In line with Sigma Software Group’s aim to continue growing our team and to intensify our education efforts for IT specialists of all levels, our training department was enriched with Maxim Pochebut. Maxim has taken the position of Chief Learning Officer at Sigma Software and is going to focus on building a service-oriented learning organization. This will be based on the synergy of the company’s people services to create additional possibilities for scaling and boosting business in different domains and geographical locations.
Maxim Pochebut, Ph.D., ex-associate dean of the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, ex-Director, Resource Development at EPAM, vice-president of the IT Ukraine Association, and now a Chief Learning Officer at Sigma Software, shared his experience in the field of education and how he views both the internal and external education provided by Sigma Software.
Maxim, can you please tell us about your experience in training and education?
I have a diverse background that includes management experience both in the academic and IT corporate environment as well as in industry development from heading the IT Ukraine Association’s educational committee.
This expertise helps me shape efficient education systems for IT businesses, schools and universities, and for state agencies including the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry for Digital Transformation of Ukraine, and others. I hope my accumulated background will be useful for boosting the learning ecosystem of Sigma Software.
What were your main activities over the last five years?
Over the last couple of years, I was focused on managing an IT educational system at EPAM for the Central and Eastern European region, including Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Spain.
My team and I were building educational services for cooperation with universities and student communities as well as for the integration of new engineers into the corporate system. Also, I took part in launching new education projects for the B2C segment.
How big was your team?
My IT education team included about 60 specialists and the educational system that we created together prepares about 4 thousand IT engineers every year, while over 17 thousand people are willing to take part in one or more courses provided by the system.
How do you see your role at Sigma Software?
It looks fascinating to work in a fast-evolving business such as Sigma Software and to play a certain role in the new stages of this process. I’m going to take part in all processes that relate to learning – external communications of Sigma Software University, working with universities, internal domain, continuous education, and developing internal education tools. All activities starting from student’s learning about the company to working with senior specialists in all areas concerning education. Since the whole people organization structure, like HR, tech assistance, and recruiting work closely with educational issues, my focus is to develop synergy between many services to create optimal education, people management, people engagement, and other services.
What are your plans regarding the Sigma Software training team? Should it be increased in your opinion?
The first point in my plan is to audit the training process and get a fresh perspective of what can be optimized and improved. At this stage, I feel that we need to grow the training team to broaden cooperation with academia and to intensify digital marketing measures. I guess digital marketing will be our focus for the next several months. Because of the pandemic, many events went online and we have a new generation that lives online. We will need to work actively with this generation, and it’s only possible with an extensive digital marketing strategy.
What is your main task at Sigma Software?
My task is to reach the maximum synergetic effect of the company services on efficient business scaling both in quantitative and in qualitative indicators. To achieve this, we will need to understand that internal company services are called so for a reason. They must actually provide the service to the business. The initiatives of such services must solve specific business tasks and bear a specific business-oriented function. Unless it is CSR of course.
Additionally, with Sigma Software Group going from 1,500 specialists to the next scale level, we will switch to a new and more mature structure of management and administration. In parallel, we will build a new training system aimed at those who form its core. With staff turnover, new people should align with the company’s veterans, so we will need to scale the core in order to relay the knowledge, values, and the culture of the company that was established before. This will be impossible without the efficient cooperation of all service business units. Remote work creates additional obstacles for that as well.
Can you tell us more about these obstacles?
The pandemic overtook all of us about a year and a half ago. I divide the IT industry and its development in terms of education and people management into two periods: pre-COVID and post-COVID. Many tools and approaches that used to work before the pandemic should be transformed and rebuilt.
Now we operate in the new reality – there is a lot of work and the business aims to deliver a high level of quality. Individual specialists on the other side, found themselves with a completely new setup – they work from home with minimum communication with their companies. The functioning of people services in companies has not coined yet. There are no precise recommendations or even any understanding of what is the right way to do things. We still need to find the best methods and I plan to do a lot of research activities for engagement of existing and new specialists, broadening communications with universities, and rethinking the service side of IT business in line with the new reality.
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