Innovation, Future of Work, What We Do
The start of a career change is the best time to seek learning opportunities.
From Advertising to UX Design: How a Career Change Led to Rewarding Purpose
By Rodolfo H., UX Designer
I have a question for you. Do you love your job? If you had to pause to answer that, keep reading. If you didn’t have to pause to answer that, keep reading!
As cringy as it sounds, I am grateful to say I love my job because it comes with a purpose. I took a leap of faith by making a career change in February 2020, and my innovation journey began.
My friends describe me as the bubbly, fun, always-get-the-conversation-going type of guy. What can I say? I just love meeting people, learning about what inspires them, and I have found that human minds are so powerful when you allow ideas to fill a room.
Growing up in Brazil, I remember always being intrigued by the design and new trends in the market. I graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising. Upon graduation, I spent years working in advertising, always paying attention to consumer behavior. Soon, my understanding of customer preferences and creativity led me to think about what I could do next.
That’s when I had a lightbulb moment. UX Design!
I found my passion through intuitive designs. With a solid foundation in user preferences, I was ready to transition my communication skills to the new field. As I was looking for a role that provides all the foundational next steps in my newly established UX career, ADP’s opportunity presented itself, and of course, I took it right away.
It’s OK to feel unsure and uncertain when you are changing career paths. There’s a risk and also potentially a great reward. The process can be intimidating, but don’t let this deter you. I found that connecting with your colleagues, learning the ins and outs of the business, and digging in deep with your tech stack goes a long way in setting yourself up for success in the early stages of your career change.
Joining the UX Design team at ADP was one of the best decisions I made. They taught me to create better product designs by trying new ideas. Innovative and exciting – that’s how I describe the tech hub at ADP Brazil Labs in Porto Alegre, Brazil. A variety of teams on site provide software and infrastructure development for products worldwide. Depending on one’s role, the tech stack could include PyTorch, Machine Learning, AWS Cloud, Big Data, TypeScript, Go, Java, Kafka Streaming, GraphDB, and ReactJS. Our list of technology is growing.
Embrace the unknowns. The start of a career change is the best time to seek learning opportunities. With this mindset, I have been able to build projects from the ground up in my new field.
Inspire and Get Recognized
Every day I challenge myself to go beyond a UX Designer’s role and look for learning opportunities. One recent example is the week-long Hackathon my team, and I participated in.
The Hackathon consisted of three to four hours a day brainstorming ideas and improving prototypes. By the end of the week, we stood before the judges and presented the final project.
Our idea was to create an accessible tool that helps people with disabilities find job opportunities. The ADP Brazil Hackathon committee was impressed with our product’s functionality, and I couldn’t believe it when they presented the Intrapreneur award to me! It was definitely the highlight of my career journey and the beginning of my tech innovations. Thank you for your support, Horizon Team!
I am proud of my team’s work. Together, we developed a tool that could positively change people’s lives. I especially enjoyed tackling different aspects of the project, from functionality to making a real difference. We look forward to implementing the tool in the hiring process across ADP.
Better Future of Work
Inspiration happens in minor ways, such as helping someone to learn a new product or exchanging ideas on a whiteboard.
My purpose lies in creating a better experience for people, and it aligns with ADP’s mission, always designing for people. I know the Intrapreneur Award was just my first milestone, and there is more to come as I build products with my team.
Be sure to keep an open eye for opportunities and proactively seek them out. Anything is possible with a group of creative people!
#Brazil #Hackathon #UXDesigin #UserExperience #CareerJourney
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Here you will find leaders who support your career growth, a community that feels like a family, and a growing innovation center focusing on the future. We work hard, but we also have fun together and humbly give back to our communities. Learn more here.
Voice of Our People, Tech Trends, Career Insights
“Practice what you deliver in speech and use your products to better understand the user experience.”
Coming to ADP
Before joining ADP in August, Seema J. had worked in the technology space for over 25 years in different industries. She started with telecom and moved into media, health insurance, and information services. She has looked at various digital transformations and technology consolidations from a back-office perspective.
“Throughout my career journey, I’ve discovered my passion lies in using technology to create impactful customer experiences,” Seema said. “I ask myself: how do I use technology to solve problems? I also value mentorship and team growth, always moving forward with new ideas.”
When she came across the product management opportunity at ADP, she took it immediately. Seema’s service tech background led her to design systems from a global lens. She’s looking forward to building her career and focusing on client service.
Power of People
Seema shared that her first two months at ADP were about absorption, understanding, and learning. She is now putting her knowledge and vision into forming a go-to-market strategy.
“Associates here always make time for each other, sharing updates and exploring tech interests,” Seema said. “I also connected with people outside my team to understand their work.”
When asked about her career journey as a woman in STEM, Seema explains she has always been interested in technology. She started with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and pursued a master’s in computer science.
That was when Seema came to her first career intersection after college: pharma or telecom, and she chose the latter. She used her experience in the industry to grow in different areas, such as long-distance billing system analysis, insights, and tools.
“I enjoy the long tenure of associates at ADP and how many transitions into different roles within the organization,” Seema said. “This allows people to gain experience in multiple areas and apply that knowledge in any teams they join.”
Seema then went back into internet products and design, specifically in chip designs, product lines, and the portal space. Her career involves creating customer experience journeys and leveraging technology to solve problems.
“My career progresses by understanding what I can learn and always searching for forward-looking solutions,” Seema said.
Systems and Cloud Technologies
Seema focuses on improving the client’s experience and services. She looks at both ends of the spectrum from the client’s and associate’s perspectives.
“My goal is to have the knowledge readily available to associates to fulfill client inquiries on time,” Seema said. “I’m working with a mix of homegrown and cloud-based technologies that provide self-service capabilities.”
Seema is also exploring chat capabilities and predictive analytics to understand client sentiments and help associates better support them.
Three Product Management Trends in 2023
Seema believes that there are trends toward digitalization and a hybrid environment where people access information on their smartphones and other gadgets quickly and easily.
Personalization is becoming increasingly crucial for end-users, and many products are leveraging data to provide a more personalized experience. For example, Siri and other customized tools show how products can leverage data to improve the user experience.
Seema believes that low-code/no-code environment is becoming more popular as the industry moves towards software as a service (SaaS) products. The setting allows developers to prototype and test their products quickly, getting user feedback and improving the product promptly.
3) Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Though the trend towards data is not new, Seema notes it is becoming more critical to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to gain valuable insights.
“I believe applying AI will become a standard practice in products soon,” Seema said. “I am enthusiastic about the possibilities in these trends, offering more in product management. They will continue to shape the industry for sure.”
Data-Driven, Innovative, and Fun
When it comes to the qualities of a good leader, Seema talked about the importance of innovation and adaptability, especially in the current environment where multiple workstyles exist, from hybrid to remote.
“My team comes from different backgrounds and experiences. There’s always more to learn,” Seema said. “We enjoy the team-building tool StandOut, which helps us understand each other’s strengths and how to leverage the traits.”
Seema advises technologists interested in Product Management to listen to clients and their feedback, which can be a significant input for product innovation.
“Practice what you deliver in speech and use your products to understand the user experience better,” Seema said. She describes ADP Tech as data-driven, innovative, and fun. Outside of the tech world, Seema enjoys gardening to relax.
#ProductManagement #WomeninSTEM #Data #AI #Technologies
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Innovation, Future of Work, What We Do
We thrive on innovation and turning ideas into action. Anyone can be an inventor and an innovator.
When Roberto S. joined ADP, he never imagined how far he’d “Roll.”
He started his ADP journey by working as a Machine Learning Engineer. In May 2022, he moved from the Brazil Labs to the Innovation Lab in Roseland and was awarded the ADP 2022 Inventor of the Year.
ADP’s Inventor of the Year recognizes an associate who develops products with great features. Tech associates submit a summary of the invention to the ADP Patient Program, providing a unique solution to a challenge.
Roll is the first digital AI/ML HCM solution for small businesses, offering payroll, time and attendance, and more. Everything a small business needs for running HR & payroll in a simple chat-based mobile application. Roberto’s patents have driven Roll from an idea on a whiteboard to a real in-market offering.
“Roberto’s contributions to ADP and, specifically, Roll, has been invaluable, and how he focuses on driving technology forward and innovating to create new technology makes him so successful,” Roberto Masiero, SVP of Innovation, said. “It’s no surprise he’s been named the Inventor of the Year!”
ADP recognizes the hard work and innovative efforts that go into filing a patent application. Every inventor named on a patent application receives a monetary award for each utility and each design. Roberto was chosen based on his contributions, providing technically detailed and sound documentation.
Machine Learning in Roll
The machine learning models Roberto designed for Roll use a chat interface to interact with clients. In the process, Roberto and his team developed a variety of NLPS (Natural Language Processing) technologies for Roll in the intent classification, questioning, and answering domains.
On a weekly basis, the team meets to discuss strategic and tactical developmental ideas for Roll, including a technical paper reading session, in which they collectively brainstorm ideas to help make a better application.
“Developing technologies for Roll is a never-ending process of asking questions and learning,” Roberto said. “This is a team effort. I’m only the messenger and sometimes the guy poking everybody with links and technical articles.” On the team, he gives kudos to Guilherme G., Roberto C., Carlos N., and Juliano V.
The Team’s Patent Process
Roberto sees the patent process as a method to transform ideas into a formal document that will increase ADP’s innovative power on the market. “There is always a great team working behind the scenes to help engineers describe a solution and ensure this initial description will make it to a patent, with all the legal aspects covered,” Roberto said.
As the Inventor of the Year, Roberto encourages other inventors to keep in touch with the patent team to understand the process and give their ideas a try.
Advice for Technologists
“My career journey has been a remarkable, fun 5-year ride at ADP,” Roberto said. “If you’re considering a tech career, I’d encourage you to apply to ADP because this is where you can bring your ideas forward, receive feedback, and try new things.”
Transformation is at the heart of what makes ADP unique. With innovation rooted in our values, ADP continues to provide opportunities such as our patent program, showcasing ideas from associates at all levels.
“It is always important to ask yourself how the idea will benefit ADP,” Roberto said. “Keep your minds open and study new areas and domains. Sometimes the innovation happens in the intersection of domains of expertise!”
#MachineLearning #MachineLearning #HCM #Technologists #Roll #Inventor
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Innovation, Tech Trends, Career Insights
As a leader in the industry that collects a wide range of data from employees, we ensure the information is safe with us.
Say you met a technologist at a hackathon and want to connect with the person more. Instead of exchanging business cards like before, you’ll likely pull out your phone and exchange information digitally.
From LinkedIn profiles, Instagram usernames, hometown, and family relationships to mentions in articles from years ago, the internet and digital world do not erase one’s footprints in most cases.
With all information and data becoming digitalized in the 21st century, it’s time to utilize them in a way that’s never been done before. Data is not just your social media photo or where you went for vacation; it can be numbers and confidential information from financial to hospital records.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Xiaojing W., our Distinguished Engineer who advocates for data privacy and user-respectful interactions. She shared with us some ways she keeps applications safe and secured at ADP.
Why Data Privacy is important
By Xiaojing W., Distinguished Engineer
On September 7, 2017, a consumer credit reporting agency announced that it had breached the data of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers, including customers’ names, dates of birth, social security, driver’s license, and credit card numbers. These incidents resulted in a loss of consumer trust, therefore, future business opportunities.
ADP takes pride in building applications that put customers’ privacy first with holistic security and privacy practices. In fact, our Chief Data Officer developed a holistic privacy framework instilling the privacy culture and centrally managing the practices in daily data operations.
Here are some of our methods:
When it comes to creating a trusting experience for users, we have five best practices to share:
With over 1M clients (about the population of Delaware in the United States), ADP pays more than 38M workers worldwide (about the population of California in the United States), and just in the US alone, we reach nearly 20% of the private US workforce.
As a leader in the industry that collects a wide range of data from employees, we make sure the information is safe with us. At the same time, we pay attention to the design process, ensuring a safe, user-friendly experience for everyone involved.
Here are five design patterns for creating user-respectful and privacy-aware interactions:
Tech Trend: All about Data
Data is always changing, which means more people want ways to keep their information private. This has led to the development of new techniques that preserve user information in large datasets.
Here are four types of technologies that are getting attention in the industry:
You may ask, how does the new landscape in data privacy change our product design thinking?
To better understand our clients and the needs of their employees, we must have a comprehensive view of who they are (i.e., profile data) and what they do, and how that impacts their day-to-day (i.e. behavior).
By following HBR‘s new data privacy rules, our products will empower users with trustworthy technology solutions.
Our private permissioned blockchain also safeguards highly sensitive personal data while simultaneously allowing individuals complete control. This innovative technology enables ADP to craft new products and services that benefit employees and clients.
Data privacy isn’t the Privacy Officers’ job; it’s a collective responsibility. As engineers who are often tasked with the technical aspects of securing sensitive data, we must understand the landscape of privacy-enhancing tools and technologies.
Keep in mind that we must stay up to date with the changes in the data industry as our users trust us with their information. Taking care of the trust and protecting the data should be everyone’s top priority.
#Data #DataPrivacy #WomeninStem #Automation #UserExperience
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Impact, What We Do, Diversity
“To me, ADP Tech is Complex, Nuanced, and Comprehensive.”
Before we dive in, get to know our author!
Kelsey H., Head of Accessibility, leads accessibility efforts with the mission to ensure ADP’s product teams deliver fully accessible, disability-inclusive experiences to our users. From writing a monologue to performing on Broadway, she went from studying musical theatre to becoming an accessibility professional. She enjoys hiking and bicycling with her husband and Blue Heeler dog Ollie.
Accessibility and Tech: Driving Change at ADP
By Kelsey H., Head of Accessibility
Coming to ADP
I came to ADP because it was an opportunity to impact the disability employment divide directly and positively. As an HCM software company, we can empower people to obtain and maintain employment through inclusivity. This is an important goal for me, recognizing a significant number of people in the disability community are un- or under-employed. Technology can be empowering – we have such an opportunity to use technology for good!
Designing for All People
I firmly believe qualifying the word “people” with “all” is important. We’re always designing for *all* people because we want to include everyone. I wish we didn’t have to qualify for that, but we live in a world where we are still breaking down barriers. It’s time to recognize our differences and learn that different ways people exist make our world work – the voices we each have bring meaning and enhance our understanding of community.
My Story – How it Began
I’m not sure if how I got here was entirely “intentional.” My path has been long and winding – it wasn’t planned, and it’s changed at many junctures. There’s something special in seeing a door open and pursuing it wholeheartedly, even if it’s not what you originally planned or saw yourself doing.
I have disabilities and medical conditions, which certainly have both indirectly and directly guided me on my path to my current career – I grew up surrounded by disabilities in a variety of ways. A big part of my background has informed how I show up as an advocate in the disability community and an accessibility professional.
I was trained as a speech-language pathologist, teacher of the deaf, assistive technology specialist, and language/literacy professional. During my career journey, I’ve worked in various sectors, such as early intervention, K-12 education, community transition, sub-acute rehabilitation, higher education, and at large corporations.
The disability community has nurtured me through every opportunity to grow, and I thrive on learning something new every day. The late Stella Young said, “Having a disability doesn’t make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does,” and truer words have not been stated.
This is not a field for “ego.” Accessibility is a space of constant learning. I arrived at this work by following the path that unfolded before me, trusting myself and the community, and always being willing to wonder, “what if?”
Leading the Accessibility Team
I love conceptualizing the positive impact we at ADP can have on disability employment. There is so much work to be done in this space, and this is work that matters. It directly impacts people’s lives.
Accessibility professionals are unique – many of us are members of the disability community or have loved ones who are. The path is both great and challenging. It can be difficult to advocate for your rights and the rights of those in your community while living in the world as a person with disabilities.
The level of empathy accessibility professionals have is unmatched. I also find so much creativity, mindfulness, love, and care leading accessibility teams because the work is often so misunderstood early on that it takes strong comradery and partnership. It’s such a joy leading and growing accessibility teams!
Getting Involved in the Tech Community
At my previous employer, I co-founded their Disability-focused Employee Business Network, DIG (the Disability Inclusion Group). I was so excited to know ADP has a Disability-focused Business Resource Group (BRG), Thrive. I am currently the Vice President of North America, serving Thrive! As for conferences, I attend many – because of my certifications, I must keep up with many continuing education hours.
Here are the conferences I usually attend. I hope to see you there and if you see me, make sure you say, “hi!”
If accessibility is new or something you are curious about, here are three pieces of encouragement I have for you:
It is okay not to know everything and to sit in wonder – it reminds us life is complex and nothing is entirely sure. This is true of accessibility sometimes, too. And I think there’s beauty in working in a field that does not always have a concrete answer. Sometimes we must pave the way through a great unknown!
Leadership: Making an Impact
I’ve shared my journey and how I entered this impactful role at ADP. So, what does the future look like? Well, I hope to be a catalyst for people’s understanding of accessibility. Everyone has a stake in creating accessible and inclusive experiences – whether it’s due to a person or a peripheral connection. The disability community is the largest under-represented population in the world, and it’s also the one anyone can become a part of at any time.
With age often comes disability. Accidents happen that change how people navigate the world. We are a highly connected society that expects physical and digital access. I remember a non-disabled designer once telling another non-disabled designer, “You’re not designing for the current you; you’re designing for the future you.”
Disability is a natural part of any living being’s community and experience. It is a way to exist in the world. If I do nothing else, I hope I can help impact people’s understanding of disability and the role(s) they must play in making or breaking someone’s ability to show up and engage.
Listen to and learn from the disability community. Understand their experiences – include them in conceptualizing and building products. Don’t assume their needs and make choices on their behalf of them. Make mindful choices with them.
Interested in a tech career at ADP?
Search for your next move, and visit Who We Hire.
#Accessibility #Disability #Community #DesigningForAllPeople #Technology
Career Development, Voice of Our People, Career Advice
Whether you are networking to expand your connections, interviewing, or having a career discussion with a mentor, create the best experience possible.
Forrest Gump Teaches Everything That Matters About Networking
By Liz Gelb-O’Connor, Global Head of Employer Brand & Marketing
Earlier this fall, I had the pleasure of attending one of ADP’s HR Master Classes led by Jason Delserro, our Chief Talent Acquisition Officer. The class was a quick thirty minutes and presented incredibly useful tips on intentional networking. All fast and insightful tips presented under the context of lessons learned from Forrest Gump.
Most people have seen the 1994 Academy award-winning movie featuring a younger Tom Hanks. Not only does Forrest extend himself to strangers, but he greets his old friend Dan with the exuberance he feels based on what he perceives as the value of their relationship. Because of Forrest, Dan ends up in a much better place. Forrest goes on to inspire millions with his run across the country.
There is something so simple yet powerful about how Forrest sees and interacts with the world and draws people in. Whether connecting with new people to expand our personal networks, requesting an exploratory discussion about current or future career opportunities, or actively interviewing for a new job, how can we harness the same magical power and incorporate it into successful and enriching interactions?
Reinforced during the talk was the intentional nature of great networking, including a cognitive exchange of ideas and information between people, leveraging commonality, special interests, and/or opportunity.
Four Questions suggested that you should ask yourself before networking or interviewing:
Here are some common pitfalls Jason mentioned that people should be aware of, especially when meeting with senior leaders or in the context of career discussions. Just remember, preparation and effort pay off in forming positive and lasting impressions.
Things to avoid:
Researching a person you plan to meet with can be quick and effective. Use LinkedIn and study the profile of the person you are meeting before connecting or interviewing. Pro tip: They can see who has viewed their profile and will know you invested the time. For internal resources on colleagues, look at internal collaboration portals and internal profiles. If you are meeting with an executive, they might have been featured in company videos or blogs. Review their work.
Whether leveraging a LinkedIn profile, article, or even their Instagram account, a well-placed comment or observation can go a long way in making a meaningful connection and creating commonality.
To summarize, whether you are networking to expand your personal connections, interviewing, having a career discussion with a mentor, or just someone willing to give you thirty minutes of their time, create the best experience possible.
Remember to do these things:
Based on Jason’s advice, it’s that simple. Or, to quote Forrest, “That’s all he has to say about that.”
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Why ADP, Tech Trends, Career Insights
From Tech Trends, Women in STEM, and Career Advice, to Award Stories, we will continue sharing stories with the community.
2022 IN REVIEW – Top Ten Blogs from Innovation to Leadership
Cybersecurity, hybrid work, and diversity – business is changing.
We started the year with a video on workforce trends, sharing that 75% of the global workforce changed how or where they live. Workers who trust their team and leaders are seven times more likely to be strongly connected. With a new year ahead, we continue building a transformed workplace, designing for everyone. Here’s a video on ADP leaders sharing insights about our DE&I strategies and how to lead with inclusive language.
Top Ten Blogs of the Year
1) Looking for an Internship or First Job? Here’s the secret to getting hired
What do I do if an internship requires a specific degree? What if the job required two years of relevant experience and I only have 1.5 years?
Liz Gelb-O’Connor, Global Head of Employer Brand & Marketing, shares hiring stories and qualities recruiters look for in top candidates!
2) How Al/ML are Driving Innovation and Opportunities at ADP
The blog is tailored for technologists interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
“The future of learning will involve more personalization and customization based on learning styles, competencies, and preferences.”
Hear about the future of Human Capital Management Software and AI applications in the real world from Julio Hartmann, Vice President and General Manager of ADP Brazil Labs.
3) Career Journey from a Filmmaker to a Conversational Designer (CxD)
What does storytelling mean? Meet Azfar R. as he shares his inspiration and career journey from a filmmaker to a conversational designer.
“For anyone who wants to work as a conversation designer, the first step would be to understand how human-computer interactions (HCI) work.”
4) Team APIs: What They Are and Why They Matter to Teamwork
We live in a world where people always look for the next best thing.
Regarding leadership, we know that if you’re engaged with your team, they will be engaged too, which translates into a lack of passion and excitement in the products they create!
Charles explores various team management methodologies in this blog, including four different team types and three interacting models.
5) The Five Key Elements of a Product Champion
Is coding a requirement for working in tech? I come from a non-tech background. Is there a role for me at ADP Tech?
“One of the most critical tasks in product management is to track the team’s steps and measure if they will lead to the desired objectives and outcomes.”
Read the five key elements in product management and search for your next move!
6) Devi R., Senior Director of DevOps, Builds Products with Empathy
“STEM, to me, is beyond degree and credentials. It’s about applying and leveraging engineering knowledge and empathy toward every product.”
How does Day in Life look for the Senior Director, DevOps? What is a piece of advice for young technologists?
Meet Devi R., a technologist who enjoys exploring the world and inspiring others. She joined ADP in 2020, building the ADP’s flagship MyADP with her team in Global Products & Technology.
7) Life @ ADP S2EP4: Let’s Talk #ADPTech
Have you subscribed to Life@ADP? Click the play button and grab a drink.
The episode is great for associates and applicants interested in the scale ADP operates at, including the leadership teams’ strategies and their focus on data security.
Lohit Sarma, a Senior Vice President of Product Development, spoke about various areas in #ADPTech, from User Experience (UX), Security Engineering, to Site Reliability Engineering.
Life @ ADP is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music.
8) 2022 Workforce Trends – Future of Work
We identified the top trends reshaping the future of work:
Rewatch the workforce trends in 2022 here. For more insights, subscribe to the tech blog and receive monthly newsletters.
We were proud to celebrate Pride Month in June by featuring Taylor, the Information Security Project Manager, and her story of how she has always been met with kindness here at ADP.
“Everyone who celebrates love has a role in our community and this movement. Whether it is Women’s month, Pride month, or every month over, under, or in between our personal lives and our professional lives, every moment matters. You matter.”
10) APIs vs. Web Service: What’s the Difference?
We live in a digital age where almost everything is done through an API or Web Service. Have you ever wondered about the differences? What’s the future of using API standards?
We spoke to Leslie E., Senior Director of Application Development, and she shared her take on integrations for our Human Capital Management (HCM) products.
We’d like to thank our associates across the globe for contributing! From Tech Trends, Women in STEM, and Career Advice, to Award Stories, we will continue sharing stories with the community.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our tech blog and receive monthly newsletters!
Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.
Impact, What We Do, Diversity
The pandemic has shifted many activities online, and if groups are not taking action to support those who need access, we are losing valuable opportunities to connect.
Accessibility: Designing for All People
By Amy H. Chiu, Tech Brand Content Developer
Through connecting with developers, UX designers, and product managers, I noticed one thing in common – our vision and efforts in designing and making tasks easier for people.
When we use the term “for people,” we go through mindful discussions on what it means to include everyone. We celebrate each other’s unique traits and identify our groups, shedding light on the stories behind every smiling face.
For a long period, my search history was filled with “what is inclusive design” and “why is accessibility important.” As a content creator, the best thing I could do is to educate myself and be mindful of every published word.
Why do I do the things I do? A sense of purpose behind every task, every connection, and every blog is essential. Ensuring people with disabilities have access to digital spaces is just as critical as writing the content itself. I learned accessibility is a group effort.
Practicing inclusiveness in today’s workplace is not a “have to do to make your image look better” instead, it’s making a difference in real people’s lives.
I had a long conversation with my engineering friend the other day. He drew one big circle on the left side of a whiteboard and a smaller circle on the right.
“This is the amount of information a person without a disability can get in our current world,” he pointed at the bigger circle.
“What about the small one?” I asked with curiosity.
“The small one is the amount of information currently available in the world for people with disabilities,” he said. “Designing a piece available for them and contributing to the smaller circle creates a huge impact.”
The conversation had almost gotten philosophical, but I got his points. In other words, many articles are not available to our friends with disabilities.
According to the 2022 WebAIM Million Report, 96.8% of home pages had detectable Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 failures. They analyzed over one million web pages and reached an upsetting percentage.
As human beings, we can do better for each other. The pandemic has shifted many activities online, and if groups are not taking action to support those who need access, we are losing valuable opportunities to connect.
I connected with Kelsey H., Head of Accessibility, to learn more about belonging. She leads accessibility efforts and the mission to ensure ADP’s product teams deliver fully accessible, disability-inclusive experiences to our users.
Kelsey is an anti-ableist accessibility professional and educator, living and thriving with several non-apparent disabilities and diligently working to ensure the idea of ‘belonging’ includes the disabled community.
“My journey to anti-ableism work and accessibility has been long and winding,” Kelsey said. “Ultimately, as a person with disabilities surrounded by the disability community, it is no surprise disability, accessibility, and inclusion work are at the core of my profession.”
Kelsey’s team works with designers, developers, product managers, and leaders at every level across ADP to bake accessibility into the fabric of our work and the products we deliver. Her goal is to shape ADP’s overall strategy in providing products that are not just always designed for people but always designed for all people.
“This is important for ADP’s product & technology teams with an opportunity to further drive thought leadership on disability and accessibility,” Kelsey said.
We look forward to having Kelsey share her work and career journey in an upcoming article series.
Voice of Our People, Career Insights, What We Do
“At ADP, the doors to learning are always open. We work and win as one. All it takes is one’s curiosity to learn.”
My Career Journey: Learn and Grow Together at ADP
Viplove S. is a Senior Architect responsible for Architecture, Standards, Governance, and Talent Management, supporting products for National Accounts Services clients in Hyderabad, India. To him, happiness means spending time with family, giving his best at work, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Outside of technology, Viplove enjoys exercising, singing, dancing, reading, and writing stories. He once walked the entire Manhattan Island length, around 18 miles!
Coming to ADP
Since I stepped into the Information Technology (IT) industry, ADP has been one organization I was always curious about. What appealed to me the most was ADP’s strong focus on people. After fifteen years of working with multiple service organizations, I decided to knock on the door I had walked by all these years. An opportunity to learn about a new industry and its leading products was too exciting for me to pass.
I joined ADP a little over two and a half years ago. As I look back at my enriching journey, two contributory factors stand out: People and Learning. Without People, there would not have been much learning. I have worked with many amazing people in my career, but here at ADP, every day gives me reasons to thank a fellow associate. Whether developers, testers, Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) members, managers, architects, or senior leaders, I am grateful for learning with them every day.
My Career Journey
I initially started as part of the Global Enterprise Technologies & Solutions (GETS) department, which supports IT operations for ADP. The teams I work with are responsible for developing and maintaining 50+ applications used by ADP associates and 100+ integrations among internal ADP systems and external vendors. It is easily one of the most complex systems I have ever worked with, and my job was to transform it digitally. I was fortunate to have people around me who were not only knowledgeable but also extremely helpful.
Two years ago, my team and I moved to the Global Product & Technology (GPT) business unit as part of the Product Development organization that supports large national accounts. For me, this move opened a world of opportunities. My manager helped me seize one of those opportunities. He challenged me to reach beyond my scope of work and help another team. Sometimes, saying “yes” is all it takes.
And it did. That “yes” triggered a domino effect for me. That door opened another, and I worked with multiple product teams across ADP. Because of that, I am proud that my journey has led me to become a Chief Architect for our GPT National Account Services team in India. In this role, I’m responsible for the architecture and quality of ADP’s top products in HR, Payroll, Time, and Talent for our largest clients.
Architect Mentorship Program
Another part of my new responsibilities is helping other associates grow. We recently kicked off an Architect Mentorship program for my business unit, the National Account Services Architect Academy (NASAA). As a part of this program, we shortlisted 11 talented associates who have demonstrated excellence in their projects and aspire to be architects. Each of the mentees is assigned a mentor who is currently in an architect role within the organization. The mentorship is multi-fold:
1) The mentees go through a hand-picked Udemy curriculum that covers the fundamentals of being an architect, the various technologies that support our products, and the soft skills essential for the architect role.
2) Mentee and mentor connect weekly. The mentor guides the mentee on their learning, shares real-world experiences, helps solve problems, provides feedback, and more.
3) The Academy meets monthly where a senior Architect Leader (from outside the business unit) shares their career journey with the mentees and how they solved large-scale business problems.
4) The program culminates with the mentees picking a real-world business problem, working on architectural artifacts to solve it, and presenting their work to senior leaders.
Mentees graduate from the Academy in a grand ceremony. After graduation, they are assigned architectural responsibilities within their projects as on-the-job training. The idea is to produce well-equipped architects through this program within one year. Having benefited hugely from my mentors and colleagues, I am excited and committed to the mentorship program’s success.
Designing for People
ADP has taken giant leaps in its transformation into a Technology company. One of the things that makes it possible is our commitment to people. Domains and technologies are out there for anyone to learn. But the 59,000+ ADPers helping 920K+ clients in more than 140 countries give our company the foundation to stand tall among its competitors. Our network is strong and built on core values, including “Each Person Counts” and “Integrity is Everything.”
Supporting & Learning Culture
At ADP, the doors to learning are always open. If you are curious, nothing can stop you. What makes ADP stand out from the other organizations I have worked with is our culture of “learning and growing together.” Despite being a multi-national company, we don’t have boundaries separating us.
Our excitement and cooperation are the same whether speaking to an associate in India, the U.S., or Europe. We work and win as one. If I need information or to learn something, I can reach out to anyone, whether I’ve worked with them before or not. All it takes is a quick ping on our collaboration platform. We are all connected! All it takes is one’s curiosity to learn.
I’m endlessly excited and curious about our vast HCM industry and all the exciting technologies we use as part of our products. Between that and my ever-helpful colleagues, I keep learning.
ADP Tech, Hyderabad, Integration Architecture, Mentorship, Career Growth
Impact, Innovation, Brazil Labs
We look forward to South Summit Brazil 2023, where top speakers worldwide share their expertise and leaders look for business opportunities.
Porto Alegre: Home to ADP Brazil Labs
Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, is home to one of ADP’s Technology and Innovation labs in the South of Brazil. The city has an estimated population of 1,492,530 (about the population of West Virginia in the U.S.). Known for offering tourism and leisure time, Porto Alegre features several urban parks with green areas that attract those looking to enjoy nature and history.
In 2022, Porto Alegre celebrated its 250th birthday with enthusiasm and vitality. The city is constantly developing and becoming a hub for generating new technology-based businesses and attracting and retaining talent. Join our community to follow our events and what we are developing at the Labs.
May 2022 – South Summit Brazil
The first South Summit Brazil took place in Porto Alegre as the world continued to recover from the global pandemic. The global entrepreneurship and innovation event started in Spain ten years ago and is now an international conference.
The public and private sectors, academics, and other institutions collaborated to make it happen, all contributing to positioning Porto Alegre as a global innovation player. The numbers were awe-inspiring, with 20,000+ visitors representing more than 50 countries, 500 presenters, and 1,000 submissions to the startup competition.
We look forward to South Summit Brazil 2023, where top speakers worldwide share their expertise and leaders look for business opportunities. The summit will take place from March 29 to 31 next year. Learn more about the event here.
Introducing Instituto Caldeira
Instituto Caldeira, also known as the “Boiler Institute,” is a non-profit organization for creativity and communication. The hub provides an opportunity for people to network together to improve the new economy and innovative ecosystem of Porto Alegre and the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
It was founded by forty-two major companies in 2017 that refurbished the old industrial complex for innovation activities and the new economy. The complex still houses the boilers imported from Europe back when prominent businessman AJ Renner started it over 100 years ago!
With only a little over a year of operation, it has already hosted an impressive number of activities. The Boiler comprises more than 22K sqm of space, 42 corporate founders, 330 affiliated companies, 700 startups in the ecosystem, and 15 national and international associated hubs.
ADP Brazil Labs Offsite
In early June, Julio Hartmann, VP of ADP Brazil Labs, and his Senior Leadership Team (SLT) team met for a strategy meeting at Instituto Caldeira. It was an excellent opportunity for the team to get together in person after two years of working remotely. Everyone was impressed with Instituto Caldeira’s structure and the initiatives, looking forward to expanding collaboration in the future.
Julio began the leadership offsite by discussing the content from the Global Product & Technology (GP&T) Leadership Summit. Julio proposed a transformational strategy for the Labs to connect better and leverage the external ecosystem. The plan included presentations from some development leaders about their groups, from Workforce Now (WFN), DataCloud, NextGen (core platforms and Centers of Excellence), and myCareerConnect, to ADP Ventures. There were also presentations about cross-organizational areas and initiatives, such as Product, UX, Agility, Innovation, and the Machine Learning CoE.
Data Science Guild
The Data Scientists from the Brazil Labs worked together in the Data Science Guild, an internal group created in 2018. They meet biweekly to discuss recent papers on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). The meeting helped them share knowledge and work together more effectively, including Data Analysts and Data Engineers from various ADP product teams like Roll, DataCloud, myCareerConnect, WFN, and Marketplace.
Innovation time was a moment for the leaders to think about how the companies stay relevant in the future, reinforcing the innovative culture throughout the labs. The leaders plan to accelerate new opportunities from various sources, including employee ideas, discoveries from client needs, and technological advances.
UX at Brazil Labs
The leaders from ADP Brazil Labs met with the User Experience (UX) team to understand the balance between UX and other areas, including the development concept guided by Triads that gave our digital product development a more organized structure.
The team talked about how the area has been growing quickly in recent years and an overview of team size and the project distribution. The leaders and the team ensured the UX team had the resources for product decision-making.
It was exciting to see the Brazil team’s participation grow within our global UX equation. We grew approximately 150% in the number of projects we participated with even more planned for the future. For example, we launched a local talent strategy and workstreams initiative, aligning with the GPT talent vision and Objectives and key results (OKRs). The positive result has led us to work hard on structuring and supporting our strategies.
Porto Alegre, Instituto Caldeira, Data Science, South Summit, South Summit Porto Alegre