We like to talk about our #UnlimitedPlayground at Ataccama since we believe it’s one of our biggest benefits. We want Ataccamers to feel free to change and expand their role, move to different teams to learn new skills, and try different things in order to create the position that offers them the most opportunities to use their individual talents and enjoy their work.
We’re really lucky to have Ruben, our Senior Consultant based in Valencia. Not only is he friendly and helpful, but he’s also a great tour guide. When one of us travels to Spain, he shares a list of travel tips on where to eat, what to see, and more. Just ask him on your next trip 😉. He celebrates his 11-year anniversary with Ataccama this week, so we decided to sit down with him to talk about his journey with Ataccama and how his role has evolved over the years.
Why did you choose Ataccama?
It was 2009, and I had recently moved to Prague and was looking for a job. What I did was start searching for interesting companies in the tech space, and I stumbled upon the Ataccama website and really liked it. I started reading about it and everything looked so different from what I had been learning at school. There was actually no job posting, so I sent an email and basically said ‘I’m a new graduate and I don’t think I have that much to offer, but I’d be very happy if you hired me.’ And that’s how it happened. I really liked it so much that even though there were no open positions listed, I figured I’d just send an email and see if I got lucky and they wanted to meet me. And it turned out they did so… 😊
What did Ataccama look like back then and how has it changed?
Ataccama was much smaller. And our events were probably much easier to arrange. A few of us joined at the same time, so we had a celebration, and back then it was possible for us all to have a meal out together, which is not so easy now. I also remember that there were very few foreigners back then. I was one of the only ones. Everyone was so welcoming though. It didn’t feel like I was in a company that was different than me.
I think it has evolved with the times. It’s certainly more multicultural. We have many people from many different places now, but the seed was there. Everyone was always nice and welcoming. I mean we have many people who have been in the company longer than I have so that means something. Ataccama is a place where people want to stay. And that contributed to how the company grew, it’s always been a friendly place. This is how I would define it. It was a friendly place from the very beginning.
What was your role in the beginning and how has it changed?
My responsibilities have changed quite a lot during my time with Ataccama. In the beginning, there was a lot less traveling. I mostly worked in the office on internal things that we’d use later for clients. It was mostly me working on my own, but I had a mentor to spend time with me. And slowly I started traveling. Then at some point it all seemed to explode, and suddenly I was traveling everywhere. It changed quite quickly after that. I started accumulating more responsibilities and spending more time with many different clients.
Over time, I leaned more towards implementation and designing solutions. And to this day that’s what I do. From beginning to end, I’m involved in all phases of our projects. There were and always are new challenges. All the customers are completely different. So it’s almost like you’re starting a new job when you start a new project. You get to meet different people and I like that. If I was always in the same office doing a particular job that doesn’t change much, I wouldn’t like it. In Ataccama, it’s easy to go to other areas and train in something new, and the projects are always different so it’s like a fresh start.
Which project has been the biggest challenge for you?
One difficult one was a project in France. There I did feel like a foreigner because most of the team was French. I don’t speak French, but I understand it. So I talked to them in English and they spoke back to me in French. So there were some communication problems occasionally, and it was also challenging because it was just an extreme project. Another thing is that in France, there isn’t much of a remote work culture, so when you are working, you really need to be in the office working. So that meant basically living in France. I think to this day that was the only project where I felt like I was truly living there all the time because we even had an apartment. So it was challenging for multiple reasons, the expectations, the culture shock, and different ways of working.
But of course every project has its challenges. Challenging fun as we say. And we have new ones now because of the pandemic and the fact that we aren’t traveling at the moment and every meeting is held online.
What are you most proud of?
When I started, I was just out of school, and I think that one of the things I’ve built over the years is great confidence in myself. Most of the challenges you face in a company like Ataccama really force you to grow more confident because there are a lot of things you need to solve yourself and there are a lot of interesting things that you don’t necessarily have a formula for. I feel like I can do almost anything. I haven’t changed careers like some people in Ataccama who have completely reinvented themselves, but I’ve learned that I could.
Any funny stories to share from your time at Ataccama?
Yes, and I think this is quite different from the stories of most people in the company. I actually bought insurance to cover missed flights, delays, and things like that, because what I’m famous for in Ataccama is that if I’m planning to take a flight, it’s gonna get delayed. If you plan a flight, try not to get the one I’m on, or you’ll be delayed or the flight will be cancelled. I’m probably not the favorite customer of the insurance company 😅.
How do you see your future in Ataccama?
My role over time has changed quite a lot, but always within consultancy. From presales to projects to solution design. I really like my job now, but I have been thinking about a change. I can’t say for sure what I want to try next. It might just appear though. Ataccama is evolving and there are new things happening all the time. The company is changing, the product is changing, there are new teams and new things to do, and maybe at some point I’ll think ‘Oh, I want to try this’ and make room for myself there. At Ataccama, that can happen.