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Yempo Employee Spotlight: John Aldrin Toledo

Yempo Employee Spotlight: John Aldrin

Cloud engineering combines cloud computing with other engineering disciplines. Practically, it utilizes the engineering methods and tools in designing, developing, operating and maintaining cloud computing solutions and systems.

This month’s Yempo Spotlight focuses on John Aldrin, a cloud engineer. Additionally, he is also a managing consultant. As a cloud engineer, he handles managed-services customers and sometimes projects mainly dealing with Azure and Office 365, infrastructure, and DevOps. As a managing consultant, he focuses more on technical and career development of his client and building relationships with both Microsoft and Telstra. Right now, John also manages people; he started managing purely the cloud engineers and TSAs as a team lead but when moved up to managing consultant, he delegated those managing tasks to people leaders, who are now managing the people leaders themselves who manage their own mentees.

How long has John been with Yempo and how did he start?

John’s third-year anniversary for Yempo, incidentally, was last July 21. He got wind of the job when he checked JobStreet and saw Yempo advertising a job description that fit what he had in mind. After sending his application, it only took at most a week for an interview to be scheduled for John. The succeeding week, John already started for Yempo.

What is his client and what can he tell readers tell about his client?

John has worked with his client, ever since he started with Yempo, and when John started for them they were on their fifth year, a really young and growing company similar to Yempo. John believes that Yempo and his client practically share the same values. They also share the same characteristics. And John thinks that that is one of the major points or buy-ins why his client decided to partner with Yempo. His client has two main arms when it comes to their business model: the professional services, with people who actually sell the products, and then managed services.

How is John’s working relationship with his client?

The relationship has always been warm, John says. Sometimes during their daily talks with their clients they don’t even talk about work at all, they just chat with the group, chat with the engineers just to make sure to build a relationship with everyone. The working relationship has been good.

What is the best thing about the job and what makes him stay?

What has made John stay are four factors: 1. Colleagues. 2. Management. 3. Growth 4. Compensation.

John put compensation last because he believes that compensation will always be there. If an employee has a good relationship with colleagues, John believes, there won’t be any boring day inside the office. You won’t feel that going to the office is a burden or an issue or a problem that you have to face every day. Management is second because if there is good management you will be sure that there’s a direction for the company and its employees. John placed growth third because compensation will always follow if you have a good career or technical growth, and you can use that growth if you decide to transfer to another company.

How is John improving in his career?

John’s client has been very supportive and has confidence in his capabilities, especially David, the national service delivery manager.

How does Yempo manage client-facing employees?

Yempo is much more hands-on, John believes. When he started, Yempo was really small, but now it has three offices. Attrition is not high, which is a sign that Yempo is doing its job pretty well. Bumps or hiccups along the road are unavoidable, but because Yempo can adapt really fast, the company knows what to change and what to improve right away. Another good thing that John likes with Yempo is that the company values feedback coming from their employees as well.

What challenge has John experienced and how was it solved?

There have been some minor challenges regarding miscommunication, but John believes that that’s normal for any company. Sometimes there will be some communication or rules that will not be executed properly. But this one thing has been improved already through weekly meetings. Everything is smooth sailing now, adds John.

What does John like best about Yempo’s culture?

Community, John answers, which is something visible in the office and also on the outside, as Yempo also does some charity work. Yempo is cool, fun, and professional, according to John. Cool because it’s awesome, relaxed workplace—with its own pantry, beanbags. This is important because some employees don’t like the enterprise setup environment. Fun because people working in Yempo are fun people, especially within John’s team. Professional because regardless of how fun and cool, people remain professional in terms of finishing tasks.

Is there anything that can still be improved with Yempo in terms of client and client-facing staff? What can still be done?

John believes that there is no need for drastic changes, because when Jeff Milanes arrived, the Manila account lead, there has been weekly catch-ups. Jeff has more insight into how everything works in the Philippines, how it works with the team, provide feedback, and the result is better collaboration internally without the necessary involvement with the client. Because if things can be improved internally within Yempo, that is always better than engaging the client right away, John believes.

What John’s suggestion to improve his client and Yempo’s working relationship?

His client and Yempo’s relationship will always be there, John says, but one thing that can be improved or added–not just in terms of the client and Yempo as brands or companies, but actually with the people working for his client and Yempo, and the best buy-in to make the employees engaged within Yempo and client–are activities, something like having a family day within Yempo, even maybe quarterly, an activity that can bring family or kids to the workplace–at least they have a better idea on the actual nature of the parents’ working environment. Just an informal activity, get together, John adds, which may push employees’ morale and confidence.

What can John name as one core value of Yempo that he thinks is really important in making the business sustainable?

Commitment. Excellence is something that you can only achieve if you are really committed to what you are doing. Commitment, John believes, means that regardless of if you fail or succeed, you have that perseverance to get back up, try to make up for your mistakes, and put the learning into practice day in and day out. That’s why commitment is key, John adds.

Is John still looking forward to going to work every day? Why or why not?

A big yes, John says, he still looks forward to going to work every day. John still loves seeing the guys he works with every day; in fact, they even see each other outside work. John says the working environment is really fun; working with his client means working with new tech and working with challenges every day. John loves challenges, he adds, loves being surprised—that makes the work interesting.

Does John see himself still working for the company five years from now? Why or why not?

John still sees himself working for Yempo in five years, maybe in a different role, most likely, and if possible still working with the same set of people

What is John’s best work experience so far?

One of John’s best work experiences, he says, was when he went to Australia in 2017 with some of his colleagues. They were there for two weeks, and John adds that it was fun meeting fellow colleagues, putting faces to names, and even meeting some of the clients and customers that he had worked with before. John was also able to visit Qantas Airways and PWC; overall it was a fun experience, and that it was good hanging out and meeting guys that are also working for his client.

Another instance was when John started his shift at 8:00 a.m. and ended up working until 3:00 a.m. the next day to complete an urgent and important deliverable. John was able to complete it, and the client was satisfied. Right after completing it, John quipped and asked the client if he could go home and take a shower. It was a truly memorable experience, John adds.

Is there any piece of advice that someone has given him that he now follows?

Just say yes when you are faced with challenges, John believes, and to just face it head-on. What John means by this is that once someone says no or declines a challenge, he or she is already defeated even without doing anything yet. That’s what John tries to impart to his colleagues.

“Just say yes even if you are not entirely sure or confident because we will be there to support you anyway. If you are working in a community, have a good collaboration and a good relationship with your colleagues. You are not going to be alone, there’s always going to be someone you can reach out to,” John adds.

Are there any quotable quotes or advice that John abides by what he thinks is effective and would be helpful to follow?

“It’s more of a way of life,” John answers. “There’s no failure, just learning. That’s what I try to live by every day. If ever you are not successful in something, that just means that there is an opportunity to learn something new. There’s an opportunity to try a different approach. Because once you let yourself get affected by a failure or a mistake, that’s when you stop growing. Never consider failures, never consider setbacks. Just replace them, put them into learnings.”

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