is working as a Deployment Manager at one of Advicon’s clients in a team consisting of ten people. He has a master’s degree in Information Systems from Lund University and has been an employee of Advicon for two years.
Dave, this interview is in English. Do you know Swedish?
– I’m from the Netherlands. I’ve been going to SFI, night courses, in Swedish. But it’s quite time occupying, at least when you’ve got a full-time job. So, I’ve come down a little bit on that one, it’s only once a month we meet.
When you meet the other people at Advicon, do they speak in Swedish then?
– Swedes are very polite so if we have a dinner for instance, then the colleague that sits next to me starts to speak in English. I’m not expecting that, but that’s what Swedes do, they are very polite in that sense. I’m the strange one, I should adapt, haha.
How did you come to work at Advicon?
– Yeah, it was a little bit interesting how that went down actually. I ended up here in Lund for my studies. I finished my master programme in Information Systems. Since I’m young, I’m adventurous in that sense, I wanted to give it a go and try to find a job here. So, I said to myself: “you have half a year to find a job here in Sweden, if you don’t, you’ll move back to the Netherlands.” The struggle has been real, to be fair. Especially in the beginning since I’m not Swedish speaking and I was a fresh guy from school. But I got in contact with one of the colleagues at Advicon. We met at a party, and just started to talk. I mentioned that I was looking for a job and this person said: “We might have something for you, let me check with my CEO and we’ll get back to you”. So that’s what happened. They had an assignment for me. A week before Christmas I was offered a job in the Netherlands so then I had to choose. It was a little bit of a conflict for me over Christmas, but I decided to choose adventure and Advicon. A decision I haven’t regretted a day in my life.
Had you heard of Advicon before?
– No, but I started reading up on it of course. And it seemed like something that would fit me.
What is it you do? What does a normal workday look like?
– My main activities now consist of managing and coordinating new releases and delivering them into the clients’ stores globally. We went from a traditional waterfall approach where we had four releases per year to a more agile mind-set that had the ambition to deploy a new release every three weeks. You can imagine it’s quite a big shift and needs a lot of managing and coordination. You’re working closely together with experts from all different disciplines including developers, test managers, business representatives and support lines to ensure the functionalities developed and introduced in the new release is working as intended. That’s where my main activities lie at least. Delivering new releases with the expected quality, providing new system functionalities to our colleagues in the store while maintaining business continuity.
What is the best thing with working at Advicon?
– The thing that I like about Advicon is that you have the freedom and support to really develop yourself. I think self-development is crucial as an ambitious young guy like myself. I am very aware that I still have a lot to learn and Advicon is excellent in that sense since they provide you the tools to do so. For instance, last year, I had the opportunity to follow several professional courses. Some of them advised to be followed by Advicon and for some of them you also have the room to drive your own personal development. For instance, requesting courses that is in line with your own set ambitions which of course also adds value to yourself while at the client’s assignments. Last year I followed five courses including certificates to kick-start my career. It’s good that I can invest so much in myself and that Advicon sees the value in that too. I really do appreciate that!
What is driving force in your daily work?
– It’s never the same and I really enjoy that. Next to being deployment manager I also facilitate in the daily stand-ups and the team sprint planning sessions. Meaning I can motivate, drive, support and apply focus for the entire team. That’s something I really enjoy doing and get tons of energy from. Having this togetherness and all going towards the same goal knowing that we as a team facilitate in a great part of the success in our entire department, knowing that what we do matters and can make a real difference. That is what makes me get out of bed in the morning.
How many people are there in this team you’re talking about?
– It’s a global team. We’re part of a team where some people work in the US. They do more of the maintenance part. And we have a part of the team in Asia and the majority here in Helsingborg. That’s all due to the different time zones. It might be that one team in US is better suited to accommodate with the delivery of certain functionalities since they work when it’s night here. But here in Helsingborg we’re approximately ten people.
What do you look forward to most in your job?
– Hard to say, you never know what’s coming. But I like to be challenged. I like to try new things. Develop myself. I don’t want it to be easy, regular or too much of a routine. So, I look forward to being challenged upcoming years. And I feel that I’m in the right place for that.
What do you do when you’re not at your job?
– I recently bought an apartment here in Sweden. I’m still trying to get it up and running, I guess. It’s coming along quite nice. And I have a Swedish girlfriend which keeps me quite occupied. So, it kinda looks like I’m stuck here now, haha. We’re spending a lot of time together. In the limited spare time, I do have I like to do fitness!