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Moving companies can be an intimidating prospect. It’s natural to focus on whether your skills will transfer to a new environment and it’s easy to overlook the real value your fresh perspective can add. At Schlumberger, we recognize the latter is only possible if you are trusted and supported to make it happen. That’s what Adelle found when she joined us at the Software Technology and Innovation Centre (STIC), California in 2016.
Adelle is a User Experience Manager specializing in UX innovation across Schlumberger. She leads a team at STIC that acts as an in-house innovation hub and consultancy, working with specialized teams across our business areas to help redefine what UX can help them achieve.
“I was told before I joined I would work on a lot of different projects, but I’ve been in the industry a while so I took that with a grain of salt. It is exactly that. Sometimes we come up with our own projects and sometimes colleagues come to us for help or with an idea they have and we’ll jump on it.”
Adelle’s role involves both applying UX thinking and technology to old software and developing new innovations. She helps open up new possibilities across the business, from geoscience teams to on-site field engineers. She joined having gained valuable experience at leading technology companies including Yahoo and Hitachi but was new to the oil and gas sector.
“It’s definitely a learning a curve. My immediate technology colleagues also come from outside the industry. We’re outside the box and sometimes it’s a challenge because we don’t know the limitations. But that means we disregard them and when they come, we find solutions. It allows us to innovate.”
As a Front-end Developer, Adelle was the lead developer on ‘DLS’, the Design Language System where she and the team created a coherent feel across all of Schlumberger’s software. As a UX manager, she and the team then took a pioneering step forward by building a program that automatically implemented that language. The DLS Magician is a program that allows users to input in natural language for their software requirements and then draws on the design language system to automatically develop a working prototype. This project is one of the team’s more ambitious projects to date and is a direct result of their ability to see new potential.
“When we first pitched it, upper management didn’t think it would happen, but they gave us the freedom to fail. The designer asked them to trust her, so they said go ahead, and they did, and they are now among one of the biggest supporters of the project.”
For Adelle, that support is what makes her experience at Schlumberger unique. Alongside the opportunity to work on a range of different projects every day, she has the support and confidence of her managers to pursue these projects, something which she hasn’t experienced before.
“My managers are just really supportive. They make sure you know what you want, what you’re looking for, and they give you the tools you need to grow, whether it’s technology or training.”
The result is transformational projects like DLS Magician. The program and the research that made it possible are currently being submitted to leading industry publications, a national UX competition, an international intelligent interfaces conference and has a patent pending.