Drumroll please, we have a winner.
Last year, Rulesware ran an awards program to recognize excellence on our team. The most prestigious of the awards in the program is the Executive Award. The winner—as chosen by their peers—embodies all of Rulesware’s core values, exceeds expectations, always strives for improvement, excels in their interpersonal relationships and consistently contributes in a positive way. In short, they’re a Rulesware rockstar.
We’re so pleased to announce that our winner of the Rulesware Executive award is Lead Consultant, Sari Abdel-Latif. We sat down with Sari to chat about his life, his career, (and why he takes organizing the fridge and planning out his travel routes SO seriously).
CH: Sari, congrats! How did it feel to win this top award?
SA: Honestly, I didn’t even know I was in the running! When I found out I was very humbled. I am happy that the work I’ve done is recognized and I feel I’m lucky to work with a great team.
CH: Can you briefly outline your career path?
SA: I joined Rulesware on the development side, but I have a QA background too. I love testing things, it’s a great way to truly understand how things work. From there I held a Lead QA position on my first project, then transitioned to a Senior Developer position on my next project. Things evolved from there to the role I have today as Lead Consultant.
CH: What originally got you into this line of work?
SA: I’m very into software and I love puzzles. My dad is a civil engineer, and when I was young I always wanted to be an engineer. I get charged up by solving problems and having the discipline to implement solutions. Early on in my studies, I was keen to help businesses build their business ideas using software.
CH: Why do you think the team you lead at Rulesware has been so successful?
SA: We are obsessive about quality. We get bombarded with questions and challenges, and we like that. We feel like if you build the infrastructure correctly, the rest follows through. We also design everything with testing in mind. Testing is huge for us. Before we even start building we ask ourselves, how are we going to test this? Can we run a regression suite on it? Can it be easily maintained? How much code needs to be changed if we need to make a change? What is the long term benefit of that?
We are obsessive about quality. We get bombarded with questions and challenges, and we like that.
CH: It sounds like you are very thoughtful with your designs. Does this carry over into other areas of your life?
SA: Definitely. I always look to see how things can be more efficient. If I’m driving somewhere, I need to know the most efficient route, which sometimes drives people with me crazy. Even if I’m stacking stuff in a cupboard or organizing a fridge, first I will ask, what is the most optimal way to do this? That high frequented item doesn’t belong at the back; let’s move it up. Can this way of sorting the fridge be sustainable? Sadly, I’m guilty of overthinking and should probably chill and take a breather sometimes. I am much better at that now.
CH: Expertise is a core value at Rulesware. How do you stay up to date on your knowledge?
SA: I love to read. Sometimes on a long ride or when I’m doing chores at home I binge an audiobook. I make it a point to stay up to date on Pega and third party apps and technologies, I attend webinars and keep myself in the know. Also, whenever the team has a spare moment—maybe at the end of a sprint if we have bandwidth, we brainstorm what we could do better next time. How would we redo or rework something? We create a dev wish list – everyone voices their opinion and we share our expertise. Maybe a team member learned something new, it could be a potential enhancement we can implement down the road. We learn from each other.
CH: If someone is thinking of applying to work at Rulesware, what advice would you give them?
SA: I’d tell them to be clear with and honest about how much they know. It is okay not to know everything, the key question is how they plan to address their gaps? Something that gets a lot of credit with me is saying, ‘hey great question, I don’t know the answer, but I will look it up.’ People who do well here are constantly expanding their knowledge and always seeking better resolutions. Being rigid doesn’t work well, we have to adapt quickly to whatever the client wants, so we try to discern in interviews whether candidates can be flexible and adapt to change.
Something that gets a lot of credit with me is saying, ‘hey great question, I don’t know the answer, but I will look it up.’
CH: If you had a magic wand, how would you evolve things at Rulesware?
SA: My dream is for us to build a robust knowledge share or wiki. We’ve done a phenomenal job getting that started. I’m so excited to build that knowledge repository. That way junior developers won’t have to reinvent the wheel, they can build off of what we already know.
CH: When you’re not working, what are you up to lately? (Of course, the pandemic is still quite serious at the moment so I am expecting life may look a little different than usual right now.)
SA: Yeah, things are not so exciting outside of work right now but I think most people are in the same boat. I got some new plants and I am trying to keep them alive. It is surprisingly very nuanced so I’m learning more about them. I also just enjoy reading and learning in general, or sometimes I just want to turn off my brain and do something fun, like sit down and watch a movie, or play online games with friends.
CH: What does the future hold for you Sari? Do you have goals on the horizon?
SA: I’m big on having clear goals and milestones in my life. Now I want to polish my skill set beyond the technical. These days I am aiming toward being a Principal consultant and so I’m building different skill sets around management and leadership.
CH: Final question—what advice do you have for your colleagues at Rulesware?
SA: Ask questions. It’s okay to not know something. Even if people don’t know they can point you in the right direction. Learn from others in the company and community. There’s a time and place for everything, so of course you need to do some due diligence and find a balance with how much you approach people, but asking questions indicates you want to make something better. Have the courage to seek new information. I am very proud of my team, they have been doing fabulously with this.
CH: Thank you Sari, and huge congrats on your win!