Ray Parkar

An unstructured collection of thoughts about building products.


Apprenticeships are a subject close to my heart. As someone who started my career as an apprentice, I’ve always been highly appreciative of the people and environment I was placed into at the beginning of my career.

I started my career with really strong mentors and leaders who put in place a system that allowed me to fail, learn and develop while also providing support and teaching me fundamental concepts in technology, from engineering concepts all the way to culture and the expectations people have of you at work.

That support system set me up for my career, and ultimately put me on track to become the person I am today, but I recognise that they had to sacrifice their time, we as a team had to sacrifice true productivity at times and they chose to use their time to teach me these core fundamentals.

When taking on people at the beginning of their careers, take into account the fact that they’re going to need support. Sometimes, they may require you to spend an hour teaching them some core concepts instead of working on that ticket in your sprint, and that’s okay! These people need support, but that support will allow them to grow and become more productive.

I’ve been really saddened to see some apprentices and juniors being treated with disdain, left to go and find scraps of work that are “in the background” and being shown no support system and given no real chance to grow. Leadership is not just blindly driving toward a goal, it’s bringing people along with you and helping them grow in that process.

We all started somewhere, and we all benefitted from people that were willing to support us. Let’s show that to the next generation as well. They may well be the people you’re looking to for support in only a few years.

A big thank you to some of those leaders and mentors:
Steven Hotchkis, Richard Emerson, Rashpal Samra, James Raybould, Paul Stephens