Leo Alvarez, Software Engineer and Squad Lead at Adepto, has been with the company since its earliest days. Here, we discuss his (and the company’s) early beginnings and how Adepto has evolved over time.
Firstly, what inspired you to join Adepto?
I’ve been working for startups for the past five years. It all started as a way to make a real difference, something that motivated me every morning when I woke up and got ready for work.
Working for a startup gave me the opportunity to directly influence the product I was delivering, based on the value we are providing for every individual customer.
When interviewing for the Adepto software developer role, Adepto’s philosophy really clicked for me. I learnt about the huge potential that Adepto is unlocking in the skills-based workforce and saw how it would impact every worker’s life. I really felt passionate about helping people find the perfect work for their skills and availability – for them to grow their careers how they want to and to never feel like they’re wasting their best years in a role that doesn’t fully utilise them.
What was the company like back then – how has it changed since you joined?
At the start, we all sat within the same office, the same room and everyone was within arm’s reach. It had a close family feel, which came in useful when we were stressed and under pressure to build, iterate and sell a product rapidly.
Now, the company has grown tremendously with offices based in Brisbane (where I am), New York and London. We’ve become a global family, based across multiple timezones. It’s been a challenge to keep the same close-knit feeling with colleagues across the globe, but Adepto has invested a lot in keeping everyone talking and sharing their experiences. Adepto is still expanding, both in workforce and client terms, so there’s a big push to communicate the benefits and need for our product. I’m happy with how our product has developed, how it showcases the concept of Total Talent and skills-based resourcing.
What gets you up in the morning, what are you passionate about?
I like Adepto’s company culture. When you’re working 40 hour weeks and spending more time with your colleagues than some members of your family, it really helps to feel comfortable with them. My Adepto team is like a second family. We’re all driven, ambitious people with different perspectives, united towards the same goal: to fundamentally change the way people and organisations work.
At Adepto, we’re encouraged to innovate and come up with new ideas. I’m passionate about creating simple solutions to complex problems. I don’t like spending entire days doing routine tasks – I prefer to be challenged. Adepto offers me the opportunity to work closely with the Product Owner and the rest of the team to design solutions that supply tangible value to our customers.
How has working at Adepto helped your career journey?
Adepto has given me the opportunity to grow my skills alongside my role. To learn new software development skills such as new programming languages, cutting edge technologies and software development processes. It has also given me the opportunity to grow as a leader, helping me to realise helping your team reach their goals is more important than solely focusing on myself. Plus, as a migrant with English as a second language, getting into a leadership position can be more difficult. So I really appreciate the opportunities that Adepto has offered me.
What does an average day in your life (at work) look like?
It can vary from day-to-day. There are some days where I focus primarily on pure software development. Other days can require a mix of management meetings, software implementation decisions, customer support ad-hoc tasks and software development.
I normally start my day at 8 am checking Adepto’s Slack channels for any messages that may have been sent by the UK team overnight. I work on these and also update our team’s JIRA ready for a stand-up meeting around 9 am. These meetings are very useful in keeping the team focussed and on-track. We work to organise the plan for the day, overcome any obstacles that have arisen and address any concerns that team members raise. After this meeting, I usually have a quick catch-up with Adepto’s developers to run over their work in more detail.
My afternoons are usually spent writing code for a new feature, pending code reviews, fixing bugs or doing ad-hoc customer support requests such as creating custom questions or compiling a report. My days typically end with cross-region leadership meetings that allow for the UK and Australian teams to meet virtually.
I tend to work remotely (around 70% of my week) from the Gold Coast. However, there are days where I’m in the Brisbane office, which I really enjoy because of the face-to-face interaction. I tend to set most of my meetings for when I’m in the office, to discuss the product and software design, engineering or hold one-to-one sessions.
What advice would you give anyone looking to join Adepto and specifically your team?
Adepto is invaluable to any recruit looking for opportunities to learn new technologies and work in a transparent, close-knit environment where everyone is trying their best to fulfil a common goal.
Because Adepto is scaling fast, there are many changes happening day-in, day-out. That means no two days are the same and every team member is challenged to grow their careers and skills. Starting with simple things such as improving communication, to more in-depth processes such as understanding how to develop software products for success.