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Conversations from the OLX Internship Program: Jean, Junior Backend Engineer with OLX Europe
“I journeyed from Brazil to Aveiro, Portugal for my university studies. I find the city charming and the pace of life nice,” describes Jean, now a Junior Backend Engineer with OLX Europe.
“I love walking along the dry sand of Costa Nova and looking at the colourful houses. The city has been the perfect setting for my studies and getting prepared to my career.”
After studying at the University of Aveiro, Jean got an internship with OLX. During our conversation with Jean, we heard about his time in the OLX Internship Program and how he benefited from the opportunity. We hope his experiences can inspire you.
And who knows? Maybe we’ll see you at OLX during the next internship!
Check out the conversation…
Communication and a T shape approach drives success.
A serious one to start with: What do you learn at OLX about the interactions between engineering and design?
“At OLX, we value a T-shaped engineer approach. The concept of T-shaped skills, or T-shaped persons is a metaphor used to describe the abilities of persons in the workforce. The vertical bar on the letter T represents the depth of related skills and expertise in a single field, whereas the horizontal bar is the ability to collaborate across disciplines with experts in other areas and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one’s own.”
“As an engineer, investing in your relationship with your team’s designer(s) helps you to understand how users interact with the code you write and to empathize with their needs. No one likes to rewrite a feature because it was poorly understood when it was first created; working closely with design allows us to reduce unnecessary work and spend more time making cool stuff. We have to understand what’s possible, how we can help each other, and how to utilize resources best.”
“As a designer, investing in your relationship with engineers helps you to understand code better, and to suggest potential solutions that will better inspire the engineers you work with. Everyone needs to be technical these days, and as a designer, it feels good to solve problems in a smarter way.”
What’s your background?
“I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Portugal has an agreement with Brazil that allows you to use your national exams to get into university in Portugal. So, I studied engineering in Aveiro, Portugal. The University of Aveiro is well-known for their STEM education. I just finished my bachelor’s in Informatics and started looking for an opportunity that I received from OLX.”
Why did you become an engineer?
“I’ve always liked logic and mathematics. There’s a lot you can do with a degree in Informatics, and I followed the path into engineering because you can do so much at scale.”
What attracted you to OLX?
“When the offer came, I accepted. I had known OLX for a long time as they’re in Brazil. But I didn’t know it was so, so big! It’s a massive company where you can have an impact at scale.”
Fact about OLX: OLX Group has 300 million users across 30 countries and 20 brands. It’s our mission to shape the future of trade to unlock the hidden value in everything.
“Also, the team is amazing. During the interview, they explained the team and how they’re a close-knit group of talents from across India, Portugal, Poland, Brazil, Argentina and elsewhere. Working with a diverse team excites me.”
Join companies because you believe in the product and culture.
Do you have advice for younger engineers?
“Well, everyone has a different mind. Everyone has different perspectives. But don’t join a company because of the technology. Join companies because you believe in the product and culture. You can have the fanciest technologies, but if you don’t like the culture, you can get frustrated. Research the company before applying,” advises Jean.
“When interviewing, you may have to take a home coding test. What’s important is that you show your line of thinking and the assumptions you made. Sometimes, code can talk by itself but you have to show you’re reasoning too.”
What made your internship successful at OLX?
“I was heard by everyone. I could talk to our engineers and product directors very easily. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. It’s an open culture. I can facilitate discussion groups about anything with the team, which is awesome.”
Be free. Be responsible.
What projects did you work on during the internship?
“I started in the Engineering Ops team. Our goal was to support others teams in OLX Motors and within OLX Europe. We created internal dashboards for engineers to help them collect theirs delivery metrics. We also created an incidents reporter: We automatically track some incidents metrics from our main service in Motors, and send alerts to team members.”
“This has actually lessened the number of incidents and errors. Engineers can now search through incidents and processes and solutions quickly. This supports the role of the engineers on a daily basis,” continues Jean.
“It was great to have responsibility from the beginning. I started in a small project, so had more control of what I was doing. The freedom and support from other team members benefited me greatly.”
Fact about OLX: OLX is hard at work making engineering operations more efficient. For instance, Giovanna, Head of Engineering Ops, has made Request for Comments an integral part of the engineering team’s processes.
Go where you’re heard!
How was remote onboarding?
“If you’re in the office, you can reach the people right there. You know who’s busy and who’s not. Remotely, it’s more asynchronous. You don’t have those casual conversations. This is harder. Of course, I miss the human contact and being in the offic.” says Jean
“Fortunately, OLX provided plenty of support. Everyone was readily available via Slack to help, even if they didn’t know me. It made onboarding go smoothly.”
Read insights on remote work from the team.
Stay philosophical about the long-term
Now working at OLX Motors with the Seller Success Pack, Jean thinks a lot about what’s ahead. He’s excited by what OLX is building and looking forward to working with new technologies.
“I must say I do have concerns about AI deep fakes and the potential consequences. It’s always important to assess the impact and consequences of new technologies,” explains Jean.
Jean does contemplate how decisions today impact the long term. It’s important to his work and life.
“I always think about the impact of decisions, even going back to my youth. I entered school a year earlier for my age. My mother then took me out and let me stay back one year. If this wouldn’t have happened, my life would have been completely different. One year early or later at a young age is a big deal,” states Jean.
“I’ve become philosophical about the impact of this on the long term.”
Thank you, Jean!
We’ll leave you with some final advice.
“Don’t forget to enjoy your journey. I like gaming, listening to bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and taking walks at Costa Nova,” says Jean.
Well, that concludes our conversation with Jean. We hope you learned a lot about the OLX Internship Program and make use of Jean’s insights as you go about your journey.
Now, it may be time for a visit to Costa Nova.