Employee Profile: Karl Groves
Today’s employee profile is of our Director of Training, Karl Groves.
What do you do at Deque and how long have you been here?
As of last month, I’ve been with Deque for two years now. My official title is “Director of Training”. Most of what I do is create and deliver training for our customers. I’ve created training on everything from beginning to advanced topics in web accessibility and, of course, training on our products. All of our courses are available for delivery in-person, virtually via online meeting, and also as self-paced learning from our Learning Management System. I also frequently create custom training for clients who want training on a specific topic in accessibility. Beyond training, I’m also frequently called upon to do testing, regression audits, and consulting for clients. Right now, for instance, I’m allocated about half-time to work as Accessibility Subject Matter Expert for two SCRUM teams with one of our clients.
How did you find Deque (or how did Deque find you)?
Prior to working for Deque, I worked for a competitor. Over time I developed a friendly rivalry with Wes Dillon, who I frequently saw at events. One day he asked me to send over a resume and, jokingly, I did so. Deque was interested in growing their training capabilities into an official program and I really like to do training and wanted to do more of it than I had been. Next thing you know, Preety offered me a job and here I am!
What is your favorite thing about working at Deque?
Hands-down the best part about working at Deque is the people – both the coworkers and the clients. Every day I get to work alongside people I truly respect and like in a drama-free environment. Working closely with clients, helping them complex solve problems is really satisfying.
What interests you about accessibility?
Though my job no longer involves development, I consider myself a developer first. I still work on my own personal projects every day – about an hour each morning and each evening after the kids go to bed. I very much view accessibility as a quality-of-work issue. As a developer I really like the idea that, by producing high quality work, I can improve the experience of my users.
What current topic in accessibility that has caught your eye?
I’m increasingly interested in mobile accessibility. According to statistics by Microsoft, mobile usage is exploding and in a few years, mobile internet usage should overtake desktop internet usage. Some users’ primary device for using the Web is a mobile device. I think it is vital that we, as an industry, focus on ensuring that mobile/ responsive websites and mobile apps are accessible, lest we get into a position where we’re playing catch-up in much the same way that we had to when it came to AJAX
Desert Island picks: one album (music), one movie, one book, and one luxury item (assume you have food, water, shelter, and a radio – no boats/planes/etc. allowed).
Album: Can I cheat and say Led Zeppelin Remasters?
Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Book: Beyond Good & Evil – Friederich Nietzsche
Luxury Item: Pictures of my family
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