Similar with classical consultancy roles in IT companies, the “Specialist” status in Kepler brings a series of specific elements that explains why more than 80% of employees have been working here for over 10 years.
The role starts with the recruitment process, where the Business Manager gives details about the available projects and the options that the candidates have if they choose to become our colleagues.
What exactly can you expect if you work@Kepler? Here are a few defining elements.
1. We have been collaborating with Romanian and foreign companies for over 20 years, which brings a certain polyvalence.
We have colleagues embedded with our partner’s teams and working at their premises, but also entire teams built by us and working together with our partners.
Just the same, we have projects where a single colleague is managing from our HQ all the activities for a certain client and dedicated teams that work for local or international customers.
They are all Kepler Specialists and they all have gone at one point through each of the stages stated above. Each aspect brings specific challenges, while at the same time supports the development of specific skillsets. This 360° picture gives consultants the possibility for continuous development on many levels – both personal and professional.
In the words of one of our colleagues, himself a specialist – “Developers are always attracted by the latest technologies available. The client I am working for though, has well established standards, sometimes difficult to bring up-to-date according to industry tendencies. Bringing arguments and building proof-of-concepts, we have managed many times to update the frameworks from one project to another, an aspect which can only help the team by keeping their level of interest up since they managed to not only successfully finish the project but deepen their knowledge about these technologies”.
2. The second element you will find here is unique: a “Career Path Officer”.
His primary objective is to create a high comfort level for programmers, business analysts, project managers (in one word, our Kepler Specialist) in the projects they are involved in, but his role has many other facades.
The Career Path Officer is not a specific job, but more of a function. It can be fulfilled by the Business Manager who is in charge with the project, or it can be fulfilled by the colleagues in the HR department. Any of the two, or both altogether are responsible for the development process and career planning in Kepler.
So what does a Career Path Officer actually do? Well… a lot. Starting from mundane things like making sure that the actual work equipment exists, is in place and prepared, or that our colleague has an office by the window/by the door (as he/she prefers) up to evaluating and supporting the need to change the project or technology.
It is the Career Path Officer who takes care of our colleagues who are dispatched in our partners’ premises – periodical visits, Skype feedback and status sessions or simple lunch breaks. This way he makes sure that the “Kepler team” feeling is not lost. It is also him who supports the specialist in all development career areas, ensuring constant dialogue, feedback and status reports concerning the level of experience, the need of building a specific competencies skillset (both hard and soft skills: technologies, frameworks, methodologies, leadership, communication, coaching), the interest for changing the project or the technology.
Simply put, the Career Path Officer is the support for the consultant and his manager, in balancing the interests and challenges of the first one so that the work experience is pleasant for both altogether.
3. Another element which is a common day reality for a Kepler Specialist is the flexibility. This goes beyond the classical work schedule flexibility and refers to the possibility of changing both projects and technologies.
In many cases, when a developer gets bored of his project or wants to try a new framework, starts looking for another job. Fortunately, this is not what happens with our colleagues. Having a Career Path Officer, the boredom is prevented or at least anticipated, and therefore they are presented with alternatives.
Having over 200 consultants specialized in both mainstream (Java, .Net, PHP) and rare (Cobol, AS/400, Informatica, C++, embedded C) technologies and over 300 projects developed in industries such as banking, telecommunications, automotive, fragrance and flavors, production, services, tourism it is no wonder that flexibility is a natural state here in Kepler.
Being part of a multinational group (ALTEN – www.alten.com), our specialists can also opt for international project on both short or long term period.
4. Career development is not a wish, nor a plan. It’s a reality.
When talking about competencies increase we have 2 approaches. The first consists of permanent internal formation programs held by certified consultants (our colleagues) which already have “subject matter expert” status. This kind of programs are held approximately twice a year and are available for most of the technologies we use, as well as for specific roles – PM, BA.
The second component of the development program is referring to external trainings. When joining the Kepler team, each new employee, together with his manager and Career Path Officer, is drafting a specific professional route which takes in consideration specific courses and certifications required for competencies increase. These do not have a specific recurrence, being carried out according to performance parameters agreed between the employee and his manager/Career Path Officer.
These being said, the specialist role at Kepler is not something we can squeeze in just one page. It evolves with each new colleague and experience. Therefore, it’s only best to let them tell their stories.
« The time spent in Kepler helped me a lot in developing my interpersonal communication and time management skills, by thus succeeding to maintain a pleasant work environment in all the projects I have been a part of, with no tensions between colleagues and where each of us gives his best for the project and for the team.
As a team leader and PM I came in contact with different technical challenges which helped me to grow my Java and Oracle knowledge for better and highly maintainable code writing.
The great relationship I have with our customer for over 15 years have increased my confidence to come up with bold solutions for both old and new challenges.
What I like best at Kepler is the relaxed environment, a great welded team and lot of interesting projects. For me, this is what matters most. »
« Working at the client’s premises has allowed me to develop both my technical competencies, by accessing different top technologies, and my personal skillset – such as communication and negotiation.
One of the challenges that each consultant faces is the struggle for finding the perfect balance between requirement and solution. Often this balance is very sensitive, and even minor modifications in the requirement can heavily modify the solution that was established in advance.
Kepler projects eased up my acces to professional work environments, strategic clients with extended infrastructure and financial resources, which always have high expectations and demands. Working in an environment like this, being constantly surrounded by high standards, by great colleagues or projects, it is impossible not to become ‘contaminated’ with all these qualities. »