Employee Testimonials

Stéphane Dessy

Stéphane Dessy

Meet Stéphane Dessy, Solution Architect at Sopra Steria Benelux. After graduating, Stéphane asked some of his friends who were working in IT if they had fun in their jobs and if they could work on interesting projects. None of them found both criteria in their jobs, except 1 friend who worked at Steria (before the merge with Sopra). That is why Stéphane chose to launch his career at Steria in October 2012. In his first mission he worked on a project for the Ministry of Finance as a Developer. In 2017, he left this customer as a Junior Architect.

What does an Architect do?

I used to be a Java Architect, and I am now evolving into a Solution Architect. My job is to translate business requirements and the high-level design provided by the lead Architect into a technical solution that can be put in place by the Development team and other operational teams. The architect in IT is basically the same as an architect in designing a house. We make the plan, and we tell the Developers and Technical Operators where all parts should go and how they integrate with each other.

I also work together with Business Analysts, because they are the ones who spend a lot of time with the customer to refine the business needs and rules we must include in our solution. And since finding the best solution for the client is often a matter of trade-offs, I also have to discuss my vision of the solution with other (Enterprise, Application, Network, Infrastructure, Security, Cloud, and Data) Architects.

What projects are you working on?

I am currently only working for eu-LISA on SIS II. All their core business systems now have their own biometric engine and work in isolation, but in the future, they will start to exchange information and there will only be 1 biometric engine, namely sBMS.

SIS II is a huge project because it is related to the security of the Schengen area. It has therefore an impact in terms of security on about 500 million people. I like the project because of this impact, but also because the technologies I can work on are very interesting.

What are the most important qualities for an Architect?

I would say that the biggest ones are having the capability to develop an abstract vision of the customer’s business needs and being able to divide this vision into highly cohesive and decoupled rational blocks in order to build a puzzle. Since we do not only communicate with internal teams, but also with the clients, having the right communication skills is also important for an Architect. On top, you should be curious, able to question your design choices, and keen to learn day after day.

Why do you think other people should also join Sopra Steria?

If you want to have a long-term career in the same company, where everyone is friendly and respectful, management is accessible, you can have challenges, and a good work-life balance, Sopra Steria is for sure one of the top companies. We offer all of this and for me, this is what makes Sopra Steria a Great Place To Work.

How would you explain Sopra Steria’s culture?

There is this culture of friendliness, and I don’t think you can find this just anywhere. I really feel that we are a big family with our colleagues, and during all my years here, this was always the key point that made me stay in the company. You can speak frankly to anyone, including management, and if you have a problem, you will always find someone to help you.

There is also this entrepreneurial culture, so it is very much possible to take your career into your own hands, and to grow. People working at Sopra Steria really believe in the ‘Culture of excellence’ and I believe this is one of the key points of Sopra Steria’s success. There are a lot of opportunities to grow in our company and not only vertically but also horizontally. First, we have different platforms where we can follow a training, and since I am curious and love to learn, this is a big advantage to me. If you say that you need a training, people will really listen to you. Second, every employee is assigned a Proximity Manager to help see your potential, find out what skills you are lacking, help you grow in the way you want to while trying to stay aligned with the company expectations. I would say this role is the most important concept in Sopra Steria.

Fun fact

If Sopra Steria was an animal, Stephane thinks it would be a bee (colony). Just like everyone else at Sopra Steria, bees work hard, and they evolve in their role inside the colony. While working to survive, bees accomplish a critical mission for the sake of many other species and the overall ecosystem. By delivering value to critical customers like the European Commission, Belgian government, or the Belgian police, we at Sopra Steria are working for the sake of society. A bee in itself is fascinating, but no bee can survive on its own. It is only by working together that Sopra Steria will succeed.