We are the engineers of possible: Software engineer. Gospel musician. Family man.
It was the fall of 2021, and Al Dudley was contemplating a few different job offers. He reached out to his former leader at BD to get a referral as he was working to narrow his decision. Little did he know that this referral call would turn into a job opportunity back at his former organization.
“Having worked at BD previously under Associate Director of Software Engineering Marat Rikelman, this call changed the trajectory of my career,” explained Al. “Marat is hands-down the best supervisor I’ve had throughout my career, so while one of the offers may have paid more, I knew re-joining BD would be the right choice for me.”
Following the Technology Carrot in the 1990s
Al was first drawn to technology when web design was just starting to take off in the early 90s. He was enthralled by the animated gifs and interested in developing web pages and designs that would elevate the way individuals share information and knowledge, and allow communication in a way that had never been achieved before that.
From a business perspective, he was drawn to how he could use data and information that was being captured through web-based, front-end user experiences to connect to more sophisticated back-end business systems and platforms. From that point on, one could say, he was hooked.
Finding his Possible in a Tech Career
With Bachelor’s degrees in science and arts for math, computer science, music, and business, from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, in 2000, Al began his career as a programmer with HealthSouth from 2000 to 2005.
From there he joined a start-up called MedMined in 2005, which was eventually acquired by BD in 2015. After leaving BD, Al spent the next several years working as a senior software engineer and architect for a handful of smaller companies. However, one thing he never forgot was the career experience BD supplied him during his time with the company. Fast forward to September 2021, when Al re-joined BD as a software engineer working within the Software Technology Solutions (STS) Group supporting the R&D function for BD. He says no two days are alike.
“BD provides very robust learning, growth and development opportunities, so it’s pretty incredible,” says Al. “What convinced me the most to re-join was my direct leader and the impact I knew he had on me previously, as well as knowing I was going to come back to an organization that pushes you to be your best, learn more, grow, and get outside of your comfort zone. BD does not expect you to know everything, they are willing to support you as you do learn and grow. It’s awesome to know my leader is in my corner and has my back.”
Al continues to be excited about his role at BD since coming back to the organization. Most days he is able to drive the software architecture strategy, working on code with the team on a sprint, guiding and helping associates stay focused on the work in front of them, and, of course, teaming with other groups across the organization on updates and previews of the work being done.
“I continue to grow, feel supported, and meet the professional goals I set out for myself…so working at BD continues to be a rewarding choice for me and I’m so glad that I came back to the company,” says Al.
Gospel music runs in the Family
When not working, Al loves spending time at home with his wife and three children. He is also active in his church and is a musician, along with his family. In fact, during the pandemic when in-person church attendance was non-existent, he and his family found a way to broadcast gospel music videos for others.
“My whole family is very musically inclined, so it was great to be able to bring a little joy to others when we were all locked down due to Covid. I even went as far as to go out and buy some audio and video equipment so we could broadcast something nice for others during a tough time,” says Al.