Kainos excels at spotting talent you didn’t even know you had! Case in point – me! I started working in Kainos as a Trainee Integration Consultant in July 2015 however I had applied for a Software Developer position so I was a little surprised!
I didn’t even know what an Integration Consultant role involved. Before my interview and onboarding process I had heard of some ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems but wasn’t familiar with them. I thought: ‘What the heck! I’ll give it a shot.’ And so it began…
It turned out that the job was perfectly tailored for me! Before I began working in the IT world, I was afraid of becoming a typical programmer or the false stereotype of a programmer that we are all aware of; you know the silent not very sociable guy? I shouldn’t have been concerned my work is mostly about talking to colleagues and clients and travelling the world!
What does an Integration Consultant do?
To be more precise, my job is to take care of the entire process of building software. Imagine a large, global company that hires thousands of employees. They decide to use Workday; a cloud-based ERP system, for better resource planning and management. My job is to build integration systems to ensure data flows between Workday and the other systems that the company currently uses. To do that I need to perform a couple of activities which actually fit into the software development cycle:
- gather all the requirements from the client and get to know what data needs to be exchanged between two systems
- design the integration system – choose the technology, think of the business flow, prepare the documentation with diagrams etc
- implement the integration system, based on Workday’s out-of-the-box, pre-configured connectors, helping myself with some XSLT and Java
- unit test the created system and support the client with acceptance testing
- help the client to maintain the system after the successful go-live
Of course, in each of these phases we are in constant contact with the client working closely with them to understand their requirements and ensure a smooth handover of the system.
To sum up, I will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this position.
What types of clients do you work for?
I spend a lot of my time speaking to HR and Payroll managers and IT managers of big international companies. Access to people at the top of their respective fields gives me a great opportunity to learn how “big business” works and gain some valuable connections.
How much do you travel?
It depends on project and what phase it’s at. Sometimes, we don’t travel for half a year and sometimes we travel 3 times per month. But it’s really not something you should worry about. The amount of time spent travelling is just right and everyone in my team really enjoys it!
How much coding is involved?
If you really like coding and you can’t live without at least couple of lines written per day, then it is not a job for you. We do code custom solutions mostly using XSLT language, but it is not the essence of our work. However if you’d like to look at the process of creating software from a wider perspective and you’d like to have each aspect of it under your control – this is definitely something for you.
What set of skills do I need to be successful in this position?
I think you need to be a people person. It is vital that you can easily connect with a variety of different people and genuinely enjoy meeting new people. Also essential is the ability to translate technical language into a format easily understood by non-technical people. Finally, it is vitally important that you have well developed ability to create buy in for your concepts and persuade people to follow your lead.