Houston is home to some of the most innovative computer technology firms outside of Silicon Valley and because of its work with the energy companies in Houston, many technology companies are always looking for the best and brightest to help create the next best thing in software and hardware.
Rob Reiner, CTO at ITinvolve, discusses his education in computer science and how it has helped him build his own computer technology company.
What degree program did you study?
“I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Houston.”
What does your current position entail?
“Currently, I am the co-founder and CTO (Chief Technology Officer) at ITinvolve, an innovative startup company headquartered here in Houston. My primary responsibilities are product innovation, technical direction and all product development and customer support activities. In my role, I also assist with sales and industry analyst activities covering how our ITinvolve solution solves critical IT problems in unique ways. ”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?
“Absolutely! However, like in other science majors, it is up to each individual to continue to stay relevant by keeping up with new technologies. Coming out of school, you know how to design and develop software solutions using current technologies. However, technologies change so fast that if all I knew was what I learned in school, I would be obsolete by now.”
Have you participated in any form of continuing education since beginning this position?
“I have not pursued formal continuing education since I graduated from college. However, I have always kept up with new technologies through self-training and exploring new technologies, attending conferences and webinars and lots of reading over the years.”
Do you have any advice for people who would be interested in pursuing a similar career?
“I would definitely encourage people interested in becoming a software developer and eventually a CTO to pursue a computer science degree to acquire the basis to be able to learn much more as technology continues to evolve over the years to come. Never stop reading about new technologies and never stop dreaming about the future. As a CTO, you need to be able to anticipate the market evolution and opportunities to come. This means that you need to understand the market of interest very well. For people interested in the IT market, it has been very rewarding to learn how IT works, how teams work together and depend on each other and what their top challenges are. As a CTO, you need to use technology to solve business-critical needs that have existed due to past technological limitations. Recognizing and truly understanding business needs is critical so you can apply your technical knowledge to building successful software solutions.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.