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Building things

Since he got a programming study book, Ingemar has been hooked on software. Read more.

Read more about: Innovation | Digital

Ingemar and our team of digital experts are hosting an informal event on Wednesday, 27th June from 5:30pm at McKinsey’s Stockholm office. Come and learn how we build digital businesses, network with our Veryday and Digital McKinsey colleagues plus learn how we build disruptive digital capabilities. To register interest, click here.

Technology has always fascinated me, from the impact it is having on society, down to the details of how to render a polygon with the fewest clock cycles. I was hooked on software and coding from the day my older brother couldn’t figure out what to get me for Christmas and gave me the study books from his programming course. I devoured them in weeks, trying my hand at building whatever I could imagine – creating software felt like pure magic, and I would devote any free moment I had to it for many years to come.

Ten years ago, I was finishing up my degree and working as a freelance software developer. I did e–commerce websites and corporate intranets, and had limited say in what to build or how to build it – the magic was gone. Friends with more of a business focus were all applying to McKinsey, so I went along, and, to my surprise, got an offer.

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I was positively surprised by the influence I could have – from helping untangle ”good bank“ from ”bad bank“ after the financial crisis, to developing an eHealth strategy for an entire country or designing and implementing a new way of working for 15,000 front–line employees – all in the first two years. Combined with the personal growth that comes from working with brilliant people on challenging topics, it was an easy choice to stay, even though technology was initially a small a part of my work. I have since found my way to work exclusively on digital transformations, advanced analytics, AI and agile software development and it’s great.

Along the way, my wife and I had two boys – now five and eight years old – and here McKinsey surprised me again, this time by the amount of flexibility I can have. For me, a combination of very supportive colleagues, part–time programs and long parental leaves did the trick – allowing me to fully engage in building a family, while staying and progressing at McKinsey and supporting my clients.

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