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A leap of faith after a career in software engineering: Jian’s story

17 November 2021

Jian worked at Google for a decade before deciding to make the move to bp earlier this year.

Jian worked at Google for a decade before deciding to make the move to bp earlier this year. Already an experienced software engineering manager, he realised he wanted to become more involved on the technology side of a digitally minded business.


Now working as a principal data engineer as part of bp’s data & analytics Centre of Excellence team, Jian is one of the most senior data engineers within the organisation, providing technical guidance and direction across a range of data driven projects.



We’re completely changing the user experience for data at bp, evolving how we work as a company from the bottom up” Jian explains. “Our aim as a team is to bring together the best knowledge and expertise to help raise the bar across bp’s data discipline.


A defining moment for bp as a digital-first organisation

While at Google, Jian’s work focused on digital transformation for the company’s data centre operations. There he led a team of engineers, developing data platforms, mobile platforms, and highly complex server computations.

Despite being relatively new to the energy sector, Jian was pleased to learn about the importance of digital transformation as part of bp’s new strategy. “bp is far more digitally orientated than I originally thought” he says. “The company is reinventing itself as a digital-first organisation and that’s why I’m so excited to be working as a data engineer at this time – there’s a chance to play a revolutionary role within the company that will define our history”.

Jian has worked on exciting projects since joining bp, such as the development of bp’s Unified Data Experience, a tool that will help to inspire users from across the business to discover and leverage data for business insights. Speaking about the project, Jian says: “I’m proud that the Unified Data Experience has been a success so far, even though it’s still in its early stages! We’re starting from scratch, but it’s been a real team effort and we’ve made incredible progress.”

Becoming a data engineer

Jian was in the process of relocating to Texas when bp reached out to him and he admits he was hesitant.



They were looking for someone to fill the role of data engineer and at the time I didn’t think I was qualified enough”, he explains. “I’d always considered myself more of a software engineer.

The turning point for Jian was his interview. He learnt about bp’s digital strategy and met with bp experts who explained more about the work that bp is doing to reinvent itself. “I was blown away”, Jian recalls. “It was only then that I realised how little I knew about bp, and I remember thinking that now was the right time to take a leap of faith.”


Although Jian had not previously worked in data engineering, bp have supported him as he has developed new skills. “I believe that a career should be a platform to grow and appreciate the fact that bp were willing to put their trust in me” he says. “From the very beginning I knew they would help me learn and grow into my role.”


bp is exposed to a vast array of technologies and in Jian’s mind this equals a vast array of opportunities. “There’s a genuine belief that things can be challenged and transformed, alongside a determination to see it happen”, he reflects.

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