A making of a good work-life cocktail
It has been 2 years since I have joined Visma and we wanted to celebrate that anniversary properly. We wanted to have cakes, drinks and everything but that was not meant to happen. So we all celebrated as we could, I for once poured some good whiskey and virtually toasted my dear colleagues that I have all over Europe. And then it striked me. As I like all things liquid I think that my work life is like having a good cocktail.
So I start with a solid glass – a frame if you wish – and this is a rulebook. Very simple and elegant. Not elaborate. Not many curves, no weird shapes, not many processes. Freedom and responsibility. Simple hierarchies. Open communication. Equality. A rough cold cubic nordic glass – that’s the way I like it.
The base of my cocktail is – and always was for me – a technology. My entire life I am a tech guy, programmer. Since childhood when I started to code (some 35 years ago). I believe in technology and that it is changing the way we live and makes it better. I am lucky to be working in a technology company from top to bottom. Our field is information technology & data and our trade is cloud transformation. Continuous integration, continuous delivery, automation, data. We discuss Artificial Intelligence in our town hall meeting. Technology is where we excel.
Sweet tones in my cocktail are for sure people. We are a selective bunch. All my colleagues are clever, intelligent and as enthusiastic about technology as I am. Easy to work with. And I love them all. This year we have hired 50 colleagues so now we are 100 families that create Visma in Slovakia. Despite the epidemic. It warms my heart to see all these people happy. We are 150 colleagues away from our intermediate plan of 250 engineers. A lot of fun ahead.
Speaking of fun – all good cocktails need some fruits. I have left some of my previous jobs because the fun part was starting to be missing. Here we have a pool table, Xbox & table tennis in the office. We compete in sport challenges. This summer we ran & biked forth and back from Kosice to Oslo (over 6000 km for each of the 3 competing teams). There were also some tears & blood, drama and happiness. We play board games together. We tell jokes, oh I love jokes. Seriously, can this get any better than this?
Of course every long drink needs something sour, lime or lemon, just to remind us how sweet the rest of the stuff is. All those reports, small obstacles, dealings with the short-sighted & slow, politics. Sometimes my colleagues leave and it breaks my heart every time. But all that is here to make the cocktail nicely balanced. Teaches me humility.
Drinking the cocktail and having reflections is good. The better part is however ahead. I think we finally cracked who we want to be. We are emerging as a cloud transformation center in Visma. We help our products to get the best out of cloud technologies. We will from now on help to onboard more Visma products on the cloud stack & for those we have there continue to modernize architecture. We will continue to invest into having AI, Machine learning & Data be a bigger part of our product stack. It will be us in Visma that will truly take AI to cloud information systems. This is the future. So the drink will get better with time!
I am 2 years in Visma and the fact is that this cocktail – my work – has never been more intimate than it is today. I have never believed in splitting job & personal affairs – for me this is all just one life. And this crazy year we all brought our work and our entire lives to the most intimate place we have – our homes. So I guess my theory might be right after all.
Lastly I wanted to wish my dear Visma just the best customers, great reliable technology, satisfied, productive, friendly people. So far she has it all. I am staying with her as long as she wants me to.
Cheers & good luck.
Managing Director, Visma Labs