Thriving On Freedom – Alex’s perspective of self-driven development and taking initiative

Technology means possibilities; an infinite number of possible experiences we can build for people but we can’t build them alone. Seamless payments, a flawless ecommerce experience and Amazon’s Go Store-type solutions, they all need us to understand not just technology but also people behavior and the challenges they’re facing.

As an engineer, learning to put yourself in the customer’s shoes is a must. But there’s an entire chain of people between you, your code and the person who’s using the system you’re building. To put something meaningful in the hands of the end user, it needs to be meaningful for everyone in this chain or it will never reach them.

For me, working in a people-oriented company that supports professional development is essential. It feels chaotic in the beginning because careers are self-driven in Accesa. Nobody is going to decide where you need to be as a professional and nobody is going to put in the work for you to get there. But the framework makes sense once you understand it. Having the freedom to choose my own career path meant I could do much more than just deliver projects using Hybris.

In 2018, together with a few passionate colleagues, we founded Hybris Academy, something I was really interested in doing for years. In only 5 months, we developed a training programme with multiple phases, a lot of practical sessions and reviews, focused on all the areas within the Hybris platform.

From interns to colleagues with previous Java experience, anyone can join. On the long-term, the programme doesn’t just improve our Hybris technical proficiency but allows us to successfully go through a much steeper learning curve, as engineers. The feedback from everyone who’s gone through the Hybris Academy has been very positive and I’m excited about expanding it in the future.

We focus on consultancy as much as delivery so it’s important to develop both our technical and non-technical skills. From effective communication, process orchestration, conflict management and negotiation, we have a lot of training tracks but one of the experiences that helped me grow the most, personally and professionally was Igniting Leadership. It helped me realise that when something isn’t working out for me, it’s up to me to identify the root cause and gave me the tools to overcome my challenges.

In Accesa, I found the freedom to choose my own career path, passionate problem-solvers, and a people-first culture that helped me go far beyond delivering projects. It helped me grow professionally, personally and, through persistence, insistence and consistency, build a rewarding career.