Sharing Success and Growing Together
While studying at Arizona State University, I was fortunate to take a web application programming course taught by Dr. Kevin Gary. His “firm but fair” style of teaching made for a challenging but rewarding experience. I was young and ambitious, and aspired to expand my skill set from SAP into coding and implementation. To accomplish this, I worked with Dr. Gary in an independent study for a year and a half before the time came for me to move on to the professional world.
After getting my Master’s degree in Software Engineering, I searched hard for the best place to kick off my career, but I was struggling and almost ready to compromise on my goals when Dr. Gary recommended I look into a growing digital education consulting company called Unicon. He had worked for Unicon as a software architect before his time at ASU, and knew it would be a constructive environment suited to my goals.
I began working as a full-time software developer in the fall of 2019. My first project was assisting a client in transferring courses from Canvas to Moodle, which was a tricky task as each course had to be converted in order to integrate correctly. It was the kind of project that is difficult to research solutions for, and I had to learn the back-end of the LMS from scratch as I had never done any projects in the education domain before. This would be the first of many hurdles I’ve faced in my work, but in overcoming these challenges I found how much I appreciate Unicon’s “Uni-family” culture.
“Uplift” is a core value at Unicon, meaning we take care of our clients, and we take care of each other. Education is our business, and we approach everything from a learning perspective to encourage the development of ourselves and our peers. I appreciate that I’ve been given ample opportunity to try new things and step outside of my comfort zone, especially in architecting original solutions for my projects. My seniors acknowledge what I’ve done well, and give helpful feedback that enables me to do a better job the next time. They understand that errors are always reversible at that stage, and they can sometimes be the best opportunities for learning and growth.
Cooking is a favorite hobby of mine, and I recently used my skills to share the “uplift” spirit with my colleagues in the best way I know how. We have held multiple fundraisers to support a Unicon family who has been going through tough times, and I had the idea to host a luncheon for those who wished to contribute to the family. As an immigrant, I’m especially good at making food from my home country of India, so I prepared a buffet of all my best dishes. This was a humble way to support those of us who needed it most. I had a great time sharing my culinary traditions with fellow Uniconners who’ve always been so supportive of me, many of whom had never gotten to try Indian food before.
I’ve come a long way since I started here at Unicon, and I’m getting better at what I do every day. Every project comes with unique challenges, which keeps my work exciting and educational. There’s always an intimidation factor when trying new things, but the support, trust, and respect I share with my peers empower me to find new, innovative solutions with confidence.
By: Abhishek Parmar