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Relocating to the Netherlands by William Suane

Hello everyone, I'm William, Backend Technical Trainer at Backbase and I'm here today to tell you about myself and how great 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 2 years before I came to Amsterdam and joined Backbase in 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.

Let's start with the basics, why Backbase?

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 learned after I joined Backbase is that the technical skill level is really high (I was expecting it, though, but in reality, it is more than I thought), you just have to join one of the Solutions Architects meeting to understand what I am talking about.

The company is constantly changing, the pace here is fast. There are 350+ developers working on the product, consequently, generating a lot of releases. More releases mean more code, more testing, more consultancy, more RnD, and this brings a lot of changes not only to the product but also structural changes. We are always adapting ourselves 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 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 even a little bit of coming to Amsterdam. Even coming to the city alone, with no family or friends 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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Me (left) and some of my colleagues during King's Day (biggest holiday in the Netherlands)

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At the table we have the following nationalities: 1 Turk, 2 Argentinians, 3 Dutchies, 1 Indian, 1 Russian and 1 Brazilian - diversity, you see 🙂

As for the challenges

I think the most challenging part is to find a place to live and where you probably are going to spend the most part of your salary. There are thousands of websites and even a Backbase guide, which  tells you what to do and how  to find a place to live, and, like any other city in the world, the further you are from the center the cheaper your rent will be.

Health care is mandatory, but the price is almost the same for everybody, around 100 euros and the Netherlands health care is considered to be  the best in Europe: https://nltimes.nl/2017/01/31/dutch-healthcare-system-named-best-europe-swedish-index

Public transportation is awesome, you really don't need a car (even to go to different cities). There are buses, trams, trains, metro and of course you can join the Dutch culture and bike everywhere, like one of my trips to the beach (all this way was done inside bike roads, except when we got lost, inside the forest 😛 )

They have road bikes 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, sometimes without their hands holding the bike, sometimes carrying two kids, sometimes carrying two kids and talking on the phone, and like I saw last December, carrying two kids, talking on the phone while biking in heavy snow.

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What happened to the road that should be behind us?

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Things we like about working here:

A Global Community

We love working with smart, amazing people from all over the world. As we service an international client base, our people (45+ nationalities) reflect our global focus. Come as you are and blend in. You’ll feel right at home at Backbase.

Success & Celebrations

We take pride in our achievements and how we celebrate them, with a variety of parties, celebrations, team outings, game nights and office drinks. There’s also the opportunity to take our Backbase boat out for a spin.

Health & Fitness

We care about you and support a positive, active lifestyle. Free healthy lunches and fruit are provided daily. We’ll challenge your brain at work, after which you can unwind and have fun with one of our employee-initiated sports teams. Alternatively, get those muscles moving at one of the gyms on offer.

Office Life & Swag

You get an enjoyable workplace, complete with focus areas collaborative spaces – nerf guns included. We’ll get you proper swag, the latest and greatest technologies to play with and awesome people to work with.

Show me more benefits >
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Don't you like Softball? We have soccer as well (again, anyone can join)

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Some of our other activities

I really suggest you to join Backbase parties and to start going out with your co-workers friends. 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 US: baseball field, American flag, American food chain… But we were in Amsterdam.

Is sports really not your thing? Okay, then we can have some drinks instead (anyone above 18 😛 )

I don't regret even a little bit of coming to Amsterdam. Even coming to the city alone, with no family or friends totally worth it. If you are considering whether you should risk it or not I can definitely say: just go for it.