At RGI, we believe that being a tech company is about enabling the digital transformation of the insurance industry. This transformation begins with our people, the skills of our programmers, and our ability to retain and grow our talent. With this in mind, we have partnered with Codemotion, a multichannel platform that supports the professional growth of developers and IT professionals, while helping companies connect with the best technology talent for their teams. Through this partnership, we have participated in various events together, including coding challenges with developers and exciting events.
One of our latest activities has been participating in an episode of WannaBe CTO, a digital format by Codemotion conducted by Enrico Maria Cestari, CTO at Jointly and Tech Startup Advisor and Giuseppe Santoro, CTO at Together Price to help aspiring and current CTOs learn from the experience of other colleagues operating in the field. The format can be watched on Youtube and Spotify.
During the last episode, they discussed with our own Carlo Pellegrini, Architecture and Software Engineering Director, to discuss the experiences and challenges of an IT career, from RGI’s tech stack to our R&D departments, as well as its innovative working environment.
Thanks to Carlo Pellegrini’s point of view – with 15+ years of career in RGI, in which the company evolved significantly, too – as well as his experience, the episode unveils valuable insights and practical tips on how to successfully navigate the challenges of transitioning from individual contributor to manager, and from manager to director, in a rapidly growing tech company.
The discussion was insightful, and here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when seeking growth in the IT world:
1 – A path from contributor to enabler: Transitioning from individual contributor to manager, which is one of the main possibilities of a career path in IT, involves accepting that others are responsible for producing results. As a manager, you become an enabler, maintaining the structure of the development process. It requires organizing the company’s processes, finding the right balance between autonomy and structure, and building a structure to facilitate this balance.
2 – Every role has its own set of questions: In order to reach a balance, all people in the process have to answer different needs. For instance, at the team level, you work with maximum autonomy on “how” to make something, in exchange for a clear vision and specific outcomes. As a manager, you need to coordinate the team, making sure to guide on “what” and explain “why.”
3 – Having the right approach to face an ever-changing tech world: As technologies evolve rapidly, it’s necessary to have a structure that allows gradual and iterative changes that may happen along the way. Also, an analytical approach is necessary in managing technological choices in relation to business needs – and this is is not just about choosing a specific programme or tool, but asking questions such as: is it economically sustainable? What is the support regarding the community/vendor level? Can I find competent people on the market in that technology stack?
4 – Shifting the point of view: Motivating and guiding teams on a large scale requires continuous training, dual growth paths, and clarity and transparency regarding the company’s vision and direction. At the same time, at an individual level, those who are looking to grow in their careers in large and structured companies, need to shift their way of working and thinking, transitioning from being a “doer” to an being an “inspirer”.
5 – Continuous learning is important both inside and outside the company:soft skills, and a learning path are necessary for career growth. Building a culture of continuous learning, prioritizing flexibility, and fostering a clear and shared vision across the organization. Also, for tech people it is important to continue following tech innovations.
6 – Feedback is key: while programmers receive instant feedback (the program either works or does not work), managers do not have immediate visibility on the outcome of their decisions – and in the case of a director, the timelines are even longer. Therefore, the feedback loop must be shortened, and measurement becomes crucial to get immediate visibility on the outcome of decisions.