RELEX’s new Lisbon tech hub has been up and running since last fall, so it is time to interview their first team members in Lisbon. Let’s hear how their life at RELEX has started.
What have you learned during your first months at RELEX?
João Frazão, Backend Software Engineer: In the past, I’ve never worked on any project or role in the retail industry. For the people who look from the outside, it might sound simple (order from suppliers, distribute to stores and then sell), but it is much more complex and has a lot of specialities. It’s been interesting to learn more about all that and see how better planning can help improve not only a retailer’s profit but also reduce waste. Of course, to achieve this, we need a huge amount of data to process performantly in our software. It’s the first time I have worked with in-memory data, and it’s been interesting to see how that is handled at RELEX.
Francisco Pinto, Software Test Engineer: I’ve learned that you can work closely with people even while being far away from each other and have a driven team in an ambitious project while keeping an excellent work-life balance.
Jorge Santos, Backend Software Engineer: When it comes to the core values, RELEX walks the talk. Before I got to “memorize” each of them, I was able to see and experience them from day one. Although the company is growing at a fast pace, the culture seems to have been preserved. The teams are open to new ideas and eager to develop their processes to improve productivity and RELEXians’ happiness.
Diogo Poeira, Frontend Software Engineer: I’ve learned how we’re making an impact and what that impact looks like. I’ve learned about the company’s values, such as “The colleague is a friend” and “Life is supposed to be fun”. And I’ve learned all sorts of technical things regarding my job and agile practices.
You’re working with a team based in Finland. How’s that going?
João: Working with a 2-hour time zone difference will always be a challenge in some moments, like when scheduling meetings or joining task forces to tackle tasks. But in general, people at RELEX are very open to this topic, and everyone has managed to adapt so far. For example, when I started on the team, they immediately suggested postponing our daily meeting to 30 minutes later to make my life easier in the mornings. It’s a small example, but it shows how colleagues in Finland are open to making this collaboration work. And I can say it has been working well so far.
Diogo: Pretty great. It has its challenges, the distance and time zones being a few of them, but my teammates are super accommodating and helpful. We have coffee breaks every now and then to keep the social aspect going on, and we’re currently organizing a team day, so I might end up going to Finland soon. Also, my team alone has people from 5 different nationalities, which leads to pretty cool chats.
Francisco: It has its challenges, namely regarding time zones and availability, but in less than two months, all our processes were already streamlined, and I feel like there’s no impact on our performance anymore.
Jorge: There’s a 2-hour difference that can be challenging, but the team is aware of the time zone difference, and meeting times were adjusted better to suit both Portugal and Finland’s working hours. I’ve now adapted, and I use the overlapping period for all collaborative tasks and the rest for some tasks that require more focus and alone time. So, the time zone difference can also be used to help organize the workday.
What do you think of the RELEX culture and your colleagues in the Lisbon office?
Jorge: The company culture allows you to feel comfortable and welcomed as a newcomer and boosts your performance and collaboration with colleagues. “The colleague is a friend” and “Life is supposed to be fun” values are part of our day-to-day ways of work and life. The Lisbon office colleagues also became friends almost immediately, and the work environment is great, easy-going, very supportive, and always fun! I like working from home, but since joining RELEX, I’ve been working from the office almost daily. I think it’s the colleagues in the office to blame…
Francisco: The RELEX culture and values are something I strongly identify with – namely the “The colleague is a friend” and “Stop doing stupid things” values. The working environment has been really great from day 1, and I think the best proof of that is that even though we can work from home, we end up coming to the office pretty much every day.
Diogo: The culture is great. Even though all of my team members are in Finland, you never lack support or help. And if you feel like having some face-to-face discussions with colleagues, you can always rely on your Lisbon colleagues, either at the office or over a beer.
João: My colleagues are great, and they are all very friendly and funny people. I firmly believe that it’s essential to invest in building an exceptional company culture where people like to work, share their opinions and feel heard, and respect each other. It might sound like a cliché, but it is not easy to create, and here in the Lisbon office, we are doing our best to do that. I sense that this is also the culture that RELEX wants to promote, so we will continue to grow by cherishing that culture in Lisbon.
What would you say to someone thinking if they should apply to RELEX?
Francisco: You should apply today if you want to be part of a company undergoing explosive growth and a company that is already a significant player in the retail sector but still retains its youthful mindset and enthusiasm. Remember, “Life is supposed to be fun”. 😊
Jorge: Do it. We are solving challenging problems, and the solutions we build are helping our customers optimize their processes and reduce waste, which has a huge environmental impact, and… we are doing all this while having fun!
Diogo: You should. The people are helpful and friendly, the challenge matters, and you’ll be making an impact!
João: We’re building the Lisbon tech hub not only to solve the daily technical tasks but also to help the company grow and flourish. Our office has just been founded, so all new ideas are welcomed, and I feel that we have already been able to influence some things. If you want to join a company where you can express your opinions and bring your ideas, you should apply.
If you’re convinced you should become part of the team, check out open positions at RELEX.