From Science to Tech
I studied Chemical Engineering and, everyone thinks that’s technology, but it’s engineering with a lot of science - it’s definitely not technology! So how did I become a Technology Architecture Senior Analyst within Accenture Technology?
I need to go back to an internship I did with an Oil & Gas provider and what seemed to be the perfect route for my degree. Honestly, I found the work somewhat dull, so I decided to review my options. Whilst at university (during the summer and winter holidays), I taught Video Game Development at a Tech Camp, and the goal was to teach the younger ones the logic of coding and how technology works. It was quite basic stuff as they were young children, but it started to get me interested in technology. So, I decided to look at how I could build a career in this area and went along to an Accenture ‘Inspiring Women’ event to learn more. At the event, I met a recruiter and a couple of Software Engineers, but it was an Industrial Placement student who shared her experiences that intrigued me. She talked about getting much responsibility on live client projects and how she was always learning new things and using lots of different technologies. I was hooked, expressed my interest in applying, got fast-tracked, and here I am.
Bringing everything together
As a Technology Architect, I need to understand the technology deep enough to relay all the different components of the delivery. So, that’s working with the design team, the development team, testers, business analysts and production support and bringing everything together. You also advise people how to build the solution, how to use the technology and recommend best practices.
I’m in a unique situation right now as I’m working on two projects which, at my level, you’d generally not get the chance to do. My older project was more day-to-day architecture, data modelling, data extraction, working with the development and DevOps teams, and supporting production issues with my platform. My predecessor was a Senior Manager who built a solid foundation, so in slightly over a year, I advanced my role to a stage where most of my tasks were business-as-usual. At that point, I discussed working on other opportunities with my line manager as I was eager to take on a new challenge. However, I was still solely responsible for multiple deliverables and the team relied heavily on me. To reduce this, we spent a couple of months planning and handing over the different aspects of my work to other sub-teams. When we reached a satisfactory level, my manager connected me to my new manager and an arrangement was made to split my time across the two projects. I now spend four days here and one day a week on the initial project. My new project is a ‘New IT-er’s’ dream, so my dream essentially! We’re utilising AWS services, Containerisation, DevOps (to name a few) to build an ePaaS solution and we’re delivering in an agile way using the scrum methodology. I’m on the development team and I have been focused on aggregating application and audit logs and, structuring them in a way that enables intelligent analytics. There’s still an element of data modelling in the sense that I have to think about how the indexes should be separated, retention policies and how to make the models transferable. But, I thoroughly enjoy this way of working - the team collaboration, the exciting technologies I use, the client’s forward-thinking approach – all of it.
Just keep-on learning
For the foreseeable future, I am on the right path to keep-on learning, adding value, and taking on responsibilities. I admire our MDs and Senior Managers because their gravitas is born from years of experience in different areas – and this is my vision for my career. I am challenging myself to develop my expertise in different areas further: ‘old’ technologies, ‘new’ technologies (there’s nothing new under the sun), project delivery, contract management, and much more. I believe the more I know, the more value I can add to my client and team.
To work here, you do need that willingness to learn. You need to be able to put your hand up and unashamedly say if you don’t know something. When you come in, you will meet and work with people who have years of experience, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed - and I’ve felt that multiple times in my career. However, Accenture provides an enabling environment for you to safely experiment and flex your muscles, which is essential for growth. At Accenture, we have a great community of people who give you feedback on what you’re doing well and how you can improve and get to the next level. When you face problems in your career, find comfort in knowing someone has probably faced them before you, so be courageous and ask others about their experiences. As you advance, you learn how to utilise your strengths and weaknesses to get what you want from your career. The latter may evolve as you go along, and that’s okay - we were built to evolve!
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