A Little Smarter Every Day: Professional Development at Ultra Tendency in 2020 and Beyond

23.12.2020

UT HR & Recruiting

// Our commitment to professional development and certification:  

At the end of 2020, we want to share our recent successes in learning and certification. One of our central values at Ultra Tendency is to learn and to be curious. Employees can take control of their career and learning, to advance within the company and take on more responsibility. We will support them on this path. There are great opportunities at Ultra Tendency for employees to create and own their success and initiatives here. Because of this cultural value, after one trip around the sun, employees at Ultra Tendency learn more than they would at any university. 

The mission of Ultra Tendency is to maximize the value of data and the pace of technological development in software is faster than in most industries. Our values emphasize knowledge sharingopen communicationcontinuous learning, and professional development. That is why we want to say a few words about what we accomplished in 2020.  

This year, 38% of our developers and architects earned 31 different certifications. We also began a business subscription to Udemy, of which the learning paths have been a great help to our employees preparing for certification exams. Of the Udemy accounts we contracted, 88% of users are actively using the platform. Here we see in chart form the certifications earned per technology or IT platform: 

That is the overall picture. Let us hear what some Ultra Tendency architects and engineers have to say about their professional development in 2020. 

// “If they say they don’t have free time, don’t believe it.”

Ultra Tendency software engineer Rail says that he has time to learn because he reserves time each week to devote solely to improving his skills. Everyone is busy and the sun sets every day just as before. But learning is not about time; it is about priorities.

For Rail, the learning priority in 2020 has been KubernetesThe Linux Foundation verified Rail as Certified Kubernetes Application Developer. Prior to certification, Rail was already quite knowledgeable about Kubernetes from books, online resources, and practical experience. Yet studying for certification through Ultra Tendency’s Udemy subscription brought a more structured knowledge. The Udemy course was, according to Rail, a 100% match. It gave him everything he needed to know, and so long as he was able to complete the practical assignments on Udemy, he knew he could pass the Linux Foundation exam.  

Kubernetes was Rail’s choice for certification because so many projects at Ultra Tendency are deployed on Kubernetes clusters. While the certification is important from a professional perspective, the piece of paper is not so important to Rail. What is important is “…this feeling of finding pleasure from the activity. When you are assigned some task you get a kind of dopamine rush. I think it’s the main factor in everything we do in life: to love and to get pleasure from what you are doing and to understand that it’s not in vain, but that it has a purpose.”  

// “I didn’t plan to pass a certification exam, but I had the knowledge, so why not?” 

Alexey is known as a software architecture guru at Ultra Tendency. He attributes his great store of knowledge to his interest in keeping up with the newest technologies through a variety of media available today: podcasts, YouTube, and his own online research.

When Ultra Tendency initiated cooperation with Udemy earlier this year, Alexey opted for AWS Solutions Architect Certification, because AWS is the leading public cloud provider on the market and as a software architect, he had more experience with big data technologies than cloud computing. The decision was spontaneous, and he chose a certification course because it would give a 3600 view of the subject. He had not intended to earn certification, but when he saw that he could, he went ahead and earned AWS certification.

Alexey found it most useful to combine theoretical studies for the exam with practical experience at Ultra Tendency. The Udemy course was a mixture of theoretical instruction and practical assignments, but doing homework is never the same as on-the-job learning. After completing a small AWS project at Ultra Tendency, everything clicked, and he completed the course and the certification exam.  

//  “Certification preparation helps you to look at problems outside of your normal scope.” 

Dominik is a DevOps engineer at Ultra Tendency who completed many of his cloud computing certifications just before starting with us. Since our projects often involve Azure cloud computing, he earned certification as Azure Administrator Associate. In short order, he was also certified on Terraform by HashiCorp and then finally he earned another Azure certification as MS Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert. Shortly thereafter, he passed the equivalent examination as AWS DevOps Engineer Professional

Dominik has been busy. 

One of the most difficult matters to negotiate, according to Dominik, is that the certifications are constantly changing and quickly become outdated. Ultra Tendency’s Udemy subscription is useful here because the courses are current and cover the necessary theory and skill. Udemy has become his top source of preparation for exam certification. Ultra Tendency colleagues are likewise an invaluable source of knowledge.

The most valuable aspect of continuous learning for Dominik, for Ultra Tendency, and for our customers is that study forces experts out of their usual habits. As Dominik says, “In my day-to-day business, I would probably never use a variety of services from Azure, but since I had to prepare for the certification, when I am working on a project, I will often think of a different approach that would not have come to me had I not done a deep dive into public cloud computing.”  

// Merry Christmas! 

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” This quote from Henry Ford encapsulates our values at Ultra Tendency and our big data experts echoed this sentiment in their comments: if you have a computer science degree, you understand many theoretical and practical fundamentals, but the technologies change, and one must spend time learning how to use new, complex platforms and technologies in order to stay on top of the latest developments. 

We at Ultra Tendency have new aims, new ambitions, and we hope that 2021 will bring new achievements and goals for everyone. We wish all our employees, partners, and customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! With a workforce that is continually learning, Ultra Tendency can move into 2021 with confidence and optimism!