Today, we meet two great talents at VEON: Leo, a UI/UX engineer, and Oliver, a back end engineer with the Big Data Team. During their discussion, we learn all about how they’re pursuing their life goals every day. Read what they have to say — and learn a thing or two about living the dream.
Creating a product that actually improves 200 million lives is no easy task. At VEON, we’re lucky to have great talents at the front end and back end of development, like Leo and Oliver. Because without folks like them, that task would be near impossible.
At our Amsterdam office, Leo and Oliver are working hard all the time to make great things happen for our customers. Even the rain in Amsterdam — and it does rain a lot — can’t stop them. They just curse the rain, grab an umbrella, and keep on pushing towards the finish line.
So, let’s not waste any more time. Here, we’ve taken four great insights from Leo and Oliver’s conversation in the hopes it motivates you to stand up and live the dream. Are you ready? Let’s go…
1. Find your promised land
You need the proper environment to unleash your full potential. Just know that if that place is space for you, get there soon. The space race is certainly making things crowded (thanks, Elon Musk).
When we talked to Leo about why he chose to come to VEON, he first stressed the impact of the job. But the fact it would mean living in Amsterdam was also a major factor in taking the position.
“It has always been my dream to live in Amsterdam,” says Leo, who is originally from a city outside São Paulo, Brazil. “Amsterdam is a city of experts, with lots of great ideas being shared and explored. On top of that, you never feel like a stranger here — I feel like this is the place I can settle down and develop my career.”
For Leo, Amsterdam challenges him while making him feel at home. “Everything runs so smoothly here. I guess the only negative I’ve found is the rain,” jokes Leo.
Oliver, who hails from Australia, has similar reasons for making his way to the capital of the Netherlands.
“Amsterdam feels and functions like a big village, even though it’s actually a big city. You ride your bike and bump into people all the time,” says Oliver. “Also, people here have a positive outlook and attitude that’s just hard to find anywhere else.”
For Oliver, Amsterdam brings an energy he can’t find elsewhere — which helps keep him in the right mindset each and every day. Sure, it may rain a lot or your bike may get stolen, but that’s part of the beauty of the city.
So, to live out your dream, you need to find your perfect setting. Think about where you are and ask yourself: Is this where I can be the best I can be? If it’s not, you risk getting caught in a swamp (aka the same old boring routine).
2. Bring the people a car (even if they just asked for a faster horse)
Leo and Oliver are part of a team that’s working to make VEON’s app-based platform a seamless and convenient experience for our customers. That means simplification is the name of the game.
But this requires more than just seeing what customers want (we all know they want something faster, easier, and prettier). This requires being able to see simple solutions and then make them a reality.
Though the quote has never been successfully traced to Henry Ford, there is much truth in the following statement: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”
The point is that people want quicker, simpler transportation. Ford gave that to them with a car (i.e. a faster horse, which is what the customers wanted).
At VEON, Leo and Oliver are employing a similar strategy. They want to make life as easy as a summer breeze for our customers (yes, your product should be as nice as that sounds).
Leo, who focuses on the user experience and customer journey, is currently working on the self-care part of the Veon app (our free messaging app in Italy) and other apps.
“We’re trying to make messaging quick and seamless, buying products hassle-free, and adding credits as easy as clicking once or twice,” describes Leo. “I am constantly working to make the app simpler for our users.”
Oliver, who works on the Big Data Team at VEON, is currently analyzing data to find solutions for the Veon app and other apps.
“We look at data feeds and apply machine learning. Then, we provide insights on the customer journey,” describes Oliver. “The end goal is a high-quality system for our users, which requires handling performance issues efficiently and constant testing.”
So, before you go about creating something, envision the solution, like Leo and Oliver are doing. Build and test, then make the appropriate changes. If you keep polishing your work, greatness will appear — and you’ll achieve your dreams.
Just remember: The most genius solutions put the answer right in front of folks’ eyes. As Theodore Levitt, an economist and professor at Harvard Business School, famously stated: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.”
Check our job openings HERE
3. Why drive when you can fly
The Wright Brothers knew transportation didn’t have to be limited to the ground. Using available technology and their own knowledge, they built a machine that could fly.
What’s the lesson here? Embrace technology — or you’ll be walking while others are running.
Oliver knows this. That’s why he and his team are using all their resources to deliver smooth functionality to our users.
“We use Java and Scala. We use Spring Boot for microservices and Kafka for messaging,” states Oliver. “We also use Hadoop and Spark, as well as Amazon Web Services. There’s a lot that goes into it. We just focus on utilizing the best available tools to create the highest quality system.”
At the front end, Leo and his team are building on that great foundation. They use the best possible technology stack to improve the user experience.
“From Sketch app for a smooth design to Zeplin for collaboration and uploading files, we are using all sorts of tools to create the best possible product,” states Leo. “We also use InVision for prototyping and Principle to add motion. We’re constantly working with the best possible software to build a clean, easy-to-use app.”
So, take a lesson from Leo and Oliver (and the Wright Brothers for that matter). If you want to live out your dreams tomorrow, take advantage of all the tools available to you today.
Check our job openings HERE
4. Go for the bang — not a whimper
In his famous poem, “The Hollow Men,” T.S. Eliot wrote, “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.”
While we could sit here and debate about whether Eliot is right, let’s get to the deeper point. You can’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for life to come to you.
You have to go make an impact. Otherwise, you’ll go out with a whimper.
When Oliver interviews candidates for VEON, he looks for the technical skills (of course). But he also wants to see a desire to do something that carries weight.
“At VEON, we’re going through a digital transformation. We’re building something from the ground that’s going to impact a lot of people,” exclaims Oliver. “Some days are hard, but it’s truly rewarding to be a part of this. Because it’s amazing what we’re creating.”
Leo echoes similar ideas. As he says, “If you join us, you can make something that you can call your own. And it will help lots of people. It’s just a cool opportunity.”
What you should take away here is clear: If you want to make a difference, stand up and make your work heard. Whatever you do, go for a bang (well, the good kind of bang!). The world will remember you fondly.
Live the dream tomorrow
Well, you’ve just learned from Leo and Oliver how to achieve your goals and live the dream. If you find your place, focus on simple solutions, embrace the newest technology, and strive to make an impact, you’ll be able to realize what you want in life. That means you’ll be living the dream tomorrow, too.