1 May 2019 – The day after the 2019 Champions League semi-final. The British media featured various superlatives about Ajax, after the Tottenham Hotspurs-Ajax match (0-1). “There was talk of admiration throughout Europe about the way Ajax eliminated Real Madrid and Juventus and it was easy to see why. The visitors showed maturity, calmness and class when the pressure was on. Ajax grabbed the duel at the throat, made the goal it deserved based on its superiority and then pulled the angel out of the match,” said the BBC. Ajax talent Frenkie de Jong in particular received a verbal ovation from the BBC: “The game of football is easy for a player with so much talent.”
It shows the admiration that arises within the sport when a team with its own talent goes up against the major powers of European club football. That is, of course, what Ajax has stood for since the beginning.

The philosophy
BPM Company also strives to go up against the established companies and organizations of the Dutch IT market with its own self-trained talent. Training Pega specialists allows BPM Company to offer resources to major organizations that work with or will be working with Pega. These include a wide range of organizations like Rabobank, Transavia, the Dutch Government or DMG. The focus on (knowledge) development is a core element. With things like monthly expertise sessions and an extensive soft skill program, employees can set the pace of their own personal development.

The ‘way of playing’
Like Ajax, BPM Company also has its own way of playing that represents the identity of the ‘club’. By daring to invest in new talent, BPM Company is able to train and guide new employees to become Pega consultants that are able to excel in their field. This training takes place in multiple steps. I will explain these steps based on my own experience.

The training stage
In the initial period of your employment at BPM Company, you are offered a well-guided training program in Pega. During this two-month period, you are trained to become a Pega Certified System Architect (CSA) to then continue with the Pega Certified Senior System Architect (CSSA) theory. During the CSSA course, BPM Company offers you multiple training sessions supervised by experienced consultants. In these, you will get practical examples, more context and more Pega content expertise. With a combination of self-study and training sessions, I was able to pass both exams quite quickly.

Your ‘first minutes’
Once you have passed your CSA and CSSA exams, it is time for your ‘first minutes’ in the field. In my case, those started in a government project under the supervision of an experienced consultant. As BPM Company offers you as its talent the space to gain your first experiences, under the supervision of an experienced consultant, you can quickly get the hang of what you have learned. Of course, not everything will go seamlessly from the start, but it doesn’t for new talent at Ajax either. In the initial period, it is very important to ask questions and to accept that you aren’t able to do things fully independently yet.

On the way to your ‘starting position’
When you have had your first months of practice, you will enter the period in which you can contribute added value to a project. During this time, the basic concepts of Pega will start to become clear and you will get a better ‘feel’ for the application. Taking on user stories that lie within your capabilities and carrying responsibility for them will enable you to contribute added value to the project. Sometimes, you will be able to work entirely independently and sometimes you won’t, but that’s okay. After all, even Frenkie still sometimes passes the ball to the wrong team. Regularly asking the experienced people around you will enable you to grow even faster.

The starting position
In this period, your own core qualities will shine through within your project. You will start to build expertise in terms of content. There will still be plenty to learn, but you can find your way on your own within the Pega environment and asking for help will gradually turn into sparring for the best solution.
Within a year and a half, Frenkie de Jong managed to go from talent to a starting player and then even to the star player at Ajax. I have worked at BPM Company now for 7 months, and I really enjoy it. I am now ‘on my way to a starting position,’ so my development is by no means over. But playing in a starting position and – in time – the Champions League are the end goal for me.

When will you follow Frenkie’s example and start your road to the Champions League at BPM Company?

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