Hailing from Far North Queensland, working hard has always come naturally to Dynatrace Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) channel and alliance director Julie Bateman. As she describes, "it’s part and parcel of growing up on the land". This mindset has helped her excel in the various roles that she taken on throughout her career journey, from the family farm planting sugar canes to her first IT industry role at Embarcadero Technologies.
What was your first job?
My very first job was planting sugar cane on our family farm at Cowley Beach in Far North Queensland. I would’ve been 13 at the time and helping dad out in planting season for what was essentially pocket money.
Back then, it was a very manual process – all done from the back of a tractor in the early morning – and hard work. I graduated from that to working as a checkout operator at Woolworths, a bar tender at the local night club and a volunteer surf lifesaver. And then when school finished, I moved into a role doing secretarial work for a firm of solicitors in town.
How did you get started in the IT industry and progress to where you are today?
Most of my twenties were spent travelling – I have eight unforgettable years of memories of time spent in North and South America, Canada, Europe and Africa. During that period, I supported myself with various jobs, one of which was nannying for a family whose dad was a sales leader for a company called Embarcadero Technologies.
When I finally landed back in Australia for good, in 2005 I happened to see an ad for a renewals and maintenance role at the company’s Melbourne office. In my mind, as a Far North Queenslander, that was a different country and one in which I only knew two people, so I thought I’d give it a go. Because getting the job under my own steam was really important to me, I didn’t let my old boss know I was applying but after I’d flown down for the interview and was given an offer, their HR department called him and he called me.
I put in a couple of years there, learning the ropes and after that I was headhunted by managers I’d worked with who’d moved on to other ventures. After clocking up experience in sales, channel management and enterprise accounts at a bunch of different companies, including Quest Software and Dell, a role opened up at Dynatrace, initially as a Victoria enterprise sales manager following which I was promoted to A/NZ channel manager and here I still am, seven years later.
What has been your biggest business mistake and the lessons you’ve learnt from that experience?
Not having sufficient confidence in my own self-worth and the value I can bring to a business would be high on the list.
Working really hard has always come naturally – it’s part and parcel of growing up on the land – and that’s helped me to excel in the various roles I’ve taken on. But I’ve always put my head down and gotten on with it, rather than trying to create a high profile for myself or chart a strategic career course. And, in common with many other women, I suffer from imposter syndrome at times; even now, after two decades of achieving my sales targets and goals in the ICT industry.
But, I’m trying to change and to make a difference for the next generation by getting involved with communities and movements that promote the involvement of women in technology.
There are so many opportunities for us to do well in this industry and there’s so much evidence to show that diverse workforce's function better than ones where everyone looks and thinks the same. It’s exciting and fulfilling to feel like I can be a small part of the change.
What are some of your plans for the company in the coming months?
I’ll be looking to undertake deeper collaboration with our channel partners by helping them build out comprehensive observability offerings around the Dynatrace product suite.
This really is a passion project for me, something I initiated in the APAC [Asia Pacific] region a couple of years back after identifying the potential for one of our flagship partners, Deloitte, to establish an observability pillar within its software consulting arm.
We’ve seen how beneficial it’s been, most particularly for customers because it accords with the way they like to buy. Typically, they’re in the market for a tightly integrated tech stack that’s delivered and supported by a trusted partner, not a single solution that may or may not integrate seamlessly with the various others they’re planning to deploy or already have in place.
Building and expanding on that model with Dynatrace’s assortment of other APAC partners will keep me very busy through 2023 and beyond.
What are some of your biggest ambitions, personally and professionally?
I always had the dream of being a journalist and I’d like to pursue that by documenting my travels. The source material is already there; I kept a journal for the entire eight years I was away and looking back at it triggers so many memories. The world really is an amazing place and experiencing so many different cultures really helps you to see things from alternative perspectives. So, whether it’s for public or just family consumption, turning those experiences and events into something lasting would be so fulfilling.
Professionally, I can’t see myself ever wanting to work in another industry. I’m deeply engrained in the ICT world and I really enjoy what I do. The fact that technology continues to evolve at a bewildering pace, particularly now, with AI [artificial intelligence] and robotics coming into play, helps keep us on our toes.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t obsess about what you’re not perfect at but, rather, hone and develop whatever it is you are good at. Those strengths are what makes you different and who you are. If you take that tack, you’ll be well placed to achieve whatever it is you put your mind to. That advice came from a former manager of mine at Dell. He’d seen me beating myself up because I thought I wasn’t great at presenting, or at articulating my strengths, so he sat me down for a chat. Thanks to him, I learnt to stop focusing on the negatives and to start embracing my best qualities.
My other piece of advice to live by came from my father. He told me to never travel with a credit card and, back in the day, I didn’t. On the few occasions I returned home, we’d have the same conversation. Dad would say, "I want to tell you to stop but you haven’t been arrested, you haven’t asked me for money and you don’t have a credit card, so you’re doing something right and I’m going to leave you be."