Foreigners in Adastra: Spanish developer David Diaz Lucido
A Spanish, Russian and a Bangladeshi meet on an IT project in the Czech Republic. That’s not a beginning of a joke, but a daily situation at one of Adastran projects. Let’s meet the first of these Adastrans, David from Toledo. He has been working in Adastra with Business Intelligence technologies for 3 years already and got married to a Czech girl during that time. How is working in Adastra for him? And how does he see Czech people and culture?
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Where exactly are you from, David?
I’m from Toledo, a city next to Madrid. But I live in the Czech Republic for about 5 years now.
How did you decide to move from Toledo to Prague?
I was working as a developer in Spain for about 4 years. But I always wanted to learn English. I didn’t speak almost any, to be honest. So I quit my job and went to Malta for 4 months to learn and get the First Certificate in English, so that I could work abroad.
After I passed the exams, I got two job offers. One was in Israel, which was too much of a change for me. The second one was in Prague in Teradata. I didn’t know almost anything about Prague. I knew it was cold. And that the language and currency were different. Of course I knew Czech beer and that Prague was supposed to be a beautiful city. So I decided to come here.
So it was another company that has invited you to Czech Republic. What brought you to Adastra then?
I was in Teradata for 1 year, then they sent me to Germany. While working in Teradata I have met my girlfriend, who is my wife now. She is Czech, but at that time she was working in Italy. So we have spent a year travelling back and forth all the time. I wanted to come back to Prague so I found a position in Concur doing ETL, but this position was not too related to BI. For a period of time I was even considering going back to Spain.
Then I got an interesting job offer from Adastra on a project in automobile industry. It was covering many areas of Business Intelligence, databases or reporting. That was about 3 years ago. I have accepted it and I have to say I am quite satisfied with that decision. Earlier I only had access to one area of the development. My current work covers many interesting fields.
So you have stayed here and got married here?
Yes, we had a wedding in Czech, and the next weekend we got married also in Spain. It was the best day, we had a really good time. We have bought a flat, my son was born this December. I must say our life is good now.
Can you speak any Czech?
I have been learning Czech for 4 years, but no, not really (laughing). Most of my colleagues are Czechs but many of them just like to speak English to train. So I don’t get to speak Czech very often.
„In Adastra it is normal that we share knowledge and help each other“
Please, tell me more about what it is like to work in Adastra for a foreginer.
Adastra is really cool. There are many activities for the people working here. There are activities for the whole company, for Banking division, for my project only. Every 3–4 months we have a team dinner. There are currently 4 people in my team, we usually go for dinner, talk and have some drinks. My situation is slightly specific, I work as a contractor, so I don’t ask for benefits or training. Even though, I don’t feel left out in the company.
What do you like about the work itself?
I have been on 2 projects already. There were only 2 people working on one of them, then more people were coming and I have switched to a different one. I like that I have access to many things. Back in Spain it was only databases all over. Here I feel we have more freedom. You can work on different aspects of the development.
Also, the project is not abstract. When I was working in the bank, I could only see numbers. I didn’t get to see the impact of my work. Working on my current project, you can see you are doing something real. Selling cars is something you can relate to, you see it everywhere.
How would you describe the atmosphere in Adastra?
It is very good. I would say that you can see it every time you send an e-mail asking a colleague about something. There are many people from Adastra working for one client on different projects, but it is normal that we share the knowledge and help each other. The communication is really good. Of course there is sometimes pressure and you have to work more. But it works like that everywhere, doesn’t it?
How about if I ask whether you have a chance to grow professionally?
We are using different technologies and we are always evolving with the customer. When you are dealing with databases, you always have to learn. And right now we are learning some new tools that will make our work more efficient. So it is good to be here, really.
„Prague is calmer than Madrid, except Czechs drive like crazy people“
How did you deal with Czech and Spanish cultural differences? What comes to your mind?
As for the work, here I start at 7.30 a. m., which would be quite early in Spain. By that time you wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone, noone would be in the office. Which means you also finish later. Here in Czech, everyone is at home at 8 p. m.
Funny thing is that I really like to eat quite early, at half past eleven I am hungry and I need to push my colleagues to go to eat. Everybody expects us Spanish to eat at 3 p. m. The truth is that we eat basically all the time.
Apart from coming earlier to work, what other differences have you noticed?
I think we have stronger feeling for the family. Also the Spanish are different in making friends. With Czech people it takes longer to create some kind of relationships. The beginnings are more difficult. But I do have some Czech friends here.
Obviously the meals are different, we always have a first and a second meal, but it would not be „polévka“, more like pasta for the first meal and meat for the second one. Czech metro is really silent. Nobody is talking to each other. In Spain, the metro is very noisy and it can get really annoying. Even myself, I have to calm my voice down. My wife is telling me all the time, „why are you shouting at us?“ But I feel like I speak normally.
What else would I say? Maybe that people drive like crazy here. They like to go superfast in Prague, trying to overtake for no reason in the city. What is good about the traffic is that in Spain, everyone is going from south to the north everyday to work in Madrid, and then back in the evening. It is not as difficult here.
What would you tell any of your Spanish friends if they were asking you whether they should move to Czech Republic to work here?
I would tell them that maybe the salary is not as high as they might be expecting, but it is also cheaper to live here. Food in restaurants is not that expensive. The rent can be, but you can find something that is not in the center but still very well accessible. It can get really long to commute in Madrid, so I really appreciate it here in Prague.
I would tell them that they would probably miss the fresh food — fish, meat, fruit… Spain is big and we have everything. I also miss my family and friends, and the weather of course. But I would say Prague is a really good place to live. I don’t feel the stress like I did in Madrid where you are basically running through the streets because everyone else is running.
Would you like to work with David? We are currently looking for IT professionals for the very same project in automobile industry. Check out the website of Adastra and contact us on email@example.com!