Meet Angel. A successful Lead Architect who enjoys solving problems and overcoming challenges. Leadership roles are not something he is aiming for. He prefers to get deeply in customers’ pain points, understand them and bring the right solutions. A specialist who does a great job while still growing.
What are you working on right now?
Angel: I am developing a conversational platform as a service (PaaS) for supporting conversational AI applications. I provide these applications with customized machine learning models. This allows our customers’ problems to be solved more accurately using the most human interface: natural language. My team and I aim to provide the best customer experience by building ever-improving models to interpret and solve our customers’ pain points.
What was your career path to get here?
Angel: Coming from a different industry, I arrived wanting to learn all the ins and outs of the company and the telecommunications industry. I joined Telekom as Senior Software Engineer 4 years ago. I tried to focus on the main pain points that several departments were facing. That led me to bring together a couple of technologies to create a PaaS. This aimed to maximize synergies and followed the fundamental philosophy of taking matters into our own hands. I wanted to continue building this conversational PaaS, so I moved to the IT department to focus on operations and continuous delivery. For almost two years now, my team has been working on building reliable conversational services for internal departments within Telekom.
What advice would you give other experts who want to enhance their careers?
Angel: Fall in love with a problem, not a solution. New technologies are exciting and attractive, but we shouldn’t lose perspective and fall for the hype, because the real value lies in solving problems. If we don’t understand the problem in the first place, it won’t really matter what fancy solution we design: it will always come up short. Find the problem you are most interested in solving and then find a sponsor.
What are your tricks to stay on track and keep focused?
Angel: I used to hate routines, and nine-to-five schedules would just bore me out of my mind. However, now I see things a bit differently. I try to compartmentalize my work. I start with the more demanding tasks at the beginning of my day and ease my way through the day. I tend to minimize how many trivial decisions I make, like what to wear, what to eat, etc. This leaves me with more decision-making power for hard problems.