Van Sri Lanka naar Nederland: Hoe is het om bij Visma | ProActive te werken?

Tegen welke uitdagingen loop je aan als developer die van Sri Lanka naar Nederland verhuist?

Welke dingen blijven hetzelfde? Wat zijn de grootste veranderingen? Welke processen gaan verrassend soepel? In deze blog vertelt Back-end Developer Damitha over zijn werk, zijn transitie en zijn favoriete Hollandse hap. 

Benieuwd naar meer ervaringen van developers? Lees dan verder in de Ontmoet het team – Back-enders’-blog en de Waarom werken developers zo lang bij Visma | ProActive’-blog.

Wat doet een Back-end Developer bij Visma | ProActive?

What does a Back-end Developer do at Visma | ProActive?

Damitha is onderdeel van team Card Counters. Dat betekent dat hij zich bezighoudt met software voor Spend Cloud Expense. Daar vallen declaratiesoftware en slimme betaalpassen voor medewerkers onder. Wat betekent dat voor hem op dagelijkse basis? Voornamelijk het oplossen van bugs en vergaderen met zijn teamgenoten.

“Being a back-ender means obviously taking care of the back end of the Spend Cloud. I work on the stuff behind the scenes. My day consists of doing research and coding, using Agile methods. Even though I’ve been working at Visma | ProActive for 2,5 years now, there’s still so much to learn. The old framework we still work with is very challenging, and at the same time, I’m still getting the hang of the new framework. I’m proud to say that I’ve reached a point in which I can fix bugs with confidence. Every time I tackle a new task, I do some research and see what experiences other people have had with similar bugs, and finish my task with determination.”

Damitha adds: “Of course, as a developer, you also participate in code reviewing, helping out colleagues, and team and departmental meetings. That way, we keep each other up to date and can efficiently discuss problems. It’s also important to plan a sprint together to work efficiently.”

Wat is het leukst aan werken als Back-end Developer?

What makes working as a Back-end developer fun?

“I really like working in the new framework,” gaat Damitha verder. “The old one can be like a maze. Even if you want to find a small bug, you have to dig through a lot of stuff. The new stack, on the other hand, is very straightforward. You know exactly what to do and where to find the information you need. The documentation is always updated. Working in the new framework is less stressful and much more user-friendly. It also helps me learn something new every day and I really like that.”

Gelukkig heeft Damitha ook positieve dingen te zeggen over het oude framework. “Some tasks using the old stack can be very fun as well. I just worked on a project to fix our Google Maps feature. It was very straightforward, and I enjoyed ‘cleaning up’ the outdated, messy code. I also created some new features. In the end, it’s really nice to have the code work exactly the way I want it.”

Waar ben je als Back-end Developer het meest trots op?

What are you most proud of as a Back-end developer?

Damitha vertelt glimlachend over de sfeer in zijn developmentteam. “Working in the Card Counters is amazing. Everyone is perfectly nice and very understanding. We might fight over some ideas sometimes, but we always come together in the end. They’re like a family to me, and I really like working with them. I’m very proud of our teamwork.”

Hoe ziet die samenwerking er dan uit? “We communicate transparently, and everyone is open to each other’s ideas. There’s room for everyone’s opinion. That also gives me a lot of confidence and makes me feel like I’m not alone. And my team is always there for me if I’m struggling with something.”

Wat is het meest indrukwekkende dat je inmiddels geleerd hebt?

What’s the most impressive thing you’ve learned so far?

Als er iets is waar Damitha blij van wordt, is het van nieuwe dingen leren. Vooral unit testing was voor hem een uitdaging. Hij vertelt: “I didn’t have that much experience with unit testing before coming to Visma | ProActive. There are lots of tools for testing, so it was a bit of a challenge. After working here for a while, I learned a lot and also feel more confident doing unit testing. The knowledge I gained in the process helped me do proper coding more efficiently. The hardest part for me is the acceptance test. That’s still a work in progress, but I like a challenge. The harder it gets, the more excited I am to master a skill and keep practising and refreshing my knowledge.”

Hoe is je werk veranderd na je verhuizing tussen Sri Lanka en Nederland?

How has your work changed since the move?

Damitha heeft eerst een lange periode voor Visma | ProActive gewerkt in Sri Lanka. Inmiddels is hij samen met zijn gezin naar Nederland verhuisd. Aan de inhoud van zijn werk is natuurlijk weinig veranderd, maar de manier van werken is veel prettiger.

“The thing I struggled most with in Sri Lanka was the time difference with my Dutch colleagues,” legt Damitha uit. “Sometimes, I had to wait until the afternoon to ask my questions since that’s when it’s morning in the Netherlands. Now everyone has the same work hours, and I feel less alone. It was nice to work alongside ProActivians Helen and Dimuthu in Sri Lanka, but they’re not on my team, so it’s not the same. Now we can all hang out at the office in the Netherlands, and that’s a lot of fun. I wish we had come here sooner!”

Hoe is het om nu in Nederland te wonen met alle collega’s uit Sri Lanka?

What’s it like to live in the Netherlands?

“I love living in the Netherlands thus far,” vertelt Damitha blij. Hij en zijn gezin voelden zich meteen thuis hier. “Sri Lanka is much too hot! And I actually like Dutch food a lot. The people here are so welcoming and friendly, and the public transport is amazing. I’m so blessed with my home and the people around me. The transition went surprisingly smooth, no trouble at all and not that much homesickness as well. I’m very thankful for that.”

Uiteraard heeft Damitha een favoriet Nederlands iets en dat zijn stroopwafels. “I love those! And I love the lunch that Paulien makes us at the office, especially the salads. Dutch food is very healthy, not as fatty and sugary as the food I was used to. It contains lots of vegetables. Because Dutch food usually doesn’t have that much added flavour, you really taste the raw ingredients, and I like it. I did really miss my Sri Lankan food, so I do have food that tastes like home at least one meal a day. I make my own Sri Lankan curry powder using raw spices from the market, for example.”

Wat is het leukst aan het werken bij Visma | ProActive?

What’s most fun about working at Visma | ProActive?

Onder de ProActivians staat Damitha bekend als de grote glimlachende gozer die overal foto’s van maakt, specifiek veel selfies. Hij benoemt dat hem vaak wordt gevraagd waarom hij altijd zo positief is. “I don’t think people understand how blessed I feel with the opportunities that are given to me,” legt hij uit. “It’s amazing that Dirk, Lars and Fennie made this happen for us colleagues from Sri Lanka. I hope to work at Visma | ProActive for many more years to come! I want to be like Ralph and celebrate my 12 year anniversary here.”

Dat is een behoorlijke statement voor iemand die hier ‘pas’ 2,5 jaar werkt. Hoe kan dat? “I feel like you don’t choose a job or a company, but you choose a boss. Dirk and Lars are amazing bosses. They’re very understanding and give us ProActivians lots of autonomy. All of my colleagues are so welcoming. I really can’t say anything bad about the company or the Netherlands so far. That’s why I can see myself working on the Spend Cloud for the foreseeable future.”

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