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Floating on a cloud

João Dias, Informatics Engineer at heart, took some time to find his true calling. Years of working hard, hopping jobs and living abroad taught him many lessons, three of which in particular guide him in his work today. First, jumping in at the deep end makes for a nice challenge. Second, cloud architecture is awesome. And third, you can be the boss without loving hierarchy. ‘Hierarchy shouldn’t be a ladder of rights, but a chain of responsibilities.’

When he started working, João quickly found out one thing. ‘As soon as my days start feeling too similar, I get bored. So I hopped jobs a lot, to keep challenging myself from a technological point of view.’

At some point in his career, João had three jobs at the same time. He was a freelancer onsite in Copenhagen, while working remotely for an insurance company in Lisbon and a bank in Madrid, via TMC Spain. During this time, he discussed the idea of opening a TMC office in Porto with one of his TMC Spain colleagues. ‘This sounded incredibly appealing to me. Starting something new that has my footprint on it. And the chance to move back to Portugal. Obviously, I said yes.’

“Starting something new with my footprint on it and the chance to move back to Portugal – obviously, I said yes!”

TMC Portugal

João created the TMC Porto office from scratch. ‘I interviewed people, built the team and brought in our first client. The insurance company I was still working for as a freelancer trusted me and wanted to keep working together. I officially became a TMC employeneur myself as well. During the first years, our team did several projects in Portugal; some local, some international.’

Starting up the new TMC branch took its toll on João. Also, specific skills were required to manage the rapid growth of TMC’s Porto office. ‘So I took a sabbatical in 2020. While I was away, the company was restructured. I returned in the beginning of 2021. Things are better now than ever before. We have 25 people in a locally managed, fully independent TMC cell.’

Cloud architecture

During his sabbatical, João discovered his real technological passion: cloud infrastructure. ‘I studied from books. And I started hacking around, building stacks of Raspberry Pi’s to create my own home server. I’m lucky that I can make a living in cloud technology. Currently, I am outsourced by TMC as the architect for all cloud infrastructure at Engie, an energy company that does business to business energy transactions.’

Entrepreneurial spirit

Like all TMC employeneurs, João also gets the opportunity to develop new ideas. ‘From the day I started at TMC, I had this idea for the ‘software factory’: a near shoring center for customer and TMC projects that require software development. Instead of looking for help outside TMC, we would have dedicated teams within TMC.’

‘I know my idea for the software factory is quite different from the standard TMC model of outsourcing people. The software factory is about delivering products. Let's say a customer needs a specific web page. Instead of outsourcing an employeneur to the customer who helps them develop it, we would build it within the software factory. Not in a black box, of course, but in close collaboration with the customer, who will always remain product owner.’

“I am a much more defined engineer now than I was at the start of my career.”

Lessons (to be) learned

On the long term, João hopes to make the software factory a big thing within TMC. His job hopping days are over, at least for now. ‘I am a much more defined engineer now than I was at the start of my career. And I’m looking forward to keep developing my managerial skills.’

‘I know I possess the social skills to be a manager. I can be a good people's person, but I just really like technology. If I focus too much on that, I may overlook things that a manager should keep an eye on. Something I need to learn is to delegate. It's awesome to trust people with a job, knowing that they will do great. Or at least, if something doesn't work out, that they will let me know. I think I am slowly getting to a point where I can disconnect from my technical side, and delegate more.’

Horizontal company culture

His views on hierarchy and his intercultural experiences will surely help João achieve this goal. ‘Working in Denmark made me realize that a horizontal company culture suits me well. Many Portuguese companies are organized in a very vertical way. In my opinion, hierarchy shouldn’t be a ladder of rights, but a chain of responsibilities.’

‘I want it to be easy to come to work for everyone, because it's fun to be here. Nobody should be afraid to talk to me, simply because I am the CTO. I'm just another person who happens to have a different set of tasks. Do you have a problem? Then you can come and talk to me. And if I have a problem, I'm going to talk to you. If I can bring a little change to the traditional company culture in Portugal, I will be happy.’

Emmanuel Mielvaque

CEO TMC Spain / France Regions, Spain

Tel: +34 91 515 439 2

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