Meet Albert Pratomo, a Front-End Engineer who recently joined funda's search team. After leaving his old job, Albert traveled through Europe, where he uncovered a desire for something new - which he found at funda. Read about his first months with the company.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, Albert?
‘Of course! I'm originally from Indonesia and I came to the Netherlands in 2018 to complete my final year of study. After finishing a six-month internship at a company, they offered me a full-time position and I decided to stay. I found that the real-world experience was more fulfilling than just studying.’
How did you end up at funda?
‘After four years of working at my previous job, I wanted something new. I resigned and took a mini sabbatical, traveling with my mum throughout Europe. In between our travels, I applied for a few jobs, including at funda.
During the interview process, funda immediately felt familiar to me. They use technologies like Nuxt, Vue.js and Tailwind, which I had worked with before and really enjoyed. So, when I saw the opportunity I knew I had to go for it. Additionally, I was excited to work for such a well-known brand in the Netherlands. At my previous job, we had maybe 10,000 users at most, but everyone in the Netherlands uses the funda platform, so the impact is much bigger.’
Can you share with us what happened when you first joined the funda search team?
‘When I first joined the team, we were building the new search tool. I was curious about how many people were using it, so I asked my colleagues. They told me it was only about 2 per cent of the total users. But when I asked how many that was, they said it was around 30,000. I was really surprised by that number because I had never worked on software that had that many users before.’
See also: Game changer: why we implemented an Advertising UI library (and how)
‘It was a bit intimidating to think that any changes we made would affect so many people, but it was also exciting to be working on a project with such a large impact. I learned a lot about working collaboratively with my colleagues and focusing on the needs of our users. It's been a great experience, and I feel like I'm contributing to something that is truly valuable.’
What was the most surprising thing that happened in your first weeks?
‘Well, there were a lot of surprising things that happened in my first weeks at funda. One of the first things that caught my attention was the extensive lunch. It was so healthy and there were so many options to choose from! There's a great variety of healthy food, like soups, salads and sandwiches, and the fridge is always stocked with drinks. I was especially excited about the chocolate milk at first, but I'm trying to avoid that now for obvious reasons!
Another thing that surprised me was the diversity of the team. There are so many people from different countries and with different backgrounds. It's been really cool to learn about different cultures and perspectives, and it makes for a really interesting workplace.
I was also pleasantly surprised by how many events and activities funda organizes. In my first few weeks, I went to an ice-skating event, a pub quiz, and a few yoga sessions. But the highlight was definitely the Vue conference that the front-end team went to. We even got to meet the creator of Vue.js, which was really exciting for me as someone who loves working with that framework. Overall, funda has been a really welcoming and engaging workplace, and I'm excited to see what else is in store.’
Can you describe a typical day at work at funda?
‘A typical day at funda starts with a cup of coffee, followed by our daily standup meeting at 10 am. We work until midday and then go downstairs for a healthy lunch. In the afternoons, we continue our work until it's time to head home. On Tuesdays, we have Team Search day, which means we take a break from work to play ping pong together. I really enjoy coming into the office, but it's also great that we have the option to work from home when needed. The hybrid work setup works really well for me.’
What do you hope to learn here?
‘I'm hoping to learn a lot during my time here as a front-end engineer. I want to continue growing my skills and knowledge to make meaningful contributions to funda and improve the user experience. It's also been great to connect with so many talented and diverse colleagues and build relationships along the way.
Recently, I even had the chance to give a 20-minute talk to my front-end team during a team outing at a restaurant, Loetje, in Amsterdam Noord. It was nerve-wracking but also very exciting, as I had never presented before. But I received great feedback, and it was a fantastic opportunity to share my knowledge and contribute to the team.
Of course, I'm also excited to be a part of the team that is building the new search functionality for funda. I hope to make valuable contributions to its success and work through any challenges that come our way. Overall, I feel that funda strikes a great balance between work and life, and I never feel overwhelmed or overloaded.’
Final thoughts for someone who is going to start here?
‘Starting at funda is an exciting opportunity for personal and professional growth. You can expect to meet new colleagues and make new friends from diverse backgrounds, who will support and inspire you along the way. Don't be surprised if you find yourself playing ping pong with your team or attending fun company events. But most importantly, be prepared to work hard and contribute to making funda even better for our users!’