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Another DAM Podcast interview with Roger Howard on Digital Asset Management

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Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an entertainment software company use a DAM?
  • You recently started a Digital Asset Management meetup group in Southern California. Tell me more about this meetup group.
  • What advice would you like to give for DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Roger Howard.
Roger, how are you?
Roger Howard: [0:09] I’m good. How are you today?
Henrik: [0:10] Roger, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Roger: [0:13] I’ve been involved on just about every level with Digital Asset
Management as a developer, as a systems administrator doing metadata taxonomy
design, designing work flow, building applications. I’ve gone through
vendor selections with about 10 different projects over the past 10 or 12 years.
Henrik: [0:32] Excellent. Roger, how does an entertainment software company
use DAM?
Roger: [0:37] Digital Asset Management means a lot of different things to a lot
of different people. In entertainment companies like video game developers, we
have Digital Asset Management systems involved in the production pipelines
for developing the actual games, the assets that go into the games, the source
code repository management. There is, of course, the marketing DAMs that
manage marketing assets, distribution for sales channels. [1:05] My involvement
is particularly focused on archiving valuable assets, so things like concept art,
and also in providing workflow applications for marketing, PR, and web teams.
Henrik: [1:22] You recently started a DAM Meetup group in Southern California,
along with Lilly. Tell me about this Meetup group.
Roger: [1:30] Well, inspired a couple of other groups around the country, we
thought that, given how dispersed people are in Southern California, but also
how many Southern Californians are involved, in one way or another, in Digital
Asset Management, it’d be a great opportunity to get people together in
person, maybe have a few drinks, talk, share war stories. [1:50] We just had our
first event, in fact, two days ago at the Henry Stewart conference in LA, the
night before the opening day, and it was fantastic. We had a lot of people. We
had maybe 20, 25 people show up. It was a good time, a couple of hours of
hanging out with colleagues, and we hope to keep repeating the event.
[2:11] We’re shooting for another event in maybe a month or two, after the beginning
of the year, and then we’re going to try to keep it going every two to
three months going forward.
Henrik: [2:21] What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals, or
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Roger: [2:25] Well, I think it’s actually a great career. I think that there’s a lot
of different opportunities. There’s a lot of different roles people can play that
all are kind of lumped under DAM, but I think my best advice is to go after as
broad and diverse a set of skills as you can possibly manage for yourself, so
both communications and business skills, but also technical skills, I think, are
incredibly important in many DAM careers. [2:59] Myself, I have a very technical
background, but I also have a background in creative production. I’ve done a lot
of production management. Now working mostly on the administration, design,
development, planning aspects of Digital Asset Management systems, having
that background both in technical skills that allow me to work with developers
and IT folks but also having an understanding and background in creative production
and, to some extent, in the business issues around content production
and distribution.
[3:30] It really gives you a much better insight into why it is that people might
want to take advantage of what you have to offer. My advice is not to pigeon
hole yourself into a very limited set of skills. If you can build up a basic understanding
at least of database management, get some basic Sequel skills that are
incredibly handy. XML skills can be incredibly handy, basic scripting tools.
[3:58] So if you’re working in a primarily Mac oriented creative shop, learn a little
of Apple script, learn a bit of Python. Learn some web development skills so
you can at least do basic html, a little bit of Java script, a little bit of CSS .
[4:12] Ultimately I think the most important think you can do is spend time kind
of living and walking in other people’s shoes, the people whose jobs you touch
as a Digital Asset Management expert. If you work in a creative environment,
spend some time with the designers, with the artists, with the production managers
that you work with.
[4:33] Try to see if you can book time and work as an intern for a day or a week.
Likewise, if your Digital Asset Management system is heavy on cataloging and
data entry, spend time frequently as a cataloger in your environment so you
understand not only the application of the taxonomy and metadata models
that you develop but the limitations of the tools that may be frustrating your
users. Live and breathe and walk a few miles in your user’s shoes. That will go
a long way.
Henrik: [5:04] Great idea. Thank you, Roger.
Roger: [5:06] Thank you.
Henrik: [5:07] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto Thanks again.

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Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Podcaster. Writer.

One thought on “Another DAM Podcast interview with Roger Howard on Digital Asset Management

  1. Very useful, skill-specific advice to those wanting to enter the field! Thanks.