Meet the employees of ISSC
No one can tell you what it's like to work for us better than your future colleagues themselves.
Nelly Tezbasaran, application manager: “I have the opportunity to choose my own path."
Nelly Tezbasaran is eager to learn. She started with a few small-scale applications, which she explored with a lot of support from her colleagues. Now she works on five different applications and is beginning to specialise.
“In the ICT Shared Service Centre (ISSC) you have a lot of influence over your own work,” says Nelly. “There are two applications I want to learn more about, and I can pass on the other applications to other colleagues.” This level of freedom and responsibility appeals to Nelly. “When I started, I had the chance to learn a lot about the field in general, and now I want to specialise. I have the opportunity to choose my own path.”
SAP Business Warehouse and SAP Business Objects
There are two applications within SAP that interest her most: Business Warehouse (Datawarehouse) and Business Objects.
Business Objects: “You can use this application to produce various reports. We used to use Excel lists, but they can’t cope with the amount of information we can now extract from all the data. Now the reports are displayed as dashboards, and they have to be clear and user-friendly for many different colleagues.” And there are always new developments within the applications. “Sometimes the developers offer new options, and then we look into whether those options are useful to us. On the other hand, our Functional Application Managers also get new feature requests from users. They’re the first point of contact, and if they can’t sort out the problem they pass it on to me.”
Puzzles and problem-solving
“One good example of a project I’m working on is the Business Objects upgrade that mainly affects the user interface. That’s not just about the look and feel of the application; there’s a lot to think about on the technical side too.
“We don’t know if all the reports will still work properly after we redesign the interface. There are multiple formats that have to extract data from all kinds of different connections. The teaching reports worked well, but the financial reports threw up an error message. Then it’s my job to hunt for the error in the test system. I’ll edit the configuration files to fix the error, but you don’t always get it right first time. Not long ago I edited the web application and then it wouldn’t even open, so I had to reset everything. And then you have to start all over again looking for the error. Fortunately I’m not doing this on my own. When something like that happens, I get one of my colleagues from the cloud platform to take a look, because it’s too technical for me. But that’s OK; you’re always learning new things. And the combination of piecing things together, problem-solving and coordinating with colleagues means the work is fun and varied.
You never stop learning at the ISSC!”
Jennifer van der Meij, Senior Functional Application Manager and Scrum Master: “If you’re interested in professional development and the training fits your career path, there’s a lot on offer."
Jennifer’s path crossed that of the ICT Shared Service Centre (ISSC) in 2016. Similar work, just a three-minute commute by bike – and the ISSC culture was a much better fit for her than where she was working at the time. “Soon after I applied, I had two great interviews,” Jennifer remembers, “and I started work just a few months later. That was a good decision: I’ve been with the ISSC for almost five and a half years now.
Freedom to organise
The ISSC is great for professional development. Since I started here I’ve done all kinds of training, from the Bloomreach developer training, BISL and various ISTQB test courses to Agile requirements and PSM-I and II. If you’re interested in professional development and the training fits your career path, there’s a lot on offer. Also, I’m part of a multidisciplinary team where we all have the same mindset and we’re given a lot of freedom to organise things ourselves.”
How does Jennifer spend her days?
“To give you an example, we work according to the Agile method. On the first day of the sprint, a Thursday, I prepare the retrospective. That’s where the development team does a rough reflection on the previous sprint: How did it go? What can we improve? I like looking for a new format for each sprint; it keeps us on our toes and gives us a slightly different perspective each time. After the retrospective comes the standup, where we get together with the product owner and the main business owners to go through the sprint board. Then we have a cup of coffee and move on to the planning session.
We usually start by refining some stories that need to be included in the next sprint. Once everything’s been assessed, we start the planning session. How much work can we cope with as a team in the next sprint? What’s the goal of the sprint? What do the business owners/product owner want us to include? What technical stories do team members themselves think should be included? We use these questions to complete the sprint backlog for the next sprint, and then we can get to work. If there are acceptance criteria for the stories, I fill in those myself.
The first Thursday afternoon of the sprint tends to be one of my calmer moments, so I use that time to schedule improvements to things like automatic testing, product risk analyses, etc.”