Work around the world: the unique story of colleague MauricioPublished on: Author: Team Communication Category: News
From Colombia to the USA to France. Mauricio Rodriguez Lara has lived and worked around the world before coming to Qualogy in 2018. Now he works as a Data Engineer for Qualogy Solutions. In this blog, he shares his unique story.
Mauricio Rodriguez Lara’s roots are back in Barranquilla, Colombia. There, he went to high school and college. He was nearly finished with his bachelor’s degree when he received the green card, which meant he could live in America. So, at age 20, Mauricio and his family packed their bags and moved over 1000 kilometers away to Florida.
Mauricio finished his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering in Florida. Switching schools at the end of his studies was tough, but Mauricio was motivated. Mauricio: “After getting my bachelor’s, I went straight to work. For seven years, I worked in data analytics. Pretty quickly, I noticed that the company I was working for had very outdated working methods. I still had to use Excel for some tasks! I knew their data analytics could be done more efficiently, but I did not have the necessary skills. That is why I decided to properly learn data analytics. So, I went back to school.”
From America to France
Once again, Mauricio packed his bags and flew all the way to France to do his master’s in Big Data Analytics. At the end of his studies, a friend of Mauricio’s suggested they visit a data science fair in the Netherlands. It was here that Mauricio met Qualogy. “Qualogy had a booth at the data science fair. I started talking to some of the representatives, and they told me Qualogy was looking for someone with my profile. I applied for the job and… I got it!”
From France to Rijswijk
Mauricio still lived in France, however. But his trusty suitcases were ready to go. Mauricio: “To be honest, I didn’t even know Rijswijk existed. I was worried it was going to be in the middle of nowhere! But when I looked it up, I saw that it’s surrounded by big cities such as The Hague and Rotterdam. That was a relief.”
A better fit
Mauricio’s first assignment as a Data Scientist for Qualogy: optimizing the warehouse algorithm for a Dutch supermarket chain. The assignment was fun, but Mauricio felt that his strengths lay elsewhere. He explains: “Because of my background in software engineering, I felt that Data Engineer would be a better fit. A Data Scientist works with algorithms and statistics. I’m more interested in the software side of things, and the structure behind the projects. That is why I ultimately decided to switch to being a Data Engineer.”
It was a good choice for Mauricio. His function now suits his background in software engineering. So what does a day look like for a Data Engineer? Mauricio explains: “I design the pipelines in which data travels to the Data Scientist or the Business Analyst. Basically, I design a system that makes it possible to gather data. This system also makes data available for the people who need to use it. After I’ve designed the pipelines, I usually also implement them.”
Especially the design phase is what Mauricio likes most about his job. Mauricio: “When you design a solution, you really need to consider every little piece. No two situations are the same, so no two solutions are the same either. Every assignment I have is different. I really like that about being Data Engineer. My cases aren’t straightforward at all. It’s really fun.”
Mauricio has worked on many great projects for Qualogy Solutions so far. Yet the KVNB project has stuck with him the most. As an avid soccer fan, it was a dream come true. Mauricio: “I play soccer too. And I watch a lot of games. So when I heard I would be working for the KNVB, I was thrilled. The project was super interesting. We built a dashboard that follows players in real time and gives alerts to the coach. For example, if a player is not following directions, the coach will know immediately.”
Mauricio has now lived in the Netherlands for two and a half years. The biggest difference compared to other countries? The work-life balance. Mauricio explains: “The Netherlands really respects the work-life balance of its people. Employees have great benefits. Especially in comparison to America, where I used to work. There, I had only twelve days off, which included sick leave. I’m happy this is not the case in the Netherlands. It’s much better organized.”
Diverse company culture
Qualogy has colleagues from many different nationalities. How has Mauricio experienced this multicultural work environment? Mauricio: “It’s very fun. You learn so much about all these different countries and their cultures. For example, I’ve worked with people from China, India and the Dominican Republic.
You see this diversity especially during lunch. There are usually two lines in the cafeteria: one consists of all my Dutch colleagues, waiting for the tosti machine. The other line is everyone else. We want to use the microwave to heat up the food in our plastic containers. It’s a big, but fun difference between the Dutch and other cultures. You don’t eat a lot for lunch, and we do!”
Plans for the future
Mauricio feels right at home at Qualogy Solutions. He won’t be packing his bags anytime soon. So what is next on his to do list? Mauricio: “Because I’m fairly new to data engineering, I would like to keep on learning more about the field. I want to make data engineering my strong suit. At some point, I would also love to design and create a product that is used daily. But right now, I really want to learn all I can about my trade.”