My name is Albert Kavsek and I’am Senior Consultant at Devoteam Netherlands. My roots are in Limburg (my grandfather is from Slovenia). Back in the days, I studied Higher Economic Administration Studies at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, in the direction of Business Informatics. After my graduation, I considered doing something related to IT because I simply really liked computers. IT has many aspects and the one that attracted me the most was Functional Management. Mainly because you have a lot of direct contact with your client and the goal is to simply facilitate your own or your clients’ lives. Oh yeah, and I love sports too!
Through a summer job I started working for ING Bank, where I ended up staying for 19 loyal years while taking on multiple positions such as functional management, information analyst, and project leader. After 19 years at ING, I decided for myself that I will either stay there for the rest of my life or do something else, somewhere else. I chose to move on and try something new. And so I did – I worked for another 3 companies before I was approached by Devoteam. At first, I was unsure whether I wanted to take up the role as a consultant, but I actually started to like it. And now it is almost a year ago that I joined Devoteam. I am currently working on a project for Logius together with other Devoteam colleagues that I am enjoying a lot!
A typical working day in Scrum teams: we are in each other’s pockets
I always spend the first hour of the day in the car on my way to the Logius office. Once on location, I take a shower (luckily we have this possibility at the offices). After preparing myself, I grab a cup of coffee and check my emails. At Logius we have a Scrum-kind-of-way of working, which basically means to see what has changed on the Scrum board. Then we have a Daily Standup by phone with the development team from another company and my Logius colleagues. Some days I work at the office of the respected development team as well. The great thing about working in Scrum teams is the fact that we are in each other’s pockets. You are in contact with each other the whole time. However, the work varies a lot. We call customers to help them solve their problems.
Also, I manage an application called “DigiLevering”. This app sends signals to the government for fundamental changes within the Municipal Personal Records Database. But in order to receive it, technical connections and a subscription that states from which municipalities within a city the government wants to receive the data are needed. Additionally, the exact kind of data needs to be determined as well. Since I manage the connection process of the client to the Municipal Personal Records Database, any questions or concerns regarding the application will be aimed at me.
So the biggest part of the day I am busy checking my emails, having calls, and consulting. At Logius we work according to the SAFe concept. The Scaled Agile Framework (or SAFe) is a set of organization and workflow patterns intended to guide an enterprise in scaling lean and agile practices. This is the first time I am working at a company that fully makes use of this method, and I find it very interesting. This type of workflow means that we meet to make plans for every 3 months. The workload for those 3 months will be cut out into two-week-long sprints. During these sprints, we have standups where we discuss what needs to be done, what are the obstacles, etc.
Since I have knowledge of the business needs and the applications, it is also my job to replace the product owner when he/she is not available. The product owner is the person who determines what is important and what is not. Aside from the specific tasks, I listen, read, look around a lot, and socialize with colleagues. In order to look further then only my current field of work, I try to keep up with what is happening at both Logius as well as Devoteam.
The value of “Tech for People” in my current project
I am experienced and doing a decent job as a Functional Manager. Furthermore, I am open to new developments, not afraid of the unknown, and try to go along with the wishes of the company I work for. I am adding value to them by providing them with the necessary skills for a certain job to be done. I am not a developer or an engineer, but I do have knowledge of management, agile, and BISL, and Itil. Technology is not only programming, it is also a skill of conduct or a way of thinking that you possess. It can be coordination, control, and delegation. I believe that at Devoteam, we are able to deliver the “Tech for People” value the way our clients request it.
Sports have been the goal of my life
In my free time I am a father of 2 and a sportsman. Sports have been the goal of my entire life. I join track and field competitions, and online rowing competitions where I compete globally against other people. I usually have the top (or top 10) score among same-aged men in the Netherlands. If I don’t jog or row, then you can find me on my bicycle for at least 1 to 2 hours a day. Sometimes I find myself 200 kilometers away from home…
Two things I am most proud of
Off-work: I am most proud of the fact that I am 52 years old and have the physical condition of a 20-year old. On-work: I am proud of the fact that no matter where I get to work, I do well. I believe I am a decent consultant for a company such as Devoteam.
Advice to new Devoteam colleagues
For colleagues who have recently begun their careers at Devoteam: Do not take on a project in your first month. Take the time to get accustomed to the company and its procedures. Take the time to absorb knowledge from your new colleagues and get to know them. Make sure they get to know you too. If wanted, you could even take a course or certify yourself in a new field, as I did in my first month.
Advice for future colleagues: If it gives you gratification to work on varying projects within a smaller company, where everybody knows each other and lots of things happen on a regular basis, then Devoteam is the right place for you. Devoteam is a flat organization where everybody has access to everybody, which is a big plus. The best thing is that you might get deployed to work for the client at their office, but Devoteam still does a lot to include you.