Advanced Software Engineer Ivano Alvino likes to enjoy a relaxing glass of wine or socializing with friends after a productive day of coding at NavVis HQ.
People are the soul of NavVis. We’re more than the innovative technology we’ve developed; we’re a dynamic, culturally diverse, close-knit group working together to achieve remarkable things. That’s why we launched the NavVis Employee Spotlight. We’re showcasing to future candidates what life is like at NavVis, and the inspiring people you might be collaborating with.
This is the third spotlight in our series, speaking with Ivano Alvino, an Advanced Software Engineer celebrating his second work anniversary with NavVis. He’s played an integral part in making NavVis IndoorViewer the market-leading software it is today. Ivano’s superior skillset and easygoing personality make him a highly valued member of the team and a joy to have around the office.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background, and how you got to where you are today?
I'm from Italy originally. Living abroad and experiencing different cultures and people was very appealing to me, and I thought about the best way to achieve this. Instead of applying for the typical Italian courses at University, I chose the English program to start improving my English. Then I applied for an exchange program in a few different countries and was accepted to one in Spain. I studied abroad for one year and then went back to Italy to complete my Master of Science degree.
"I really like my team, what we do here, and how we do it."
From here, I started applying for jobs all over the world but focussed my search mostly in Europe. I found a job in Nice, France, in a large B2B company with about 15,000 employees spread over many different countries. The company's business language was technically English. However, I was still able to practice and improve my French so that, in about six months, I was able to converse with my colleagues. It wasn't so difficult to pick up; I grew up in a small region close to the French border with a similar dialect. And living in the same building as my Grandmother (who spoke to me in this dialect) helped. I was in France for two years before applying to different jobs in Germany to be closer to my partner, who's based here.
Q: What attracted you to work at NavVis?
I wanted to work in Germany, and, as I worked for such a big company previously, I wanted to experience things in a smaller sized organization. I'm grateful I got to see all the processes and steps behind daily operations in a large business. Still, I wanted to see the other side of it. I targeted my job search for startups and applied for quite a few positions with various companies. I ended up having about nine different interviews.
"NavVis is a very international company, and the innovative products they’ve developed are super exciting to me."
I remember visiting the NavVis website and seeing the CEO Felix holding what looked like a paintball gun. I thought, "Wow, this company looks so cool, the CEO likes to go paintballing!" Later, I realized they were Skis! But while doing some further research, I saw that NavVis is a very international company, and the innovative products they’ve developed are super exciting to me. I ultimately decided that NavVis was the right fit. I really like my team, what we do here, and how we do it.
Q: Take us through a typical workday for you
First, I need coffee to function, so this is my number one priority when I start my day in the office. Then I check emails and my calendar for any meetings before I dive into my daily work. Fifty percent of my day is dedicated to coding – we work in sprints and use a ticket system to distribute the work among the team. Our code then gets tested by our QA, and sometimes you may need to rewrite part of it or make changes; this process can happen over a few days. Every day at 11:30 am, we have our team stand-up. It's a quick summary of what we've been working on, anything blocking our progress, and what we plan to do in the day ahead.
Q: Is there anyone you rely on to get things done?
Absolutely. We discuss many things in our team, and everyone has such amazing technical skills, so we all help each other. But any time I have any kind of blocker in my work, the first person I would turn to for help would be our Senior Engineer, Hans. I have a great relationship with everyone in my team, especially Hans. He has such in-depth knowledge and is so good at seeing the overall picture to solve problems – so he is a real asset to the team.
"We discuss many things in our team, and everyone has such amazing technical skills, so we all help each other."
Sometimes I may be stuck for a week on something, get so frustrated, and want to drink way more coffee, but then I think, oh wait, I'll ask our team lead Robert. He has such an incredible amount of knowledge; I know that something that might seem complicated to me, he's able to solve quickly. We really learn so much from each other. We all have distinctive and unique skills, so it's about knowing who is the best person to consult for which problem.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time outside work to unwind?
I do enjoy a nice glass of wine. Growing up in a region known in Italy for its wine, it was very normal for me at a young age to have a small taste of some wine with water. The ONLY time in life it’s acceptable to mix water and wine together! For people from my region, wine to us is like beer to Bavarians.
"You should definitely apply if you want to work with cool technology or an opportunity to be a part of the decision-making process of the company."
I also like to take a long weekend here and there. I have many friends in different countries, so it's nice just to get away for the weekend and visit them. And, of course, I enjoy visiting my family every two months. I always bring back my favorite foods I can't buy here in Munich!
Q: What would you say to someone thinking of joining the NavVis team?
You should definitely apply if you want to work with cool technology or an opportunity to be a part of the decision-making process of the company. Or if you like a multicultural environment and learning from so many different minds.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be open to criticism. I do try to follow this advice. When you write code, you always put a little bit of your personality into it. When someone else is reviewing it, they may have their own views. But I never take this personally, as it's something I can learn from.
Do you want to join Ivano in a flexible, dynamic, inspiring work environment?
Check out our open positions, or email your CV and Cover Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org