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Meet Peter, an enthusiastic traveler and a skilled Product Developer at TECHNIA (previously TechniaTranscat). Before starting at TECHNIA, he went to Singapore to work within the mobile field, which resonates well with his wanderlust and interest in technology.
When this article is written he has just two continents left, Africa and South America, until he can tick all the continents off his travel-list. This might not sound like the typical IT-guy but Peter insists that the stereotype is all wrong.
“For me, IT is very wide. Many people think you just sit at your desk all day and code and don’t talk to other people. That’s a misrepresented stereotype I would say. Every day is different – and you can definitely be social!
Sometimes you sit at the office and sometimes at a customer site. Sometimes you work in a project with people that you haven’t work with before. For me IT is wide and offers the possibility of trying different things,” Peter explains.
Peter comes from a background of working at a small firm based in Sweden with solely Swedish customers. It didn’t offer a lot of opportunities in traveling or meeting international people, neither of which synched well with Peters travel-enthusiastic personality.
“I was looking at TECHNIA’s website and found an opening. It sounded like a social and international working place, and a challenging role, which was exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to apply. And it went on from there,” he says.
It’s not only the international relations that Peter appreciates. His colleagues at Product Development, have been extremely helpful. Especially in his first week when he was assigned to help out in a project with Ericsson.
It was a big challenge to tackle, especially for a new employee. Although there were vast specifications and a lot of learning-by-doing he felt confident, mostly because of the help from experienced colleagues.
“In retrospect, I think it was the best way to learn the product; to actually understand how they are used in the real world. Most of the other guys in the team have been working in other TECHNA divisions or PLM projects before, whereas I haven’t, so I try to understand the big picture,” he says.
In the end, his job at TECHNIA has landed him with the international role he has always wanted. When asked about his hobbies and interests he says “I like traveling a lot,” and then reiterates “A lot.” Then he talks about one of his many ventures abroad, and a peculiar situation he found himself in when in Indonesia.
“Due to a misunderstanding, I found myself accidentally stranded on an Indonesian island, with no means of transportation available”.
“The island was beautiful but extremely commercialized and mostly revolved around fancy hotel complexes and beach resorts.
An old gardener noticed me standing by the road, stopped his rusty pickup truck and pointed to the passenger seat as a question – he didn’t speak any English. I accepted his offer for a ride but as I sat down I noticed he was missing three fingers on one hand.
He was having problems holding the steering wheel properly, so he drove slowly. The gardening tools in his car must be extremely hard for him to operate, I thought. He was well above what should have been his retirement age. After he drove me for over 20 minutes to a ferry, I offered him some money as thanks for the lift.
I could tell that he could make use of the funds, but even so, he refused to accept it and so I eventually had to give up on my attempts. Even on this very commercial island, where most locals had been focusing on my wallet, for him, it seemed to be just about helping somebody out. It was a very humbling experience,” Peter says.
With stories like this one it’s no wonder Peter, and other people, yearn to go beyond their countries boundaries. Peter switching from a small native company to TECHNIA has made his every day more international and his perspective broader.
“I think most people could find a role that they would enjoy within IT. It’s not just people in a basement, hacking away at a keyboard. Most roles require some social skills. Another thing I would say is that its future proof. There could be a recession in the economy but since it’s a broad field you could always branch out to a related field,” Peter explains.
Peter emphasizes that it’s a field where an academic background is not super important. Many people go through an academic degree but it’s not necessarily very meritocratic. Practical skills are respected as well.
“You could show something you have done that is impressive and then you could have the same chances in a job application as somebody who has the degree. IT is open to different kinds of backgrounds, not just academics,” he says.