As a new community engagement initiative of ACELR8, we started a Getting to Know series where we interview some of the people from our ACELR8 community, both internal and external, that have been involved in our work and our overall growth as a company. The goal is to stay engaged with our network, which includes: candidates, ACELR8rs, as well as our clients.
Last week, we posted an interview with Vanshdeep Singh, a Senior Software Developer at solarisBank. We are still in sB’s office, but this time we are having a chat with David Andrassy Eilertsen who works there as a Software Engineer. His primary focus is on Golang programming language.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Born and raised in Norway, where I went to university. Right after graduating, I moved straight to Berlin. I was also looking for other places, but for some reason ended up in Berlin. My first company was really fast — a week after I applied, they had already put me on a plane for an onsite interview and after the whole day asked me if I'd like to join them. From applying to starting it was about two months so that right after finishing my master thesis, I hopped on a plane to Berlin. After five years, I'm still here.
Why would they want to hire in such short notice in your opinion?
I did have some basic experience as a software developer but had never worked full time before in my area. I was really curious to work there having in mind that I only had the theoretical knowledge from my school. I think they hired me quickly because they saw that I wanted to get a foot into the door. I had a lot of questions, including the dumb ones. As long as you are eager to learn, you can get a lot out of such an opportunity like the very one I got. Also, the Berlin market is full of software developer positions to fill!
So you want to say that's the combination of the market as well as showing that you're highly interested and proactive that got you the job?
Yes! Also, when companies asked me on what kind of projects I'd like to work on, like web development, full-stack, front-end, I responded: I don't know, give me anything! I'll take the position anyway since I don't know if I'll like it after a while.
Did you have an education in software development before you started working?
Yes — I studied computer science for 5 years, and that was something I always knew I wanted to study. I also knew that after graduation I didn't want to stay in Norway, because I'd have to work for a bank or a consultancy agency. I did some internships while studying and all of the companies I worked for required wearing a suit and tie and to sit and code like this. It felt unnatural for me and sounded boring.
Programming is an international type of job — everyone uses English and codes in unified languages. Berlin seemed crazier and less safe than Norway, but also like a more exciting option for young myself.
Which programming languages did you use at the first job in Berlin?
During university and the internships I had, it was always Java in a very corporate style. In the Berlin company, the first language I used was Ruby — it's very readable and understandable, and quite similar to Python. It's also the language of the startup market since it makes it really easy to release an MVP of a product.
You joined solarisBank in September last year as a software engineer, and your current focus is on Golang — a language that's being commonly used in the startup scene. When did you start using it?
I used it a little in my spare time just right after it came out to see what it was. I used it for the first time at work in simplesurance, which was a great company to learn more about the language since they had a lot of knowledgeable people. When I applied there, I didn't have any experience with Go beside the personal one, but I sent my CV anyway, and I got the role.
When somebody is working with another language, for example, Ruby, and they want to make a switch to another language, how can they do that in the professional world?
What could be helpful is having a public Github repo for some micro-services, trying out different things in a command line — all of that in the form of a small hackathon. This should take a day or so. Don't be afraid to simply send your CV too.
What's your morning routine?
At home, I brush my teeth, take a shower, etc. First thing at work, I check messages and email. We're not connected after-hours, so I don't have Slack or work email on my phone. After that, I check the progress of the task board for a current sprint to see what's on my to-do list and if there were any new pull requests or tickets while I was away.
What challenges do you face at solarisBank?
A personal challenge, after being a software engineer for 5 years, you start to want to improve different skills that you have with the progress of your career. Technical challenges are not a problem — dealing with other people, expectations, and assumptions can be tough though. It’s a lot about communication — how you interact with your teammates, how you make them feel valued, how you mentor, how you say yes, and how you say no. A miscommunication is more likely to be the cause of closing a project rather than a technical problem. There are also plenty of technical challenges at solarisBank that we face together as a team.
Is there any book that had a big impact on your career?
There are some university books I read while I was studying. There was one about data algorithms and structures, but I don't remember its name, so maybe it didn't have that big of an impact.
Do you have a playlist that you listen to during the work?
I have one huge playlist simply called Offline that I keep downloaded on my phone. It features some relaxing music, singers, and a lot of strange music that I find really interesting.
Do you want to work for solarisBank? Apply here!