This year, Pragmatics celebrates its 35 years of service and culture. Founded by Dr. Long Nguyen in 1985, we have engaged directly with our clients to solve complex challenges that require advanced technical knowledge, as well as an in-depth understanding of each client's mission and domain.
We're proud to recognize those who have driven our success by their years of innovation and ingenuity. Meet our Pragmatists. Explore their profiles and get personal with them from their years of outstanding development with Pragmatics.
How did you get started in your field? What was your journey to Pragmatics like?
Graduated with an undergrad degree in Economics, I first started working professionally on economic research. However, shortly afterward, I found designing and developing application software was more interesting. So I took some IT courses and training and successfully changed my career trajectory to IT.
I then spent more than a decade in the telecommunications industry, working for both large and small companies that used to have offices all along the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia. It was great to be in telecom until the bubble burst in the early 2000s. At that point, my time with each successive company got shorter and shorter. I then realized: At each company, the music kept stopping, leaving fewer chairs in the room!
Realizing that the plug had been pulled on most telecom companies, I decided to change industries – to Federal Government consulting!
While I was an independent consultant for the Dept. of Labor, I met a Pragmatics General Manager supporting the same program. After a few weeks and several conversations, I was invited to interview with the company. Shortly after that, I accepted Pragamtics’ offer to join the team!
What is your proudest achievement or most memorable moment at Pragmatics?
Perhaps it was when I was part of the CMMI-DEV appraisal team that first achieved Maturity Level 5 in 2012, or possibly when I became responsible for the entire QA/PI area, and we were successfully reappraised at Level 5.Or perhaps when we attained our CMMI-for-Services (CMMI-SVC), or maybe for our ISO- 20000-1 and 27001 certifications… They’re all memorable!
I’ve never felt like I needed to stay in my swim lane. It has been exciting to see my suggestions turn into something tangible and eventually lead to improvements.
In your years with Pragmatics, how does Pragmatics empower you to grow?
I love the continual challenges, learning, and growth opportunities at Pragmatics. Since it’s a small company, we need to wear multiple hats. This enables us to learn since new challenges often require us to take on new or different roles.
It is also a place where everyone has a voice, furthermore, has the opportunity to influence. I’ve never felt like I needed to stay in my swim lane. It has been exciting to see my suggestions turn into something tangible and eventually lead to improvements.
Outside of work, how do you describe yourself?
My family loves to travel within the US and overseas. We’ve visited my wife’s hometown in China several times, as well as many other cities. We also love traveling in Europe, especially France, where I spent time after graduating from college. I speak French, so we’ve been able to do almost anything we’ve wanted to do.
Deke and his wife under Roman Pont du Gard while taking a canoe trip down the Gardon River in southern France
My wife and I decided to home school our 8th-grade daughter last year, just before COVID-19 shut Fairfax County Schools. This has been quite an adventure. All three of us are learning, adjusting, & growing to meet the challenge. Beginning this school year has been especially challenging, as most all parents know since we’re all adjusting to a mostly online classroom experience.
What advice do you have for new Pragmatists?
Seek out new skills to learn and apply them where you think it makes sense. Talk to others about your ideas; who knows; they might support yours!