Today's Guest: Roberto Safora
What drives our employees? Where do they come from, what is their motivation and what is life at objective partner actually like? Questions upon questions, that will be answered in our series #EmployeeVoices. My name is Rebecca Jankowski. I started as Content Manager on May '22 - and let's face it - I’m responsible for literally everything around communication. That's why it's especially important to me to capture our employee’s voices and tell the world out there what makes us tick as a company.
Roberto, you moved from Cuba to Germany in October 2010. How come?
Regarding the field of IT, Cuba is still in its infancy. The country does not have the necessary infrastructure for IT development in the real world. When I finished my studies, I therefore saw no future in the industry. I wanted to follow my passion and dedicate myself to IT. My cousin, who is also a developer, has lived in Germany for more than 10 years and told me a lot about the development opportunities here. He finally offered me his support to be able to study in Germany and then work as a developer. Without thinking twice, I accepted his offer and have been here since October 2010.
So, how did you imagine your future?
I have always been more of a practitioner than a theorist. Nevertheless, I enrolled at the TU Darmstadt to complete my bachelor's degree in IT. Immediately after my arrival in Germany, I took a German course in order to resume my studies here.
Taking a German course without any previous knowledge is something I imagine to be exhausting and difficult. What was that like for you and can you remember anything specific?
German grammar is really exhausting. The words themselves and the pronunciation not so much, but with the grammar I’m still struggling today. At first, for example, reading the clock was difficult for me. In Cuba, we have a 12-hour system, which means that for me, the clock has only ever gone to 12, noon or night. In a private German course, the teacher told me that Germans are very particular about time and use the 24-hour counting system. Once, I met a friend who offered me a job as a waiter and told me to be at the restaurant at 4 o'clock the next day. So I came, as he said, at 4 o'clock in the morning. The time seemed a little strange, but I remembered the course in Cuba and didn't ask any more questions. When I arrived at 4am, the restaurant was closed, obviously, and when I called my friend, he told me in his sleep that he meant 4pm, not 4am. That's when I realized that there are probably also grammar rules that can be broken in dialect!
That’s right! Dialect’s the worst. I guess the culture here and your Cuban roots are also pretty different, right?
Well, in some ways we are very similar. And at this point, I'm already pretty “Germanized”, my family would say. But what I observe again and again is that we in Germany tend to create problems where there are none. There is a lot of unnecessary stress that comes from not living in the here and now. In Cuba, the mentality is different. The people enjoy the present more. And most people laugh at their own problems and are not so strict (he laughs). Maybe because we are used to dealing with everyday problems. And the music and the ocean help too!
Not so strict? What do you mean by that?
I learned the hard way that mowing the lawn on a Sunday morning is strictly forbidden - a law that is, in a sense, invisible to foreigners who don't know it! I had to apologize directly to our new neighbors. But they took it with humor. And I now mow in the evening during the week!
Back to your job here at objective partner. Your former employer recommended the company to you, right? What made you decide to work for us?
Yes, that's right. I previously worked for an acquaintance in mobile app development. objective partner was not a familiar name to me, but after the positive interviews with HR and experts, I was eager to start here. From the very beginning, I was given responsibility and trust. I was allowed to work directly on an important development project.
Today, after 4 years with us, what is your conclusion?
Goes wrong in what way?
Well, you are not allowed to make mistakes in other companies. Everything always has to run perfectly, otherwise the bosses lose their patience. With objective partner it is different. Mistakes can be made, and should even be made, in order to learn and grow from them. After all, new ideas can only come about in this way: Trial & Error. And if you don't understand something, just ask. This is the only way to learn new things.
How do you see your professional future? Do you have goals or plans?
Finally, a question for foreign applicants. What would you share here as your best practices?
The stage is yours!
We should all not think so much about problems, but rather find solutions. Go through life positively, because what we radiate, we also attract.
Thank you for your time and openness, Roberto!
Stay tuned for our upcoming employee story. After all, they build the foundation of objective partner.