genua is a Bavarian IT company near Munich and constantly on the lookout for specialized staff – in particular for the technical departments. While IT experts are hard to find on the local labor market, our software developers frequently meet highly skilled colleagues during international conferences of the OpenBSD community. One of them is Pedro from Brazil who left his hometown Rio de Janeiro to join our company.
It must have been around 2004 when I first heard about genua. Back then, genua was a small company which had started to deploy the OpenBSD operating system on its products. As one of the OpenBSD developers at the time, that caught my attention. It wasn't long before I started to contribute code that was used by genua.
In 2005 I had the opportunity to meet a few of the company employees at a hacker conference in the Netherlands, most of which were fellow OpenBSD developers. Later that year I received an offer to join genua as an intern. At that point I was enrolled as a student at DI/PUC-Rio in my home town of Rio de Janeiro, so the overall commute would be around 9600 km! Part of the solution was to concentrate my internship during my university holidays. The other part, the bigger part, was genua's kindness and hospitality, for which I am eternally grateful.
I joined genua as a full-time employee in July, 2010. Living in Munich is great; the city is about one-tenth the size of Rio, and it is a safe, quiet and clean place. There was the inevitable culture shock: Germans are much more terse and straight to the point than Brazilians. On the other hand, the work-life balance is better in Germany (and that is really a pity, when all the nice beaches are over there).
Rio de Janeiro or Munich - how would you decide?
There are some things in common between Germany and Brazil, and it is not only football: like Brazilians, I found Germans, Bavarians at least, to have an almost Latin passion for the good things in life: they take delight in celebrations and festivities, good food is appreciated and so are beer and casual conversations.
In 2012 I decided to take a one year spell in London to investigate the dwellings of the advertisement industry. This move allowed me to enrich my portfolio of cultural experiences: the company I worked for in the UK was extremely diverse in terms of nationalities and ethnicities. From the 60 people or so that worked in the office, perhaps 10 were British. The rest composed a spectrum of about 17 different nationalities! That is nothing unusual for London, though.
I found more similarities than differences in the way Germans and Britons work. Both are goal-oriented, focused, and like to discuss new ideas and approaches to problems. If anything, I found Britons to favour out-of-the-box thinking and innovative ideas, while Germans are usually more efficient, methodic and take pleasure in doing what they are told.
In February 2013 I returned to my position at genua. Life in Munich is much more relaxed than in London! Everything considered, I am happy to be doing my part to help Germany develop its IT industry.
Job opportunities at genua: www.genua.de/genua/career/index.en.html
Image source: © Maksym Yemelyanov, Chengas, Andreas Haertle - Fotolia.com, Pedro Bastos