When Bektur Kurbanov started at funda as a Software Engineer almost a year ago, he not only joined a new company, but also moved to a new country. Last year we asked him to reflect on his first four weeks. This time we have caught up with him to look back on his first year. Is he still having as much fun with his team?
Looking back at your first year, how well does the job match your expectations on a scale of 1-10?
‘In a company context, I would say 9 out of 10. I think funda has generally matched my expectations. Since I moved from another country and had never even been to the Netherlands before, I tried to study all the information about the company and the country before moving. I read a lot of reviews and had an idea of how things work in the firm. Therefore, in general, everything really turned out as I anticipated. Why not 10 out of 10? I think there are always little things that you don't expect. In terms of work, I think 10 out of 10. Again, everything was in line with my expectations. I joined a very friendly team and we have done a lot of work this year. On top of it, several great new developers have joined us.’
What surprised you about working at funda?
‘I was pleasantly surprised by how the processes of interaction between different teams and people were established. When different departments are involved in the work process, bureaucracy is inevitable, but at funda it is minimized. Also, I would like to mention how well the company has coped with the pandemic – the work processes are pretty well settled. Whether we have been working from home entirely or partly at the office, our team has not faced any problems.’
What projects that you have worked on are you most proud of?
‘Our entire team has been working hard on migrating microservices to the new email sending system for the last 2-3 months. We spent many hours brainstorming it in meetings and closely communicated with other teams. Almost all the work has now been completed; we only have the final touches left, and are super happy with the results achieved.’
What skills did you gain?
‘I think it's a little early to answer this question, since in the first year most time is occupied by immersion in business processes and the technical part. However, I can certainly say that I managed to improve my technical skills – just recently, I got my Azure Solutions Architect certification. On top of that, several new members have joined our team this year and by helping them on some issues, I have definitely improved my management skills. Since we often work with other teams, I became better in communication and collaboration, which I think are quite important skills for a developer.’
Is there an important lesson you learned?
‘During this year I realized once again that you should never be ashamed to ask questions and that by joint efforts you can achieve much more. Over the past few months, our team has been working hard on complex tasks, and without collaborative effort, we would never have finished on time.’
How did you experience relocating to the Netherlands?
‘In general, our entire move was quite easy and we didn’t face any serious problems. Funda played a big role in that. The company rented us an apartment via Airbnb while we were looking for a permanent place. We were also provided with a consultant to search for housing – which we found pretty quickly – and a consultant who helped to conclude all agreements and contracts, connect utilities and so on. That contributed a lot to making our move simple and easy.’
Have you completely settled in yet?
‘We got used to our new life pretty quickly, and now it feels like we've already been living here for a very long time. I think this shows how comfortable we feel here. Moving to a new country is not always easy, but we are very happy with how everything has turned out, with the companies we work for and with the people we are surrounded with.’
What surprised you most about the Dutch culture?
‘Even before moving to Amsterdam, I read a lot about the Netherlands and I had some idea of the country and Dutch culture. Still, I was absolutely amazed by how the Dutch put their family first and try to spend quality time with them. I think this is really important.’
Have you started any hobbies outside of work?
‘After the first 6 months flew by I signed up for the gym and the pool. I really enjoy going to the gym and feel how it impacts my health in a good way. Swimming has been a hobby since childhood and I am gradually getting more proficient at freestyle, which I am very glad about. It's sad the gyms and swimming pools are closed now because of COVID, but I hope they will be open soon.’
Have you found the new friendships you were looking for?
‘Yes, we have friends here in Amsterdam and of course I have made new friends among my colleagues. We have a great team that I feel very comfortable with. In addition, the company hosted a lot of different activities last summer. It's always great to spend time with colleagues on Friday after work.’
Have you learned to speak some Dutch in the meantime?
‘Unfortunately this year has been so busy for me that I cannot brag about my knowledge of Dutch. Nevertheless, I know basic phrases and greetings in Dutch and plan to learn more in 2022.’
Last but not least: are you still laughing as much with your team?
‘Yes, nothing has changed in this regard! We are always positive!’