Updated: Oct 14, 2020

There are so many things that I took away from having a chat with Dan Aragao (Lead Architect at REA Group), but if I had to pick one lesson, it’d be: be ready to make bets throughout your career and adapt to changes.

Dan graduated university with a Bachelor of Applied Physics – soon after he got his first job, he realised he could not see himself building a career in the physics domain. However, he did notice that he enjoyed working in computational modelling for physics experiments – allowing himself to get exposed to the early days of technology in the 1990s. After doing his homework, he decided to make a bet in a career change and go back to university – he went on to complete a Bachelor of Data Processing and a Master’s degree in Computer Software Engineering.

Once he entered the technology world, he found his passion and did not look back since. Dan built an amazing career in software development and had the opportunity to work at large companies such as Banco do Brasil, ThoughtWorks and Aconex.

It is worth noting that the idea of making bets is present not only early in his career, but also throughout his professional journey. Given technology evolves and gets disrupted fast – making obsolescence a real risk – one of the key success factors in Dan’s career was the ability to pivot, make a new bet in a new technology and continually learn and build new skills. There was Java, then Ruby, today is JavaScript and Swift, what will tomorrow be? It is all about being able to evolve and adapt to changes in the market, making sure that, as a professional, you can still bring value to the table. The value you bring must be validated, which you can do by speaking to your peers in the industry, regularly interviewing for jobs and contributing to the open source community.

Today, Dan works as Lead Architect at REA Group, a global online real estate advertising company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange; one of biggest technology companies and the top 10 places to work in Australia. As a thought leader in the technology industry, he shapes ideas and influences change not only in Australia, but also on a global scale.

So, the takeaway? Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to make bets.