An Open Call to Ukrainians Who Have Lost the Opportunity to Work

As the attack on Ukraine by Russia escalates, many displaced Ukrainians are losing their livelihoods, facing potentially devastating and lasting financial, emotional, and health implications. In response, Astound Commerce is continuing efforts to recruit within and outside Ukraine. As a global digital commerce specialist, we are committed to the long-term economic development of Ukraine. This effort is essential as the war continues by supporting the country’s economy through tax revenue and helping the country rebuild in the future. Most importantly, Astound looks to provide a glimmer of hope to those who have lost the opportunity to work.

Astound’s ties to Ukraine run deep, with three Ukrainian founders and a significant Ukraine-based team established in 2006 and revered by its peers across 38 other countries. The shocking onslaught by Russia has driven the company to work round-the-clock in pursuit of our top priority: the safety and well-being of our people. Efforts included establishing a Business Continuity Planning Leadership Team working from Ukraine to offer support to our Ukrainian teammates regarding relocation, communications, connectivity, financial services, personal safety, and more.

In full support of Ukraine, Astound’s efforts extend beyond our team members by ceasing all work with internal and external contractors and clients based in Belarus and Russia and creating JustGiving pages for three nonprofit organizations providing critical humanitarian aid to those affected by the war. You can read more on our efforts to support Ukraine here.

Met with incredible hardship, many Ukrainians are worried about their futures, seeking a way forward and a sense of security, belonging, and purpose. Astound hopes to assist those who have lost employment achieve some form of stability and encourages Ukrainians with a background in technology to apply to join our global team, whether candidates are in a safe location within Ukraine or have relocated out of their country. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by submitting their resumes in English here.

Astound Supports Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Efforts

With the aim of offering tangible support to the people of Ukraine, Astound Commerce has assembled a list of vetted and trustworthy not-for-profit organizations dedicated to providing humanitarian aid and logistical support to those affected by the Russian invasion. These organizations, with links to our JustGiving pages for each, are as follows: 

JustGiving is a world-leading online fundraising platform trusted by more than 450,000 charitable organizations worldwide. Astound welcomes anyone anywhere to show support by donating via the Astound JustGiving pages to any or all of the above-named charities.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast, and completely secure, and every donation made goes directly to the organization of choice. 

Meeting This Moment: Our Unwavering Support for the People of Ukraine

We have all been consumed for the past week by the news and images coming out of Ukraine, as Russia continues its attack on the nation and its people. Heartbreak, anger, frustration, and despair are among the emotions we’ve felt from afar, but there is another emotion that speaks to our hope for what’s to come: awe.

We stand in awe of the strength of the Ukrainian people. We stand in awe of the citizens who have volunteered to bolster an outgunned military. We stand in awe of a leader who could have fled to safety but has instead taken to the streets of Kyiv in a gesture of solidarity with the people he serves, and proclaimed, “I am here.” 

We are in awe, but we are not surprised. Because the strength of character we now see on the world’s stage is a direct reflection of the strength of character we have long seen in our many Ukrainian Astound Commerce teammates. We have long seen your integrity, your intelligence, your devotion to what you believe in. We have long known your fierce hearts.

Being a company founded by three Ukrainians who emigrated to the United States as teenagers, the Ukrainian spirit is profoundly embedded in Astound’s DNA, and it is embodied in our Ukrainian teammates. I want to call out in particular our Ukraine Business Continuity Planning Leadership team for their incredible strength and forbearance during this time of crisis. This team has been working around the clock on relocation efforts to first move Ukraine-based employees to the relative safety of Western Ukraine, and they are now assisting in their temporary relocation outside the country. These individuals are the very definition of courage, as they work to ensure the safety of their teammates. 

As we stand in awe of how all Ukrainians are meeting this moment, we are not alone. Our clients and partners are equally humbled, and we have received an outpouring of well wishes from so many. We thank them as well for these expressions of solidarity, and in the coming days we’ll be sharing information on the most impactful ways we can all make a difference. 

In the meantime, we again express our gratitude and our unwavering support for our Ukrainian teammates and the Ukrainian people. We are with you. Slava Ukraini! 

Michael Kahn (MK), Global CEO

How We Thrive with Remote Work

This article is a helpful guide on how to effectively manage remote teams for all those who work with distributed, remote teams. The article covers the topics of what the remote-first approach is, what the advantages and disadvantages are of working with such teams; what strategies and tools Astound Commerce uses to manage distributed teams.

What is the Remote-first concept?

Remote-first means working remotely is the default. There could be remote employees and those who work from the office, and both are 100% equal. The company provides employees with all infrastructure and environment/administrative support.

At Astound Commerce we have been working with distributed teams for over a decade. Our delivery offices are in Ukraine, Colombia, Slovakia, India, Bulgaria and Turkey. That means engineers assigned to the project can be from any of these locations, and teams are built of people from different countries, speaking different languages.

Working with and within distributed teams isn`t easy, and as of last year, many companies have faced this matter.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of working in distributed teams:

Pros:

  1. More hiring opportunities. You are not limited by one location and can hire engineers with the required qualifications from any part of the world.
  2. Working from anywhere without damage to the project. Performance and team velocity stay on a high level.
  3. Flexible team staffing. You can engage any specialists you need, for certain types of work, from any office, when you need them. You have access to a complete pool of company resources.
  4. As the year 2020 showed us, remote-first teams have higher stress and risk resilience.

Cons:

  1. Lack of transparency. Insufficient transparency of the processes, estimation, aims, and the contribution of each employee to the project and to the overall work of the company.
  2. Narrow communication channel.
  3. Less involvement in the project.
  4. Time difference inconveniences.
  5. Language barrier. At Astound, we set English as a communicational language for all the documents and official communications. It is convenient, as anyone joining the project or the company can easily access all necessary information. Fare to note; there are still some miscommunications because English is the second or third language for most of the team.

How to set the processes within remote-first teams?

A detailed description of all processes is essential for the remote-first team. It gives each team member a clear understanding of what the company and a team lead expect from them, where to find the answers to certain questions, and how to handle issues if they occur.

Tools

I just want to point it out and give a quick recommendation—try to standardize the tools you use, minimize as much as you can, and make a standard Jira ticket-flow for all the projects in the company. It is more convenient for team members and makes them more productive; as they switch from one project to another—all the tools stay the same.

Example: In Jira, the status “resolved” may mean completely different things in various companies and even projects. For some engineers “resolve” can mean the task is ready for testing, for others—the task is ready for a code review, or the task is completed and can be closed. There are many options that probably will be misunderstood and might cause issues. To avoid this, settle on one specific meaning for the “resolved” status.

Onboarding

To make everything work properly, you need to set a clear onboarding process. At Astound Commerce we pay close attention to onboarding. For every newcomer, we have a timeline, a step-by-step guide of what needs to be done/learned on the first day, second day, first week, second week, and month. Each new member gets a mentor who helps to go through the onboarding process. Usually, a mentor is not the HR or a Team Lead, but a colleague with the same level of authority, who has been working in the company longer. It may be a crucial thing, especially in given realities and in remote-first teams.

Example: If you are a newcomer, working in the office, every time you have a question — you can just ask a colleague sitting next to you. But if you are a newcomer working from home or any other place and you’ve got a question, who will you address? This is why we have mentors.

We use the same approach for every person joining a project. There is a checklist in Confluence with detailed info for every project that every newcomer must complete.

The checklist comprises:

These well defined processes don’t only make the team members’ onboarding smoother, but they also give a project manager/team lead an understanding that if a team member has completed the checklist — they know most (all) of the information needed to start working on tasks.

How to build a team?

Onboarding is just one of the multiple tools used to turn an employee into a teammate. But building a team, instead of just a group of engineers, takes more steps and techniques.

Promotion

Why is it important?

I’ve witnessed a lot when specialists working in the company on-site or in a distributed team (more often with distributed teams) felt themselves invisible: couldn’t see the ways to grow, or didn’t know the path to receiving a promotion. In most cases these people are likely to leave, having got an offer for a higher position with better payment from other companies.

To avoid these situations, we have a transparent promotion process:

Communication

Communication is important. We all know that – we hear it everywhere. But what is really important – it’s organized communication.

I know people who work remotely and communication in their teams is just chaotic. They spend a lot of time on meetings they do not need, meetings that are completely unnecessary, just because their managers told them to do so. That leads to a loss of time.

In our team, we have a set number of tools for each communication, which helps us not to squander our time. For official mailing we use emails; Slack — for instant communications, where we create groups we need for a project, separate groups for engineers; for video calls, we use Zoom. And, by video calls I mean video calls, where everyone has their cameras turned on, so you can see the people you are talking to, whether it is your colleagues or clients, which makes communication more efficient.

Meeting notes

One of the key things to do after every group meeting — take notes. Write everything you agreed on: who does what and when. People may get interrupted during the meetings and may miss some important information. Notes help to follow up on all the discussions and agreements, so everyone has a clear idea of what’s next.

TIPS

Summarizing everything written above — here are suggestions that may improve your processes. You never really know unless you try.

In order for remote teams to operate smoothly and bring results, the company needs to have a clear set of tools, instructions for projects and ensure equal conditions for all team members. For project managers, it is important to set up the correct communication and build a relationship with the team.

At Astound Commerce we’ve been learning how to conduct the work in distributed teams for years. This experience helps us now to create a healthy and productive environment for each member.

If you want to become part of our team, send us your CV. (or >> check out open positions in Astound Commerce!)

We want to meet you in person!

Harnessing Tech Talent in Izmir

Pioneers in digital commerce solutions, Astound Commerce recognizes the value of exploring new avenues and embraces every opportunity to welcome new talent to its diverse team. And in 2019, as a part of its global expansion initiative, Astound opened a new office in İzmir, Turkey, a booming hub for technology.

The idea to open an office in İzmir was first introduced by Ozan Külahcı, Astound Country Manager. Passionate about software development, he knew there were more people in his hometown who shared his love for technology.

“İzmir has much potential in the field of technology, and a global company like Astound Commerce will only benefit from its impressive talent pool,” says Ozan.

But launching a new office at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic proved challenging. With employee safety and health at the forefront, the newly opened office was closed until further notice. Even so, the İzmir team was determined to begin their new journey at Astound and thus began working remotely. Within a single year, the team helped Astound launch major projects for iconic brands and organizations including the multi-industry company Al-Futtaim and retail brands Boohoo, Accessorize, Monsoon, and Halfords.

“We enjoyed working on all of these projects, as they required different approaches and allowed us to work with new technologies and people across the globe,” notes Ozan. “However, the first project was the biggest one for our team.”

The Al-Futtaim project had the İzmir team collaborating with diverse, global brands—such as Toys"R"Us, M&S, Kiabi, ACE, and Homeworks—and exploring breakthrough technologies. “This was something that the team worked on the longest, but it was a rewarding experience,” Ozan explains.

When it comes to building revolutionary ecommerce ecosystems, Astound works with various software technologies, including Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC). And with more than 15 years of SFCC experience, Astound is proud of its vast team of SFCC-certified developers and encourages and supports those who want to become certified.

“It is a very important opportunity for my self-development, which the company provides, that I am able to apply for the SFCC Developer certification,” says Halil Can Ozcelik, Web Developer at Astound Commerce İzmir. “And best of all, I know that I’ll have the necessary support from my management to do so.”

Apart from offering team members countless avenues to enhance their skills, Astound also provides each employee with an open opportunity to advance their career once they feel ready.

According to Burcu Cosgun, Human Resources Specialist and Office Administrator at Astound Commerce İzmir, the company is dedicated to helping its people grow and ensures that employees’ contributions and efforts are rewarded. “It is important for us to see our employees interested and engaged in what they’re doing, alongside feeling appreciated for their efforts,” Burcu explains. “We have several processes that help people advance further and gain the recognition they’ve earned.”

Ozan began working at Astound as a Senior Web Developer and states he quickly became a Web Development Lead and Country Manager “thanks to the supportive atmosphere and growth opportunities Astound provides.”

“Till this day, I am noticing the advancement of both my soft and hard skills on a daily basis,” Ozan continues. “I find challenging projects more and more exciting; finding solutions to certain problems with collaborative and supportive people feels like an achievement both for me and the team.”

Moreover, Astound understands the importance of a diverse workforce, making every effort to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone feels recognized and appreciated. Halil explains, “I love working in a multicultural environment, communicating with people across the globe who always have a lot of interesting insights and tips to share—that’s an advantage!”

Astound Commerce is growing rapidly and is always looking for new members to join its dynamic team. Visit the Astound Careers page for more information and an always-updated list of available positions—in İzmir or around the world.

Astound COO/CIO Talks Delivery in Medellín

In June, it’s been five years since the Medellin office was established. So, we had a conversation with Ilya Vinogradsky, our COO/CIO, about what makes this team and location special and how Ilya envisions the future for this second largest Delivery location.

The office in Colombia, Medellin, was opened in 2016. How did you settle on Colombia as a new Delivery location? How did it all begin?

In 2015, we made a strategic decision to open a new engineering office. Eastern Europe had already been covered by that time — we had offices in Ukraine, Slovakia, and Bulgaria — so we needed to select a new location. Due to the time zone, convenient to work with North American clients, we started to think in the direction of South America. I began my research and soon came to the conclusion that large countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina weren’t an option since lots of tech companies had already occupied the market. Next, I looked at smaller countries like Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Paraguay, and it was the other way round— too few potential candidates could be found there. So eventually, I settled on three mid-sized countries — Colombia, Peru, and Chile.

The more I researched them, the more I understood that Colombia would be a good choice. It was an up-and-coming country making significant investments into the IT industry. There were not that many tech companies there yet, but already good infrastructure, so we could invest our resources and energy there and create a team.

I was recommended to open our office, particularly in Medellin, and got introduced to an account manager at Agencia de Cooperación e Inversión de Medellín, a government organization that helped companies enter the local market. She and I had a few Skype calls, and soon Omar Jabbour, our general counsel, and I arrived in Medellin to meet her and the local legal, accounting, and tech representatives. We liked the city very much and decided to conclude our search and open the office in Medellin. Thus, in the summer of 2016, our first Colombian teammate, Juan Pablo Roldan Uribe, joined Astound Commerce in the new office.

Now, five years later, do you think you made the right choice back then, selecting Colombia?

Absolutely. Colombia has proven to be rich in skilled tech talent, and over these years, strong, experienced developers, designers, QA engineers, business analysts, and project managers joined us and have taken part in delivering solutions for our major clients. The Medellin team, now with over 70 people, has been an indispensable part of many of Astound’s projects.

What major projects have the Medellin team worked on?

Our project teams are distributed and multicultural. When assembling a team, we don’t aim to have them all working in one location, instead — we want their skills to complement one another so that each of them can bring their share of skills and experience to the project. This also benefits the team members — they learn from the global Astound team and grow both as people and professionals.

So, I can’t name particular projects that the Colombian team has worked solely on. But, some of the major ones that they have been part of were (or still are) for clients like El Palacio de Hierro, Grupo Charly, L’oreal, Urban Decay, Under Armor, Toys R Us, Ray-Ban, Oakley, Pepe Jeans, Puma, and TOMS.

How do you intend to further develop this location? Any talent acquisition plans? New offices opening?

Over the past year, the adoption of digital commerce has significantly increased. Our company has experienced considerable growth in demand for our services. We are well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity and leverage the tech talent market in Colombia. So yes, we plan to and have been expanding our current team.

As per the offices — with COVID-19, it is hard to say when we will be expanding our physical space. Sooner or later, we plan to move the team to a new office in Medellin, as we did in Kyiv. But again, it’s hard to be specific about the time.

The pandemic has changed the way we work and our attitude towards offices in particular. Once the initial quarantine restrictions were lifted, some team members realized they would like to keep working from home. So, now we work wherever we feel most comfortable, be it home or office.

With many team members working from home, are you now looking for remote talent?

Yes, for now, we are also searching for remote team members — and not only in Medellin. There are already several people working as remote specialists in Bogota. We are looking into other Latin American countries as well.

What level of experts are you looking to add to the team? And what positions?

Any level and all kinds of tech positions. New clients keep coming in, so we need project managers, QA engineers, JS developers, UI/UX designers, and business analysts to put together new project teams. And, now we have a significant number of people in Colombia who can coach and mentor junior specialists and assist them in learning our processes, adapting, and also feeling free to share their own ideas.

We’ve been open to hiring junior specialists, actually, for quite some time now. In 2019, we conducted JavaScript and QA BootCamps — two-month training programs with a focus on practice. They allowed us to discover potential talent that would be a good addition to our team. As a result, thirteen people joined Astound as trainees and have been working as junior specialists ever since. Some of them have been promoted to more senior levels.

Since we are in the active hiring mode at the moment, we are planning to conduct another QA BootCamp in September and a JavaScript Boot Camp in October. Actually the registration for JavaScript Boot Camp will be open by September 12. All interested individuals are welcome to apply!

In closing, have you got any words of inspiration for our Colombian colleagues?

Our Colombian office is strategically important for Astound. We will continue making significant investments into expanding our operations here. With the growth of the company overall and specifically in Colombia, each of you will have new exciting opportunities for personal and professional development, as well as for building new meaningful relationships with people around the globe. Thank you for your loyalty and commitment to our company, our clients, and each other. I hope to visit Colombia as soon as the pandemic guidelines allow me to do so.

Six Incredible Years in Medellín

In 2016, globally trusted digital commerce specialist Astound Commerce decided to expand its business to Colombia, opening an office in the country’s economic capital Medellín.

Throughout the years, the Medellín team has contributed immensely to the organizational progress of Astound, pioneering innovative ecommerce solutions for major brands like L’Oréal, Boohoo, Halfords, FLOR, TOMS, and Crocs.

Gradual Growth

Six years ago, six exceptionally talented individuals formed Astound’s first Medellín team. Determined to help revolutionize commerce from Colombia, the small yet formidable team hit the ground running, opening with major projects for brands SkinCeuticals, Shu Uemura, SalonCentric, and Oakley.

“Working for Astound has exceeded my expectations,” says Jose Julian Betancur Nieto, Senior Front-End Developer at Astound Commerce Medellín. “I have grown in many ways as a developer and a professional, mostly by reviewing code with my colleagues.”

Having grown significantly in skill and size since 2016, the Medellín team plays an integral part in helping accelerate Astound’s journey toward its North Star goal: to become the global market leader in digital commerce.

“I want all applications working perfectly in different languages— like Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese—for all kinds of devices that exist right now,” Julian continues. “And here at Astound, I can put that love of perfection to use: facing challenges every day, adjusting to new requirements, and leveraging new approaches and technologies.”

According to Dixon Labarrera, Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer at Astound Commerce Medellín, working at Astound is a constant learning experience. “I have improved a lot of my skills—communication being one of them, which is important in this kind of work environment,” Dixon explains. “Sometimes, what comes naturally to you might be foreign to others, and it is important to be adaptive, especially when working with such an immense team.”

“In terms of hard skills, I realize that there is something new to learn every passing day,” Dixon adds. “For the moment, I am still learning as much as I can about SFCC [Salesforce Commerce Cloud], web technologies, and quality assurance on a daily basis.”

Before joining the company, Dixon had successfully completed an Astound QA boot camp program, a training course that allows anyone outside the company to learn the basics of quality assurance engineering within a three-month period. Those who pass the final test receive a chance to join Astound as full-time employees.

At the forefront of IT education, Astound regularly offers expertly designed JavaScript and QA boot camp programs where participants delve into the world of software development, engaging in professionally led practical sessions, working on multi-level tasks based on Astound projects, and exploring innovative ecommerce technology.

“Participating in the boot camp was a life-changing opportunity and experience,” says Jose D. Cardona, Senior Web Developer at Astound Commerce Medellín. “I come from a noncomputer science background and have a mechanical engineering degree, so even though I had some basic knowledge of programming, my JavaScript and web development skills were not strong.” He adds that the boot camp helped him significantly improve his IT skills, consequently landing him his dream job at Astound.

Career Advancement

Astound Commerce cares about the professional growth of its employees and offers countless opportunities for each team member to enhance their skill set, including training and certification programs, career progression, mentoring and knowledge sharing, professional language lessons, and more.

“The company motivates its team members to succeed by investing in their career development,” notes Jose. “I have regular calls with my functional manager to discuss any personal or career development topics, and I am receiving performance feedback and coaching accordingly.”

The management team ensures all employees feel supported in their ambitions, conducting in-depth performance reviews every six months and fostering a culture of mentorship and collaboration.

Medellín team member Juan Pablo Roldan Uribe agrees that Astound encourages its employees to follow their passions, a principle that has helped him achieve many of his professional goals. “It has been a learning experience for me since the start,” says Juan, who went from Office Manager to Engagement Manager in under two years. He is now Project Manager at Astound Commerce Medellín.

Astounding Culture

The Medellín team values the power of teamwork and embraces Astound’s cultural diversity, understanding that different perspectives lead to creative solutions.

“The most important thing at Astound is its people, astounding people,” says Felipe Chaves, Project Manager at Astound Commerce Medellín. “Everyone is willing to support you to succeed, regardless of their position in the company.”

To support the team in the successful delivery of all projects and initiatives, Astound’s Project Management Office developed the Astound Way Solution Framework (AWSF). AWSF is a combination of multiple solution development life cycles (SDLCs) and different process models. This system allows Astound to match the diverse needs of its clients by combining SDLCs with the supporting process models, ensuring projects of various complexity are delivered optimally and on time.

“It was nice to see that we have this great framework that helps us stay organized and on track,” Felipe comments. “We have also been provided with great communication and project management tools, which allow us to work efficiently while working remotely.”

By creating an environment where collaboration and inclusivity are encouraged, Astound helps team members feel confident and supported in everything they do. “I have never felt alone at this job, but part of an excellent company with great colleagues,” continues Felipe.

In addition to providing employees with the tools to succeed in the workplace, the company also ensures everyone enjoys a healthy work-life balance so they can thrive at work, at home, and at play.

For an inside look at the Astound life, make sure to have a look at the company’s Instagram page.

Additionally, Astound Commerce Medellín is always ready to welcome new talent to the team. Visit the Astound Careers page for more information and an always-updated list of available positions.

Expanding to Ahmedabad

At the end of 2019, leading digital commerce specialist Astound Commerce launched a new office in Ahmedabad, India, supporting the company’s rapid expansion and further strengthening the skill set of its workforce. “Most IT [information technology] companies trust India when it comes to outsourcing because of the country’s strong IT sector,’’ says Deep Vora, Director and Senior Solution Architect at Astound Commerce Ahmedabad.

Located in Mondeal Heights, an Ahmedabad business landmark, the office is close to prominent residential and commercial hubs and serves as a symbol of innovation and opportunity.

THE AHMEDABAD TEAM

Boasting a well-rounded group of talented web developers, solution architects, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) developers, quality assurance (QA) engineers, and human resource (HR) and recruitment specialists, the Ahmedabad team leverages teamwork, innovation, expertise, and experience to drive the digital revolution across Asia and the world. And committed to continuous improvement, the team is always working toward expanding their expertise by welcoming new members and offering comprehensive training and certification programs.

Collaborating with peers from around the world, the team works on developing digital commerce ecosystems that generate enormous value for visionary brands, including L’Oréal, Under Armour, El Palacio de Hierro, Boohoo, Halfords, and Crocs. The wealth of opportunities and challenges allows them to explore breakthrough technologies and solutions inspired by the dynamic digital world.

COMPANY CULTURE

Based in 14 different countries and with more than 1,500 employees across Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, Astound understands the importance of a diverse workforce, making every effort to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone feels recognized and appreciated.

“I work with a lot of people from different cultures and have, as a result, learned to see things from different perspectives,” says Deep. “My way of approaching problems has improved, and I am able to imagine many different scenarios.

The Ahmedabad team values trust and collaboration and has continued to deliver exceptional work despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“As much as it generally is challenging to establish a strong sense of community and cooperation during the pandemic, Astound Commerce shows genuine interest and support in our well-being, resulting in successful teamwork,’’ states Juhi Trivedi, Web Developer at Astound Commerce Ahmedabad.

Moreover, to Astound, the health and happiness of its employees are paramount, with the company offering flexible work arrangements—remote, in-office, or a combination of the two— and flexible work schedules to help employees achieve personal and professional harmony.

“With Astound, I can create a schedule most suitable for my personal and professional needs,” Juhi continues. “This flexibility allows me to balance work and life very well; sometimes I’m even surprised how many things I can get done during the day!”

For an inside look at the Astound life, visit the company’s Instagram page.

LEARN, GROW, SUCCEED

“The working culture Astound Commerce offers yields great benefits for both personal and professional growth,’’ says Ronak Pandya, HR and Recruitment Specialist at Astound Commerce Ahmedabad.

Prioritizing the professional growth of its employees, Astound offers countless opportunities for each team member to enhance their skill set, including training and certification programs, career progression, mentoring and knowledge sharing, professional language lessons, and more.

“The performance review and promotion process at Astound Commerce are good opportunities to dive deeper into JavaScript and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and a cross-cultural exchange of knowledge on these technologies helps to broaden one’s horizon,” says Udit Shastri, Senior Web Developer at Astound Commerce Ahmedabad.

When it comes to building revolutionary ecommerce ecosystems, the Ahmedabad team utilizes various software technologies, including SFCC. And with more than 15 years of Salesforce experience, Astound is proud of its vast team of SFCC-certified developers, encouraging and supporting those who want to become certified and hosting knowledge-sharing webinars aimed at uniting IT specialists from across the globe.

Aside from educational webinars, the company offers expert-led training programs, including QA engineering and JavaScript boot camps, that focus on providing candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to upgrade their expertise or break into the exhilarating world of tech.

In the short time since joining Astound Commerce, the Ahmedabad team has proven an invaluable part of Astound’s global success and progress, designing innovative ecommerce ecosystems for globally recognized brands and actively welcoming new talent to their ranks. And with exceptional benefits, thrilling challenges, and limitless opportunities for growth, the team feels passionate about shaping the future of ecommerce one brilliant solution at a time.

Astound Commerce Ahmedabad is always looking for new members to join its growing team. Visit the Astound Careers page for more information and an always-updated list of available positions.

Cultural Diversity Makes Us Stronger

Astound Commerce is a home to talents of various cultural origins. People of six different ethnic backgrounds often have to become a close-knit team to work together on a project. And, while sometimes understanding each other takes time and patience, our different mentalities and temperaments seem to complement one another in our work for clients. Our differences become our strengths, ultimately contributing to successful results.

However, getting along with people from all over the world is a skill that needs nurturing. And, if you are confused as to where to start, go ahead and follow these steps:

1. Accept the difference

We are all different, yet we often expect everyone else to be like us. And if they don’t do the things our way, we assume there is something wrong with them. If you start communication expecting the person to be just like you, most likely you will face some misunderstandings. While, accepting that we are different and that we actually do things differently may lead to discovering we have lots in common.

2. Show an interest

Most of us ­appreciate people who show an interest in our culture. You may not know a lot (or anything) about certain cultures, and it’s totally ok. Just let people know upfront that your knowledge is limited but you are eager to learn more. Moreover, showing an interest will not only help you start conversation, but also avoid stereotypes and find the common ground easily.

3. Be patient

Yes, we use English for cross-cultural communication. Different levels of English proficiency can impact the level of understanding and the quality of talk in general. Subconsciously we are seeking communication with the people we understand well, and we are likely to overlook those whose English is not as good (or as bad) as ours. So it should be our choice to be equally patient with those who speak differently:
– speak slowly and encourage participation of people who are not confident about their English,
– and don’t be shy to ask for clarification while talking to native speakers.
Remember: everybody wants to be understood!

4. Listen to understand

We often listen to somebody and don’t hear what they are saying. We either interrupt, present our view right away or even jump to wrong conclusions. If you’d like to understand a person from a different culture, let them finish their stories to learn more about their experiences, to hear what conclusions they drew and how those experiences made them feel. And only after that you are welcome to share your opinion or a similar experience. This scenario is extremely helpful, so try it out!

4. Find similarities in being different

Even though we are different, it doesn’t hinder us from having lots in common. There’s a chance that both you and your colleague can’t live without music and yes, the music you like can be different. You might read different books, but treat literature with the same passion. You can share love (or hate) for sports or wish that today was already Friday and still have different plans for the evening. You are from different cultures, but might have the same problems. And this is what helps us bond despite our differences. We are all different, but a little bit the same no matter where we come from.

“The search for understanding our cultural diversity makes us strong, because it reminds us that we are humans, that sometimes trust takes time and patience, but with respect and clarity in our common goals, we gain that transparency and affection, and that makes us thrive.”

Tatiana Jaramillo
Project Manager, Colombia