Within one year from data analist to Azure developer
Two years ago, Duygu Yilmaz came to the Netherlands from Turkey. After studying Management Information Systems at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, she worked as a Data Analyst. At Rabobank, she made the switch to Data Engineer. She and her team are now working on the migration of Rabobank's IT systems to the Azure cloud.
“When I started at Rabobank, we worked with PowerCenter and had a classic Data Warehouse system. It was well structured and maintained, but it was an old system. We have been working on the transition of applications to the Azure cloud for about eight months now. We specifically use Azure Data Factory, one of the tools that Microsoft Azure offers. This is where we develop processes and let the transformation of data take place”.
“I made the switch from analyst to developer to broaden my horizon and learn new skills. It takes time to learn something new. It is a growth process. But the change of technology to Azure means that everyone in my team is going through this change and the learning process together. Whether you are a junior or a senior, everyone on the team and in the department has to deal with this new technology. Learning something new together means you have to collaborate a lot – also with other teams. Working together and learning from each other makes my work very challenging and interesting.
“What skills do you need for this work? If you’ re talking about technical skills, it is of course useful if you are already familiar with Azure, but it is not a requirement. Other related technical knowledge and experience is just as useful for the work you are going to do.
If you look at soft skills, good communication skills are actually the most important. Being able to express yourself, ask questions, work together, not be shy. If I don’t know what you’re thinking about, I can’t help you. And you just can’t know everything – certainly not with a new technology. The culture in our team is that you don’t have to be afraid to say something wrong. If you have an idea, just say it.
Besides this, you have to be curious. Within this work you do a lot of research. If you set up something new, it’s useful when you can quickly find out what you can do in case of error messages. On the internet there is a large community of people who come across the same things and offer each other solutions and share their knowledge. And of course you make sure that you are up to date with the latest developments and updates in the field of Azure”.
Working in teams
“At Rabobank we work according to the Scrum methodology, so my team consists of a Scrum Master, a Product Owner and a Solution Architect (responsible for the architecture of the software solution). Furthermore, the team consists of a Business Analyst, three Data Engineers and a Tester. The latter started last week and a new Data Engineer will start next week. We are growing rapidly and are looking for people who can participate in setting up systems and processes on the Azure platform.
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I also worked with Scrum in Turkey, but that was still in its very early stages. At Rabobank, many teams have been using this method for much longer. In the beginning, I found that somewhat overwhelming. Everything is transparent, you know everything that’s going on and what people are working on. If you’re used to it, however, it’s very structured. We divide the work into small pieces. We see what we are going to do, when we are going to do it and what the plan is for next week. It’s very interesting to see what other people are working on, so that you know who you can turn to if you have questions.
It sounds like a contradiction. On the one hand, we need to be flexible in implementing the new technology. On the other hand, there must also be structure to work and learn together. My team is trying to find a good balance between this apparent contradiction between flexibility and structure. We try to find solutions to problems together by looking at each other’s screens. Once we have come up with a solution or a specification, we share it during knowledge-sharing sessions”.
Room to grow
“I am always looking for opportunities to grow, to learn, to train. I would like to be an expert in my work. At the same time, I don’t want to work alone. I like to work with other people and I like to share knowledge. There is plenty of room for that within the Rabobank. The work you do is appreciated.
I find it inspiring to share knowledge about Azure. We started using the Azure platform less than a year ago, but now I train other teams within the bank on how to use Azure Data Factory. I’m happy to do that. Having knowledge is fun, but sharing knowledge is even more fun. It has always been my dream to provide training in my field and now I have succeeded! I started as a Data Engineer with no real experience as a developer. Sometimes it still surprises me: I didn’t expect to grow so fast”.