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“Does Your Job Have Meaning?” is a series in which ECS experts discuss their roles and responsibilities and the larger impact they have in the workplace, community, and world. In this installment, we interview Michael Bays, application developer and team lead for mission solutions. Michael currently oversees multiple database administrators and technical solutions for Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).


Michael Bays

When ECS application developer and team lead Michael Bays joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) back in 2007, he really didn’t know what he wanted to do. The USMC decided that he would be a great fit on the aviation side, so he started off as an aircraft maintenance administration specialist. From there, he went on to application/data analyst school. Then, in 2009, he searched through Yahoo for “highest-paying degrees for the future” and “most in-demand degrees.” The search brought up information systems security, which is where he applied his studies.

After deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Michael left the Marine Corps and began to pursue his IT career as a civilian, during which time he supported the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a statistical analyst and, later, Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) through employment at InfoReliance. In 2018, ECS acquired InfoReliance, and Michael continues his professional journey here at ECS. Here is what Michael has to say about his career at ECS.

Q: How would you describe your job in 50 words or less?

A: I lead a team of eight developers and database administrators that work with applications and databases through SharePoint, Oracle, and IBM Cognos. I also assist in sustaining technical solutions for Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).

Q: Who is directly affected by the work you do? How?

A: Special agents (SAs) of AFOSI are impacted by the work we do. My team works hard to provide solutions that make the SAs’ lives easier, when it comes to managing cases, and inputting data pertaining to a case within an application that they can use in the field and is then stored in a secured, well-managed database. I work closely with IBM Cognos Analytics, an IBM product that provides business intelligence solutions. We provide this product to AFOSI leaders, so they can use it to report statistics on cases, personnel, leads, and hours. We use this platform to connect to many different databases (data warehousing) that AFOSI uses and combine them all to give SAs a better view of their data.

Q: Who is indirectly affected by the work you do? How?

A: The work we do impacts other agencies as well, agencies that are part of law enforcement such as NCIS, CID, DIA, FBI, etc. AFOSI works closely with other agencies when it comes to criminal investigations, intelligence gathering, and much more. We will sometimes receive requests from outside agencies that need our assistance with certain cases or with metrics pertaining to different types of cases like sex offenses, computer crimes, drug offenses, and fraud. The team and I will work to provide them accurate data that can better assist them. Much of this will loop around and get back to members of Congress and the Office of Inspector General.

Q: What do you think is the most important result of your work?

A: My team has developed and maintained applications that SAs use daily. The result of developing and maintaining these complex applications is very satisfying. SAs are able to do their work faster, more effectively, and efficiently due to the assistance of these applications, both here at headquarters and in the field.

Knowing they utilize our products makes it very rewarding. AFOSI works to defend the nation, serve justice, and protect the Air Force. Being able to assist AFOSI agents in accomplishing that…it is motivating! I am proud to work in this environment for this organization and I am happy ECS has provided me this opportunity to make a difference at home and overseas. “One Team, One Fight!”

Q: Besides how we serve the customers, why do you find your work so satisfying?

A: Serving the customer is priority. It is satisfying to provide them solutions. But besides that, it is satisfying because you are doing work that is feeding your brain and expanding your knowledge. In IT, technology is always changing, so it is important to feed your brain and stay up to date on IT trends. It helps you grow on a personal and professional level. It boosts your confidence, and also your motivation. It feels good to know that you are staying busy, working to better your life, and most importantly, better your family’s life.

“Does Your Job Have Meaning?” is a series in which ECS experts discuss their roles and responsibilities and the larger impact they have in the workplace, community, and world.

Are you looking to make a difference in your career and in the world? Learn more about opportunities at ECS. #MeetTheChallenge #MakeADifference

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