A couple of years ago, I decided to move to Artigas Province, far from the hustle and bustle of Montevideo, traffic and alike, in search of tranquility, and spending time with my family.
I was born in Bella Unión, a small town, and the farthest there is from Montevideo, with more than 17,000 inhabitants in the city and its area of influence. The main source of work is in the primary sector (production of sugar cane, vegetables, and rice among others), industry (company ALUR) and trade, mainly duty-free shops, for it is in the borderline with Brazil and Argentina. Specialized jobs are scarce; therefore, a family’s average income is low .
At the beginning of 2017 I decided I would trade career for settling with my family in Bella Unión, because finding a job there was quite uncertain.
IIt was unthinkable I could live in Artigas and work remotely for the office located in Montevideo; it would imply frequently traveling to Montevideo where international alliances are signed and having to cope with overwhelming work load. However, after a while, I perceived that whereas in Montevideo it is very difficult to find trained human resources willing to join a team and stay, because some team members often receive job offers to join other companies and leave, in the provinces, there are trained young people who do not want, or cannot move elsewhere, and after graduation they work for other industries due to the lack of I.T. job opportunities where they live. Consequently, it was pretty obvious to me, that we should seize the opportunity to set up a new office in the provinces.
We discussed the idea to and fro, shaped it, set objectives, until we were able to write a job description. There were more applications than the vacancies we had to start. Some of them were young students finishing their IT studies, while others had done so some time before, or had joined the labor market in the capital city. Regardless their reasons, their common goal was to live in the provinces.
Finally, a team was formed. We wanted to become another group of Quanam’s, so we started, as all teams do, with an induction training course consisting of learning Quanam’s tools, methodology and corporate culture.Gradually, skills were developed, following the same processes of other teams located in Montevideo or other provinces, and there is continuous learning, as required in this field of work. Nowadays, we produce software in compliance with Quanam’s quality standards.
As for my role as a leader, the main difficulty I found was communication. It is not the same working side-by-side than hundreds of miles away. To this end, videoconferencing tools were extremely useful, for much information is transmitted by facial expressions and gestures. So, we resorted to it both with Quanam technicians to communicate periodically, and with customers, as well. During this period, I managed to establish friendly links, even with people I had never met before.
Performance was not affected by data transmission speed. Nowadays, Uruguay’s communications’ infrastructure is particularly good, meaning that similar initiatives can be carried out in any corner of the country. In fact, if there had not been such infrastructure, this initiative would not have been possible.
The best part of this initial stage of the team, is the young people’s eagerness to improve and learn. They cherish the fact of being working for the I.T. industry.
What does the future have in store? Who knows! For now, it is a great win-win experience for everyone involved.