14 Apr Kevin’s landing on the Sirus Planet: “I feel like I got hired because they believe in me as a person”
14/04/2022 - Merelbeke
Hi there. My name is Kevin.
And I am here to tell you that I have been test flying a Sirus spacecraft for about a month now, and absolutely loved it. Seal of approval without a doubt! There. That is the short version.
But let me elaborate on how I got behind this figurative control stick.
It all started with a gnawing feeling
One day, around the turn of the previous year into the current one, my inner self, which was quite dulled at the time, found itself having one of its brighter moments. It was startled, got a wee bit muddled, and then realized: “Wait a minute… what is this unpleasant, gnawing feeling about me seriously missing out on something in life?”
My mental checklist
That inner self, understanding the gravity of the situation, shared its concerns with my more conscious self, that in turn started running its diagnostics. I instinctively went over my mental “Reasons for Happiness” list, to see what boxes I would still be able to tick… Somewhere between “still breathing” and “winning the lottery, living in a castle and have my single malt brought up to me by the butler”, I couldn’t help but notice there were quite some boxes concerning my professional life, in which the ink had almost faded into oblivion.
Inquisitively I squinted my eyes and took a closer look at them… yikes, something had to be done, indeed.
Therefore I embarked on a quest in search to fulfill my destiny.
Yes, some of you might have read those last few words of that previous sentence, in a Palpatine or Darth Sidious-like voice in their heads. Don’t panic. It is completely normal.
A fair share of humanity
As I wanted to get it absolutely right, I set out with quite an extensive wish list clenched tightly in fist. Being this demanding wouldn’t ease the task, but I was determined not to settle too soon. I came across quite some mismatches, but then I found the Sirus vacancies for .NET Developers on LinkedIn and visited their website.
Something that stood out for me, were the testimonies and personal mottos that told a story about a fair share of humanity within the company policy, that they valued their people, wanted to make them happy and see them grow.
This was a pretty good sign, but I was quite surprised that during the application process for the job, Jochen seemed to be tailoring the vacancy into a bespoke one that suited just me. In hindsight, I am relieved and glad to tell you it turned out to be just that.
A wish list that ticked all the boxes
I mentioned to him that I lacked some training opportunities in the past.
As a result, during my first days, I was able to pick the brain of one of our architects who is strongly involved in the monthly competence centre meetings in which we are able to learn, and got granted access to a Pluralsight account.
I mentioned to him I sometimes felt a bit unsure about myself and lacked proper guidance and mentorship in the past.
As a result, they found a project for which I got paired up with one of our senior developers, whom I can rely on for help when needed.
I mentioned to him I disliked working on projects alone or as a sole representative of the company, without any colleagues from the mothership.
We already got the result partially covered above, but there will be several more colleagues that’ll join me on this project.
I had a wish list, and I was not found wanting.
Once I met my new colleagues, I was also surprised by all the warm welcomes, the down-to-earth mentality, and the genuine interest people showed in me.
Hired because of who I am
I feel like they really listened to the story of what made me who I am today, understood my strengths and weaknesses. I feel like I got hired, not only because of a specific skill set, but also because they believe in me as a person.
It was also briefly mentioned that I got hired to increase the average length of facial hair within the company. I can see their point.
The NASA trip
Finally, as a cherry on top of the cake, no wait I am not that much into cake… As a nice frothy foam head on a cold pint of Guinness, that’s better, they will take me with them to the NASA Space Center in Florida next year!
The NASA trip gets honorary mention, partially because it is a great initiative and incentive, but also because of something else. When I first came across the Sirus website, I was so focused on figuring out the humanitarian aspect of the company, in which I now know they excel, that all the astronauts might have caught my eye, but I didn’t look further into it.
I ended up asking Jochen if there were any projects running in collaboration with NASA. The answer was: not yet, but who knows someday…
To tell you the truth I wouldn’t be surprised we would make it someday, indeed.