Future of Work, Innovation, What We Do
Driving Resiliency and Sustainability: We’re All Connected
By Jesse W., Senior Director of Application Development
I firmly believe in leaving things better than I found them. Mindfulness around economic, social, cultural, and natural systems allowed me to develop a sense of environmental responsibility.
Last year, ADP launched the Green Business Resource Group (BRG) to join our other nine BRGs, which place a focus on diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and belonging. Green has a specific purpose of promoting how to conserve and restore our communities’ natural resources. We are driving initiatives to support ADP’s commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and target net-zero Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by 2050.
Remember how I said I believe in leaving things better than I found them? It’s groups like Green that create opportunities for me to meet like-minded associates who feel the same way.
I was thrilled to learn the community already has over 2,000+ members globally in its early stages, which means there are that many people who are putting sustainability goals first and have an interest in preserving our future.
Since joining the Green BRG, I have learned how technologists calculate the electricity costs in our public cloud computing in Scope 3, the indirect greenhouse gas emissions that arise from a company’s value chain. This got me thinking. How can my team at ADP help these efforts?
Resiliency helps our business operate technology at peak efficiency and provides teams with a way to lower operating costs for our clients. As the Senior Director of Global Cloud Strategy, I focus on enterprise resiliency and leverage sustainability principles across the team.
By practicing resilience, the teams provide clients with lower operating costs. Sustainability continuously modernizes and improves our best technical solutions to support meaningful business outcomes.
While both practices are complex in planning, I encourage leaders to implement the concepts in team strategies and apply “thinking green” as a problem-solving approach. Further reading: Implementing Environmental Awareness Practices in the Workplace.
As ADP’s partnership with public cloud providers and private cloud use rises, we must think about efficiency gains and how our work tremendously impacts carbon dioxide emissions.
I encourage you to find a group that speaks to your principles and values. I challenge you to widen your sphere of influence and see how you impact the wellness of our world. Consider spending a few hours every month volunteering and understanding eco-friendly practices or starting a conversation on environmental awareness with another individual.
No matter your role or where you are in the globe, we’re all connected. It’s time to take on the global human responsibility of leaving a positive impact. Join me today in finding your community, and consider joining a community or advocacy group that inspires you!
#Sustainability #Enviroment #EnergyEfficiency #Leadership #GlobalGoals
Visit who we hire and our current openings.
Future of Work, Innovation, Why ADP
Accessible Video Controls
Video: The Story of ADP Design: Data, Insights, Simplicity
Narrator: More than 900,000 businesses rely on ADP for leading HR and payroll solutions. How our products are designed is just as important as what they can do. Today, we’re going to learn why purposeful design helps our clients and their people work smarter.
JOE: So we hear the word design used an awful lot. We hear it in development. We hear it in experience. We hear it in the UI. There’s a UI element but there’s much, much more than that. What is design to you?
VIPUL: Designing for people is just part of our DNA. Our clients feeling confident in what they’re using.
BRUNA: It’s more than the look and feel. Design is also about performance.
OSCAR: We want to be 100% focused on their experience. When they come in, this is what they need to do and they should be able to do it quickly.
BRUNA: I think ADP is doing a great job on that. Trust is one of the words that clients use a lot. They trust in ADP.
JOE: That’s exactly right. If you help and can build that trust, they’re going to be able to have confidence to do their job or to crush it.
VIPUL: One of the ways you actually crush it is by being simpler. That one button that says confirm.
JOE: That’s right. How do when you’ve got good design? How do you measure that?
OSCAR: I don’t think there is ever going to be a point where you’re going to be like, this is the final design. This is it. But I think you learn over time, it’s a dynamic thing. Is this better than what we had before? Continue to improve the design. Continue to improve the user experience.
BRUNA: I think that the most important thing is really try to test it as much as possible with clients that are going to use it.
JOE: Describe a little bit about the importance of everybody being involved in that design. Is it a single UX person or UI person but really, the whole business?
JOHN: I may have an answer. And it may be a perfectly good answer to a problem, but I’ll reach out to get other thoughts. Maybe there’s a better way. You can’t just rest on your laurels. Look at COVID in the pandemic. The way our clients and our end customers operated their businesses changed.
JOHN: And if that changed, then our products have to change.
VIPUL: We now release much smaller, digestible features and new functionality and new things into the system on a weekly basis. And it actually makes it much more easy for us to release it and more importantly our clients to be able to accept these things and consume them, and stay up to pace with us.
JOHN: That’s what we’re here for, empower the business to go at whatever speed it needs to go.
JOE: I think that, to us, is what the modernization experience has been all about with workforce now. Guys, I’ll tell you, if I had every day a chance to get to talk with folks like you in a conversation like this, it’d be a wonderful day to start– bringing developers together with UX folks, with executives, and product people. Thank you for your contribution.
Work is having a moment. Regardless of what you call the state of the talent market, it’s clear we need a better way to work that enables everyone to reach their full potential. ADP is all about designing a better way to work. We design experiences using an integrated design philosophy and approach that leverages: Data, Expertise, and Design innovations.
For more insights, subscribe to the tech blog and receive monthly newsletters from us.
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
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.
Innovation, Tech Trends, Machine Learning
If Picasso were to be alive in 2022, would he use Artificial Intelligence technology to make art?
AI Art: Will it Disrupt the World as We Know it?
By Amy H. Chiu, Tech Brand Content Developer
I can’t help but wonder, if Picasso were to be alive in 2022, would he use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to make art?
With a background in visual arts, I spent sleepless nights in the art studio, sketching and studying every brushstroke. Every step in the art creation was filled with unexpected beauty. A small drop of black ink could alter the entire canvas. In traditional art forms, there was no control + z key to undo changes.
I remember Adobe visited my art community years ago and showcased a variety of digital tools from Creative Cloud. The tutorials broadened my horizon and challenged my definition of art. I experienced the power of switching pen tools and colors on the screen, including the accuracy and consistency of texture in design. The techniques would have taken hours and days in a hands-on studio, considering mixing colors, cleaning the tools, and using multiple mediums come at a cost.
Little did I know, that was just the beginning.
Fast forward to 2022 – all it takes is a few keywords and programming languages to create art.
Several weeks ago, a Colorado-based artist sparked controversy when they submitted a piece created using artificial intelligence (AI) and brought home a $300 First Prize.
By harnessing the power of machine learning algorithms, artists can now create works that would have taken hours and years to complete with traditional mediums. That said, what are the pros and cons of relying on algorithms? Let’s look at what we know about AI art and its impact.
What Defines AI Art?
AI art is any artwork created partially or entirely by artificial intelligence. In most cases, AI art is generated by algorithms, meaning artists write code or use software for the machines to learn. The algorithm then captures the style and aesthetic the artists want by reviewing thousands of existing paintings before generating one.
One of the most famous examples is “The Painting Fool,” a software that generates artwork digitally and paints in various styles. It was created by Simon Colton of Imperial College, London. Further reading: Painting Fool’s portfolio reveals artificial artist.
The Algorithm to Make AI Art
When you make AI Art, you will encounter a class of algorithms called Generative adversarial networks, or GANs. They are composed of a generator and a discriminator. The generator creates images from scratch while the discriminator evaluates them and determines whether they’re real. Both the generator and discriminator get better at their respective tasks, resulting in increasingly realistic fake images.
In other words, one may generate photographs of human faces and realistic images of animals that don’t exist in the world. GANs also translate images from sketches to color photographs and texts to images. For example, users may put in: “a small bird is purple with green and has a very long beak,” and get realistic photographs that match the description in the output. Read more examples here.
If you want to try GANs, here are a few steps. Step one is selecting several authentic images for training. Next, generate a few fake images using the generator. Step three is training the discriminator to use both real and fake ones. Lastly, generate more fake images and train the full GAN model using only counterfeit images. You may find detailed instructions and working python code here.
The Scary Side of AI Art
Technologies are evolving. They are convenient yet dangerous.
My biggest concern as a creator is to see people lose their respect and appreciation for artists. Although one may romanticize and say art is about the process and the original ideas behind it, the result matters, especially for agencies that hire graphic designers and advertising experts.
“Art? I can do that in 20 seconds with a detailed description in AI.” Hearing comments like this has impacted the motivation and the reality of artists. That’s when I think about the cost and effort art students pay to attend art schools.
What will the Dean tell future art students on their graduation day? ‘Good luck finding an art job out there and doing better than AI’? Although this may sound a little extreme, the concern remains as there are already limited career opportunities in the field.
My best friend attended the Otis College of Art and Design to become a fashion designer. The annual tuition on a full-time basis for 2020/2021 is $69,532. She always drew fashion illustrations on tablets and paper. Every shade and every detail mattered. Handing in the illustration collection late could result in a lost opportunity in a competitive internship.
If AI could do what she learned in four years and at a much faster speed with more pattern selections, was it worth it for her to pay the tuition and go through the training?
The Cost of AI Art
With AI Art in place, how does one price the work? Is it based on the artist’s fame, artwork’s material, time spent, or simply how “good” the art looks?
In 2018, an algorithm-generated painting sold for $432,000 at Christie’s, one of the world’s largest auction houses. The ‘painting’ was created by a designer using a computer. The news sure sparked intense conversations in the art communities. How should AI impact the value of the art generated? Should it be worth less? Then again, look at the price of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Need we say more?
AI-generated art challenges the definition of what we call ‘art.’ Consider how NFTs and AI art are created and sold. Both use algorithms, which are a set of rules. How they are applied can produce different and unique results, sparking inspiration and controversial debates. Only time will tell what else AI can do in the realm of art, but one thing is for sure: it has brought us closer to the future.
AI Art Continues to Evolve
AI art is still relatively new, and there’s much we don’t yet know about it. However, AI is profoundly impacting the art world—creating new types of artwork and how experts judge artwork in competitions.
“I see the power in AI Art, and that makes me want to support and protect traditional artists even more,” Srinivas P., the Sr. Mainframe Developer, said. “There could be a different category for AI-generated artwork in future competitions.”
Srinivas and I also connected with Sangeetha G., an artist specializing in character drawing. “Live art competitions would be great opportunities for people to see the value of traditional art. Creating-in-progress is something computers do not show.”
Computers didn’t develop the painting concept solely on their own. AI still requires human involvement before generating the result. The algorism can take a photo of a seascape and apply the style of van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” If the user is unhappy with the result, edit the input by changing a few words and generating the “perfect” one.
It’s fair to ask: are we creating art or playing a puzzle game?
For now, the ability to produce something entirely new from scratch separates us from machines. In the future? Maybe not so much.
Innovation, Tech Trends, Machine Learning
If buying an NFT does not give you the right to reproduce and sell copies, what exactly do you own?
NFTs: The Price of Bragging Rights
Why would someone spend $2.5 million on a Link to a JPEG?
You might have already seen examples of NFTs like funny ape drawings or celebrity avatars used as an account holder’s picture on Twitter. So, who would buy a personalized digital token of a dancing bear in a tutu? Is it worth $2.5 million dollars? What value are you really getting?
First, a quick definition of an NFT:
Non-fungible token (NFT)
Units of data that are stored on a blockchain. People can buy and sell NFTs; they can be associated with unique digital files such as photos, videos, and audio.
What is the difference between buying an oil painting at a gallery and buying a bunch of 2D digital pixels?
Here’s the definition of ownership.
If you purchase a painting from a gallery, you get to take it home and hang it up in the physical world we live in. You OWN the original painting. All others may have photos or even reproductions, but they will never have that one piece of unique physical canvas. For example, Picasso’s original artwork will always be Picasso. People cannot recreate the same exact painting.
If you purchase an NFT, which could be anything from JPEG to a screenshot of a tweet, it does NOT make you the owner of the “art,” it only gives you the right to claim partial ownership. Buying an NFT does not give you the right to reproduce it and sell copies. Buyers showcase immutable public transactions on the blockchain to prove ownership. Read more: NFTs – what exactly do I own?
It’s worth pointing out that although the owner has the right to use the NFT EXCLUSIVELY, a copy of the digital art can literally ‘look’ as good as the original when people take screenshots to copy and paste the images. With a right-click to save, the copies of digital files are precisely the same as the original NFT. It comes down to the owner bragging about whether they own the original NFT.
For NFT creators, you have the right to reproduce, distribute copies, and display the work in public. However, the NFT royalties work differently. Creators earn royalties through subsequent sales in the secondary market. The transaction occurs without the need for any intermediaries. Remember, not every NFT generates royalties. Everything needs to be written on the smart contract; otherwise, the creator has no claim. Read more: What are NFT royalties?
Why do people go crazy over these?
Let’s break it down.
An NFT gives you a token of ownership on the blockchain. Rather than supporting an artist by donating to them on PayPal or BuyMeACoffee, you can support them by purchasing their NFTs in exchange for documenting your purchasing record on a public, visible ledger. A second benefit, buying an NFT may appeal to collectors who gain pleasure from owning rare, digital goods. A third benefit is that each NFT has a market value, and anyone can buy/sell NFTs. For starters, it is more accessible than investing in the housing market. New to NFTs? Here are some options to store them.
Risks in NFTs
But before you dive right in, consider the risks of buying and selling NFTs. If you want to purchase one to support an artist, ask if the value you derive from ownership aligns with what it means to own an NFT. There are business opportunists who create NFTs from written codes, disregarding the meaning of art creation. For example, the 10000 Lazy Lions NFTs with different combinations of eyes, clothing, and mane are made from randomly generated codes instead of careful craftsmanship from artists.
Another danger is the way we are using NFTs. Before the pandemic, everyone from organizations to influencers jumps on trends trying to chase the cash. For example, agents have produced NFT from past photographs and artwork of the famous deceased to “celebrate” their legacy using them in the NFT market.
Many are predicting this could be the next housing bubble. Has it started to crash? What do you think? Something to consider before purchasing that dancing bear in a tutu.
For more emerging tech topics, subscribe to our blog and receive monthly newsletters.
We’re hiring! Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.
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
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
“Be creative and trust your solution. Always believe in your idea, work, and team’s dedication.”
GPT Associates Win Big at +Hackathona PUCRS in Brazil
ADP’s Global Hackathon is an exciting time for all ADP associates to be a part of hands-on innovation, no matter where they are. Hackathons serve as a way for participants to dive deep into their creative spirits and innovate in a start-up, sprint-like atmosphere. Beyond ADP, numerous hackathons cover a wide gamut of subjects. Two GPT associates recently shined, coming in second place, at the +Hackathona PUCRS, a 24-hour hackathon in Brazil’s Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) University.
Manoella J., Associate Developer, and Waldyr S., Software Development Intern, partnered on an exciting top-of-mind topic for our products: accessibility. The theme of the event was creating a healthier and more accessible internet. The two focused on mental health and created a browser extension that identifies offensive words and replaces them with their definition, reframing context and reducing negative mental health impacts. We spoke with Manoella and Waldyr to learn more about their experiences participating in Hackathon.
Q: What encouraged you to sign up?
Manoella: I am a student who enjoys problem-solving at PUCRS, and I saw the event’s publicity. As someone who’s always looking for opportunities to innovate, I signed up!
Waldyr: My friends were interested in participating, and we got together to form a team. I hadn’t participated in a Hackathon before, so there was a lot of excitement (and anxiety!).
Q: What was the most difficult part? How did you overcome the challenges?
Manoella: The most challenging part was adapting the extension to change the word on external sites. To overcome this obstacle, we focused on researching bibliographies and collaborating with the IT community to find a possible solution.
Q: How did you feel when you heard that you won the challenge in second place?
Manoella: I was pleased and proud of our team. We worked hard for 24 hours to deliver a well-structured, efficient and viable project. It was great to get recognized for sure!
Waldyr: It was a surprise! Even though we believed in our solution, there are other teams that presented great ideas with great experiences as well. We’ve learned a lot connecting with everyone. On top of that, this was our first time participating in the Hackathon and our results exceeded my own expectations.
Q: How did ADP support your participation throughout the Hackathon?
Manoella: At ADP, I have daily contact with good development practices, code optimization, and code versioning—these helped maintain clean and well-presented code for our team. The Hackathon highlights the value of teamwork for me!
Waldyr: When I joined ADP, I learned about agile methodologies—we use them to organize and divide tasks. By understanding these methods at work, I brought what already knew to Hackathon. I’m grateful for all the support I’ve gotten along the way. Here we are, so glad to share our story with fellow associates!
Q: Participating in Hackathon can be intimidating. What advice do you have for future participants?
Manoella: Be creative and trust your solution. Creativity is essential to developing a solution that draws attention to your project. Always believe in your idea, work, and team’s dedication!
Waldyr: Everyone should try it at least once! It’s quite different from what I imagined, doing it with friends there for the same reason as you. We went to learn, have fun and meet new people—reaching second place was a bonus.
Learn more about working at Brazil Labs and visit Who We Hire.