Hello everyone, I'm William, Backend Technical Trainer at Backbase, and I'm here today to tell you about myself and how great it has been my experience so far with Backbase in Amsterdam.
Before we start, you should know that I am originally from Brazil, but I have been living and working in Atlanta, US, for two years before I came to Amsterdam and joined Backbase on December 1st, 2017. So everything that I am about to tell you, I experienced twice: when I left Brazil to the US and when I left the US to the Netherlands.
Seriously, that question should be like: Why not Backbase? Have you ever read the Glassdoor reviews? I can say for sure that all the positive reviews are true, and of course, since nothing is perfect, some of the negative reviews are true as well, but a lot of them are a little exaggerated.
In the end, it all depends on what you are looking for. Here you will work with great people, we have 45+ nationalities in the company, and you can learn a lot by just listening to conversations, while some people share their experiences, during a small break for coffee. Something that I have only discovered after I joined Backbase is that the technical skill level is really high. I was expecting it, though, but in reality, it is higher than I thought. Join one of the Solutions Architects' meetings, and you'll understand what I am talking about.
The company is constantly changing; the pace here is fast. We have 350+ developers working on the product, consequently generating a lot of releases. More releases mean more code, more testing, more consultancy, more development, and this brings a lot of changes not only to the product but also structural changes. We are always adapting to what is best for our customers. So if you like an environment that is constantly changing, has great people, brings you different challenges every day, requires you to keep the pace and stay up-to-date with your technical skills, and gives you a great work/life balance, Backbase is for you like it is for me.
I don't regret at all moving to Amsterdam. Even coming to the city alone, with no family or friends, was totally worth it. If you are considering whether you should risk it or not, I can definitely say: just go for it.
Even relocating alone, with no family or friends, is totally worth it. If you are considering whether you should risk it or not, I can definitely say: just go for it.
As for the challenges
I think the most challenging part is to find a place to live. Don't worry! There are thousands of websites and even a Backbase guide with tips and tricks on renting a home in Amsterdam. Like any other city in the world, the further you are from the center, the cheaper your rent will be. Expect, however, to spend most of your salary on rent.
Healthcare is mandatory, but the price is almost the same for everybody, around 100 euros, and The Netherlands healthcare is considered to be the best in Europe.
Public transportation is fantastic! You don't need a car, not even to visit different cities. There are buses, trams, trains, metro and of course you can bike everywhere - like the Dutch. I recently made a trip to the beach, all done on bike lanes, except when we got lost, inside the forest 😛.
They have bike lanes across the whole country, and they make use of it, that is probably one of the reasons why the Dutch are slim people. It doesn't matter the weather; you will always find people biking. They do it sometimes without holding the bike handle, plus carrying two kids. Other times they're biking with two kids and talking on the phone, and like I saw last December, biking with two kids and talking on the phone while going through heavy snow.
Some of our other activities
I strongly suggest you to join Backbase parties and to start going out with your co-workers. Trust me. Otherwise, the lack of social connections could make you depressed and could make you think of going back to your home country.
You can join the softball team (anyone can join) and play some cool games. We won this match against the Five Guys. Well, looking at this picture looks like we are in the US: baseball field, American flag, American food chain… But we were in Amsterdam.
Is sports not your thing? Okay, then we can have some drinks instead.
I don't regret moving to Amsterdam. Even relocating alone, with no family or friends, is totally worth it. If you are considering whether you should risk it or not, I can definitely say: just go for it.
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