Jumbo Tech Campus
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Jumbo Tech Campus

When a big company slows you down

Changing your perspective can be the key

Big fish, little pond

Just before I came to Jumbo, I came from a company roughly around the size of 175 people. We worked on the latest technologies. I was writing Typescript, Erlang and Python. We successfully did infrastructure as code with terraform and puppet, wrote masses of microservices which we ran on Kubernetes, were early adopters of Google Cloud Platform and used the majority of their services. From Bigquery, looker, and pubsub, to Kubernetes, compute and so much more. No shame in discovering the frontline of technology, learning what you didn’t know and getting it to production.

Bigger pond

I was open for internal vacancies, so I decided that I should be open for external vacancies as well. I knew the recruiter that worked at Jumbo at that time and I decided to check in with him to see if there where some roles that might match with my profile.

Why I joined

This super kindhearted guy was sitting in front of me, looked me dead in the eye and said something along these lines:

  • I can really make a difference here
  • This guy is so honest, there can be no mistake here, I know exactly what I sign up for and I love the challenge
  • I can be at the spot where I want to be, between structural and technical changes and talking with people

Honeymoon was over

Three months in and something changed. I was full of ideas, but even more so: real life solutions that solve a lot of the issues that I saw there. I was able to tell people about them, but somehow I didn’t feel the ship steering.

Talking about it

I’m an open book. I have an extreme sense of justice. When I see something that I think needs change, you’ll hear it. I think negativity is poisonous and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. You shouldn’t want to infect your peers with it. It’s your leaders that you should talk to. It wouldn’t be fair to do it otherwise.

Dear Tim. You are used to steer a speedboat. When you turn the rudder, you find yourself briefly with your face to the wall of the boat and before you know it you are on course again. But take a step back. You are on a transatlantic cargo ship here. Appreciate the size! Change the course of this ship, even if it where for 2%, and you’ve moved millions and millions worth of value into a different direction.

I never looked at it this way. I was looking at it from a technical perspective and I completely underestimated how big organisations have a hard time to get accustomed to new technology or even make decisions. That realisation was one of the things I signed up for. You might even say that 400 technical people isn’t that many people to begin with, but imagine how big the cargo ship would be if it needed 400 employees. It’s not necessarily the amount of employees that resembles the scale, but the amount of water it displaces when it’s moving. I was so happy to gain new insights and learn about how this works.

You know what the fun thing is with such a cargo-ship. You now know how hard it is to steer such a behemoth. So when you become certain that we are on the correct course, leave your fears behind. Because the odds of us turning back to doing something that doesn’t work are slim to none.

Let that one sink in for a bit.

In it for the long haul

Being in a company for the long haul, enables you to really build relationships and a product.

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