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Calen Legaspi of Orange & Bronze Software Labs: “Show your passion for your profession, beyond what’s required at school.”

Today's young Filipino minds can turn to the tech industry to forge their careers. MILLICENT BARTOLOME talks to one industry leader on how you can make your own mark with their company.

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01 Apr 2011 Print This Post Print This Post

     

    Calen Legaspi, co-founder and CEO, Orange and Bronze Software Labs.

    Establishing a name in the competitive world of technology is challenging, but not for Calen Legaspi. Knowing that Filipinos are well-versed and equally competent in software programming, he believes that we are destined to become global leaders in this field.

    Making his dreams a reality, Legaspi is CEO and co-founder of Orange and Bronze Software Labs, a 100% Filipino-owned company and the first Philippine-based SpringSource partner with clients such as Cisco Systems, and Banco de Oro to name a few. He shares his insights and vision on how to succeed in companies like his.

    Describe what you do on a daily basis–what is your “job”?
    “Being the Chief Executive means that I wear many hats. For one, I ensure that the company is running towards its vision. I personally attend to financial and legal matters. I also represent the company at the Phillipine Software Industry Association and in other public capacities. In addition, I am in charge of the company’s general strategy, making decisions in accordance to the company’s general direction.”

    What made you decide to set up your own company? What can you tell us about it?
    “I, together with my business partner Butch Landingin, wanted to establish a technology-oriented company that Filipinos can be proud of. The Filipinos’ excellence in technology does not stop with Peter Valdes who founded Tivoli Systems. We would also want to contribute to global programming standards, create new technologies and be with the same level together with globally-respected companies like Google, Microsoft and BoostPro.”

    What kinds of personalities do you deal with because of your work? How did you learn to deal with these personalities?
    “I was a hands-on boss when we were just starting up. I directly coordinated with almost everyone–developers, clients, recruits. However, as the company expanded, a professional management team was set up. Because of this, I only work closely with this team, apart from dealing with other industry leaders who are members of the Philippine Software Industry Association.

    “Ironically, I do not consider myself  a people person. I am an introvert; however, I try my best to involve myself in various business events so as to know the client’s concerns and become more driven to improve the service being provided by the company. Having the opportunity to interact with people this way helps me be comfortable dealing with people of all sorts.”

    What qualifications do you look for in new employees?
    “One important quality that our company is looking for is talent. We believe that skills can be learned but never talent. We are looking for people who are naturally gifted in what they do.

    “We are also looking for passionate people who view their careers as a way of sharing their knowledge and talents to the society. Lastly, we are looking for people with leadership potential, people who are self-starters, who have the capability to motivate others to be the best person they can be.”

    What is the worst thing an applicant can do–or has done–while going through your recruitment process? How can someone stand out and be noticed in a good way?
    “For me, the worst thing an applicant can do is be unable to cultivate their learning or practice their profession outside school. I prefer applicants who are familiar with or accustomed to the tricks of the trade regarding the industry they wish to be a part of.”

    Are there any interests that they can pursue outside of school that you think will help them adjust to your work environment?
    “I highly encourage people, especially students, to continue learning new information. Learning does not begin and end in school. I suggest that, to further broaden their knowledge, they should start applying what they learned in real-life scenarios such as doing a software program for your family business if you happen to be a programmer.”

    Say someone starts in an entry-level position in your company. After a year, what has he/she learned? What can he/she do by then?
    “A fresh graduate joining our company will be mentored by top-notch professionals who are constantly seeking out cutting-edge technology and are armed with advanced technologies and methodologies. They will also be involved in various projects concerning technology, thus making them experts in the industry in a short period of time.

    “There are endless possibilities in the software industry. It is only now that the development has been maximized to its fullest potential. Because of that, Filipino technology professionals will increasingly make names for themselves and become the most sought after professionals in the world.”



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