Kimberly Knöbel works as an Atlassian Solutions Engineer at Polygran GmbH in Ulm, Germany. Since May 2017, she has been a valuable colleague, especially in the Atlassian team. Since then, she has improved quality in her own department, helped shape the organizational culture, and continues to spread good vibes throughout the company today. In this post, she describes her journey to today, with all the stumbling blocks and motivators that accompanied her to her future goal.
Well begun is half done!
Many in my family are in IT. When it was time for me to decide, I chose the same path. So I applied as an IT specialist, originally as a system integrator, but then I switched to application development.
During my time in the E-Mobility department, I also had my first contact with Atlassian tools. At the time, I set up and managed the Confluence system at my training company and trained the employees in it. After I was taken on and gained a year’s work experience, I looked for something new. I really wanted to go deeper into Atlassian tools and was looking for jobs like this. Unfortunately, I have not found something so special so quickly. Beginners always have to struggle with: How do I get a job? Through experience – How do I get experience? Through a job.
I moved away from Atlassian tools professionally, but privately I couldn’t let go of them. I also included Atlassian Tools in my Xing profile, under the hobbies section. Out of nowhere I was contacted by Polygran GmbH and offered a job in Atlassian Support. I was incredibly happy, I finally got to do something in the field I always wanted to do something in. Polygran first gave me the chance to prove myself and learn more practically. I then joined a pretty good team from the start, with people who are luminaries in the field. They taught me very very much! Those were really great years: The office was in downtown Ulm, I had really great colleagues and really enjoyed my work!
Happiness comes to those who expect it. Only they also have to keep the door open.
In the meantime, the Atlassian project was terminated and handed over to another company. There was probably no more work for me in my department. So I went to another company and wanted to develop myself as an Atlassian consultant. Unfortunately, due to the project situation during the pandemic, nothing came of it. So I used the time to dive into some certifications for the Atlassian tools and successfully completed them. I got to know other tools, but was never as enthusiastic about them as I was about the Atlassian tools.
After about 10 months I was allowed to rejoin Polygran because my old project was reclaimed! Then I was called and asked if the door was still open or already closed. I was very happy because I was allowed to return to my former project, which I had helped to build and supervise for three years. I’ve been back at Polygran since December 2020, working on what I love again. I now do even more than I had previously given myself credit for. Through the certifications I have developed the self-confidence and the courage to dare to tackle difficult tasks. And that’s going really well! The 5 star ratings speak for themselves.
The Atlassian Way - Tasks and Requirements for a Solution Engineer
I handle tickets for our customers working with Atlassian tools. This means that various requests come in the tickets: Sometimes we have to create new users, sometimes we have to modify whole projects or spaces for the customer or just generally answer the questions of customers. My tasks also include ticket routing, which means that I assign tickets to the respective colleagues who can also solve them. To do this, I need to know which skills my colleagues have and which they don’t, so that the right tasks end up with the right people.
Accordingly, in this job you need above all social skills and knowledge of human nature. You should like dealing with customers and be able to communicate with both the customer and colleagues. It takes a bit of tact with some personalities.
Nevertheless, you should of course know what you are doing professionally. It doesn’t work to just click around randomly. You need a little experience in IT and a lot in using the tool. A little technical understanding is helpful. My reliable colleagues take care of the really deep IT problems, where the error is server-heavy, for example. And they are then also quickly there for me. Each takes the time for the other.
You can't always be on the sunny side of life - or can you?
I think it’s great when I manage my tasks and the customers are satisfied. Just the feeling of having achieved something is a pro for me in this job. I start in the morning, there is already a lot to do, during the day more comes in – but in the evening everything is done! And when the comments from customers are positive, it’s especially nice.
"I'm just happy when my customers are happy."
In this job, you are given a lot of responsibility. One acts on behalf of the company. So when I screw up, it always reflects on the company and not on me as a person. You have to consider every click you make. Not everyone likes that. Mistakes can be corrected and you learn for the next time. We are free in the way we work as long as we do our job well. We can always suggest changes and also simply approach other departments and play along across divisions. The general conditions are optimal for the company to develop. But that’s nothing new from me, I always say that. I am the absolute No. 1 fan of Polygran – that is known here.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
I aspire to become like our team leader. He can do simply everything. I also just want to look at problems and know directly what I need to do to achieve the desired goal – related to Atlassian tools, of course. But this requires analytical thinking and a lot of experience, which must first be built up over the years. I can also still see myself moving in the direction of an Atlassian Consultant. For that, you also have to learn a lot, but I think you can’t always know everything. You just have to know where and how to get the relevant knowledge for a particular problem. But experience is the key to success. And that’s what I’m working on.
The work with my colleagues and the cooperation works extremely well, I couldn’t ask for it better. More are welcome to join, so apply!
Tips for the future of the future
For those who can also imagine this path, I really only have one tip: Keep at it. Just do what you enjoy. I’ve also done jobs that weren’t that great, that wasn’t as fulfilling to me as my current job. Keeping at it always helps, that’s what got me here too. I just wrote Atlassian as a hobby in my Xing profile and lo and behold – it worked – someone saw it and took action.
And if someone wants to join Polygran directly, then you just have to stay yourself. We are relaxed because we have the necessary self-confidence. If you can do something, you don’t have to be afraid, just be relaxed and confident.