Easy Relocation and a warm welcome by ABOUT YOU Roomies: How developer Filip likes getting out of his comfort zone and meet new challenges at ABOUT YOU
Vol. 8: Filip — Developer, Mobile Unit
Get to know our growing family. Follow our Inside ABOUT YOU blog series and catch a brief glimpse of the people behind Germany’s most exciting e-commerce project!
1. Hi Filip, please shortly introduce yourself — where do you come from and tell us a little about your position at ABOUT YOU?
Hi! I come from Macedonia and I’m front-end developer for the Mobile Team. Our team is responsible for maintaining, developing and improving the mobile app which at the moment is the company’s flagship product, serving over one million unique customers per month.
All of the work I do is directly visible to the customers because, except the data that comes from the backend, everything else is executed on the frontend. This means I always have to be extra cautious about my work, especially of the effect that the changes I’ve implemented have to the performance of the app. The code should always be maintainable, reliable, extensible and efficient. We constantly develop new features and improve the app performance by fixing bugs. I’ve worked on both, and both can be challenging but building something from scratch is always more interesting.
Our team enjoys great success and one of the reasons behind it is the fact that we all take care of each other and work as a team. We are all aware that anyone can learn something from someone and we all share our knowledge. So, if we need to meet a deadline, the tasks are usually assigned according to the level of knowledge, otherwise, everyone gets something a bit over his level. This helps the team grows and keeps the motivation high. The only way to be successful in a dynamic environment like this is to constantly make progress.
2. What have you done before your time with us?
I hold a Bachelor degree in Electrical engineering and computer science — sub-degree Informatics and computer engineering, obtained in Macedonia and evaluated as equal to Bachelor degree in Electrical engineering and computer science in Germany.
During my days as a student, I was constantly involved in projects from areas as mathematics, physics, high and low voltage, telecommunications and most of all, computer science. It was during this time and circumstances — when you have to switch between different contexts, that I developed solid problem-solving skills.
At the beginning of 2016, I started working for a startup based in Cologne. I worked as a freelancer for around 10 months, then I was invited to move to Cologne. This was a great opportunity for understanding the startup ecosystem.
3. Why did you choose to work at ABOUT YOU so far away from your home country?
I lived in Cologne for around 6 months and during this time I started building a comfort zone. I had the feeling that my progress has stalled. I’m a person that doesn’t really like being in a comfort zone instead I’m someone that always tries to find a way to self-improve and looks for new challenges therefore I started looking for a dynamic environment that would help me to reach my potential. Luckily, I ended up in this nice environment. It’s great to be around so many good professionals that are helping this company to reach the unicorn status.
4. Which obstacles (visa, flat etc.) did you have to overcome and how did ABOUT YOU support you with the relocation to Hamburg?
The main obstacle I had was the visa. My country is not part of the European Union, so I needed a work permit, evaluation of my degree, and few other documents that take time until they are issued. I had huge help from About You in every single manner during this process. I was in touch with people from our HR team the whole time and I had their support 24/7!
5. ABOUT YOU offers foreign workers to stay at our company flat, did you take this opportunity? If yes, how was that time and with whom did you share the flat with?
After I arrived in Hamburg, I was offered the possibility to live in the About You Flat. This is extremely helpful for people from abroad because they get some time to adapt, settle better and maybe build some new friendships.
I was lucky enough to first live with two guys from my team, Amir and Mertcan. After Mertcan moved out, Hector from Spain was our new roommate. It was great for the four of us because we more or less share the same interests and ambitions, so we actually became very good friends and often spend time after work or during the weekends.
6. That sounds very exciting! But back to work: ABOUT YOU released a new mobile App, what do you like the most about it and what are your ideas for the upcoming versions?
I like the fact that it’s not native code but the performance are so good that it is extremely difficult to distinguish. I like the personalization process that is currently going on. We identify each registered user and deliver to them the content, experience, or functionality that matches their role. These suggestions are based on past browsing and purchase history and the main goal is to deliver the user all the relevant data, with no effort from them. This is important to us because it gives the user a feeling that we care about them.
7. What’s the most exciting project or feature you’ve worked on?
It’s really difficult to pick one, but I enjoyed the “User Size” feature. It’s one of the main features of the whole personalization process. I like working on tasks related to the UI because somehow you feel happy when thinking that over a million user will see your work, but I find greater satisfaction when I’m working on something that requires diving deeper in the whole structure of the app and how all processes are organized. That’s the challenging part and the one that is of greater interest to me.
8. Is there even a hoard of amusing anecdotes you do not wish to deny?
I’m sure there are some but nothing comes to my mind right now. :)