Celebrating Veterans Day 2018: A Discussion with DataRobot Vets

November 9, 2018
· 3 min read

The celebration of Veterans Day began on November 11, 1919 as the first anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting of the “war to end all wars.” Aptly named “Armistice Day,” this was a national holiday up until June 1, 1954 when it was renamed to “Veterans Day” to honor not only the men and women that fought in WWI but to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. As Veterans Day 2018 approaches, we at DataRobot would like to take a step back and acknowledge not only our veterans’ service, but also their contributions to our team and our culture.

As roles in the armed services become increasingly technical, veterans coming off of active duty or transitioning out of the service have a unique skill set and leadership experience that companies in all sectors, especially high tech, desire. We talked to some of our Vets here at DataRobot about everything ranging from veterans working in the technology sector to balancing life as a reservist. Here’s what they said:


What’s the job search like for veterans? What job search opportunities are available to veterans?

I have always found that my military service has greatly aided in job searches, as employers generally look favorably on service members for their discipline and leadership experience. This has sparked many veteran hiring initiatives, increasing the pool of jobs available to service members. If a fellow service member is on the interview board, it is much easier to connect with them, increasing your chances of getting the job. — David, Marine Corps

In general, why should companies hire veterans?

Two reasons immediately come to mind: (1) the military develops grit, perseverance, maturity, etc., which translate well into any job, and (2) if more companies made it a priority to hire vets, then recent high school and college grads might be more inclined to serve, knowing that good things await in the job market on the other side. — Bill, Marine Corps

Is tech (or startups in general) a common/popular field that veterans go to? Why or why not?

Historically, tech startups have not been a common field that veterans go to because they often lack the management layers that larger, more traditional corporations, which is a good and more natural fit for veterans. However, this is changing.

With the increased use of decentralized leadership in the military and increasing tech savviness of recent veterans, many transitioning veterans are finding or founding tech startups. The often flat management structure within tech startups might also be a welcome change for veterans coming from traditional military command structures. Oftentimes, the lessons learned in those environments can be used in building and growing young startups.  — Kevin, Army

What is it like to balance work with military responsibilities?

Most people don’t realize that being in a reserve component is like having a second full time job. We might not have to physically be present at our unit 40 hours a week, but there are trainings and readiness activities we need to fulfill in order to maintain a deployable status. Additionally, there are courses, trainings, and leadership development schools we are required to attend to progress our careers within the service.

The beautiful part of these trainings and courses is that a soldier has the ability to really tailor their career to their interests and develop skills that help him/her in their civilian careers. Each branch of the military offers countless opportunities to improve technical and leadership skills that directly translate to civilian careers. There are certain companies that recognize these skills and opportunities (like DataRobot) and happily allow their active guardsmen and reservists to pursue these trainings to better both the service member and the company. — Mike, Army

What lessons did you learn in the military?

One of the lessons I learned in the military is giving everything you have for every task with a 100% focus.  In the military, you learn that lives are at stake if you make bad assumptions or skip the little details. Having this mindset has served me well after finishing my service. Rajiv, Coast Guard

Learn more about how we support veterans and career opportunities at DataRobot by visiting our Hiring Heroes page.

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Libby Botsford
Meet Libby Botsford
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