Bryan Betts, Albemarle County

Bryan Betts, Senior Systems Analyst, Albemarle County

Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and then subsequently moved overseas. I was raised in the gateway cities of London, Milan, and Paris.
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
I moved to Charlottesville in 1991 to pursue undergraduate studies at UVA.
What neighborhood do you live in now?
I live in Northern Albemarle County.
Family (spouse, kids, etc.)?
I’m married to Johanna Betts, and we have a 4-year old son, Luke. We’re also the “parents” of a 13-year old Boxer/Greyhound mix named Barkley.
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
I graduated from UVA in 1995 with a degree in Biochemistry and one in French Language & Literature.
What were you doing before you came to work for the county?
Before I was hired at the County, I was a customer service agent for Qualchoice, a former HMO now known as Coventry Health.
Your job title is County Senior Systems Analyst – what, in your own words, would you say you do?
As a Senior Systems Analyst I’m a translator, converting business requests into technical specifications. I’m a detective, discovering problems and planning their solutions. I’m an advocate for staff, and a shield against the impact of poor business decisions. Above all else, I’m a storyteller, detailing the birth, life, and final death of major IT systems.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part of my job is working with small, agile teams and being able to deliver results in a matter of days or weeks. This is exceedingly rare in most government settings, so I take great satisfaction in being a part of this. The most difficult part of the job is prioritizing projects. So many of our County projects have incredible merit, and it can often be a challenge to devote the necessary time and resources to all of them simultaneously.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
The average Albemarle County citizen will at some point have business with the County Offices. As part of this interaction, the citizen will place an enormous amount of trust in the electronic systems I have worked on. The customer expects that the transaction will be expedient, accurate, and complete. Nowhere is this more important than in the Human Services branch. Recent automations have allowed more expedient check-ins at polling stations during the election process, and the availability of online applications for need-based programs. If you’re unable to conduct business in person during regular business hours, or if you just prefer to manage your transactions online, chances are, my team facilitated that interaction.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the county?
One of the most interesting projects I’ve worked on centered on the data management needs of the Family Support and Bright Stars programs. Both of these prevention initiatives assist families with access to health, education, legal, housing, and social services. Through the use of advanced data capture techniques and integrated case management platforms, families and children in Albemarle County are provided exceptional enrichment opportunities. The success these programs have enjoyed highlights the possibilities when technical minds collaborate with schools and community leaders.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I’ve published several articles in the Journal of Physical Chemistry relating to DNA marking compounds, and the nature of their 3-D structure.
What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc.?
My hobbies include cooking, photography, cycling, swimming, and Google Android devices.