“I believe I’m helping developers not go berserk.”

Gonçalo Borrêga, Head of Product Management

Do you know a developer’s worst nightmare? Suppose you’re working for a big organization. A bank, an insurance or consulting company: it doesn’t matter. And at this moment, you’re working on a project that has to be delivered by 8 AM tomorrow, or heads are gonna roll — not literally, of course; this is no Game of Thrones. It’s 5 AM, and you’re tired from a sleepless night. So, you accidentally roll back your code instead of committing. With one click you pretty much ruined what you’ve been working on for the past two days. The pain, the despair, the agony — all from one simple mistake. This was the last drop of water in a glass full of pain and complexity that my team was going through.

I love all the great tech that’s popping up every day. And I love to craft code. I really do. I’ve been doing it professionally since I was 15 years old. But it’s a job with a lot of pain! And then, things change from one year to the next, and you have to learn new skills all over again…

So, tell me: how was I supposed to react when someone invited me not only to try a software that supposedly solved all this, but also to work for the company that created it? Skeptical, of course. I’m sure you would too. Unless you hold the person who tells you about it in the highest esteem. In that case, you’re still skeptical, but you accept the interview. That’s what happened to me about 10 years ago.

I had a couple of interviews, and my doubts about what was called the “agile platform” didn’t vanish. However, as I talked to a few people about what it was like to work at OutSystems, I realized that the culture and the long-term strategy were very strong. It reminded me of the startup I worked for when I was in college. People were there because they believed in the product; they worked with passion. So, I accepted the job, even though at that point I was probably only 65 % sure of the software. Of course, once I understood how it worked, not to mention the company vision, the culture was just a plus.

Ten years later, I’m Head of Product Management. I’m where I want to be. Look at it this way: imagine you have a three-legged dog that you adore. And you meet a person that’s developing a robotic prosthesis for dogs. Wouldn’t you sympathize with that person and help him or her develop the solution that would help your dog if you had the opportunity? OutSystems was my robotic prosthesis, although the dog is more like a beast — the IT beast.

I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far. We’re market leaders, though we still have a long way ahead of us. I have a backlog of customer challenges that will last until I’m 90 years old! That’s the beauty of IT. But I believe my work is having an impact. That I’m helping developers not go berserk.


If you enjoy this little anecdote, share it on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. And if you also want to leave the sleepless nights behind you, click here.