Meet Peter, an enthusiastic traveler and a skilled product developer at TechniaTranscat (previously Technia). Before starting at TechniaTranscat, he went to Singapore to work within the mobile field, which resonates well with his wanderlust and interest in technology. He has just two continents left, Africa and South America, until he can tick all the continents off his travel-list. This might not sound like the typical IT-guy but Peter insists that the stereotype is all wrong.
"For me IT is very wide. Many people think you just sit at your desk all day and code and don't talk to other people. That's a misrepresented stereotype I would say. Every day is different – and you can be definitely be social! Sometimes you sit at the office and sometimes at a customer site. Sometimes you work in a project with people that you haven’t work with before. For me IT is wide and offers the possibility of trying different things," Peter explains.
Peter comes from a background of working at a small firm based in Sweden with solely Swedish customers. It didn't offer a lot of opportunities in travelling or meeting international people, neither of which synched well with Peters travel-enthusiastic personality.
"I was looking at TechniaTranscat’s website and found an opening. It sounded like a social and international working place, and a challenging role, which was exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to apply. And it went on from there," he says.
Challenged the very first week
It's not only the international relations that Peter appreciates. His colleagues at Product Development, have been extremely helpful. Especially in his first week when he was assigned to help out in a project with Ericsson. It was a big challenge to tackle, especially for a new employee. Although there were vast specifications and a lot of learning-by-doing he felt confident, mostly because of the help from experienced colleagues.
"In retrospect, I think it was the best way to learn the product; to actually understand how they are used in the real world. Most of the other guys in the team have been working in other TechniaTranscat divisions or PLM projects before, whereas I haven’t, so I try to understand the big picture," he says.
In the end, his job at TechniaTranscat has landed him with the international role he has always wanted. When asked about his hobbies and interests he says "I like traveling a lot," and then reiterates "A lot." Then he talks about one of his many ventures abroad, and a peculiar situation he found himself in when in Indonesia.
"Due to a misunderstanding, I found myself accidentally stranded on an Indonesian island, with no means of transportation available. The island was beautiful but extremely commercialized and mostly revolved around fancy hotel complexes and beach resorts. An old gardener noticed me standing by the road, stopped his rusty pickup truck and pointed to the passenger seat as a question – he didn’t speak any English. I accepted his offer for a ride but as I sat down I noticed he was missing three fingers on one hand. He was having problems holding the steering wheel properly, so he drove slowly. The gardening tools in his car must be extremely hard for him to operate, I thought. He was well above what should have been his retirement age. After he drove me for over 20 minutes to a ferry, I offered him some money as thanks for the lift. I could tell that he could make use of the funds, but even so he refused to accept it and so I eventually had to give up on my attempts. Even on this very commercial island, where most locals had been focusing on my wallet, for him it seemed to be just about helping somebody out. It was a very humbling experience," Peter says.
With stories like this one it's no wonder Peter, and other people, yearn to go beyond their countries boundaries. Peter switching from a small native company to TechniaTranscat has made his everyday more international and his perspective broader.
Redefining the stereotype
"I think most people could find a role that they would enjoy within IT. It's not just people in a basement, hacking away at keyboard. Most roles require some social skills. Another thing I would say is that it's future proof. There could be recession in economy but since it's a broad field you could always branch out to a related field," Peter explains.
Peter emphasizes that it's a field where an academic background is not super important. Many people go through an academic degree but it's not necessarily very meritocratic. Practical skills are respected as well.
"You could show something you have done that is impressive and then you could have the same chances in a job application as somebody who has the degree. IT is open to different kinds of backgrounds, not just academics," he says.
Peter Skogsberg has been working in the product development team at TechniaTranscat since 2014. He is very fond of travelling, he finds the international role he has at TechniaTranscat very rewarding. Peter has a master in information technology from KTH, royal institute of technology. Despite his academic background he argues that practical skills are important when working within IT. IT to him is about a whole lot more than codes and computers, it's about communicating them to people.
Peter tips about useful coding resources
My first tip would be Stack Overflow. It is a great web resource and community for coding related questions. If you have a problem, somebody else has had it before. The page is gamified which means that you earn points for answering questions, so people take pride in giving good answers. The community is open for anyone doing programming.
The second tip I have is ngrok, a tool that allows you to open a port on your local machine if you want to share a link with somebody. If you use this tool you will get a temporary URL which you can send whoever you want to share it with. It allows someone into your computer temporarily without them having to worry about firewalls and remote desktops.
Also I would suggest making use of Chrome dev tools. Chrome is without question the best browser for debugging, with useful things like network simulation/throttling and device emulation, with screen orientation and things like that. Under chrome://chrome-urls/ there are also a lot of hidden tools to explore. It is a step ahead of the competitors. Then again, some things like 3D view is in Firefox as well - pretty cool to understand the z-index: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/3D_View "