Thorleif Thorleifsson

Meet our new colleagues

In response to growing demand for our products and services, Maritime Optima has been on a mission to strengthen the development team for the last few months. This has led us to welcome three talented developers to our team so far in 2024, and we are still looking for more!

Manu, Ruben and Martin all bring their unique sets of skills to the table, and we're thrilled to be able to leverage their expertise to further develop and enhance our products and services.

What made them choose Maritime Optima?

Our first new addition joined our team in the second week of January, he actually moved all the way to Oslo from Madrid to join us! Over the past four years he has been developing web and mobile applications for both established companies and startups. Reflecting on his decision to join Maritime Optima, Manu shares:

"The day I met the team I was impressed not only by the skill level of each member but also by their personalities and willingness to offer support from day one. The positive atmosphere in the workplace convinced me that this was a fantastic place to work. Additionally, while the shipping industry was completely new territory for me, I am drawn to challenges. After doing some research and gaining a better understanding of the industry and its players, I could see right away how Maritime Optima is offering great solutions which I would love to contribute to"

Fun fact: alongside his professional career as a software engineer in Madrid, Manu opened and managed a burger joint in his spare time, flipping burgers and managing the stock. In his own words: “software engineer by day, burger man by night”

Martin and Ruben both joined us in February. The experience they bring with their arrival, having worked on large-scale systems both in Norway and abroad for several years, will undoubtedly help us on our way to reach our goals and scale our solutions for the future.

Ruben shares that he was drawn to our company's ability to make sense of vast amounts of maritime data, adding an extra layer of understanding to the world around us. His fascination with processing global data, especially from vessels via AIS radio links, drew him to Maritime Optima.

"I liked the idea of working on a system that process data at a global scale: the seas are vast, vessels send data from literally everywhere and we are there, at the end of the chain, making sense of all of it. As a radio amateur myself, the AIS radio link made everything look more concrete if that makes sense. There is beauty in a vessel sending data via a satellite (that someone managed to put up there) and us adding an extra-layer of sense on top. There is a strong feeling of ‘connection with an unbounded real world’ in this, to me.”

Martin highlights the opportunity for personal development and the possibility to apply his background in mathematics and multimedia signal processing, as factors that drew him to Maritime Optima.

"I saw Maritime Optima as a chance to further develop myself in a new industry. The prospect of working in a smaller company within a field I had only cursory knowledge of intrigued me. Switching industries often presents new challenges that fuel creativity and broaden one's horizons as a developer. Additionally, the maritime sector, despite its crucial role in the world economy, often remains overlooked by many. This aspect of novelty and importance piqued my interest further. Moreover, I recognized the potential to apply my background in mathematics and multimedia signal processing. Our products heavily rely on data analysis and geometry, aligning perfectly with my educational expertise. Contributing to prediction, detection, and route calculations feels like a natural fit for my skill set."

How has their experience been so far?

Starting a new job can be a little scary, but Manu, Martin and Ruben has taken the task head on. When asked how their experience has been this far, both Ruben and Manu shed light on the motivating yet challenging aspects of starting a new job.

Manu, despite his initial cultural shocks as he transitioned from a subtropical climate to snowstorms and icy roads, is picking up on his new Nordic lifestyle (he has even gone cross-country skiing (once was enough)), and is excited to continue his career at Maritime Optima.

"Starting a new job always presents its challenges,. Particularly in software development when transitioning between different tech stacks. As a FullStack developer, I'm contributing to both frontend and backend aspects, amplifying the adjustment process." He admits that stepping into a team where every developer excels initially triggered feelings of impostor syndrome. "But my colleagues have made sure I am comfortable, and I am (slowly but steady) getting used to the new flow, which is making me grow a lot both professionally and personally."

Ruben has approached the challenges of adapting to a new environment with enthusiasm, and we're happy his expressed dislike for Norwegian tomatoes (he is also from Spain...) hasn't scared him away from the country yet.

"It's been a great 3 weeks so far," he shares. "Any challenges have all been related to the lack of domain knowledge and of course dealing with a new codebase, nothing too bad or unexpected. I am excited about learning more about AIS and about how routing works. That is something one cannot easily find in any other companies. And of course I am interested in learning about my new colleagues. Being far away from home makes people very different and interesting: I still find it surprising seeing skis at the office, for example!”

Apart from his appreciation of our lunch arrangements, Martin finds the tasks he's taken on so far important to gain a deeper understanding of our company's objectives and the maritime industry in general.

"First of all, I've felt very welcome to the company and in the team. I'm quite happy to be part of this crew! I've been here for three weeks now, and I'm currently working on backend capabilities needed for position lists in ShipIntel. It is a good task, as I get to work on a complicated problem while diving in to familiarize myself with all the services, flow of data and infrastructure. So far, I think understanding the routing engine has been the most challenging. But then that's also why it's interesting to me. Apart from that, it is a priority to learn as much as possible about the shipping industry and Maritime Optima's place in it. I didn't know a whole lot about shipping before starting at Maritime Optima, but thanks to Kristin and Pål-Robert's mentoring, I'm getting a good grasp of the complexity and understand what we aim to do. I really look forward to working on smart solutions that can streamline workflows across the industry. We will make an impact for sure."

Together, Manu, Ruben and Martin represent the diverse talent and the shared passion for innovation that define Maritime Optima. We are sure their unique backgrounds and perspectives will enrich the company culture and drive us forward.

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