Neurodiversity @ IBM

Alexandre Hoerbe Engelmann: Delivering Excellence to Customers

“Today, I feel comfortable here, and using the agile culture, greatly facilitates communication and
the way we solve daily challenges.”

- Alexandre Hoerbe Engelmann, Software Developer at IBM

Tell me about yourself.

I'm from the South region of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul state. I was born in Cachoeira do Sul and then I moved to Porto Alegre to study Mechatronics engineering. My journey in the job market started with an internship in an electronics laboratory at the university and the challenge only increased, since it was necessary to accommodate studies with work. There were three internships throughout college. After completing the course, there were a few more job opportunities without much success, until my family and I found out that I have Asperger's syndrome. Looking for help, I discovered the existence of initiatives to include autistic professionals in the job market and that's how I got to know the IBM Neurodiversity Program. 

What is your role at IBM? Please describe.

I'm Software Developer at CIO. I support contracts online application, an IBM tool that other IBMers use to make contracts, supporting the Finance and Operations team.

What are some interesting projects you’ve worked on during your time at IBM?

When I joined IBM, we were moving Contracts Online, which is a huge java application, to another framework called Spring. It is very rewarding to work at IBM, as I learn a lot to do my job.

How does technology or the work you do at IBM impact society?

IBM employees have a commitment to their clients to deliver an excellent work to their customers. In CIO, we have the challenge to offer the best tools, and application, for our clients and stakeholders. I hope to be able to contribute a lot to my team, grow professionally, surpass myself every day and build a successful career at IBM.

What does Neurodiversity Acceptance Month mean to you?

Means treating people equally regarding your particularities.

What is an interesting fact about you that not many people know?

I'm a little shy but I enjoy meeting new people. In my previous experiences, I was always the quietest person and sometimes missed important opportunities and tips about what was happening in the work environment. Today, I feel comfortable here, and using the agile culture, greatly facilitates communication and the way we solve daily challenges. I have many opportunities to participate in several lectures and courses.

If you could give business leaders one piece of advice to better accommodate neurodivergent professionals and create more inclusive workplaces, what would it be?

As a developer, you are too much focused on how determinate feature works, on the application context, and sometimes you forget the big picture - something that maybe business leaders can help us to understand, or build a bridge between these two work context.