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Lightning round with... Jing, Solutions Architect

Translating clients' technical vision into reality - Jing explains the ropes in five quick-fire questions

What does your role entail?

I am a Solutions Architect in the System Engineering team within Deloitte Consulting. I am currently working as a Technical Lead with one of our biggest clients, where we have a number of teams working across different projects. Our team has a range of responsibilities from advising on technology strategy and architecture design to daily development, testing and operation supports.

In my current project, I lead a multi-vendor development team to maintain client-critical public facing systems based on Java stack, providing technical guidance and enhancements, and turning our technical vision into reality. This involves responsibility for the entire project delivery, from gathering and analysing requirements, architecting applications, assessing risks, and leading the team to implement best-practice solutions. The projects are collaborative by nature and we build strong relationships with all stakeholders, coordinating with different teams such as test, middleware, support and operations to ensure a smooth delivery process.

Along with my project, I act as a Deloitte Engagement Manager for our Deloitte team members based with my client. I have regular check-ins with team members to provide technical support needed on their day to day job, advise on suitable development areas and training courses which can help them in their roles and help identify opportunities for them to achieve their development goals. I also interact with client managers regularly to stay up-to-date with project progress, as well as discussing any concerns to ensure that the team have the right support.

I am currently also managing Quality Risk and Confidential Information activities on our account, which involves having weekly catch-ups with wider teams from different areas. This ensures we have the latest status of projects under our remit, provide supports for each other, and plan for mitigations when required. This allows me to work with wider teams in helping to manage risks and deliver a high standard for our client. This also helps me build my brand within Deloitte and the specific client. 

How did you start out in the Consulting industry and how have you developed since?

I had previously worked in the finance industry, where I started my IT career as a software engineer. I joined the Consulting industry because I love problem-solving and providing solutions for businesses. I'm really enjoying working with people, developing my management skills, and growing my career in this space as well.

Since joining Deloitte, I have worked on many interesting projects and been exposed to various different technologies using projects from the Spring family, distributed search and analytics engine, in-memory and distributed database solutions to name but a few. I love keeping up to date on technology trends in the industry and I practice with small projects to get a better understanding of new technologies. I work talented colleagues and a great management team who I reagularly learn from, and who support me in achieving my career goals. There is also a wide selection of trainings available to help me improve both my technical and soft skills. 

In the rapidly-changing world of technology, there is always something new to learn, and ways to improve upon what we do.

What is it about your role/industry that keeps you interested?

In the rapidly-changing world of technology, there is always something new to learn, and ways to improve upon what we do. I am enjoying learning new ways to solve problems, architecting the solutions of applications and leading my team to deliver them. I feel a great sense of achievement when we’re able to turn a technical vision into products that support business needs. Recently I led a team and implemented an emergency application for my client to provide support for a new public scheme. There have since been thousands of users registered who benefit from this scheme since its launch. It was a super effort from every member in the team, which enabled us to reach seemingly impossible deadlines but to do so with high quality deliveries. As a manager, I really enjoy supporting my team members and feel proud when I see my team growing in their careers.

How has the past year changed the way you and your team work?

Since last March, our whole team has worked from home. All our communications are through Skype or MS Teams. We still support our client’s business as usual, but we’re actually much busier due to COVID. There were many emergency changes which required the team to deliver within very tight deadlines. Everyone is committed, dedicated and flexible, and this enabled us to meet deadlines and to deliver our projects to a high standard. I am very proud of leading this team.

On the other hand, Deloitte and my client have provided great flexibility of working arrangements to those who have family commitments. Our management team have more frequent check-ins with project teams to provide support from all aspects where required and host virtual social events. In order to keep people connected, our communications team introduced frequent ‘All Hands’, getting consultants across our practice to update the wider group on projects in their areas.

Outside of being a techie at Deloitte, what can we typically find you doing?

I love travel, it is always exciting to visit a new place and get to know local culture. I usually try to do three trips every year, and I always study the places ahead and organise my itinerary beforehand to make the most of them. I also enjoy arts and design work, such as creating illustration, posters and logos.

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