After the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy took place, Lisa Rogers, then a high-school student, set a goal to work in the field of aerospace engineering. She wanted to explore ways to detect system-level defects early and apply advanced tools to prevent catastrophic accidents in space. As her career plans evolved, she brought this same analytical, problem-solving focus to another critical mission—harnessing technologies that help safeguard the warfighter. Today, Lisa is a Unix/Linux systems administrator for the Booz Allen team that supports the Information Technology and Cyber Security organization at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. “I really love being able to reverse engineer a problem to determine the root cause,” she says. “I’ll admit, I am dogmatic in my determination to ‘not let the machine beat me.'”
We talked with Lisa to learn how she has created an inspiring career path at Booz Allen by blending a commitment to solving difficult problems with approximately 25 years of technology experience.
What led you to focus on systems administration? I started out as a program analyst coding in C+, but I truly fell in love with systems administration while working on projects for the Joint Forces Command modeling and simulation team. In my opinion, I was an “okay” programmer, but systems administration was something that I excelled at and came easy to me.
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of the job? The most challenging part of the job is the lag in the implementation of new technologies. And, while I have worked with many amazing people, the most rewarding part is being able to help warfighters and those who support them to keep the nation safe. It is very rewarding to know that my contributions are making an impact on the effectiveness of the nation’s armed forces.
What is a client achievement you’re proud of? My proudest moment was building out an entire virtual enclave by myself when an office location changed. I had just started a new role, and yet I was entrusted with a system that I was fairly new to and that would be the basis for all systems built going forward.
How has Booz Allen enabled you to take part in interesting work? Booz Allen has given me the opportunity to sublet my expertise on numerous projects that allow me to exercise various facets of my knowledge base. That, along with the many training opportunities available to employees, helps me to feel supported in my professional and personal growth. For my next step, I am looking to expand into project management. I really believe that my skillset and experience will help me to be an efficient yet compassionate leader for any project.