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Professional Development at DevResults

DevResults instituted a sabbatical policy earlier this year. We looked into types of sabbaticals across sectors and found a wide variety; for us, an employee earns 12 weeks to focus on professional development for every five years of service. In light of this policy, I’m excited to share that I’ll be attending a programming course from June 24th to October 4th.

What this means for you:

In the short term: not much. In the long term: a lot. We took care to schedule this during our quiet months of the year, so I’ll be back before you even notice I’m away. Our helpdesk system means that no matter which DevResults team member you work with most closely, our entire team chips in to make sure we answer every question. Ritika, Reid, Aasit, and the rest of the crew will be available as always at help@devresults.com. I’ll be there as usual for reporting in October.
When I’m back, I’ll be better positioned to answer technical questions and serve as a liaison regarding your requests.

What this means for me:

In 2019, it’s impossible to imagine cultivating a career without learning new things. People can either take on new challenges within their organization, or they can leave. I plan to stay at DevResults long into the future, but doing so is contingent on getting to acquire new skills. This sabbatical will give me the opportunity to expand my technology skill set. I’m proud to be at a company that takes the long view of cultivating and retaining talent.

One benefit of offering sabbaticals is that an employee who wishes to take one must make sure she’s not indispensable. To this aim, I’ve spent years making sure that nothing essential lives only in my head: it’s documented, backed up, instilled in my colleagues, and shared with my team. This makes our company more resilient, especially since we’re small.

In our last round of check-ins with users, one thing was clear: folks are succeeding at using DevResults. The main asks of us are not for more training or videos or meetings, but rather for even more tools for managing, evaluating, and analyzing data. This is great news for international development, but frustrating for me if can’t help build those tools myself. I enjoy working on those projects whenever possible, and a programming bootcamp will enable me to help bring your ideas to fruition.

When I return, my goal will be to spend a little less time documenting feature requests and a little more time building them myself. That’s a win for me because I enjoy such work, a win for DevResults if I can help with features, and win for you if we can deliver updates faster.

What this means for DevResults:

We believe in technology and in lifelong learning. We aim to show that it’s not just possible, but a sound investment, to expand your organization’s technology expertise by investing in current team members. International development in particular faces a high rate of staff turnover, in part because of fixed-term projects and constrained overhead funds. As a small company in a rapidly evolving field, we have our own challenges in retaining staff, but we want to reward people that have made a long-term commitment to DevResults by making a long-term investment in them and their future.

What’s next?

While I’m away, all my email will be forwarded to help@devresults.com, where our team will answer any questions you might have. If we’ve worked together closely over the years, I’ll reach out to you in advance let you know who your main point of contact will be in the interim. If you have any questions or concerns before June 24th, please feel free to reach out to me directly at leslie@devresults.com. Wish me luck!

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