Team story

International projects expand our expertise

Alix Gilliard Data Engineer, Solita

Published 13 Jul 2022

Reading time 4 min

Solita is an international company, and our client projects are crossing many country borders. Working with clients from all over the world has been exciting, and it has increased our learning and growth opportunities exponentially.

We’ve had the opportunity to work with international clients and collaborate with multicultural teams both within Solita and with our clients. While we all work on different projects, we share the view that working in an international environment is in many ways rewarding and provides us with great learning opportunities.

Kobe has been working with a global, Swedish-based client for a long time. He has team members from five countries, and since the client operates on several continents, he collaborates with people from all over the world.

Ken and Alix have joined Solita more recently, but they’ve also dived into the international work environment since the beginning. Alix has been working on a Norwegian project, collaborating with people from several countries. Ken, in turn, has worked with a Swedish client on a project that covers all Nordic countries and Estonia.

While it might sound counterintuitive, working with international projects has made our work schedules more flexible. Kobe has a big team working globally, so there is always someone available and working on the project, as the team is spread around different time zones. Team members contribute during their office hours, and nobody needs to work weird hours.

Kobe also works remotely, which allows him to be location independent. He takes meetings from different spots, sometimes from his garden, other times from other Solita offices. Recently he was working from the Munich office for a week, just for fun.

Different countries, different IT landscapes

While cultural differences can sometimes bring challenges to the interaction, they also make the projects interesting and diverse. Ken appreciates the Swedish work ethic and the Nordic work culture. People take coffee breaks together and embrace long holidays. Having worked in the US for several years, Ken finds this balance very refreshing; life is not all about work and making money.

While working with international clients is fun, there are other benefits from the career perspective. We can learn from the IT landscapes in different countries and expand our expertise. These clients are generally large companies, and the tech problems they face are challenging and significant in scale. We mainly work with the latest technologies like GCP, Airflow, Big Query, and Tableau – another motivating factor.

Working with people from different cultural contexts brings a nice variety to our daily work. Every culture has its pros and cons in terms of work style, but we can all learn from each other. Some nationalities might bond more than others; for example, French and Belgians usually connect well. If the project team is international enough, people will stick to speaking English, making it easier for everyone to feel included.

Sometimes we encounter some language barriers when we need to deal with client documents in different languages. Then it’s just important to be careful and make sure everything is understood correctly. This can be challenging at times, but we’ve always found a way to work around these situations.

Small company vibe with a Nordic mentality

The combination we have at our Belgian office is quite unique. We have a nice small company vibe spiced up with a Nordic mentality, but at the same time, we get to work with multinational clients. We never feel like being just a cog in the machine at Solita; we have space to voice our opinions and influence how things get done. That being said, Solita has over 1500 people working in different countries, which brings both learning and career opportunities to the Belgian office too.

We also have company wide communities and Slack channels – for almost everything. One of them is the remote work channel, where all the remote workers share pictures from their work locations and make jokes about cultural differences. The Finnish language is one of the popular topics there; it provides endless humor for both Finnish speakers and non-Finnish speakers.

Overall, it’s nice to have this combination of the local-global work community. It brings us exciting work opportunities and enables a unique work culture, which we have enjoyed.

If you want to be part of our amazing team and work on international projects like we do, do not hesitate to check our open positions. We are constantly looking for new colleagues to join our caring community!

  1. Culture