Digital Nova Scotia is thrilled to welcome Avanade to our member family! Having just moved operations into Nova Scotia, we thought it would be a good opportunity to ask some questions and find out more about our new neighbour. We reached out to Matt Steinberg, Avanade’s Director of North American Engineering who was kind enough to share their story.
First off, welcome to Nova Scotia! What made Avanade decide to expand here?
The ocean? No, just kidding, although the views here are something special. Our team ran an extensive study across North America to find the rising cities with a high quality of life, top senior tech talent, and a growing tech community in schools and start ups. We wanted to expand our business but stay away from the Silicon Valley, and decided Halifax was the ideal location!
Can you tell us a bit about Avanade? What exactly does the company’s work entail?
Avanade is the leading provider of innovative digital and cloud services, business solutions and design-led experiences in the Microsoft ecosystem. Our professionals bring bold, fresh thinking, combined with technology, business, and industry expertise to help make a genuine human impact on our clients, their customers and their employees. We’re the power behind the Accenture Microsoft Business Group, helping companies to engage customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products – leveraging the Microsoft platform. We have 50,000 professionals in 26 countries, bringing clients our best thinking through a collaborative culture that honors diversity and reflects the communities in which we operate.
We know Avanade has a large portfolio, but are there any specific projects that Avanade has done that really stand out to you?
Although I can’t share specifics, Avanade works across many tech stacks and many industries… we’ve
- Design and built mobile apps for MAJOR Canadian retailers and telecommunication companies (as well as a very famous Canadian coffee brand)
- Completed digital transformations across all big 5 banks in Canada including building out financial trading systems, foreign exchange calculators, digital customer service tools, risk analysis applications and loan & Mortgage generation systems
- Designed and built the Data Science and Data engineering platforms for Loyalty Rewards Apps for retailer and food services – many of which we’re sure you know and love
- Designed and built customer portals for government organizations allowing for ease of access to affordable housing programs
- Conducted architecture and infrastructure assessments to plan and migrate large enterprises’ journey to the cloud
And that’s just a selection, our company has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world to bring business solutions and design-led experiences.
We’ve seen your website, we know company culture is important to you all, can you tell us what the culture is like at Avanade?
The culture at Avanade is amazing – our first priority is always the great people we work with. Two of our most important workplace culture principles are that Life Comes First, meaning that there are personal aspects of our employees’ lives that should be prioritized above all else, and We Grow You, which emphasizes the importance of growing our skills, relationships, earning new qualifications, and just becoming better versions of ourselves generally. At Avanade, we’re passionate about connectivity, inclusivity, diversity, and creating a warm, welcoming and fun work environment. From having a flexible 4-day work week, to Toastmasters or virtual board game nights… We do a lot to ensure our people are learning, growing, connecting, and balancing their life and work in a way that is meaningful to them and their individual lives.
You seem really passionate about the company, is there anything about Avanade that you feel makes you stand out?
The people. There is a real desire to make a genuine human impact for not only our clients, but our colleagues as well. Real people that care, work at Avanade – and I feel it every day; and there are 50 thousand of us! I often tell clients and colleagues that we feel and operate similarly to a boutique software company that has the backing of a huge multinational organization behind us – which allows us to work on major enterprise transformation programs. It’s not a “cog in the machine” atmosphere, but rather very individualized to focus on the betterment of our clients and people.
Ok Matt, you’re making it sound really great. What types of opportunities do you have open right now?
As of right now, most of the roles we are seeking are related to the Software Engineering Talent Community. This includes position types such as Data Engineering, Data Science, Full-Stack Web Development, and Native Mobile Development. If you’re looking for the type of experience Avanade offers, reach out.
We’d love to give our Nova Scotians an advantage, can you tell us some of the qualities that Avanade looks for when hiring?
We are looking for intelligent, driven, solid team players who have a passion for technology and learning. We always say that attitude and aptitude are the most important, and experience follows those. We love to see strong computer science/computer engineering skills in our Engineers and believe that everyone can learn from their teammates.
Since you’ve been with the team, what have been some of the things that you’d consider highlights during your work with Avanade so far?
That’s a good question, there are so many. I think a few of my personal highlights would be…
- Traveling all expenses paid to Milan, Italy to compete in our Global Innovation Context
- Unrolling our flexible 4-day work week to our clients
- Moving both vertically and laterally across the organization to try new roles: I went from leading a technical recruitment team, to managing an experience design department, to a sales partnership role, now I lead growth for our technology agnostic Engineering hubs
- Watching our people grow through learning new skills and technology – seeing UX SMEs obtain design thinking certifications or service design training, mobile developers get Azure Cloud certified, web developers grow into architects that help to solve, design and implement, and so many other similar skill transformations!
So we hear that not only did Avanade move here, but so did you! How’s it going, and what made you decide to make the move?
Things are going great! I’m getting settled in and connecting with my new community; people have been so kind and generous with their time, even during a pandemic! Right now I am enjoying making my new house feel like a home, and exploring nature (even in these crazy storms!) with my fiancé and Golden Retriever, Ferris (he comes into the office with me at The PIER). Right now, I am exploring all of the local trails/hikes and spending time outdoors as much as possible.
I moved here because after visiting Halifax to see if it could be a fit for a new office, it became clear how community-centric and connection-oriented the province of Nova Scotia is. It is not enough to just open job postings, and hope people apply. We could see how important it truly is to be a part of the community here, give back, get involved and be present. After visiting Halifax, I could see the potential, feel the positive energy, and I raised my hand to be a part of it all. It was one of the best choices I ever made.
Well folks, you heard it here – Avanade is in town and ready to be a part of our digital community here in Nova Scotia. We’re thrilled to welcome them to our DNS membership, and encourage you to explore their website a little and check out some of their amazing job opportunities!