Building a Career at Gap Inc .: Celebrating 30 Years with Boris Plotkin

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In July, Boris Plotkin of the technology team at Gap Inc. celebrated his 30th birthday with the company. He began his career in July 1991 as a Production Support Analyst before taking on various positions including software development and supply chain and logistics IT before moving to his current position within the product-to-market architecture team. To celebrate this incredible accomplishment, we sat down with Boris to talk about his journey with Gap Inc., some of his fondest memories, and why he recommends Gap Inc. as the perfect place to start and build your career. .

First of all, congratulations on 30 years with Gap Inc.! Can you tell us a bit about your career?

I started my career at Gap Inc. in July 1991 as a Production Support Analyst, working in the EDC / KDC campus data center, two Customer Experience Centers (CECs) co-located in the North of Kentucky. I still have this Cincinnati Enquirer article with the job posting. It was just four months after I arrived in the United States from the Soviet Union, where I did my education and work experience as an engineer in industrial control and software development. Gap Inc.’s systems were very different back then: HP1000 / HP3000, green screens, tapes. One remarkable thing that happened is that Gap Inc. sent me for a month to work in the warehouse in all operational functions from receiving to shipping. I have met a lot of great people, seen the operational side and my future clients, learned the elaborate “lingo” and abbreviations from Gap Inc. (eg what are CAT and RAT precision count / receive terminals) .

I worked for a year in North KY with a third shift, learned a lot about systems, what worked well, which presented challenges. After a year, I had the opportunity to be part of the first highly automated CEC startup in Edgewood, Maryland. I undertook a 3.5 year business trip to Maryland where I had the opportunity to learn CEC automation, complex integration and most importantly, understand high volume business processes.

After that I returned to Kentucky, joined the software development team, and coded for over 17 years! I started with material handling systems, then expanded into warehouse management, transportation, supplier compliance, third-party logistics integration, and more. Technologies ranging from C / Pro * C on MPE iX, Unix, QNX, Linux to Java SE, Web / Enterprise. Once again, I had the opportunity to work with great people within GapTech (Management Information Systems at the time), vendor teams and business partners. Many of them have become my mentors and role models.

Finally, I moved on to what I had always wanted to do: solution architecture and strategy, beyond supply chain logistics, with fascinating opportunities to work on initiatives and strategies to company-wide, which is what I’m still working on today.

What are your favorite memories or highlights from your career at Gap Inc.?

When I was hired I was told that I would never code at Gap Inc., because the position I was hired for did not have it as a requirement … and you know what happened after. The lesson: Follow your passion!

If you walk into a Gap Inc. retail CEC today, you’ll see large touchscreen monitors in the front desk (known as SuperRAT and SortRebox terminals). I developed these systems in 1997: 50,000 lines of X Windows code in vi (C, X-Toolkit, Motif) and, after turning 24 years old, they still work seamlessly.

A funny memory: I arrived in the United States in 1991, and at that time there was only one McDonalds in the Soviet Union, so I had never had burgers before. One day we ate hamburgers for lunch in the cafeteria in EDC’s computer room and was told I should put ketchup on my burger. I did it… in addition to the bun!

What held you back at Gap Inc. all this time?

In short: people, opportunities and challenges.

Gap Inc. is a large corporation. If you want to grow as a professional, it offers great opportunities. It’s what I like to call a “continuous university” where you are constantly developing new skills in technology, business processes, communication, and social interaction. It’s a two-way street, where you not only win, but you give in various ways: creating value, delivering, mentoring and contributing to the community. Things are always changing, they are always on the move, but what makes sense is the work environment based on values ​​deeply rooted in a high work ethic, empowerment, creativity, safety and security. inclusion. This is a global company and throughout my career I have traveled the world, met great people in faraway places and learned a lot about the history and cultures of many countries.

Despite our size, Gap Inc. keeps reinventing itself, building on its success and learning from its mistakes. The bigger the challenges we face, the more creative and innovative we are. Look at what happened during the pandemic situation which became the springboard for unconventional thinking and unlocking opportunities for growth.

I have looked at other companies, but each time I came to the same conclusion: The unique opportunities that Gap Inc. offers for professional growth and personal development are truly unmatched. This awareness has been with me throughout my career here, and I try to highlight it to those who join Gap Inc. The sense of satisfaction with the work you do cannot be underestimated.

Why do you think Gap Inc. is a great place for early talent development? Can you share with us a moment when you may have helped mentor young talent?

The manifold opportunities for young professionals are not limited to the actual job for which they are hired. If you think of Gap Inc. as a continuing university with an education in technology, business functions and community skills, you realize that there can be no better start to your career. No matter where your interests take you, you always benefit from what I would call a solid professional foundation.

I have been fortunate to work with a number of new hires during my career here. And I have always stressed the importance of combining immediate career guidance with professional curiosity and the search for opportunities for personal development. And it never failed – I’ve seen so many successful stories of fulfilling dynamic careers.

One last career advice you would like to share?

Work is not everything. Family, healthy lifestyle, social life, art, culture, it’s all part of a balanced career approach. Spend time with family and friends, travel, read books, exercise, go to the theater and sporting events, pursue your hobbies. Live life!

Disclaimer

Gap inc. published this content on September 27, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on September 27, 2021 09:41:04 PM UTC.


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