A little background
Like many people with careers in IT, I recently found myself seeking a change in employment. Unlike many people in IT, however, over the past 24 years, I have only worked for a handful of employers. I know, working for the same company for more than a couple of years in such a fast-changing field is not very common.
Although when it comes to technology I advocate for agility and quickly adapting to constant change, personally I am just like most other creatures on this green and brown ball named Earth: I find comfort in familiarity and I resist change. I like routine. So, when my employer of 10 years was acquired by a larger organization and started moving in a direction that did not include the technology and products I specialize in, I decided to look for a new gig.
Ok, so we have all been there: you open your browser, type in the names of familiar job search sites and popular networking message boards, enter your search criteria, and then start perusing the hundreds if not thousands of postings.
After about 30 minutes or so my mind would start to wander, and I would think to myself, “Who writes these job descriptions?” “How many listings from different recruiters are there for the same open position?” “How can someone possibly have 10 years of experience with SAP HANA, when it’s only been released for 7 years?”
I also made sure to update my public profiles and reach out to former colleagues and friends to get a feel for what’s out there. Fortunately, I was still employed at the time, so there was not a ton of pressure to find something immediately, or heaven forbid settle for something that would make me miserable.
After several months of this (a handful of interesting positions here, a few interviews there, and a couple of offers declined) I was contacted by a recruiter with an amazing opportunity (we’ve all heard that, but this time it turned out to be true) with a UK-based company named Basis Technologies.
This immediately sounded interesting, considering for the past 20 years I had been working in the SAP Basis technology area. Isn’t this the way it should always work? You know, a recruiter finds your information, matches you as a good fit for a position he is tasked with filling, and they reach out to you. It was validating and empowering that companies were seeking out for me rather than just the other way around.
The next couple of weeks went pretty quickly: a few technical screen phone interviews, a video conference interview, an in-person interview with the Executive Vice President, and a final interview with the Operations Director, whom the company flew overseas to meet me (no doubt he had other stuff to do, too, but it sure made me feel important.)
I have been through this process with other companies before, and it is pretty much an industry standard in evaluating candidates for a position. At the end of the process, they were impressed with me and made me an offer.
I know this has been a great story thus far, but now let’s get to the meat of this blog entry: Why Did I Decide to Join Basis Technologies?
Make no mistake, when you are looking for a job, you are interviewing potential employers just like they are interviewing employee candidates. Your skills and experience are just as valuable to them as the paycheck is to you, if not more so. When I was evaluating Basis Technologies I did my homework: I wanted to know who this company was, what they do, and what kind of future they have.
Who they are
From the very start, I was impressed with the people I interviewed with, the technical knowledge, the kinds of questions they asked, and the answers they gave to my questions.
The company website is very well put together with readily available information on the company’s history, the products they offer, information about the team (with some very nice photos, I might add), videos, blog entries, partner information, and more, and is all very professionally presented.
For an IT company, a good website is paramount to making positive first impressions with potential customers and partners and even candidates like me. Basis Technologies clearly understands the value of those first impressions.
What they do
Next on my list was to find out what this company does. The answer blew me away. Having worked in the SAP Basis field for 20 years, I am intimately familiar with the pain involved with SAP system change control and testing. I can’t tell you how many man-hours have been poured into keeping comprehensive spreadsheets of transport requests for projects, re-work of changes improperly tested or because they were sent out of order, and manual creation of realistic test data. There’s also the regular finger-crossing and hoping that we had anticipated all the scenarios that the changes would affect once deployed into production, and sadly the time and money lost when testing was clearly not sufficient.
Basis Technologies offers the only complete automated DevOps & Testing platform for SAP. I can’t say this about many products on the market: this software really has me excited. I could have really used this 15 years ago; it would have saved me a lot of sleepless nights and lost weekends.
Finally, what I wanted to know was what the future holds for this company. As I said, I don’t like to move around a lot, and I am not looking to make another job change before retirement.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Basis Technologies is just as focused on continuous development and continuous innovation as they are on providing tools for their customers to do the same. A software company that practices what it preaches – a novel concept.
On top of that, Basis has no plans to blur their vision or split their efforts away from SAP in any way. Basis Technologies is focused on SAP and has been for more than 20 years. Their expertise and their technology are built on that foundation and the company will continue to deliver innovation to change the way organizations run SAP. This commitment drives their vision for the future, and I can already see this company doing great things as it grows.
Having learned everything I could about Basis Technologies from the outside – and being impressed with everything I had seen thus far – I decided to accept their offer for the role of Solution Specialist. Since joining Basis I had the opportunity to fly to the corporate headquarters just outside London to meet the rest of the employees in their annual company-wide meeting. This is where I first experienced what is probably the most important component of a successful business: the people.
The employee community, the company culture, the general spirit of the team – these are things you cannot gauge by researching a website or participating in a few interviews, yet it can seriously impact the success or failure of the company.
As cliché as it sounds, I was pleased to find out that Basis Technologies is truly a family. From the C-level executives down to the new guy (me), everyone is made to feel they are part of something exciting and that we each play a critical role in where we are going. Everyone is friendly and knowledgeable, willing to help in any area of the business whether it is part of their job description or not.
There is a momentum and an energy here that you can feel and I’m really looking forward to contributing everything I can to help the company grow. With this kind of unity and employee cohesion, this is a place I can see myself spending the rest of my career.
For those of you who have made it this far in this blog post (or just scrolled down to get to the end), I didn’t start this intending on heaping praise on my new employer, but that’s kind of the direction it took. Honestly, I couldn’t help but go that route given my experience with Basis Technologies thus far, and it only looks up from here. This company is going places, and I am grateful I have the opportunity to be on board for the ride.