From language teacher to software trainer

From language teacher to software trainer sofico

“Why?”

The single-most frequently asked question I get when I tell people about my job can be summarized in that one word. You see, I used to be a language teacher, helping people from all ages become more fluent in Dutch and English. Up until 2017, all I knew about leasing was that it was some kind of vehicle rental system. All I knew about leasing software was… Let’s just say it would not have been my favorite quiz subject. Nevertheless, Sofico allowed me to take the plunge and, thanks to its mentoring program, deepen my field knowledge at an amazing speed.

Software development is often regarded as an industry brimming with math wizards and engineers. Entering that world without knowing how to read a single line of code can feel like a lost cause, yet there is so much more to any software than its code. Solutions can and should come from as many different angles as possible, many of which do not require any forays into the Matrix.

At Sofico, different profiles and expertises are brought together within so-called units, encouraging experts and newcomers to lift each other’s ideas to a higher level. Officially, two people teach and mentor a new colleague while trainers instill us with product knowledge. In reality, though, we all learn daily from each other, both within and across each unit.

Not a day has passed at Sofico without me asking questions and answering someone else’s, usually during the meme-worthy office watercooler moments. No matter how busy people may be, there is always time for a quick laugh and a helping hand. For example, many colleagues tend to organize info sessions whenever they acquire knowledge that they feel might be interesting to others.

Like many teachers who have never set foot in a corporate environment (except maybe during a school trip), I had an outsider’s view on corporate culture. How could it ever match helping and teaching people? As it turned out, it was just a matter of adjusting my existing skillset. From teaching, I went to training customers. Instead of writing syllabi, I now write technical documentation. It’s fascinating how a relatively small shift in perspective can lead to an entirely different career, and seeing where I am going as a trainer at Sofico has me nothing short of excited.

“Why?”

My colleagues at Sofico provide me with a myriad of ways to improve myself professionally. I get to learn, teach, and build international networks with the added bonus of occasionally traveling abroad to visit customers. Last year, a job related to software development hadn’t even crossed my mind. Now, however, I could not imagine leaving it behind.

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