February 2021 Employee of the Month: James Saylor
(The Competitive Edge)
Chime. “Guten Tag!”
James Saylor, CloudCME® Employee of the Month, greets each team member with enthusiasm in a different language, as they join the morning standup meeting. “He’s always first on the call and sets a positive tone for the day,” Jennifer Donnelly, Chief Accreditation officer said. “James is the type of guy you want on your team. He has a very light, positive approach, while still being very focused on customer needs.”
“I’m a very content person,” James said, when asked how he stays so positive all the time. “If I get to do my job, and I know I’m doing good work, I’m happy.”
That’s always been James’ mindset. He completed three tours in the Army—two to Iraq and one to South Korea—before he turned 30. And he doesn’t make much of it. He’s thankful for the opportunity he had to travel and see new places, and he values the experience and wisdom he gained along the way.
Joining the Army supported his plans to go to college to pursue a career in web development. James had a goal. He assessed the situation. He made a plan, and he executed. That’s what he does.
When given a challenge, James explores every possible approach and how it will affect the outcome. Then he hunkers down and does it.
“James is really, really thorough,” Angela Vassalle, CloudCME® Lead Trainer, said. “One of his strengths is his attention to detail. He’s really good at looking at something he’s developing or a fix he’s working on and recognizing the ripple effect of how it’s going to affect other things down the road.”
Making a change in one area of the system could affect several others, so he makes sure he fully understands what he’s working on—development wise, as well as from an accreditation standpoint. He jokes that he’s broken something before, so he wants to make sure he never does it again.
James has been instrumental in helping the support team and the fix team hit their goals in resolving tickets. Developers have been challenged to each solve 3-5 fix stories per day to help reduce support tickets.
James consistently hits this benchmark. He and another developer have a friendly competition with back-and-forth banter going on. James held “the crown” for most fix stories completed in a week for a month and a half before anyone could snatch it from him. This type of energy and enthusiasm for helping solve customer issues raises the tide for the entire team, benefiting everyone.
James loves anything that involves strategy—math, chess, card games. He claims that many people find playing games with him to be challenging because of his competitiveness, but that competitive and energetic spirit is what makes James fun to work with—he makes tackling projects feel like a game you can’t lose.
“When you have someone like James on the team who makes light of things when appropriate and has such a positive perspective, the whole team benefits,” Jennifer said. “It just makes everyone’s day nicer.”