This post will look like recruitment material written by HR. Well, I’m not at HR and this is not recruitment material but a true story based recruitment material.
I’m a developer at Truewind, making my way into a delivery manager in OutSystems technology, and I’d like to share with you how it all started.
Once upon a time, there was a young man that wanted to study Economics and understand how the economy works.
That young man was me at age 18, out of High School and into Lisbon School of Business and Economics in September 2011. I finished my degree 3 years later and found myself in the summer of 2014 not knowing what to do next. Should I continue my studies and take a master’s degree? But in what matter? I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I just knew one thing: I didn’t want a job where I’d be sitting on a desk for 8 hours daily doing the same thing every day, day after day.
I wanted to fight for finding a job that would allow me to have different challenges regularly but also allowed me to have a life outside of it. So I started searching and didn’t apply to any of the big companies in auditing, consulting or finance like what was expected of me, based on my degree.
One of those hot summer days, while searching the work offers at the university Careers Department, there was this offer: they were looking for Maths, Economics, Business or Engineering graduates to work for an IT company. Back then I was sending 40 to 50 CVs weekly and interviewing daily to get a feel for how these companies were like, so I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that it was an IT company. They were offering the opportunity to enter a training program for one month and I thought: “Well… they must be looking for someone for their finance department”, and I went for it. Got through the interviews, group dynamics, 4 hours of tests but all of that seemed normal because every company was doing that.
So I finally reached the end of the process and realized it was a selection for a programming academy with 12 other people, in which Truewind would pay food allowance and an amount to cover living expenses (that I used to pay my rent that month) and also gave us training. In the end, 10 people would stay with the company. My thought was “OK, this is a whole new world but if I do well I can have a chance at a new career path in an area with a huge demand for talent. If I fail, I’ll just lose one month of my life and get back to search for a job in economics.”
This academy consisted in 2 weeks of Java training, 1 week of SQL and the last week was all about specialization.
The group was made of 13 people from Economics, Management, Civil Engineering, Maths, and other Engineering backgrounds, so a very heterogeneous group with very different skills trying to reach the same goal.
During the first week, I missed two full days to complete my last exams and finish my degree. At the end of it, I was behind and really struggling to keep up with the pace. It got even worse in the following week and I ended up almost giving up and thinking “ok, this is definitely not for me and I want to give up, but let’s reach the end of the course, at least I’ll understand some basics that may help me in the future”.
After Java, my perspective changed because SQL was easier to understand and I was feeling more optimistic. At this time, the whole group was feeling just like me because the first two weeks were really hard and got us under pressure. Fortunately, we built a solid team spirit in which we were helping each others to evolve, not leaving anyone behind.
For last week, the group was split to do a specialization, that could be on OutSystems, PL/SQL or Java. I was chosen to join the OutSystems specialization team. For those who don’t know (like I didn’t at the time), OutSystems is a visual programming tool in which you can create applications using low-code.
That week changed everything. With OutSystems I was able to learn a programming language in which even a newbie like me could build something! I understood the concepts and was able to create functional applications in a few hours. The specialization team was a smaller one and, during that last week, it became a bit more serious, as we wondered which of us would be chosen to really join Truewind. Nevertheless, the team spirit held us together. Those who were progressing faster used their time to help the ones that were behind so that everyone could finish.
That week made me believe I could have an opportunity in IT and I got a confirmation for that when Truewind made an offer for me to join the company.
I had the opportunity to start working on a big project with very experienced people in which I could learn a lot and start evolving. Progressively I did increasingly complex tasks, taking on more responsibility and growing as a professional.
After 2 years, as my career evolved to become a senior developer, I started to face challenges that I couldn’t fully understand and felt the need to expand my knowledge and have some more basic IT knowledge. I went back to school to get a Postgraduate in Information Systems and Technology for Organizations during which I studied subjects related to Networks, Security, Management, Leadership and others that helped me getting familiar with the IT world and continue to help me daily on my job. Combining my OutSystems certifications and platform proficiency with my management skills, I’m assuming Delivery Manager responsibilities, technically coordinating projects.
So now, 3 years after joining the IT world and Truewind, I can state that I’ve been able to get a job that presents me different challenges every day, defying me to seek more and educate myself to embrace the opportunities ahead.
All of this due to that hard but great month of September 2014 that was the first edition of Truewind’s Academy.
The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer, Facebook