Spotlight: International Developers of Honeypot
Developer Careers Geneva Brooks
Across Europe, tech companies are increasingly turning to international talent to propel their companies to success. Finding the best and brightest developers - wherever they come from - is key to competing on an international scale.
Increasing the diversity of companies also brings a lot awesome perks along with it! International colleagues bring knowledge of new languages and international markets, not to mention creativity and new perspectives. They can enhance and add to your workplace culture, and studies have even shown that increased diversity can boost overall company performance…
“Striving to increase workplace diversity is not an empty slogan — it is a good business decision. A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.”
Plus - it’s just plain fun!
The developers of Honeypot come from all across the globe and bring with them their own unique perspectives and skill sets. We spoke with four of them about their experiences interviewing with European companies, preparing to move, and settling into their new cities.
Read on to learn about four developers who’ve recently relocated to Europe!
Backend Developer at Tourlane GmbH
Soledad, Colombia → Berlin, Germany
Interviewing with German companies…
Interviewing with German companies was an interesting experience, finding interview hours that could work for both sides and listening to what companies were about. It was surprising that they were not only interested in my professional skills but also were curious about my motivation for moving to Berlin.
I was excited about working with people from different cultures and seeing if they do things differently than what I am used to. However, I was worried about not having good communication with my colleagues. Despite the fact that I speak English and have worked with American clients, this is my first fully English-immersed job.
Preparing things at home…
It was easy to book the embassy appointment – the challenging part was to prepare the required documentation, find a certificated German translator for the curriculum vitae and diplomas, and then request the apostilles.
Before the move I had to cancel all the services I was subscribed to like gym, mobile, cable-TV, etc. I also had to inform my bank about the move and find a secure way to send money to my relatives in Colombia (I am using Azimo). In my case I also had to sell my car and undergo some medical tests to check my physical condition.
Arriving in Germany…
The flight was exhausting but without issues, and I had no trouble doing the border control check, as I presented the ZAV pre-approval (sent by the Honeypot team to my home) and the visa. I was surprised how easy is to move around Berlin with the train system and Google maps!
The job is good so far. The company has more employees than I thought (the day I entered, another 19 people entered as well!), but the working environment is great.
Support from Honeypot…
The support I received from the Honeypot team was excellent. They wrote very clear emails with each step of the process and also sent a follow-up email very so often to help me with any doubts. The response time was very fast all the time.
Software Developer at Tipico
Recife, Brazil → Budapest, Hungary → Karlsruhe, Germany
I thought the idea of having the companies look for me instead of the other way around was interesting and made me feel valuable to the market.
I always wanted to live and work abroad. I had decided that when I had the chance, I’d move out of Brazil. I moved to Hungary, but my work there was as an intern, so it didn’t pay very well. After I started receiving offers from many different companies on Honeypot, I decided to investigate which country could provide me and my wife with the best quality of life. And Germany was the choice. I feel that Germany has more empathy with people than most countries. They have an environment-friendly mindset too!
I knew Tipico was the one when they brought me to Karlsruhe for the “Meet the Team” day. They did the code challenge after the Meet The Team day, which was unusual, but because I saw the company first I felt very motivated to give my best and I eventually was approved by them. My feedback was very positive.
Even though I was far from being hired, when I visited the company in person I felt a strong sense of unity, teamwork, even family. I saw that they genuinely cared about their employees. That was very important to me.
First days at the new job…
Everything was perfect! I felt so welcomed. Bogdan (another Honeypot talent) was living in the same flat as me. Good guy. Gave me Russian chocolate!
They received me so well, everyone. I met a lot of people and had a lot of training sessions. They have free coffee, free soda, free cereal. I got a MacBook (I had never used one before). Everything is perfect here!
The company provided an apartment for me to live in for two months, paying only the maintenance costs, which really helped a lot. I was also surprised to receive a Welcome Basket on my first day. I don’t know if this is standard here in Germany, but it makes me value my job as much as they value me as an employee!
First impressions of Karlsruhe…
I went to the city center to buy some clothes. The transportation here is the only thing that doesn’t seem as practical as in Budapest, but this is not the capital of the country and I actually prefer living here than living in the capital. It’s quiet and peaceful. At the same time, they have all the main shops and malls. Everyone I interacted with in markets and shops spoke English.
I think this is a nice place to grow old in. I can see myself settling down here. Let’s hope I can!
Software Engineer at Kramp Hub
Istanbul, Turkey → Utrecht, the Netherlands
Interviewing with Dutch companies…
I moved to the Netherlands 1.5 years ago after going on the Honeypot platform. For me, the hardest part of finding a job was that in Turkey we don’t usually speak in English during our daily life. Dutch people are much more proficient in daily English. In the beginning, it was a bit of a problem because my speaking skills were rusty, but after a few interviews it got better. It is still sometimes a problem if I’m explaining something in detail or talking about a specific problem, but in daily life and around the office, it’s not a problem anymore.
Most of the companies I interviewed with seemed more open. In the Netherlands, you can speak more directly with people. This was very different from companies I’ve worked at in Turkey. Dutch companies give you more freedom to do things on your own. You don’t need to ask about everything. In my current company, there is no vertical hierarchy or middle managers.
I was excited about living in another country and experiencing another culture, as well as working on new things. In the beginning, I was a little nervous about what would happen if I really didn’t like the company or the Netherlands or if I didn’t fit in well. After about two months though, that worry definitely disappeared. I feel like I fit in really well!
This is my first time working in the Netherlands, and because I went through Honeypot I was less worried about what would happen if something went wrong. I was less worried about having my questions answered too, since there is a person dedicated to helping me with this transition. It was easier to feel relaxed and enjoy the process.
Getting ready to move…
It was very easy for me to book the embassy appointment. They didn’t ask me for anything extra - only my passport, a letter from my new company, and my birth certificate. I got my temporary visa and was ready to go. I also found a temporary place to stay in the Netherlands before leaving Turkey.
I had visited the Netherlands three years before I moved, so I was familiar with the airport and public transportation. My company also hired another Turkish guy from Honeypot, so we already met in Turkey before we moved. It was really nice to already know someone there.
The biggest differences…
The autonomy was the biggest thing I noticed as being different from Turkey. We are all coming from different cultures and backgrounds, but in our roots all of us are writing and developing software. Because of this, we have a common point and all of us understand each other.
I did notice that Dutch people eat a lot of bread. They eat a lot of cold dishes for lunch, which was not a familiar thing in Turkey. We prefer hot lunches and hot dinners.
On using Honeypot…
With Honeypot you write your skills and past career and experience, and after that you know that companies really read your CV. If they provide what you are looking for, they will send an invitation to you and you can accept if you’re interested. It is shifting roles and I think it’s a good thing for a developer to be able to choose what he or she wants to do.
Advice for international developers…
If you think you are suitable enough with your personal life, your family life, and your technical experience, everyone should try this kind of experience. Meeting people from different cultures and improving your English and seeing other technologies is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that everyone should try.
Senior Frontend Developer at Car2Go GmbH
Buenos Aires, Argentina → Hamburg, Germany
Deciding to come to Germany…
As a developer, I was always exposed to working remotely with people from different places: companies from North America, clients in Europe, etc. I always wanted to live abroad and used to hear stories about “being a citizen of the world,” but I never thought it could really be possible.
Last year, I decided to raise my head and see what was happening outside of my comfort zone.
Making the decision…
I didn’t put much effort at the beginning, probably because of fear of failure, but things got serious when I received an offer to join a really nice company in Germany. Suddenly I found myself trying to take a decision.
Accepting this offer would mean relocating to another country, leaving everything behind, learning a new language, finding a new home, etc… To make things more complex, it would not only involve me, but would also affect my wife and our children’s lives.
We reviewed the pros and cons, we read expat blogs, and we asked friends of friends, but everyone had different experiences. At the end of the day, no one is going to make the decision for you, so we discussed as a family and we decided to do it – one step at a time.
Preparing for the move…
Things started to happen in a way that ended up making us believe it was our destiny.
I received the contract and we began collecting papers to apply for a work permit Visa. We thought we had plenty of time, but suddenly we found ourselves flying to Buenos Aires (where the German embassy is) because we found out the visa approval could take up to three months. Thankfully, a few weeks later we received an email saying that our visas were approved!
The biggest challenge…
The next big step was to book our flights to Hamburg. The flight date was approaching really fast, and based on this date we booked a temporary apartment and confirmed the starting date with the company. Everything was ready… except the passports. After two weeks they were still “en route.”
A week before our flight, the embassy realized that they had misplaced our passports, so they sent them back “again.” That week was the longest of my life. We called the post office and waited for the postman every day. Finally, our passports arrived two days before flying!
Living in Germany…
Last week we reached the one month mark of living in Germany, and we couldn’t be happier about how things ended up happening.
Hamburg is an amazing city, with great and helpful people and we are really looking forward to discover what’s next.
This is just my experience. It could be similar or not to many other experiences out there, but one thing that’s always the same: try for yourself, don’t be afraid of the change and to meet new people.
The world is becoming a global village, and we all have the same opportunities.
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