ArticleDecember 8, 2022 · 5 min read time
Having lived in Finland for five years, Omar Buede is well-versed in the local work culture. Some people argue that you need Finnish language skills to prosper. Still, this Senior Software Developer has proved them wrong – in fact, the number of opportunities has taken Omar by surprise.
Omar, you have vast experience at product companies but have also worked at a consultancy before. What made you join Nitor, and what does your day-to-day look like?
I met a co-worker from another consultancy, and he mentioned joining Nitor. We chatted about it and in no time, I also found myself among the Digital Engineers. At that time, my other options were to join product houses again, but I was keen to work as a consultant. I get more flexibility to arrange my work, but I also have enough variation within the projects I choose to work on. It would be somewhat dull working with the same system or solution for too long, so this setup is very comfortable for me.
My day-to-day is quite broad, even though I currently work with one client. The tasks include anything you would imagine a developer does, but on a higher level, my role is to sit with the client and help them in any way I can within my expertise. For example, my client had an unstable system due to architectural or design-related flaws that required further investigation on how to improve it. It’s a lot about proactively improving things and solving problems.
Sounds exciting! But how have you found the transition from in-house to consultancy?
Instead of working with one solution or product, I now get to try different things and tackle a whole set of new challenges regularly. Instead of improving a specific software, I am currently improving my knowledge. I approach a new project or client with all my previous experience and see how I can use that to solve the problem at hand. But at the same time, I get an additional layer of new skills and information I can use elsewhere later on.
We call all our employees Digital Engineers. But what does that mean to you?
There are a couple of different aspects, and one is the work culture. In some companies, the culture stems from corporate guidelines, while at Nitor, it’s really a people’s culture.
Nitorean Digital Engineers are a group of like-minded people who truly relate to each other and achieve amazing things together. That’s one of the forces that drove me to join Nitor. But it’s also about the mindset of a Digital Engineer, which stems from curiosity, trustworthiness, and responsibility.
Our clients trust us to do what needs to be done with the highest possible quality, and we need to be responsible for delivering that. And Nitor trusts us to be responsible professionals, so we don’t see micromanagement from either side. It makes me feel I'm trusted and that feels great, especially since I have experienced mistrust in the past.
With trust, there indeed is zero need for management. How does the flat hierarchy work for you?
Some people rely on having a direct boss or supervisor, but I don’t miss that. I like that it’s up to me to find the answers I need. Again, someone interested in taking responsibility for their work and growth would fit right in at Nitor. Our company has this curious way of operating, as I can openly apply for a specific client or be transferred from my current one to something else. Deciding what I want to do is totally up to me, and it feels very comfortable.
We have the Kamu peer mentoring system in place if we need some sparring, but I haven’t decided to join in yet. But I have been thinking about mentoring a colleague instead, and I did join a Kamu camp meeting recently to learn more.
That's right, one doesn't have to be alone even though we are self-directed Digital Engineers. Omar, you have lived in Finland for five years. How would you describe that experience so far?
Having lived in Finland for some time now, I am quite surprised that I don’t need any Finnish language skills to get meaningful job opportunities. In this industry and line of work, English is good enough. I come from Brazil initially, so my native language is Portuguese.
Omar has all the qualities that you’d want in a colleague - he is an experienced, passionate and reliable professional and a genuine and supportive person.
- Vitalii Ivanov, colleague
Still, before joining Nitor, I had doubts about how I would fit in as we have a lot of Finns. Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised by how integrated I became. We share so many common things, and I have spent hours just talking with my colleagues on company trips and events. In my opinion, Nitor hires based on personal characteristics, and fitting into that group of like-minded people isn’t dependent on sharing the same native language.
Geeking together over how someone solved a complex issue for a client must be our favourite past-time hobby! But what about your well-being? How do you take care of that?
The Iron Bank is one of the most fantastic things I’ve seen at Nitor.
Having my own Ironbank budget to choose the best possible equipment for working is a concept that I love. And it’s not just the computer; setting up a perfect home office according to your specific preferences and needs is impressive. Zero bureaucracy and a monthly growing budget – not many companies do that.
But I also try to balance it out with nature. I used to spend a lot of time with computers in my free time, and I’m fascinated by how machines can help us do more with less. At the same time, I like to engage with more humane things, like walking in the forest, doing some gardening, or woodworking. These help me to de-stress and take my focus away from tech entirely.
That sure does sound healthy and nice. Thank you, Omar, it was very nice to talk with you!
Thank you so much!
In this campaign, we’ll introduce Nitoreans in different roles. Every Nitorean is a Digital Engineer: a pragmatic and solution-oriented helper who doesn’t settle for assumptions. Instead, they take one step further to seek the right questions and even better answers.