Almost exactly one year ago, our developer Hans Guido Steffen Costa packed his bags and moved back to Brazil. But luckily we still see him regularly in our videoconferences, because he still works for Picalike – just not from Hamburg! Since we were mainly working remotely anyway at the time due to the pandemic (with the option to go to our office in Betahaus) and switched to agile working, the ground was set for working from another country.
This also led to the idea: shouldn’t we expand our team with colleagues in Brazil? After all, we already had some team members (our CEO, our Project Manager, me from Marketing and of course Hans Guido) who knew the culture and language of this country very well. So it was not only Hans Guido who experienced a big change.
But what are the differences when you work from Brazil? What is different there, different here? It’s time to take a closer look.
Dear Hans Guido, it's been almost a year since you moved back to Brazil and started working for Picalike from your old hometown Belém. A lot has happened in that time! How many developers were you when you flew back?
Yes, that’s right! When we started the Brazil project, we were only 5 developers in the whole company. And now we are already 12! This is a very fast growth, which brings some changes.
Are your tasks still the same?
Not quite. We have started new projects and new employees have joined the team. There is more to be organized in order to do justice to all the tasks. The less experienced developers also have to be supervised and coached.
How has your daily life changed due to the time difference?
Not that much, really. I’ve always started to work very early in the morning in Germany, too, and that’s stayed the same here. What’s only really different is that I have little overlap time with the team from Germany – even though I get up very early. After all, we are 4 to 5 hours behind here.
You are our only developer who has worked for us from both countries. What was easier when you were working from here?
When I consider all the advantages of the two worlds, which are so different, I immediately think of the communication method in Germany. It is more direct and efficient. I like that a lot and it made a lot of things easier.
What's better when working from Brazil?
So the most important thing: The Internet in Brazil is much faster, even here in Belém. (laughs)
Until recently, all the members of your team were Brazilians, but not all of them live in Belém. So you also work totally remotely among yourselves. Does that allow you to get to know each other privately? Or is everything super anonymous?
No, it’s not anonymous. Whenever we have the opportunity, we also talk about things from everyday life, about life in general. We do our best to get to know each other better. By the way, this doesn’t only refer to the members of my team, but also to the communication with members from the other teams. We also do conversation sessions in English, so that those with less language skills can practice.
Do you miss anything from when you worked here?
I miss Hamburg and the good beers. Also my little home in Norderstedt and the well-defined seasons that don’t exist here in northern Brazil. But I don’t miss the Hamburg sun. (laughs)
That would surprise me too, after all, Belém is located directly on the equator in the rainforest and has an average of 30 degrees Celsius all year round. Sun and heat are definitely not lacking. But if we were to pack you a package, what should we put in it?
Beer from Ayinger, Mettbrot, proper oat milk, Döner, Gyros Pita… And these are only the first things that come to mind. Can I not get a whole suitcase instead of a small package?