Six years ago, Software Engineering Team Leader Azadeh Rafati joined WiseTech. She says it’s the best decision she’s made. Fast forward to today, and Azadeh is proud of her journey, team and achievements.
We sat down and talked to Azadeh about what makes her excited to be a software engineer and why WiseTech is different – in a good way!
Azadeh, tell us about your decision to join WiseTech?
I joined WiseTech almost six years ago, soon after migrating to Australia from Malaysia. I actually moved to Malaysia from Iran in 2011 to do further study and was lucky enough to also work as a software engineer at the same time.
In 2017, my husband and I decided to move to Australia and we both interviewed for software engineering jobs at WiseTech. I still remember the day we came into the WiseTech office as part of our recruitment process – the welcome we were given, and the understanding that if we joined this business we would truly be valued.
I think joining WiseTech is the best decision I’ve made. I'm very proud to be here. I chose to join WiseTech because of its reputation in innovation, and also the commitment to enhancing and improving the logistics industry. When I look at the impact of the logistics industry in people’s lives, I feel like we are making changes that have a lot of meaning.
What is it about WiseTech that makes us different?
There are so many things that make WiseTech a great place to be. Company culture is so important. We’re lucky to have a great culture at WiseTech, and that comes from so much diversity across the business.
WiseTech highly regards its employees and is dedicated to supporting their growth and development, encouraging them to broaden their skills and expertise. I have been exposed to so many different opportunities in WiseTech and many different challenges. I love working with the people here. I can proudly say that I have so many talented people around me. Every single member of my team is helpful and very collaborative, I feel like they don't need me anymore! They do such amazing work.
For me, reaching this stage, where you are very confident with your team and you're confident that you are working in a team which can take on any project, tackle any problem around you and come up with a solution that will not only fix the problem but also exceed expectations, is the best feeling.
It’s really inspiring for me that we give back to the community through our focus on students at WiseTech too. Giving them the opportunity to apply what they learn in theory, in practice, makes a huge difference and is very rare. Our internship and student programs give students so much flexibility and
support to learn here and also to stay with us at the end of the program. This is so valuable. I'm so proud that our CEO, Richard, is so open to this and is investing so much in education.
What do you like about solving complex problems?
As a software engineer, solving complex problems is fascinating. It enables us to use our innovation and critical thinking to come up with something new. And also, our creativity to come up with the best solution, a solution that not only solves the problem, but exceeds expectation.
We want to be kept on our toes and keep developing our skills and our expertise. I think all software engineers want to do something new, we want to face new challenges, we want to see how we can apply new ideas, and new technologies into valuable solutions.
What’s the most exciting problem that you've worked on?
There have been so many! The very first one that I feel proud of is carrier shopping. This solution helps our customers and freight forwarders to shop for their carriers based on certain criteria, for example cost or route. Based on various factors, they can pick the carriers that they want for their cargo. It’s been a project that we have worked on over the past few years and continue to enhance in collaboration with our customers.
What makes the logistics industry interesting?
The logistics industry has a real impact on people's lives, and we can clearly see that. As a software engineer, when I make a change, I can immediately see the impact. For example, improving delivery estimates optimizes the supply chain, and you can see the direct impact on consumers – getting their goods on time. Seeing that impact has of a lot of meaning to it, you're making real changes and improvements, and at the same time, directly impacting the world.
Building your skills is really important to you, how has WiseTech supported you in developing your learning and skills?
WiseTech supports learning and development in different ways. When you join WiseTech you will go through a six-month rotation program. At first glance, it might look like, oh boy, I need to try three different teams! But then I realized that this is the best for us because it gives us an opportunity to rotate across different teams. And at the end you decide which team you want to be in.
Three years ago, I was offered to go through the Black Belt in Thinking course, which was such an amazing course and I learned so much about critical thinking and decision making.
We also have learning opportunities through LinkedIn Learning, and other online resources. Internal workshops and mentoring programs, developer to developer sessions, and our new leadership program too, which is amazing. Sometimes as a leader, you believe that you're doing well, and you might be doing well, it's just that there is always room for improvement.
What was it like being promoted to a team lead?
As a leader, you need to support your team members as much as you can, and to empower them. Every day, I put in my best effort to learn new things, improve my skills, and gain knowledge from my WiseTech colleagues. I'm inspired by the talented people in WiseTech.
When I was given this offer to be a team leader, it was quite surprising to me. Although I had a similar role in my previous job, I didn't expect it at all. Moving to Australia, to a new country and to a new industry, let's just say that I never imagined that I'd be a team lead that soon.
I have been immensely supported, which was astonishing. Dmitry Bezverhny, my manager, instills confidence in me and is always listening to my concerns. He consistently encourages me to voice my opinions, expose myself to various opportunities and step outside of my comfort zone. Additionally, Ian Larsen has been an inspiration to me. He motivated me to pursue my aspirations, face new challenges, and strive for my best.
There’s been a lot of uncertainty in the tech industry lately, how important is it to have job stability and be part of a company that is high growth?
It’s really important to join a company that is very stable and keeps growing. Unfortunately, with COVID and with the redundancies we have all seen in the past few years and the past few months, I think job security is even more important for all of us as employees. It’s great that WiseTech keeps growing and is continuing to hire talented people.
I think if we look at WiseTech’s reputation, the focus and commitment to support and develop people’s skills and expertise, this gives people confidence that they don’t need to be worried about stability when joining WiseTech.
Why do you think an experienced software engineer should consider joining WiseTech?
As an experienced engineer, you want to have the opportunity to be exposed to lots of challenges and have lots of new things to learn. The logistics industry is a complex and constantly evolving field, which brings so many new things to do and so many new challenges. If you’re an experienced software engineer and you want to constantly learn something new, and you want to ensure that your development skills and your expertise are going to grow, you need to know that WiseTech is here. And WiseTech is incredibly successful, stable, and committed to employees – and you can see how many people have stayed here for over 20 years!
What is your favorite WiseTech mantra?
Anyone can talk to anyone at any time for any reason. It gives you the power not to be afraid. If you have any questions for anyone, it can be our CEO Richard White, you're more than welcome to go and ask. This is amazing.