How did you find out about The Cloakroom?
The company came onto my radar through the Amsterdam startup scene, and I met Asbjørn (one of the founders) in 2010 at an event about entrepreneurship.
Why did you decide to join a startup rather than going for the ‘big bucks’ at a large cooperation?
Well, I have entrepreneurial ambitions of my own! Joining a startup with a product market fit and traction in the market place sounded very compelling. It was an opportunity to learn quickly.
In which team do you work and what’s that like?
I work in the Tech Team, where we look after products for our customers and colleagues. It’s a small team, but we’re close and have bonded well. That’s our real strength.
What parts of the job as senior software engineer do you enjoy the most?
Thinking about our customers and providing the digital touch points to customers who I can relate to. It helps that I fall into the target market. I also enjoy the interaction with my colleagues; among which is a large group of personal shoppers who we support by building great systems.
What parts of the job as a Senior Software Engineer are the toughest?
Prioritizing and working with a diverse range of stakeholders always is a challenge. Especially when you consider our business model has it’s complexities – stock management and logistics are interesting – there’s a lot of operational stuff that happens behind the scenes.
How did your career develop?
I graduated university and spent the first part of my career working for large fortune 500 companies in Australia and Europe. It’s always been international. Over time I’ve transitioned from a very corporate career where I dealt with important yet sometimes boring stuff. Now I spend my time thinking creatively about regular people, consumer products and services, and the underlying technology.
How would you describe the company culture in 3 words?
Vibrant, Fast, Dynamic.
Any room for social activity?
Certainly; there’s a good work/life balance with lots of colleagues organizing and getting involved in social activities. We’ve created a great community in and outside the office.
You’re originally from Australia, how is it to be an expat at The Cloakroom?
Having a pan-European focus from the early days of the company has helped a lot. It’s in our DNA (starting with the founders). We think local in each country, but we are definitely an international team.
You work together with a lot of women at your office. How is that like?
It’s a refreshing change to virtually every other IT or programming project I’ve been involved with. There’s a lot of the benefits about having a diverse mix. It helps us to look at situations, identify opportunities and tackle problems in a better way.
Your first introduction to the company and your colleagues was not the most common one…
I had an atypical orientation! As it happened there was a company trip to Denmark to launch the Copenhagen office just a few days before my “official” start. At the end of my final interview there was an off-the-cuff remark that I should think about joining. Not being one to pass up a chance to travel, I went straight home and booked flights. It was the perfect introduction to the company culture and overall a great way to get to know everybody.
Where do you see yourself in 2 years? And in 5 years?
Expanding the Tech team at the Cloakroom into a bigger organization that remains fast and agile yet can have an even bigger impact for our customers and the performance of the business. Thinking about the longer term I look forward to taking more leadership within the tech and product side of the business, providing great learning and career opportunities for the emerging generation of technologists, engineers, entrepreneurs and so on.
What advice would you give to ambitious young Techies who want to make a career?
Be open-minded and recognize that there are tons of amazing opportunities out there which are achievable no matter what your background, field of study, or current location might be. Look far and figure out what you really want to do. Don’t be restricted and constrained by other peoples boundaries.
Are you interested in working at The Cloakroom? Take a look at our vacancies.