Straight From Colombia to Eindhoven
In June César Pulido arrived in Holland and the day after he started as embedded software engineer at Fourtress. Straight from Colombia to Eindhoven. César about this brave and exciting move and all the challenges he faced with.
Can you tell us how you ended up at Fourtress?
After finishing getting my master’s degree, I had been working for over 4 years as an embedded systems engineer in a vehicle testing technology company, where I honed-in my knowledge of C++ and multi-threaded systems. I wanted to apply my skills and knowledge in a more diverse high-tech sector to solve modern problems with a bigger impact. A Dutch recruitment agency contacted me, from which I learned more about the Netherlands and I became really interested about working and living here. Later, they connected me to Fourtress. I had two very fun interviews during which I got the impression that working at Fourtress would be not only challenging and exciting, but also filled with opportunities for career growth as this is a genuine concern for the company.
After a successful interview, I was happy I would join Fourtress, but first I needed a work visa, the process for which ended up taking 3 months which was longer than expected. On the bright side I was able to prepare well for my relocation and spend quality time with my family before leaving.
What motivated you to take this big step?
I found that Eindhoven is a strong high-tech and embedded systems hub with a large knowledge economy. Besides, Eindhoven is a great city to work in, where like in the rest of the Netherlands, 90% of the population speaks English. The city also boasts extensive bicycle paths (which I was excited for as cycling is my biggest hobby) and in general is a modern, vibrant city, with a lot of events and cultural offerings.
How did you experienced your first months at Fourtress?
The first months at Fourtress were filled with many important activities. Two weeks before officially starting I was already studying some of the technologies that I would be working on, and once I arrived at Eindhoven, I began working straight away on my new assignment for Sensorfy. During this project, my gradual onboarding, and my other activities at Fourtress, I have been surprised by the openness of my coworkers to help whenever it is needed, and to look after each other, after the objectives of the projects and those of the company.
What can you tell us about the assignment you are working on?
I am currently working for Sensorfy porting the firmware for a home automation gateway device to a new and improved platform with a different host microcontroller, and different modules for connectivity. The product to be ported was developed on FreeRTOS in C, and my task was to replace the low-level drivers and interfaces for persistent storage, UI, wired and wireless communication modules, and developing testing for regression and production in C and C++.
What makes it interesting and challenging?
It has been great to see the prototype of this project come to life and be able to interact with it as new modules get ported, which is a great reward after long weeks of development. The biggest challenges so far have been planning well the user stories for development around a large and unfamiliar legacy code base.
How do you experience living and working in the Netherlands so far?
Living in the Netherlands so far has been great; I am happy to find that everyone I have spoken to speaks English making it easy for me to adapt to this new environment.
The biggest difference I have experienced is probably in the food culture. I got really used to having a 3-course meal for lunch every day back in Colombia, but on high side I love that be it at Fourtress or Sensorfy, the whole team likes to assemble at the canteen for lunch together.
What do you expect for the future?
I expect to continue working in the Netherlands in the coming years, getting more experienced in embedded systems and software development solving complex design problems and becoming more involved in other roles such as software architecture.
What would you like to tell other internationals who are considering coming to the Netherlands for work?
I would tell them that in Eindhoven and the Netherlands they will find companies with an amazing work culture where they will be able to advance their careers in a great environment for creative growth, being involved in projects in a hub for high-tech development.
Last but not least: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve noticed so far in the Netherlands?
Probably one of the weirdest is how often I have seen different buildings being repurposed in Eindhoven. Like the Philips business school turned into housing facilities, or a church into a gym. It is interesting to see how easily and creatively the city adapts to change and remolds places for people to live according to current necessities.