home. I am always looking to freshen up my skills and keep my technologist mind fresh with the latest and greatest trends in the industry.  
FMC: Does your career leave you enough time to enjoy life?

SP: My career is very busy and the nature of it makes me, at times, work some long shifts. However, I make sure that I make time to enjoy my life. I feel that with any career, if you don't make room for yourself to enjoy life, it can easily take over your life. 

FMC: Do you have some advice for current students in computer science?

SP: My #1 advice to students would be to do a summer internship if you can. Having real world experience was crucial to my success and leap started my career, which helped me stand out over the other graduates who did not. During my internship, I learned a lot about the dynamics of large enterprise systems and other emerging technologies, while enhancing my skills and preparing myself for the future. Use an internship and test out the field, learn from it, and see if that is really what you want to do. In the end, you will be thanking yourself that you did it. My second piece of advice is to make sure you do what you love. It easy to grow within an organization when you are working on your true passion. Stay fresh with technology and keep an eye out for what’s trending in the industry. Try things out in your spare time to learn about a given technology. My third piece of advice is to not just focus on one thing. It’s good to get an understanding of the full picture, so you are better informed when it comes time to make key decisions. Good Luck!

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