Why did you leave Capgemini?

Software Engineer at Capgemini: Mohannad describes his career path

Creative tasks, flexible career opportunities and a lot of team spirit motivate the Syrian Mohannad Sheikh anew every day for his job as a software engineer at Capgemini.

Mohannad Sheikh left his homeland Syria because of the ongoing civil war and came to Germany. In an interview, he reveals how he found Capgemini and what the position of software engineer has in store for him. In addition, through Capgemini's own initiative Refugees @ Capgemini, he gives refugees tips on how they can advance their IT careers in Germany in a targeted manner.

The path from Syria to a software engineer at Capgemini

Mohannad, you came to Germany from Syria. You now work as a software engineer at Capgemini. Describe your career.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Assistant Engineering in Syria in 2007. Since I've always been enthusiastic about IT and like to work independently, I founded a start-up with a friend from the university that focused on data analysis and software development. Because of the civil war, I decided with a heavy heart to leave my home country.

After seven months in Germany, I finally started as an intern at Capgemini. After six months, I signed my permanent, open-ended employment contract and have been working at the Düsseldorf location since 2016.

What was the biggest challenge for you when you started at Capgemini?

The biggest challenge of my life was already behind me by then: leaving Syria and going to a foreign country without my family.

At Capgemini, I struggled with the German language at the beginning. The company supported me with language courses to make it as easy as possible for me to get started. My colleagues were also very nice and were always ready to help. Team spirit is very important to Capgemini.

My German is much better today. Nevertheless, I learn new things every day and continue to attend language training courses to develop myself further.

You mention the great importance of teams. How do you rate the team spirit at Capgemini?

The team mentality and collegiality are exemplary. Regardless of whether it is about project work or other activities: We employees talk to one another a lot and can rely on one another at any time. That makes the job very enjoyable.

The position of the software engineer and his tasks

Have you always wanted to be a software engineer?

Yes. When I develop software, I can use all my creativity. I also learn new things during each development process, which makes the job exciting.

What drives you besides the creative work?

I am very motivated to be part of an international company like Capgemini. Also because of the great trust that Capgemini has shown me since day one, I always do my best.

Which skills are particularly important for the job of software engineer?

Employees must always be up to date with the latest technical developments and have precise knowledge of the technologies they are working with. In addition, experience with programming languages ​​such as Java is essential to quickly find your way around in everyday work. The team spirit mentioned above also plays a major role in the success of our projects.

Speaking of projects: which ones are you currently working on?

My current project is about developing transport management systems for a global logistics company. My tasks as a software engineer also include the administration of our Oracle database. I also create software tools for a wide variety of purposes.

Incidentally, I am delighted with my large, international group of colleagues. 170 employees from locations in Germany, Sweden, Poland and India are working together on the current major project. Diversity is very important to us.

What is your day-to-day work like?

There are fixed workflows only on Mondays. First, I check the programmed codes that we run over the weekend for errors and fix them if necessary. Later, in a team meeting, we will discuss our progress in the project and how we will deal with the remaining challenges.

From Tuesday to Friday, all work steps depend on the respective project phase. For example, we have to provide our customers with an updated version of our software every three months that includes extended functions or completely new features for certain applications.

Tips for refugees who are interested in jobs at Capgemini

You have already gained several years of experience at Capgemini. What tips do you give other refugees who would also like to work in our company?

It is important to find out about current technologies and to gather specialist knowledge. In a country like Syria that has been plagued by civil war for years, this can of course be difficult. But in Germany, with a little commitment, it is easily possible to stay up to date.

On the job, I benefit a lot from my studies, which gave me a good educational basis for my specialist area. I can recommend appropriate academic degrees to anyone who wants to pursue a career in IT.

Can you give us an example of the technologies you mentioned?

The move of applications and databases from local networks to the cloud are an example of the direction in which the IT infrastructure in many industries is moving. Refugees looking for jobs in the technology sector should be prepared for this.

How does the application process work for refugees looking for a job at Capgemini?

Capgemini contacted me via worker. At the time, I used the online job exchange, which specializes in job placement between refugees and companies. After several phone calls about my personal situation and my professional experience, we got to know each other personally. During the job interview, I and the people I was talking to quickly realized that it was a great fit, both professionally and personally.

Tailor-made trainings and future prospects

Do you take advantage of one of Capgemini's numerous training opportunities?

Yes. I am completing training courses in the areas of SAP modeling and Amazon Web Services. I can recommend these to every software engineer, because they are relevant to the market, convey a lot of skills and the content is based on the respective activity of the participant.

What are your future plans at Capgemini?

I see myself as an IT architect in the medium term. In this position, I can focus on business analytics and big data, which I find very exciting. Fortunately, thanks to the flexible career offers at Capgemini, switching to another position is easily possible.

Are you interested in the profession of software engineer? Great! Apply now to Capgemini! We also look forward to speculative applications from refugees to [email protected] You can find more open positions in our job portal.