Featured Interviews

From Oracle to Developer Advocacy: A Database Career

Franck Pachot is a Swiss database career expert working as a developer advocate at the open-source distributed SQL database firm Yugabyte. Here’s how this Oracle ACE Director, Oracle Certified Master, and AWS Data Hero went from consulting to developer advocacy, his take on new database technologies and his advice is for those looking to go into the field.

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Interested in more database management career advice? Here’s how becoming an Oracle Certified Master led this expert to a stellar DBA career.

How did your database career start? What’s your career story?

Actually, I’ve always been working with databases. At university, I even started some projects on Oracle. I did my first internship developing with Oracle Forms, and then I’ve been working in development teams on Oracle and Db2. I also did a lot of data warehousing with business objects on Db2, then on Oracle. And mostly as a consultant.

My big change, a few months ago was to move out of the consulting part. But before I was always working at the customers’. Also, I started to look at open-source databases a few years ago with mostly Postgres because this is where users of Oracle are looking at when they want to move to open source.

So, I started on the development side, and I learned and enjoyed working with databases. Then I did also some DBA stuff and some operations work, as well as things to do with the development and data modelling. And what I really like is the communication between the two, developers and operations. That is not always something easy to see in all companies.

Why Oracle Database?

The database I know the best is Oracle because I’ve been working with it many, many years and I really like the technology. I think that the decisions that were made at the beginning are really good ones.

I mean, the architecture made at a time where databases were in megabytes or gigabytes is still valid for databases today, so this is really great. And also because this database is quite old, it has a lot of instrumentation and troubleshooting tools. And this is really what I like about it.

You can really try to understand what happens, in fact, What I’ve seen with many other databases is that people try to guess: what about adding memory? What about adding this index? And my experience on Oracle is that you can understand what happens, where the time is spent, and then try something, but based on facts and things that you can measure.

Also the community around the vehicle. I’ve been an Oracle ACE and an Oracle ACE Director. Going to conferences and the communication with the Oracle product managers, that is really good.

What about NoSQL databases? What’s your take on them, what’s making them so popular?

It was first about the scaling, but I think really that the thing that platforms like MongoDB or AWS DynamoDB are doing really well is to provide the API that the developers wanted rather than telling the developer: it’s not efficient to get things object-by-object from the database. But they wanted to get objects because they have objects in Java, and then Mongo DB provides this API. Then you lack some features, some performance. But at least you provide really what the users want, and then they improved the things behind.

And that’s really different from what I’ve seen with SQL. I’ve seen a lot of people just telling developers: your code, your design is bad. For example, I have a lot of colleagues, DBAs who hate Hibernate because they see bad queries coming from it. But they do not realize that development today needs something more agile than building complex SQL queries that are difficult to test. I mean, you can test them, but it’s a different language, different test suites and all of that.

We need to listen to the users that need it. Maybe we think it’s not the right choice, but they have all the constraints and they need that. And we need to provide them with that. And this is what NoSQL vendors like DynamoDB, MongoDB are really good at, selling this API.

What would you encourage newcomers to the world of IT to focus on?

I would encourage people to look at databases because we really lack people in databases, in both development and in operations. But, of course, it depends on what you like to do.

I really enjoy databases for many reasons. First, because you really get to have a look at the basics of the software, the data structures. Also, in the business world, you work with users from different departments, and that’s also interesting. I especially loved data warehouse projects because you talk to the user directly and you provide them value in a direct way.

They spend the day entering data into the system, and you can show them the value of having all this data. That they can query it and make reports, and that’s interesting. Everything that touches users, developers and operations is interesting. And it’s a good thing about working with databases.

What would you recommend to those looking to get started with their database career to do first?

My advice is: to try to learn SQL.

At first glance, it looks like an old language, like writing in English like in COBOL or those old languages. But manipulating data with sets of wholes is really powerful.

I would encourage anyone who has to develop with or for a database to at least understand how the database works, that it provides a service to process data and not only something like an object store or JSON store.

Data scientists and DBAs: how do these two positions fit together?

We need communication between the two.

If the data scientist manipulates a lot of data and does a lot of analytics without knowing how it is stored behind, well — they will get frustrated if they expect the same response time as a search on Google for example because they think that it’s just data they query and that they should have the result, without understanding the complexity of storing, indexing, partitioning, and all of that. So, communication between the two is quite important.

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The task of the DBA will probably change with managed services with cloud. Less time spent on patching and what I call the boring stuff. Some people like to do recurrent tasks. But installing, patching, that’s not where I like to interact with databases. I prefer performance training, looking at the design and working with the users and developers.

You went from a database career in the consulting world to being a developer advocate at Yugabyte. What was the transition like?

The advocacy part was already something I was kind of doing, being an Oracle ACE director, being an AWS Hero, blogging a lot, and being probably too much on Twitter. So, this advocacy part was something I was doing. The difference is that now it’s my full-time job. I don’t go to customers, so this is just another step into this world.

The big change for me was that the technology I was using for 20 years, Oracle, I just stopped using. I didn’t connect to an Oracle database for a few months. And that’s a strange decision, taking the thing that you know best and saying: okay, I will not use that anymore. I have to learn new things.

But in the end, it’s also very rewarding because then you realize that your experience is not only about one technology or a few keywords. And what I was doing on databases, I’m still doing that on the same concepts and learning moving is also very interesting and motivating.

This part was probably what I thought would be the most difficult, but it’s perfect and I really enjoy the developer advocate position.

What does the developer advocate position exactly involve?

It’s a lot of different roles. I help some users, but I’m not in support. I discuss with our development team, but I’m not in product management. I also help with presales and advocating for and showing the database at conferences, but I am not in sales.

I really consider the developer advocate role as a paid user that gets to play with the product, learn about it and advocates for it to be sure that people know about it and that, if they try it, they try it in the right conditions. That’s also something important, being in touch with the users to be sure that they use it correctly, in the right way. If not, they will be frustrated.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?

I think the best is one I got when was a junior, from someone with whom I wasn’t working directly. She was in another team and, when left for another company she told me: do not change. Do not change yourself, stay the same. And I think it’s the best advice I’ve been given.

Of course, you change a lot, you get more experience, you learn things. But it’s important also to know that you don’t have to change that, that you have the right approach, that you might want to change and improve things, but you don’t have to.

And that’s probably a good thing. That’s also why I stayed in the area where I was happy, databases, and still changed a lot of things around.

For more tips on pursuing a database career and working with database technologies and Yougabyte, make sure to follow Franck on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium.

Check out more of our interviews in our podcast episodes.

Featured Interviews

Why An Economist Turned Data Scientist Is Now Pursuing a PhD

Maxence Azzouz-Thuderoz is a data scientist specialising in AI and natural language processing at French consulting firm Axys Consultants. Here is how he went from studying economics and econometrics to embracing data science, and why he is now thinking of pursuing a PhD in automatic speech recognition.

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Interested in more AI and data science tips? Here’s how to unlock the power of data through a career in data science.

Your background is in economics. How did you end up working as a data scientist?

I went into economics and econometrics because I wanted to be an economist when I was younger. But at the end of my graduate education, I discovered data science.

I got some short lessons and, in the last year of my studies, I decided to change my plans and move to data science.

That’s how I started with economics and ended with a data scientist job.

What did the shift to data science require of you, how was the process?

It requires coding. In economics we didn’t study code that much, so I learned coding. But the transition was kind of easy because I had the mathematical and statistical background that we have in economics and specifically in econometrics, a domain of statistics and economics.

And the transition to data science and traditional machine learning tools was kind of easy because it is about the same mathematical tools, the same statistical tool. So, it was kind of easy.

What was the most challenging part then?

To work with real data. You can find open-source data that is very clean, very nice for studying something, but when you are working with real-world data it can be very complicated.

So, how did you actually manage to get from your economic studies to your current position as a data scientist?

I got a very good friend that found a job in a consulting company in northern France, and he knew that I was looking for an internship. So, he called me and said “Max, I have an opportunity for an internship as a data analyst that I think could be a nice first step for you.”

So, I started at the of commerce with a little internship for my studies and then, when I finished my studies, I went for an internship as a data analyst. Then I found a data scientist job in the consulting industry.

What’s a typical day like in your current role as a data scientist?

Our days are very different because we are always making different things, but, in general, the data scientist job is 70% working with data and 30% is about modelling. No, actually, I would say it’s 70/20 and then maybe 10% is for industrialization. That’s something we have to consider.

What’s the hardest part of working with data these days?

It’s about the information you have about the data.

Some time ago, I was working with a big French banking group, and we did not have all the documentation about the data. Documentation is a very important aspect because you can have the data, but, if you don’t know what it corresponds to, how to work with it, that is a big problem. Sometimes we were working with data that we didn’t completely understand, so we didn’t really understand what we were doing.

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It’s about the information you have about the data.

Some time ago, I was working with a big French banking group, and we did not have all the documentation about the data. Documentation is a very important aspect because you can have the data, but, if you don’t know what it corresponds to, how to work with it, that is a big problem. Sometimes we were working with data that we didn’t completely understand, so we didn’t really understand what we were doing.

Where do you see data science and AI 5 years from now?

I think we will see the first industrial applications of quantum computing in AI.

Additionally, 5G is going to change many things. We will have super-connected houses, apartments, etc. So maybe we will have new projects for AI.

Also, cell phones are becoming more powerful every year. So, I would not be surprised if we have AI technology that today we cannot make work on our phones become a reality in coming years.

For example, automatic speech recognition needs a lot of resources. It’s a big challenge. A big part of current research in automatic speech recognition is about the reduction of the parameters in models so that it all needs fewer resources. So, in the years to come, we might see some kind of automatic speech recognition technology working on smartphones, for instance.

You have decided to pursue a PhD. Why is that?

In my current job, I discovered what it was like to work on research and development projects. It was the first time I was working on such ambitious projects, and I found it very interesting. And I really became aware of the difference in understanding between someone who is simply a skilled data scientist and the scientists, PhD people.

People with a PhD were working on the same project as me, and we were absolutely not at the same level of understanding. I think this is one of the reasons why I want to go ahead with a PhD program. Because I want to reach another level.

And the other reason is that I’ve always been interested in research, the university research system. So yes, it’s a little dream, an old dream that I have and that I think could be nice to realise soon.

So, I recently started to check out universities, looking for a PhD program around automatic speech recognition. It’s a big area.

For more tips on data science, AI and automatic speech recognition, make sure to follow Maxcence on LinkedIn.

Check out more of our interviews in our podcast episodes.

Tips & Tricks

IT Pros: How to Work On Remote in the Post-Pandemic World

Remote work is becoming increasingly common amongst IT pros. The way in which tech experts look for jobs and carry out missions was already changing before Covid-19 hit. IT freelancing was on the rise; With higher levels of remote work; slowly becoming an industry standard and the figure of the digital nomad gaining acceptance.   

Now that digital transformation efforts have accelerated and companies have had to adapt their hiring strategies to a world in lockdown; remote work across countries and time zones is out in the mainstream. Regardless of country reopenings and a slow return to the office, remote work is here to stay. Here’s how you can benefit from this trend and what you should keep in mind when pursuing a new gig from the comfort of your home or personal office.   

Finding IT remote work – Identify your target employer  

First of all, you need to pinpoint your target company type. The kind of company you will be applying for jobs at and that you will turn to support your remote work lifestyle. Whether that is as a freelancer or as a full-time employee.   

For that, you need to make sure you are aiming for industries and organisations that have friendly policies towards remote hiring and working. Most big tech companies have fully shifted to remote work after the start of the outbreak. So they will be open to receiving applications and collaborating with fully remote employees. Other sectors of activity will be less prone to hire remote employees due to a lack of organisational readiness or the nature of the job to be done; jobs relating to IT infrastructure and cybersecurity tend to involve an on-site component because of its confidential and hands-on nature.   

IT remote work: Make sure your environment and tools are ready  

This one sounds rather obvious. But you would be surprised to learn how many IT projects encounter roadblocks along the way. Due to unforeseen technical limitations on the remote worker’s side of things. And we are not talking here about a stable internet connection. 

Make sure you have analysed the project requirements and spoken with company stakeholders to understand the technical needs of the project. And also see if you should ask for extra equipment or services – think of cloud processing resources, networking equipment, etc.   

The social component  

Working remotely can make collaboration with other team members more difficult and requires you to put in some extra effort. The social component of remote working should not be overlooked, but you can follow a few easy steps to ensure you are properly connected with project stakeholders.  

First and foremost, make sure you are conducting a proper onboarding. As with most things in life, setting a robust foundation is key. If the employer doesn’t have a fully fleshed out onboarding process, be proactive and put together all the questions you will need clarification on. Make sure you get acquainted with the rest of the team. Even if that means proposing quick one-on-one virtual chats to get to know them a bit.   

Secondly, set up follow-ups and regular check-ins with your colleagues to keep track of the progress and let them know you are there and on top of things.   

The Top IT Skills to Master in 2021

Not interested in fully IT remote work?  

Maybe looking for a job remotely sounds good, but you would rather work on-site at least some of the time. Or maybe you are looking for a job remotely as a way of moving to another country. No problem. The IT jobs market has never been better for that.   

Just make sure you are considering everything first, like immigration regulations and demands (visas, health insurance, etc.). Sometimes, working with a recruitment partner who has experience relocating IT experts is the best choice. They will help you figure out all the details so you can get started with your new life as soon and as easily as possible. 

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Need more tips on how to find a job in IT? Check out our IT job hunting guide.


Keep Learning and Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Andy Jones is a London-based Microsoft Technical Architect working for BT Enterprise. He writes about modern desktop solutions on his blog Move2Modern and is a co-creator of the Cloud Management Community YouTube channel.  

He recently sat down with us to talk about the work he is doing helping the endpoint management community and share some tips for those just getting started.

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Interested in Microsoft cloud? Here’s how you can become an Azure MVP.

How did you get started in tech?

I didn’t start off down the tech route, to be honest. I wanted to be a quantity surveyor but ended up decided to make a move and do an MSc in computer science. Then, on the back of that, I got offered a position for coding, and I went to a bespoke development house. And that role basically put me on the road. I was going from place to place and basically living in different towns, spending a contract here and a contract there. Coding banking systems, mainly.

And, while I was doing that job, I kind of got picked up by a company I was doing some work for, and it transpired that there was a good position back in central London. And I was kind of living there at the time, my mum was quite ill. So, it served a purpose, and I decided to jump ship. And I’ve worked for them ever since. I’ve actually been here for quite a few years, like 25 years or so.

Why did you end up not going down the quantity surveyor career path?

The time in which I graduated wasn’t a good time in the economy, so I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do. I was finding it difficult to find a job, so I decided to go back into education.

And I’ve actually got a twin brother who’s always been into engineering, and he already had a job. He’d been through university, and, funnily enough, he works for the same company as me. It’s come to a point where people get us mixed up. He lives in a different part of the country to me, but I’ve had people in America come up to me thinking I’m him and what have you. But he’s always been technical, and I kind of followed his lead a little bit and we kind of do fairly similar stuff now.

What do you do these days? What does your job involve?

In theory, I work within the pre-sales team, but my specific unit is pretty small, so I get involved with basically talking to the customers with our account teams picking up the requirements for modern management type solutions, largely Windows devices but it also might be iOS or Android. And then I take that requirement, put it into a proposal and that goes back to the customer. And then, if and when we win, I lead the engineers, assigning engineers to that project and overseeing it. In some instances where we don’t have the resources, I implement the solution myself as well.

So that’s why I like to keep technical. I don’t like to be in front of customers and not know what I’m talking about. You know, it’s a bit like going to an electronics store and asking someone about this latest TV and they don’t have a clue.

You need to know what you’re talking about, so I kind of challenged myself to bring my skills up to speed and learn a lot of the stuff, which ultimately lead me to create a YouTube channel and get involved with the community.

Let’s talk a bit about that. You are the co-founder of the Cloud Management Community YouTube channel, which focuses on the modern management of end-user devices and identities using Microsoft’s cloud. How did it all start, what prompted you to begin this adventure?

I started this community around about seven months ago or something like that. I started it with a colleague who worked with me at the time, and it was during the lockdown period. Everyone was online. Everyone was looking to do more online. My job kind of continued because I work from home anyway the majority of the time, but I challenged myself to learn. And the way I thought would be a good way of doing it was to write a blog and create a YouTube channel. So, we started the channel.

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There were very few options out there where people provided videos around the nuts and bolts, a step-by-step approach to do things like configuring, rolling out, you know — managing devices through the cloud. There was one other channel that’s still quite big out there, but we thought we could give a slightly different take on it, and I wanted to give content to which someone who was in my shoes, starting out, could relate to. I wanted to give back to people that might be starting in their journey and, in a way, document my own journey. The other colleague that I worked with on it was more advanced. And he had more experience, so he could kind of tackle some of the more complex solutions. But we started out doing videos together.

What was the most challenging part of that process?

The whole environment, starting up, trying to give yourself a persona and basically not embarrassing yourself on camera, editing and what software to use — there was a whole new field for us there.

But gradually we learned it. Gradually we got better, and that enabled us to concentrate more on the content rather than on the quality of the videos, etcetera. So yeah, it’s been a long journey, although it’s only been seven months but I think we are progressing quite well.

What have you learned so far from the experience?

I’ve learned that there’s a hell of a lot of people in the community that are really open and willing to help you. They’re on a learning journey themselves. They’re raising their status, if you will, within the technical community but, at the same time, they’re really learning a lot, and I think that’s probably a call for a lot of people. Yes, they probably want to develop their career to a higher status, but they’ve also got a hunger to learn.

What’s your advice for those just getting started?

I would certainly say get some qualifications under your belt. But that’s not everything.

Build yourself a reference system. Get hands-on experience. Play around with it for yourself and use that as a model going forward. If you’re in a community and you’re asking a question and someone says, try this, try that — you’re not going to be able to do that unless you’ve got your own computer system. Set up your own lab to try and test things out. I think that’s really key.

And keep learning. Keep up to date. But be curious. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to fail. We kind of live in a society where people are maybe a bit afraid of that. But you learn from your mistakes and it’s only then that you really get to the bottom of understanding, sometimes, when you make a mistake or you’ve done something wrong.

Where do you see the device management world going? What are the most promising areas in the space from a career perspective?

In the modern management world, pretty much it won’t be too long before the majority of people move over to cloud management of devices. We’ve already passed the 50% mark from on-premises to cloud, and I think that will accelerate.

But within that whole realm of device management and cloud management, database management, artificial intelligence and IoT — I think those are going to be clear winners for a number of years to come.

For more tips on cloud management, modern desktop solutions and cloud careers, make sure to follow Andy through his blog and the Cloud Management Community’s YouTube channel, as well as on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Check out more of our interviews in our podcast episodes.

Business Lounge

Why Enterprise Cybersecurity Should Start at the Boardroom Level

Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly complex, and it is no secret by now that the number of cyber threats companies face on a daily basis has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic.

All in all, IT teams and their security experts are pulling extremely long hours to come up with better and more efficient ways of protecting their digital operations and data. And that is accelerating digital transformation in the area.

According to IDG, most CIOs consider cybersecurity a top priority, with 65% of companies planning to increase their security budget this year. This increase in demand involves hiring extra staff to tackle cyber threats – a push that will surely accentuate the already severe drought of cybersecurity talent.   

But all of this effort will not translate into long-lasting changes unless organisations institute a security-aware culture and take a more strategic and proactive approach to cyber protection. And that must necessarily start from the top.  


Nobody would be too surprised if a CEO was ousted after a major financial fiasco. Why would it be any different with cyber incidents?

A Centrify study from 2019 revealed that almost 40% of UK businesses had dismissed personnel for security-related incidents. You can bet not many of those employees were part of their company’s executive team.

Traditionally, security breaches have been considered a responsibility of technical teams and IT leaders, who often end up tracing the incident to a reckless employee who accessed sensitive information while sipping on a cup of coffee at a local café. Sure, human error and shadow IT are behind most cyber attacks, but, like with all systemic problems, a real cultural shift requires everyone’s involvement.

The truth is that technology is too integral to today’s businesses for companies to afford to have leadership that is not directly or at least ultimately responsible for it. Accountability not only ensures better performance; it drives innovation and promotes continuous improvement.

When an executive’s reputation and livelihood are at stake, they are more likely to push for deeper, company-wide initiatives to address potential cyber threats. They will invest more resources in protection and become cybersecurity ambassadors within the organisation, setting into motion a series of changes spanning areas from HR to external contractors and business partners.         

But to be accountable, business leaders first need to be knowledgeable.

Executive cybersecurity expertise

Recommending that executives be security-savvy is not to say that CEOs and other members of the board need to have deep technical knowledge of cybersecurity infrastructure and best practices, but they at least must be able to make informed decisions and factor cybersecurity into every key move they make.

One way to achieve such a boardroom environment is to hire executives with an IT background – a trend that is quickly gaining traction among the world’s top companies thanks to the inherent benefits that a strong technical foundation brings to business processes.

Another is to involve CIOs in the strategic decision-making process. IT leaders have acquired a bigger role since the start of the pandemic, growing closer to CEOs and becoming even more pivotal to business continuity than they were before. Companies should keep moving in this direction.

Newer IT-focused executive positions can also be created. Unfortunately, the figure of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) remains a rather rare occurrence in the c-suite. Although many companies have dedicated IT leaders in charge of cybersecurity, these are often confined to the IT department and do not get enough executive powers and visibility. Elevating CIOs within the organisation would certainly improve cybersecurity.

But not all solutions involve prioritizing executives with a technical background. Training is always an option. CEOs and their peers can learn to assess cyber threats and keep their company’s cyber resilience in mind when making business decisions. CIOs and their team have a key role to play in this training process, sharing their experience and actionable insights while delivering periodic security audits to inform the executive board.

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Business Lounge Captain’s Log

Why Company Culture Is Key in Times of Crisis

Company culture is deeply rooted in its values. They unite employees and serve as a beacon in a world that is constantly changing. To a company, its values are its DNA, the source code from which to develop. For the individual employee, it is the compass that guides them through the storm. It is the force of conviction that prevents them from stalling in the acceleration phase. But what happens when, amidst a global health crisis, everything is shaken to the core? Will the company’s values be swept away? Or will the company manage to adapt those values to the new context? These questions are fascinating and, above all, crucial.

by Melchior du Boullay, General Manager, Mindquest

Company culture eats strategy for breakfast

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice: the younger generations are increasingly sensitive to the values conveyed by their employer. As a result, corporate culture is now a real point of differentiation and a strong lever of attractiveness.

As Peter Drucker, the eminent business management theoretician and consultant, once wrote: culture eats strategy for breakfast. This does not mean that strategy plays a minor role in development and success, but rather that only a strong corporate culture, forged on values that are just as strong, will be able to mobilize and unite all employees to lead them on the road to success. Moreover, there is a difference between what we say and what we do, and we must therefore always ensure that our values and strategy are well aligned. Corporate culture can only exist if company leadership is in line with it and embodies it in their daily actions. One can no longer present oneself as a defender of ecology and form dubious partnerships with polluting companies. The situation has changed.

Companies are now confronted with the imperative to change their culture in accordance with our evolving society. It is okay to suddenly claim a company value that will be well perceived internally, but it is necessary to apply it in a concrete way. Otherwise, your collaborators will feel neither concerned nor involved.

Values need to be concrete

The values of a company are not abstract. They are built according to the company’s activity, its size and its employees. They cover a way of being and acting, behaviours and rites, rules and processes. I firmly believe that a strategy that suddenly deviates from its axis without being based on values is doomed to fail.

In the event of accelerated development, crisis or a pivot, the company’s culture must adapt, but in no way deny itself. To do this, we must start by listening to what our employees have to say. Values, unlike strategy, do not come from the top but from the bottom. They are the foundations, a guarantee of solidity that makes the company’s culture a kind of superior authority. It is thus not uncommon to hear employees refer to it easily, or even with defensiveness, as if invoking culture as an answer to everything: “we do it this way because it is part of our culture”.

And it is not for nothing that the operational efficiency of a company relies heavily on internal communication. It is necessary to constantly remind people of the values we intend to share and to have those who put them into practice every day be vocal about them. This is all the more true in a crisis situation. A value is not just a word that gets thrown around. What matters first and foremost is the way in which each person makes it their own, embodies it and embeds it in their work.

Drawing on values to prepare for the future

A company that goes through a major crisis will always bounce back thanks to the involvement of its employees. Just look at what has happened since the beginning of the pandemic. Company culture has played a determining role in everyone’s ability to adapt. Confronted with an unprecedented situation, people have been able to readjust their values.

Let’s take the example of autonomy. Today, as in the past, the word remains the same, but the reality it covers has totally changed. Until two years ago, being autonomous meant being free to act within one’s own area of competence, without having to refer to one’s manager on a daily basis. With Covid and the rise of teleworking, the notion has broadened. Many people now manage everything themselves: their schedule and their work organization. And everyone will have to learn from this period.

This is the main challenge that awaits companies that want to be ready for the future. How can they evolve their values without disengaging their workforce and, above all, how can they capitalize on their achievements during the health crisis? They will have to go back to the drawing board: question their values, create new working groups, and pay attention to the feelings, experiences and desires of each individual employee.

It has become critical to know the differences between the world before and after the pandemic to identify the right processes and the most efficient action plans. A great and exciting adventure!

This article was originally published on Forbes France.

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Featured Interviews

Cybersecurity Career Tips From a Ballerina Turned Pentester

Lola Kureno is an Israeli-born cybersecurity engineer living in Tokyo and working for IT training and certifications provider INE. An expert pentester and ethical hacking advocate, Lola shares cybersecurity career tips and discusses how a single event changed her life forever and set her on an unexpected professional path.

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Interested in more cybersecurity career insights? Discover what makes a state-of-the-art SOC.

You have quite an amazing career story. You set out on a very different path, and then a major event changed everything. What happened?

It’s quite a long story. My background was not in tech at all. Since I was three years old, I was a classical ballerina. That’s what I was set to be my whole life, or so I thought. I was a professional. I was with dancing companies and had all my life centred around classical ballet. That’s all I knew how to do.

And then I had a very bad car accident. I spent six months in the hospital, plus two years of rehabilitation just to get back on my feet. It was really bad. I was a passenger in my coworker’s car. She broke a couple of bones but was okay. But it was a frontal impact for me, and it was not only the physical side of things. It is not good for your mental health to think that all that your life is about can end in a second.

After I was kind of physically recovered, I really didn’t know what to do. That’s why I left the US, where I was living, and went to Europe. I spent about a year not doing anything. I didn’t know what to do with my life.

Later I went to Lisbon and that’s where I met my husband and got married. We moved to Tokyo, and life here was very different from anything that I was used to. And eventually, I had to get a job, but I didn’t know how to do anything else besides ballet.

So, I got a normal job in a company, like 8 to 5, but I wasn’t happy. It paid, but it wasn’t anything that let me be ambitious, be competitive, learn and study. It was boring. Get back from work and watch TV, go to sleep and repeat. The same routine. It didn’t make me happy.

And then you found tech. Why did you go into IT and pursue a career in cybersecurity?

Computers were always a hobby for me. My father was an engineer, and I got my first computer when I was really young. But it was just something I did when I had time.

And I shared with my husband that I was feeling like I was a waste, that I wasn’t doing anything. And he said “well, you shouldn’t. You’re smart just do something with the computer. You like computers.”

But, you know, I had that image, that thought that if I didn’t have a degree in engineering or computer science or something related, I couldn’t do anything. And I was in my early 30s, I was not a kid anymore.

I didn’t know what to do, so I started researching about maybe getting a first degree, something like that that I could do. And I came across something along the lines that you could actually hack for a living. And I was like really, hack for a living? That was very intriguing to me. I was very curious about it. So, I started researching and that’s when I learned about cybersecurity and something got into me. I started researching more career options and that’s how it started.

So, how did you actually get started in your cybersecurity career?

After discovering all of this, I couldn’t think of anything else but that. I still had my full-time job, but I would come back from work and be back on the computer. I did that on the weekends.

And, talking to people, I met someone who was studying for the eLearnSecurity Junior Penetration Tester (eJPT) certification. And he said, well, there is this platform where you study and, when you feel ready, you just buy the test, take it and can get certified. I had read about some other certifications, but I didn’t feel qualified to take any of them. I was just starting, you know.

So, I would study every day using materials from the cyber mentor Heath Adams. He was my first big source of information. And then I started looking at cyber security content from Neal Bridges. That was another community that really gave me lots of information. From there, I met many amazing professionals like Phillip Wylie, an amazing pentester who now is a personal friend of mine besides being a colleague in the industry.

And yeah, that’s how it started. I eventually took the eJPT test and passed it. Later, I got an internship, being an intern for Neal Bridges’ personal consulting company. I spent some months being his intern and learned a lot of things.

I was learning continuously. It was an everyday thing. I didn’t do anything else, just study. And then the opportunity to work at INE was presented to me, and I took it.

What does your current position as a cybersecurity engineer involve?

Actually, penetration testing is just a small portion of my current job tasks. I do much more than that. I would say that penetration test is maybe like 15% of it all, 20% perhaps.

Lots of what I do involves talking not only to coworkers but talking to clients. If you don’t know how to talk to people, you’re behind. So, you need to have those soft skills.

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Are programming skills a must for a successful cybersecurity career?

You don’t need to be a developer, you don’t need to be a coder. But it helps to at least to understand what’s going on in a piece of code. You use Bash, PowerShell, Python, Go, Ruby. Those are some of the languages that we are always using.

You don’t need to know how to use these languages at a development level, but knowing what’s going on helps. If you come from a development background, it helps. Absolutely, very helpful.

What skills would you recommend others to focus on to advance their cybersecurity career? 

would say that it’s wonderful that you’re focusing on all your hacking and pentesting skills, but know that you need some other skills to go with that.

Right now, a big part of my routine is learning cloud. My job is a lot in the cloud. Of course, I’m still studying pentesting, but I am studying cloud because I need it for my job. I know the fundamentals, but I still feel that’s not enough, and cloud it’s now a crucial skill for the whole cybersecurity world. It doesn’t matter what your job is in cyber: you need to know some cloud.

What other advice would you give to people pursuing a cybersecurity career?

There is always room for improvement. It doesn’t matter if you are someone who’s one year into the industry or 10 or 20. There is always something new to learn. It doesn’t stop.

Talk to people. Don’t hide behind your computer screen. Network.

Also, make sure to have an active LinkedIn profile. Many people think that LinkedIn is only for job hunting, so after they finally find a job, they let their LinkedIn profile die, and that’s a big mistake.

The fact that you already have a job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to opportunities. There are always things to do, not only your full-time job. So, keep networking, keep talking to people.

Go to conferences. If you can’t go to a conference, volunteer for them. Volunteering for conferences gives you the opportunity to be in contact with wonderful people. Brush your soft skills.

And if you’re not in the industry yet, if you’re still hoping to get your first cyber job, finding a mentor is a good idea. Plenty of people would be very happy to help you out. Don’t be afraid of connecting to people.

Lastly, don’t give up. Many times, when I was job hunting, I came very close to giving up. But, since I had networked so much, I had so many people who knew that I was job hunting. And they didn’t let me give up. That’s another benefit of networking. These people have your got back, they keep you accountable, they keep you on track. So, don’t give up.

It’s hard. You will get many noes for silly reasons. You will get 10, maybe 15 or 100 noes. But you will get that yes.

For more tips about pentesting and cybersecurity careers, make sure to follow Lola on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Business Lounge Featured Tips & Tricks

10 Top AI Experts in the UK to Follow Online

With artificial intelligence evolving so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up with new developments, best practices and the industry’s overall state of the art. This list of top AI experts in the UK will help you stay in the know and future-proof your career in AI.

5 Online Courses to Get You Up-To-Speed with AI

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Interested in data science and AI careers? Check out our interview about unlocking the power of data with AI

Top AI experts in the UK to follow

Tabitha Goldstaub

Twitter | LinkedIn

Tabitha is the co-founder of CogX, the chair of the UK Government’s AI Council and an advisor for The Alan Turing Institute. She is also the author of How To Talk To Robots: A Girl’s Guide to a Future Dominated by AI.

Rob McCargow

Twitter | LinkedIn

Rob is the director of AI at PwC UK and a champion for the responsible use of technology and AI. He is an advisor for the IEEE and the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI and a TEDx speaker.

Sarah Porter

Twitter | LinkedIn

Sarah is the founder and CEO of InspiredMinds, a global community and strategy group focusing on the use and development of AI for good in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Yarin Gal

Twitter | LinkedIn

Yarin is an Associate Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Oxford’s Applied and Theoretical Machine Learning Group, helping produce groundbreaking work like this set of Bayesian Deep Learning benchmarks.

Elena Sinel

Twitter | LinkedIn

Elena is the founder and CEO of Teens in Ai, a global initiative launched at the UN’s 2018 AI for Good Global Summit and that seeks to inspire the next generations of ethical AI researchers and practitioners.

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Danilo Rezende

Twitter | LinkedIn

Danilo is a Senior Staff Researcher and lead of the Generative Models and Inference group at DeepMind, London. His research focuses on scalable inference and generative models for decision-making and hard science problems.

Allison Gardner

Twitter | LinkedIn

A lecturer and data science apprenticeships programme director at Keele University, Dr Allison Gardner is co-founder of Women Leading in AI, which brings together AI and business leaders to discuss the future of AI. 

Edward Grefenstette

Twitter | LinkedIn

Edward is Research Scientist and RL Area Lead at Facebook AI (FAIR) and an Honorary Professor at the Deciding, Acting, and Reasoning with Knowledge (DARK) Lab at the UCL Centre for AI.

Wendy Hall


Wendy Hall is a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) and a champion for UK AI skills and women in science. She is Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute and joined the BT Technology Advisory board earlier this year.

Ankur Handa

Twitter | LinkedIn

Ankur is a Robotics Research Scientist at NVIDIA AI and a Research Scientist at OpenAI working at the intersection of computer vision and control for robotics. He did a post-doc at Cambridge University and has a PhD from Imperial College London.

Do you have any other AI experts in the UK who should be featured in this or future lists? Shoot us an email.

Also discover our articles 10 of the Best Software Developers in the UK to Follow Online


From the US Marines to AWS: A DevOps Career

From US Marines to AWS, a DevOps Career. Jake Furlong is a Technical Lab Developer at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a self-taught DevOps expert, Site Reliability Engineer and cloud architect. He tells us how he went from being in the US Marine Corps to DevOps Career and to becoming an all-around DevOps specialist. And shares DevOps career tips and insights.

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Interested in DataOps? Learn more about a career in data science.

You spent several years with the US Marines and your educational background is in business. How did you transition into tech?

I got out of the US Marine Corps and, honestly, I just took the first job that I could find. I started training new employees on how to use an Avaya telecom system; which I myself had no idea what that was. I did that for a few months and then they moved me into another role; as director of admissions systems and analytics. I had access to some free courses. So I took calculus and some computer architecture classes because that was kind of was interested in.

Then I stumbled across a CompTIA certification road map online and picked up an A+ book. I started reading through that and I stumbled across a book called Automate The Boring Stuff and started learning some Python. And most of my job was done through CRM and a lot of Excel, a lot of functions. I just started converting it to Python to automate my job and then I automated my friends’ jobs. And before you know it, it was all just running Python.

And I was talking about it while playing World of Warcraft, of all things. I had a friend in my WoW guild who worked for an SAP company and said “hey, we’re hiring if you want to switch into tech”. I talked to my family about doing a complete and total career switch.

The interview went horrible, but they were very very nice. I was willing to learn and they had seen how much I had learned in such a short time at my previous job and gave me a chance. I got an offer and that was the beginning.

You have quite a portfolio of certifications. Is that how you learned the most?

As I said, I read through that A+ book, but mostly for the knowledge. Based on what I wanted to do in IT, I didn’t really want a hardware-related certification. Because I think that, for hiring managers, sometimes it’s easy to misconstrue a person’s skills based on what certifications they have. So I wanted to make sure I was marketing myself in a way I thought was relevant for the things that I wanted to do.

That’s when I found AWS and I kind of looked at the state of IT at the time and figured that cloud was really the way forward. I got AWS certified and then my company was getting really hands-on with GCP. So I got GCP certified and all of that was through free online courses and a paid Linux Academy subscription. I thought about getting an IT degree but it was just too expensive and there wasn’t enough hands-on. It was mostly theory. So I kind of took the theory from the books that I had, and then once I found Linux Academy, I just did every course.

Anything operating systems, Windows, Linux, database programming, web stuff, web development, cloud — whatever I could find. Then I found a site called Open Source Society University, and they have a GitHub page that basically gives you a list of courses from edX, Coursera or other free online tools that teach you the equivalent of a computer science degree.

That was very, very helpful. Then I just took that information and volunteered for every project at work. I took any ticket and tried to automate it, stuff like that. And the whole time, I was told that certs aren’t important to all the people that I worked with. But I think that hiring managers and HR might disagree. And let’s be honest, it’s kind of hard to get jobs without proving you have the knowledge and.

Since I don’t have a degree in anything technology related, I felt I needed to kind of differentiate myself a little bit. So I got those to kind of compensate for not having a degree.

What’s your opinion on free courses vs bootcamps or official certifications?

I always go with free stuff or at least like the inexpensive Udemy sales. I think bootcamps are great for entry-level, but they don’t really allow you to work past that and most of the content online will get you through the basics. Try to solve a problem or find a problem to solve and really get your hands dirty with development or cloud engineering.

Certs are fine if you need them for a specific position or career goal. But I wouldn’t do one to learn. I might take the study guide and use that, but I think certs are a huge market and there’s a lot of money to be made from people that are looking to get certified.

I honestly just went to a lot of meetups. And I pretty much changed my podcasts to tech podcasts and just listened to those all the time.

I also focused on vendor documentation as opposed to online learning. Whether that’s the Kubernetes administrator guides or AWS or GCP documentation. Because you’re getting it straight from the horse’s mouth, and, as a musician (I studied jazz) we always go back to who was the original musician and study their technique and their ideas. So I kind of took the same approach to tech. Where did JavaScript come from? Where did Python come from? And try to study the root of where that came from.

How was the experience of being with the Marines. What’s your biggest takeaway from your time with them?

I had a great time in the Marine corps. Believe it or not, I thought it was a lot of fun.

My biggest takeaway was really about how to work on a team. As much as there’s a lot of technical things I learned and things like that.

There’s just something about being humble and being a life-long learner and always striving to be better. About knowing your weaknesses and seeking self-improvement and being self-reliant and self-disciplined.

In tech, you have to because nobody is going to force you to hone your skills or learn a new programming language or how to administer Docker containers. You know, just that whole self-reliant aspect of being a continuous learner.

You design and implement technical labs, which are training programs for AWS customers. What does that involve?

I work on the training and curriculum team, and we deliver content to our AWS customers. We have an awesome team.

I work with them to help build and design labs and lab instructions. So, if you were to go to AWS, and want to take a course to learn how to be an architect, for example, we have designers and curriculum developers, architects, managers and product managers that we worked together with to formulate a plan to build a course.

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And my job day-to-day is to go through and support them so that, when they get to the hands-on portion, that a student can click start lab and that everything underneath the hood is provisioned and ready, works every time, and is repeatable across multiple devices or operating systems. I also ensure that the lab instructions are clear and easy to understand, from people who may have a lot of experience to people for whom this is their first time working with the cloud.

So it’s a technical role, but there’s a lot of human aspect to it. Understanding how people learn and how people learn technology – as a person who is basically self-taught, I use that a lot in this role.

First in DevOps career, now DataOps. The DevOps philosophy seems to be permeating all areas of IT. What do you think is the success behind this way of thinking? What will be the next “Ops”?

I will start by saying that I don’t think DevOps is a real thing. As a community, we can’t even agree on what it is. We’ve been doing this since the 70s, the 80s? Really since the 60s. With Deming, and all of the work he did toward continuous improvement, total quality management, things like that.

And I think what we’re going to see is that we’ll revisit value stream mapping. How can we best automate and streamline value stream maps. Right now, we’re automating everything, and it’s all about pipelines and getting the developers close.

I think that’ll be short lived. We should have always been doing that, and I think connecting development to automation and ops problems is good. I think DevOps, the core of it, we want the developer problems and ops problems to kind of be the same problems, right? Where ops informs development workflows.

Developers use that workflow to produce either new tools or better tools, or even more consistent infrastructure. But sometimes ops doesn’t want things to change. And, as somebody who’s worked in the ops world, I totally respect that and I completely understand. As somebody who’s worked on the devish side of DevOps, I understand needing to get new versions of things out and upgrading things and patching things so that there’s a balance between it.

But I think what we’re really going to see is that, as you get to DataOps and really anything that needs to inform ops, is that everything is going to be data-driven. But it’s going to have to be value streamed.

So, what is the most important? What do you get the most benefit from as far as value? How much money are we really making or saving by approving X project or making Y operations a department priority?

I think, eventually, and once you start finding an efficient way and accurate way to attach dollars or time to these things, you may have some time and value attached to them as it pertains to the business and not just how many commits you made last month or something

DevOps career: What’s the day-to-day of a DevOps team like

A lot of it is requests for automation, declarative infrastructure, tons of monitoring, moving into containerization or modernizing orchestration tools, stuff like that.

I think a lot of it is also developer advocacy and just DevOps evangelism. Because it’s been around for a while, but it’s still relatively new. It hasn’t really permeated all the cultures yet. So, while a lot of people have a DevOps team, the cultural side I think needs a lot of work. So a lot of time is spent explaining why we’re doing this.

It sounds like the value is obvious, but it still takes up a lot of time to describe why we need resources, why we need time, why we should be doing certain projects.

A lot of the time is spent researching new tech, building up labs on your workstation or in the cloud somewhere, and testing a deployment meeting with ops teams to discuss their pain points.

And then, of course, all the pipeline things, so it’s a very collaborative job. You’re not going to see a DevOps person in a silo.

On a given day, you never know what you’re going to do. But it’s always going to be automating something or fixing something or updating something or monitoring something, justifying what it is that you’re doing.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?

Ironically, it actually came from a conductor of a music organization. He said “find something you love and do that because, no matter what you do or where you go, you’ll always be doing something that you enjoy.

Just do what you know is right and provide value to everyone around you and don’t worry too much about certifications. If you have the knowledge, it will all come together.

Just always be learning.

For more tips about DevOps career, make sure to follow Jake on LinkedIn.

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Being a Buoy and Other SAP Project Management and Career Tips

SAP project management expert John Micale is Customer Experience Account Manager at oXya, a Hitachi Group company delivering leading SAP run management, consulting and cloud hosting services.

John is tasked with ensuring that a consistent, high-quality service is provided to all of the company’s customers, overseeing client relationships, project management and business development.

He tells us about his career beginnings and shares tips for efficient SAP project management and career advancement.

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Interested in SAP careers and SAP project management? You might also enjoy this interview about another possible career path for an SAP consultant.

How did you get started in tech? How did you start working at oXya?

I’ve been using computers, playing video games and using technology since I was a kid. When it was time to choose a university, I decided to pick one that specialized in engineering and technology. I earned my degree in computer engineering, and that kind of led me on to this track of IT and how I wound up at oXya. And it’s kind of a funny story.

When I was in school, I was looking for a job in my last year. I was doing interviews and did an interview with oXya. I had no idea who they were or what SAP and Basis were, but they were really compelling, and they said that they could teach me.

I actually got a job offer from them. But I still had one semester of schooling left, so I couldn’t take the job. But they said “try again in the springtime. And so, I applied for the job again in the spring and they hired me. I really appreciated that opportunity from them.

What are the advantages of working at a specialist consultancy or service management company like oXya, as opposed to working in-house for a sole company?

Number one is definitely diversity in experiences. So, having the exposure to different industries, different customers using different products. You gain a lifetime’s worth or even multiple lifetimes worth of experience and background in just a few years. And I think that was incredible for me and for many of my colleagues working at oXya. 

Number two is diversity in projects and technologies. So, touching every kind of operating system and version, every kind of database product, every kind of SAP product. Many companies say â€śOK, I’m going to use ECC, or I’m going to use Linux.” And that’s it. That’s the decision they made and maybe, every 10 years, they change products and you’re stuck with the same thing. Having that diversity keeps you sharp. 

Another thing is that clients who typically use SAP are large and very corporate customers. And, if you are working with them, you’re automatically included in a very corporate environment. Being part of a smaller company like oXya, we have more of a startup-like vibe. So you kind of get the best of both worlds. You get smaller teams and a tighter community, and you move more rapidly, but you can still support this product, SAP, which is this huge corporate tool. 

What about the challenges?

The learning curve is really steep. For example, I didn’t know what SAP was, or I didn’t have a lot of strength in database technologies, and to take all of that in at once is quite a lot. If you stick with it, you can catch up at some point, but the learning curve is really steep.

And the projects don’t ever end. That can be a good thing too, that can be in the good category. It depends on what kind of personality you have, but there’s no respite. You are working for a big corp, and they have this upgrade project that lasts two years. And then that’s it for them for a while, whereas, on our side, we’re doing a new project every three months, and it hasn’t stopped in 10 years for me.

After two years in a technical position, you transitioned into a more managerial role. What advice would you give to other specialists looking to take that step?

Being a manager is a job. It’s not just an extra task that you have to do. It took me a long time to realize that, and I see that mistake happen often with new managers. To do it correctly, you have to prioritize that role. It’s not just about having to approve someone’s time off or something like that. The investment in training and people is a full job. If you’re mixing this job as a manager with your technical job, for example, that’s often a recipe for disaster where you choose one priority over another and one of those two will suffer.

Internal company relationships are really important too. That’s an important part of being a manager. It’s not about being a brown-noser or saying nice things to your boss. But management roles are based on trust and execution. There’s not a binary output most of the time, so you have to be a reliable person, and you have to make sure that you are sharing your reliability and your credibility with your managers and with your team.

What are the keys to effective SAP project management?

Understanding the project. I think that’s like the number one. It sounds like a silly thing to say, but I think often folks come in and they say “OK, here’s a project and I’m going to follow a checklist.” But you have to really understand why. Why are we doing this project? What is the real purpose?

Normally there’s a CIO or CFO at some company who has to make some decision, and that trickles down eventually to many projects. And, if you’re not aware of the big picture, then you might not really understand what kind of impact you’re trying to make. So first, you really need to understand the project.

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Secondly, coordination in SAP project management is incredibly important, the synergy. And not just internally with your teams and your company, but with your customers or with their third parties. Every customer now has 5-10 vendors, and there’s an expectation that vendors can work together, that there can be synergies and there is not a weak link.

Also, keeping commitments is really important for project management. Everything is essentially a stack of dominoes. If you miss a target, that’s going to affect the whole project. And that doesn’t build trust and or credibility. So, if you’re making commitments, they have to be realistic and you have to keep those commitments. Everything else falls right into place once you meet that.

The deadline to migrate to S/4HANA is rapidly approaching. What do you see as the biggest challenges for a smooth transition?

It all starts with a kind of a legacy mindset. Most customers that are on ECC today say “it’s been working this way for 10 years, 15,20 years. Why do we need to change it?” They say “they will move the goalposts again. Why do we need to make this transformation?”

But the web of external interfaces that connect to ECC makes any concept of transformation really challenging for most customers, especially these really legacy customers. S/4HANA is designed to solve that problem. It’s designed to eliminate the complexity, simplify the code base, simplify the connectivity to it, and kind of futureproof SAP customers from that kind of problem in the future. But making that transformation is still really painful and usually very expensive.

I think the value proposition is really what isn’t obvious for most customers. If you can communicate the future state of the company, not what it will look like in one year or two years after some migration or upgrade, but what it’s going to look like in 5, 10, 15 years; if you can make them see how S/4HANA or cloud-based tools can reimagine their supply chain or things like that, I think that’s when they have the a-ha moment.

It’s not about taking your car and just changing the tires. It’s about turning it electric. It’s a total redesign of the whole concept.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?

I would say I had two great career advices. One was to stay humble and have humility with your peers, have humility with your customers. If you’re scoring all the time, it feels good to think that you’re a champ and everything goes right. But then you’re exposing yourself to vulnerabilities or blind spots. So, stay humble. Wins are wins, which is great, but sometimes you need to have an open perspective.

And the second best advice I have been given is: be a buoy. What do I mean by that? Like a buoy in the ocean. Sometimes you want to just be like a Godzilla and knock stuff around and shake things up, especially when things aren’t going well. But, almost all the time, people are looking for stability. They’re looking for reliability, accountability. And, I’ve realized over the years that people will flock to you naturally if you’re stable, if you’re consistent. So be a buoy like in the ocean.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

I want to help radically change what customers experience from SAP outsourcing. That’s like a super bold claim, but I think that outsourcing as a concept has always had a bad rep. And I think that a partner can be more empathetic, less transactional. We can be an equal in their organization and be a real partner.

And I’m seeing with my customers that, when they’re treated this way, we get a different experience. They treat us like people, they treat us like partners. They even have more flexibility with us, which says a lot. They don’t have to give us any kind of flexibility, but they do it.

So, I would really like to make that kind of change, and I really want to help train others in this kind of methodology.I want our industry to be more empathetic and more partner-focused. In the real sense. Not in the corny corporate sense, but in a real in a real sense. To really make a difference. Because, otherwise, what are we doing?

For more tips on SAP project management, careers and consulting, make sure to follow John on LinkedIn.

You can also explore our S/4HANA careers guide for a comprehensive overview of how to embark on this promising career journey.

Check out more of our interviews in our podcast episodes.