It’s time for our monthly Employee in the Spotlight again! Last month we interviewed our veteran colleague Anwar from the development team. In keeping with this theme, this month we’d like to introduce a colleague that probably isn’t necessarily accustomed to being in the limelight, given his position as a back-end (and behind-the-scenes) developer at Mopinion. This month we’d like you to meet our colleague Haris Argyris.
Meet Haris. Haris is one of our newer members of the team, having just started out at Mopinion less than a year ago as our Back-end PHP Developer. As a back-end developer, Haris does a lot of ‘behind-the-scenes’ work. In other words, everything the end user doesn’t see or directly interact with, but that powers what’s happening within our software. A big task, you might say. But when he’s not diving into issues or writing code, Haris spends his free time catching up on some reading, hitting the gym and walking his dog, Spithas.
What does your position at Mopinion entail?
‘I am a PHP Back-end Developer, which means I’m responsible for keeping the Mopinion software stable and working properly as it continues to grow and improve. This entails fixing bugs / issues that may potentially cause a poor user experience, implementing new features, and creating end-points for our front-end developers to use in order for them to have access to data / functionalities required. It also includes a lot of testing, to make sure any changes or new features that have been developed are working properly before being released to our customers.’
What initially drew you to Mopinion?
‘It was actually a combination of things. I already knew I wanted to work for a startup but I also found that I really liked the product. To me, working with a feedback software was much more unique and challenging than any other options out there. And in a sense, I feel more familiar and comfortable working on such a software because of its direct impact with our customers!
Ironically enough, I felt like I knew Mopinion before I started, thanks to their ‘Employee in the Spotlight’ series and their blog articles about fun activities they’d done together as a team. Not to mention, they had just published an interesting article about automated tagging and AI, which I found rather intriguing.’
What does a typical work day look like for you?
‘Typically I start up my computer, grab my coffee and start running through the work from the previous day, to make sure there were no issues with the new changes. Then I’ll check with our Customer Success team and see if any new, high priority tasks came in yesterday or overnight. If not, I just put in my headphones (which really help me keep focus) and carry on with my normal to-do list.’
What is your favorite part about working at Mopinion?
‘The team is really warm and welcoming and makes me feel like I’m a part of something. I also love that I have the freedom to do my job the way I see fit, which actually suits the company really well. You see, everyone at our company has a specific role that plays into the success of the company and if we were all constantly being told how to do our jobs, it probably wouldn’t work.
Plus I feel that there is a great deal of trust among colleagues, which is something I didn’t really have back in Greece. ‘
What are the biggest challenges you face in your job?
‘Probably the software itself. It’s a rather complex software with lots of small components so just understanding how everything was put into place was a challenge. I also had to look into and understand how the different technologies and code worked with each other.
The good thing was I resolved my first issue in the first week within working here so I had to be quick on my feet and learn fast.’
What is your proudest moment at Mopinion?
‘Definitely when I got over the initial learning curve of the project and became more productive. Every project has its own specific features, do’s and don’ts and in order for a developer to become productive, he/she has to master those. Being an active member of the Mopinion crew and doing work that directly affects/improves our customers’ experience is a great feeling.’
And now for some fun questions…
As an expat from Greece, what’s your impression of Holland so far?
‘Moving to Rotterdam was actually a lot easier than I anticipated (especially when it came to finding an apartment and getting myself set up here).
I was also really happy to find that there are numerous parks and bike path in the area, which make my daily commute to work (and even just casual walks) very pleasant. And then there’s the city of Rotterdam itself which is very lively and offers a lot of activities both indoors and outdoors, tons of different cuisines and all kinds of events.
From a work perspective, people in the Netherlands seem to have a much better work-life balance too. This probably explains why most people here look younger than they actually are!’
What is your guilty pleasure?
‘This may sound weird, but nuts. I love nuts. I probably spend somewhere between 60 to 70 euros on nuts a month. It started off as a health thing, but somewhere escalated and turned into my favorite snack and has been this way for about 6 or 7 years. My go-to snacks are walnuts and almonds,’ he laughs.
Who inspires you?
‘I can’t really name one person in particular so I guess I’d have to say people who really go for what they want. People that try to improve themselves constantly and are never satisfied with mediocrity. Those are the kinds of people I really admire.’
What do you like to do in your free time?
‘I like to read a lot. Whether that’s news, or books on human psychology or nutrition, I just like to learn new things. I am also a big advocate of living a healthy lifestyle, so I go to the gym a lot, try to eat healthy and since recently, I go on lots of long walks with my dog, Spithas. In general, I just like to do the things that make me feel good and that I enjoy.’
What is one thing you can’t live without?
‘Freedom. The freedom to do what I want and make my own decisions. The freedom to spend time with the people I love and do the things that I love. That’s really important to me.’
What is your biggest fear?
‘Probably being alone. I don’t like the thought of doing things and not having anyone to share it with. I want to share my happy moments with people that are important to me.’
What is your favorite movie?
‘I haven’t watched any movies in a long time but if I have to choose, I’d say either Inception or the Matrix. They’re both complex movies that really make you think.’
What is something that not many people know about you?
‘I think way more than I talk. People think I’m closed off, but I’m always thinking about something.’
Stay tuned for more!
We hope you enjoyed this month’s Employee in the Spotlight! Stay tuned for our September spotlight…