In my previous posts, I shared my experiences around my personal growth, which lead me to join XPirit | Part of Xebia. In this post, I will write about what I have experienced so far. There are also links to my colleagues at certain events. Check those out.
XPirit | Part of Xebia`s mantra "the right people for the right assignment", means that there has to be a good fit with the customer. From the moment I signed, Annemie asked me to convert my CV to the format that XPirit | Part of Xebia uses, so she can start the hunt for finding the assignments.
It felt very strange to be hired and not yet have a clear goal, or purpose. "For qualified personnel, there is always an assignment available", according to Pieter. Meanwhile, I studied for Blazor because there is a project that needed some bug fixing.
When the first assignment came in, I put myself in the shoes of the consultant. The mindset I have now is simply: "How can I help you?". The customer was searching for experience. Some I have, some I have not. Working with security-related systems, OpenID, ASP.NET Core 6... felt challenging. I was thrilled to work with this. Gill supported me to study OpenID in ASP.NET 6 one week before the new assignment. I needed that to start more confidently.
What I soon realised is that in an assignment there is a part for where you are hired for and there will be some extras on the side as well. I take the vision and mission statements of XPirit | Part of Xebia seriously. I started a small meeting each week where we can do some knowledge sharing. After all, the consultant will leave at a certain point. It works in both ways as well. This gave me also an opportunity to get to know the customer better and to form a connection.
My official onboarding at Hilversum was a bit late but fun, due to corona at the time. My official first day was with Pieter and Annemie. I had an introduction and got a laptop and some swag. I got a cool IoT device as well, but I still need to play with that. Later that day we went out for lunch.
The official onboarding happens in Hilversum for now. In the morning you get information about the culture, company,... In the afternoon, a game (escape room style) took place to get to know the departments, their locations in the building and what Xebia and XPirit has to offer to their employees as well as their customers.
I started this blog to share my experiences on a personal level for now. I do want to start sharing knowledge about certain technologies, coding and other topics as well. This blog should also help me to develop a better writing style. I do have Bas, who gives me feedback and I am grateful for that!
In the Netherlands, each Tuesday, there is a possibility to share or follow a topic from another "XPiriter". In Belgium, that format also exists, although a bit different. For now, that happens each month. There is a summary on what is happening in the company, some time is reserved to hear the other consultants as well.
Each year, there are innovation days, where you, as a consultant, are non-billable. That day is about discovering, gathering, and sharing knowledge with other consultants. At the end of the day, there is a small demo or talk about what you did that day. It is okay if you have nothing visible to show, the idea is that you learn, even if it is through failure.
At XPirit | Part of Xebia, you have a minimum of 6 days that you need to fill in to gather knowledge. How you do that is up to you. Before you get crazy with expensive and far-away conferences, there is a budget available as well. Your non-billable hours are not covered in that budget, but e.g. your flying tickets are part of the budget.
In 2023, I decided to study and get a start for the Az-204 certification. Of course, those days will be subtracted from your training days. While I do struggle with having a lot of freedom, when to ask for something and then just do something and share, it was in this case better to get some idea`s about this. It seems it is better to wait until Q4 to gain some study time. A company can close, and the assignment can stop. Those days can also be put to use to study. However, I felt very anxious and wanted to start the new year with good resolutions. This falls under the category of "Lessons learned".
It is important to gather some certificates to put on your CV. Not that a certificate tells you that one candidate is more capable than the one that does not have that certificate, however, it does tell you that that person wants to go the extra mile. The certificate will however be a part of the evidence that the person does possess some knowledge about those topics.
Plenty of time before the magazine is published, they are searching for articles. I was proud of the technology WireMock.Net that I used for my customer. However, I did not how to start the article. Bas has helped me to gain some structure and learned how to write for the article. You can read that here.
I had the family day of 2022 which was in Beringen. In the morning we visited the mine and its surroundings. During the whole day, we had some food and drinks to share.
The other family day of 2023 already took place. We went to Disneyland for the whole 2 days.
At XPirit | Part of Xebia, they love their Swag. It is quite impressive how proud they are to announce their new creations. Most of the time, that happens on an innovation day. It builds up hype in the company as well. I have 3 nice T-shirts. 2 good polo`s, 3 sweaters, 1 heavy warm sweater. I do wear them at the innovation days as well as to work at the customer.
Christmas Market Leuven
In December 2022, XPirit | Part of Xebia came together to visit the Christmas market there. I had never been to Leuven's Christmas Market, so I was very curious. However, I do hate traffic. Going to Leuven and meeting up at 6 PM seems hellish. I worked with the customer in Brussels that day. I left early, went to the library in Leuven and there I worked until it was time to meet. I am free to work like that. Working like a digital nomad, maybe for something in the future or can this be a part of this adventure at XPirit as well?
At the first innovation day in May 2022, at the end of the day, it was a Christmas party as well. The management had followed a course at a chef. At the end of the innovation day, they served us "Haute de cuisine"! Due to corona, the party was postponed. What they served was epic ( link ).
At the end of December 2022, in Belgium, they send us a care package. Something to organise an online quiz. It was fun as well.
What I have experienced in previous companies, is that when it is your birthday, you get wishes, maybe a card. You bring something to the company to share. Due to the nature of a consultancy agency, there is no such thing as one place where you are each day. I got a lovely gift sent to my place! Thanks, XPirit | Part of Xebia!
New Years drink
To start the new year, we came together to Gill Cleeren's place for having new years drinks with something to eat. Afterwards, there was a status meeting on what goals to get this year. Where in 2022, XPirit | Part of Xebia was the only brand in Belgium, exploited by our company. In 2023, we are now officially part of Xebia! It is fun to see the engagement of our management and the transparency of the goals they want to get.
The overview above should help you gain some insight into what we do at XPirit | Part of Xebia. There is a lot to do and it is important to protect your boundaries as well. Later, around April / May 2023, I will create another post that fits in this series. I feel like I have said everything about these topics. Then I can say I worked for 1 year for them!
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