I started my career as a front-end developer in a small digital services agency back in 2006 with seven other co-workers coding websites. To this day I haven't officially changed my company - not even once. Instead, the company has always changed around me, including my job assignments. So how did all this happen and how come I still enjoy working here? I'll try to unwrap these questions in my writing.
A brief history of time (and career)
I graduated as a software engineer and got my first job based on my thesis which dealt with the technics of frontend programming. I built websites together with a designer, backend coder and project manager. The company was small and therefore I was allowed to take lots of responsibility and expand my role as I wished – and that was when I realized project management might be my thing. I quickly took on managing projects and later on leading the team as well.
By 2012 my company had grown to employ 20 people which was also the year we merged with Valve. Valve opened a whole new world to me – suddenly I was working beside people that did branding, corporate communications, 3D modelling and motion graphics. There I got involved in larger-scale projects and I found it fascinating to try out, for instance, making TV broadcasts and experiencing adventures with virtual reality goggles.
However, my heart will forever belong to digital systems as I still get the most kicks out of things where I can bring order to chaos, alias "processes are your friends, not enemies".
At Valve, my work used to revolve around developing systems and processes for internal project management but currently I work within the customer interface. I typically work as a technical project manager in website upgrades or as a technical system/integration expert in various projects as part of a client's team.
Learning alongside work
Daily work tasks can teach us many things but sometimes it's worth taking time off for education. Alongside my work, I've completed two vocational degrees, and in addition, I've participated in short-term trainings and webinars. At Valve we regularly create training plans based on the in-demand skills required by our customers, and after that, we set aside time for learning. This year, for example, I plan to complete a set of HubSpot certifications as my current day-to-day tasks are strongly associated with HubSpot development.
At Valve, there are many senior-level professionals and I think it's a privilege to learn from them. I find it meaningful to partner up with senior experts as I believe in learning through practice. Moreover, Valve offers many trainee and mentoring programs.
Particularly in the initial stage of my career the skill steps model of Valve helped me navigate work-life allowing me to plan my role and gain prominence in salary development.
Customer relationships are the spice of agency life
I enjoy working for Valve because the job description can change often and quickly. Starting with a new client often feels like starting a new job – new people, environment and work tasks. Moreover, we always try to adapt our working methods to those of the customer company to authentically work with the customer.