Alex’s wise words on gratitude and his Tech Leadership journey

November 8, 2022

Alex has been with us for over 3.5 years, and it has been quite a journey for him! Alex started off as our front-end and back-end developer, and he is now leading a team of four members as our Software Engineering Team Lead. If there was one piece of advice, he could give to someone, it is to always remain humble and never forget to say thank you.

I think this is coming from my upbringing – my mum and dad always told me that when you work, you work hard and you work smart, but always stay humble! That’s one thing I will never forget, and that’s also one thing that helped me get where I am today. Never forget to say “Thank You” – it’s important to show your appreciation because everything comes at a price. It’s one of the best words to use and I teach the same thing to my children.

Tell us a bit more about your journey.

When I first started, I was working on development work in both front end and back end for about a year. During this role, I got a lot of opportunities to learn within the organisation and across different technologies through the guidance of my previous Principal Developer and Senior Developers – then I got promoted to the Senior Developer role. I continue to mentor and coach my team and soon after, I got the opportunity to be promoted as Software Engineering Team Lead thanks to the trust and faith that my colleagues have in me. Everything changed for me here! I was dealing with a new set of challenges – I went from coding to a Leader whom people now look up to. It was challenging but I was interested – I am always curious to know what management and leadership feels like.

I have to say I am very pleased with the supports that Class is providing. As challenging as it was, the supportive systems in place made it a smooth transition. Our Extreme Performer (EP) program and Horizontal Leadership resources were helpful. They gave me a lot of insights into the leadership roles. I have learnt about what sort of questions and conversations one must focus on, and how to care for our team members.

I would like to mention about my team – I love all of them. They are always incredibly supportive and caring – the best part of it all is the feedback we have for each other. They always let me know what are the areas that I should improve and vice versa, so we can all grow together as a team. One of the biggest lessons that I have learnt as a leader is understanding that every team has its own unique culture – always keep your eye open to what your team’s dynamic is and act according to that. Our team have a motto “We fail as a team, and we success as a team”, there is no Me but only We in the team.

What is your superpower and how do you use this in everyday life?

I think my superpower would be empathy. When I have a conversation with someone, I would listen to them closely and try to relate to the emotions, and experiences of other people. Basically, try to hypothetically place myself in their position and relate to their experience. I hope that my superpower can create an environment that my team can share ideas freely and respectfully. So yes, empathy is my top skill – if someone cried, I might cry too!

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