SDI Employee Spotlight – Joseph Holper

How did you get your start here at SDI?  

I had been a consultant for a major midwestern city for several years, and SDI was looking for senior engineers that also had a good working relationship with the city and other consulting groups at the city. 

What is your current role?  

In my current position, I serve as a Senior Security Architect/Solutions Consultant. This role entails a combination of expertise in security architecture and providing consultative guidance on solutions. Solutions typically involve network security, application security, and cloud and often involve proof of concepts to determine the best solution. 

What does your average day look like?  

No week or month is ever the same in my role as a Senior Security Architect/Solutions Consultant. The nature of my work involves a dynamic mix of tasks and responsibilities that keep me engaged and constantly adapting. On a regular basis, I handle a diverse range of projects, both small and large in scale. These projects may involve designing and implementing security solutions for clients, conducting security audits, or assessing the effectiveness of existing security measures. 

What are some of the more significant changes you have seen in the IT industry since you started?  

The merging of networking and security in cloud. One of the larger projects I am working on right now is an Aviatrix/Palo Alto integration in a multi-cloud environment. The networking overlay software communicates with the security software via API calls and automates much of what was manual in the past. This solution also integrates tightly with the on-premises data centers to present a seamless cloud experience despite quite a bit of complexity behind the scenes due to the multi-cloud environment.  

What is your perspective on the IT industry and its future?  

I’d guess it will be unrecognizable in 10-15 years, as so much has changed in the last 10-15. For sure complex configurations will be done via speech instead of a keyboard. 

How did you end up in this career? (Professional lives do not always follow a direct trajectory, it’s fun to know how people got started.)  

After grad school, I had the opportunity to join a large tech firm, where I played a pivotal role in introducing and implementing technology solutions at a large Midwestern city. Working with a renowned technology company allowed me to leverage my expertise and contribute to the digital transformation of one of the largest metropolitan areas. 

Are you currently working on any professional skills?  

Absolutely! As a professional, I am continuously working on improving and acquiring new skills to stay at the forefront of my field. The nature of my work often involves engaging in new projects that may differ from my previous experiences, which presents an exciting opportunity for continuous learning and skill development. 

How do you describe what you do for a living to family and friends?  

When explaining my profession to family and friends, I consider their familiarity with the technical aspects of my work. If they are not well-versed in technology, I often simplify my description by saying that I work as an IT consultant for a major Midwestern city. 

What summer vacation are you looking forward to the most?  

I’m definitely looking forward to returning to Greece at the end of the summer—haven’t been there since college. 


We celebrate diversity; the views expressed above are those of the interviewed individual, not SDI