[Small Talk] New Country & New Job – Part 2

Hello again 😀

(I promise my next post will be out in a shorter interval and it will be about a technical subject :P)

So, as I was saying in the last post, the interviews were done and the offer was formally made by the company, that was when things really got real. Damn! I was going to work abroad! How does that even work?

Of course that, since I decided that I wanted this position, my wife and I started researching the process of moving to The Netherlands for work, but when it went from a possibility to a question of time, I got admit that I felt a little lost.

First thing was to start dealing with the bureaucracy of the documentation. It is not a VERY complicated part, but everything  takes a lot of time. The good news? The company put us in contact with some people that would take care of most of the process. Thank. God. I can’t imagine what kind of trouble we would have been into without does guys.

The bad news? Me and my wife realized that our passports were expired for a couple of months…

idiot

Unforgivable, I know… I scheduled the visit in the beginning of November and the first available date was the second week of January. Yes, seriously. So I did what I had to do. I panicked. A little. After that we went on with the next step, telling the people that should know about it.

We started with our parents, of course, which was quite easy as both families supported and encouraged the idea. The next, and more complicated part, was to tell my partners at my, then, company that I would  leave the team in a few months. In a general way everyone was understanding and then we started the transition process. I worked for Class Solutions for more than 8 years and I am glad I could leave the company in a good way.

Parallel to these, we started preparing the smaller things. Selling some things, archiving some things, buying some things. I won’t go into details but until our last week in Brazil I was still delivering things that I sold and archiving things at a storage we rented. Hell of a process.

Back to the bureaucracy, despite the fact that I had accepted the job in the beginning of November, it wasn’t until the end of December that we really started moving with the documents.

Then emerged the next big challenge, the relocation process. What does this process comprehends exactly? That is exactly what I asked to the consultant who helped me with the process. She will help me with things like finding a place to stay, setting up some mandatory meetings at the municipality, setting up utilities and even the bank account. Sounds somewhat simple, right? It isn’t.

At this point I got stop and tell you that it would have been impossible, and I mean it, for us to move here if it wasn’t for the help of the consultant and the HR people of my current company. They really took a heavy weight out of my back in this process. If you are reading this, Thank you!

Actually, when I stop to think about it, our greatest contribution in this matter was to be really worried that everything was going to be doomed, and then realize that someone had already solved the problem for us.

At the first week of January we got married (Red heart) and the week after we FINALLY would have our visit to the Federal Police Bureau to do the processing for our passports. After that we would still have to wait 2 weeks (!) to have our passports issued. We finally got our passports by the end of January and thus began the process of obtaining our visas! Between sending the documents to the IND (the organ responsible for immigration processes) and finally getting our visas, it took about 4 weeks for the whole process and when I finally got everything in place we had only 1 week and a half before my starting date at the new company!!

In the last week we sold the last few things, got our flight tickets, finished the documents for the cats (yes, we took our 3 cats with us, it was a completely different story) and said goodbye for a few people.

On the 25th of February, we boarded the plane headed to the Old World, and here we are now, one month (and a few days) later.

It was probably one of the more stressing processes I have ever been through, but it could have been much worse if it wasn’t for the help of some key people both in Brazil and in The Netherlands.

Uff… This, of course, doesn’t cover all the details of the process, but it gives a general picture.

So far I can only say that it has been worth. I am loving every step of the new life. From the work/workplace to the new City (I am in love with Breda). From the weather (which is awesome Open-mouthed smile) to the People.

So, that is most of what I wanted to get out of my chest about this process. If you have read it this far, thanks for spending the time. Smile

My next post will be about Web Jobs! Though Microsoft seem to be cleaning the way for the Azure Functions to take this Role, Web Jobs still have some features that are not provided by Azure Functions.

See you soon! (Soon, I promise, hahaha)

[Small Talk] New Country & New Job – Part 1

Hi everyone, it’s been a while 🙂 I haven’t written anything for the last few weeks because of the big life change I am going through right now.

By the end of the last year I found a great opportunity to work abroad, more specifically to work in The Netherlands.

I had been thinking about working and living abroad for quite some time and that seemed like a perfect opportunity, why not give it a try? What did I have to lose? So, I contacted the head-hunter and started my research on the company, the products, the country and everything I could think about back then. It would also be my first time working for a really big company (awesome). I had tried other companies before but this time it was different, for the first time I really felt able to live in a different country with a completely different language and culture.

So, after a couple of days the head-hunter came back to me to schedule a call for an interview. Ok, no problem, I did that before, right? Right, but never in English. That was a major change for me, first job interview entirely in a foreign language with a person that didn’t even understood my mother-tongue. I did the interview and it went great, the interviewer was the head-hunter himself (great gut, by the way) and it was just a primary assessment of my objectives/capacities and also an alignment of expectations. For me it was awesome, then I knew that I was capable of speaking in English with another professional without major problems. Ha! Felt great. Therefore, the next step would be to have a interview with two leaders of the technical department. We scheduled the date and I’ve started to prepare myself for the interview, quite tricky as I didn’t know what exactly I would be working with (apart from a big picture of the system environment). What did I knew?

  • It was a major system for a specific business segment
  • It was on the Azure Cloud (Yeah!)
  • It was a multi-tenant system

That was pretty much all I knew. So I decided to focus on understanding the type of system that I’ll be dealing with.

The day of the interview came and it was once again a great experience. I spoke with two professionals that were involved with the same product that I would be working with. One worked in the development team and the other one in the QA team. So, another first, now I had to show for that two guys that I would make a good new team member and that I could aggregate to the development of their product. We talked about some general development techniques, about some patterns for cloud development and basic concepts, no problems so far. That interview showed me two weak spots in the way I talk about development. The first one came up when we started talking about scalability of the system. As a multi-tenant application intended to be used by thousands of users, maybe hundreds of thousands, everyday it had to be able to escalate up and down with a certain ease, right? How to prepare for that? I spoke for quite some time about the techniques that I would use to help me with that objective but the point was that  they were expecting me to talk about in a more conceptual way, they need to check if I understood the concept of scalability, so… a negative point for me there (I think). The second point, that one a bit more complicated to handle, was that I did knew a LOT of the technologies that they were using in their environment BUT, I haven’t really used most of them at real projects so far, just fooled around with some of them.

I ended the interview with a mixed feeling. For one side I had been able to speak with them about almost everything, and that should prove that I wasn’t a fraud, I had been able to shown my knowledge in most of the core technologies that they used and I talked about new technologies that were interesting to them (Thank you .NET Core!), for the other side It went clear, even to me, that I didn’t had the seniority that they were expecting for the position. So I would have to wait for their feedback.

A few days later the head-hunter contacted me saying that the technical interview went fine, but I won’t fit the seniority level, damn… BUT, they would be glad to consider me for a Software Engineer position. YEAH! So what? Now I would have to go for a third and final interview with the head of the Technology department, a little pressuring but what the hell? Things were going great, let’s keep it moving!

By that time, I knew that I could have a conversation in English and I didn’t really know what I could do to prepare for an interview with a Senior VP of a big company, so all I could do was to get mentally prepared for the talk. It went as a nice surprise that the VP was actually a nice guy and the pressure faded within a few minutes! This interview seemed to me like the most informal of the three that I went through and it sounded more like a conversation with a friend.

The last interview took place on October, 31st and in this same day I’ve been informed that they were preparing a formal offer for me. God!  What know? I barely knew that the challenges were just beginning :s