8. December 2020

People @ Personio – Let’s #TECH A BREAK with Javier Urbistondo

This time, we took a break and spoke with Javier Urbistondo, one of our Backend Engineers from the Product & Engineering department at our beautiful office in Madrid. Keep reading to discover why out of all the programming languages he would definitely marry Kotlin, and which he would have to kill! ☠️

What is your position about?

As a Backend Engineer in the Payroll Core team, I help with designing and building Kotlin microservices that digest and provide precise and reliable data for our Payroll product.

How would you describe a typically good day at the office/home office?

I'll start the day off at around 8 AM with a nice cup of coffee. I’ll open my MacBook and check for any potential alerts from our systems, as well as emails and Slack messages from colleagues. Then I’ll do a bit of work until 10 AM, I’ll meet with the team for a quick catchup and planning for the day. Then, I’ll get to work on a task either by myself or pair-programming with another engineer. I’ll have a lunch/gym break at 1 PM and in the afternoon I’ll either attend an engineering knowledge-sharing meeting, keep working on my current task, or I’ll review my colleagues’ work until around 5 PM.

Javier making coffee
Starting the day around 8 AM with a nice cup of coffee

What is your favorite part of your work?

It’s hard to pick just one thing, but I love constantly encountering technical challenges and finding reliable and scalable solutions to them while feeling empowered and trusted to deliver high quality work in an independent and flexibleway.

Which operating principle drives you the most?

#SeekToImprove: I think it’s vital, both for Personio and for its Personios to constantly thrive and grow personally and professionally to ultimately make Personio tomorrow better than it was yesterday.

Let’s play a little game

If you would have to kiss/ marry/ kill three programming languages which would they be and why?

💋 I would kiss: Python, as I love it’s syntax and how it’s one of the most useful languages that can be used in any realm of software engineering.

💍 Definitely marry: Kotlin, as it’s the language I’m currently working with and I’m learning how to love it’s features and potential. I think we could work together for the long run.

🔪 And I would Kill: Ruby, as it’s a programming language that in my opinion has a cumbersome syntax and doesn’t excel at anything over today’s other languages.

What was the hardest problem that you have solved recently?

Currently my whole team is trying to solve this challenge: we’re trying to bridge two different existing systems (Personio HRM and Personio Payroll) through data in a harmonious way. This is quite challenging in terms of data availability, consistency, and correctness, especially considering that in Payroll there’s only totally right or totally wrong, no in between.

Any book/podcast recommendations?

📖 I’ll stay away from technical books for this one and recommend a novel. I love George Orwell’s 1984. It’s a cautionary tale that depicts a fascinating dystopian society that has some scary similarities to where our current society seems to be headed. It changed my outlook on many important topics and made me think a lot.

🎙 I’d recommend the Modern Wisdom podcast by Chris Williamson. He has deep and insightful conversations with some of the most interesting minds from any and every area of society, from which I’m able to extract very cool nuggets of wisdom to apply to my life.

What should your ideal teammate bring with them?

My ideal teammate should bring commitment and eagerness to learn new things and to teach what they already know. Open-mindedness and humility to own up to mistakes and shortcomings and learn from them. And last, but certainly not least, good vibes.

Break with Javier

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Does this sound like you? Would you like to be part of Javier’s team?

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