Simon Hailu: Guided by curiosity to explore the best tech out there
It’s been a year since Simon Hailu joined TX as a DevOps Engineer. Curiosity has been a driving factor in Simon’s life whether it be tinkering with video game code or studying new technologies.
“I’ve usually been the guy who first studies something and then makes it available for other team members. Once I’ve shown others how to use it, I would move on to the next thing. That has kinda enabled me to quickly get into new things and keep on learning.”
More than just fun and games
Simon’s road to working in tech started at an early age by playing around with the code of old video games.
“Whenever me and my friends found a new game, we would play to see who finishes the quickest or gets the highest score. Obviously, as a teenager, you feel like cheating a bit so you resort to stuff that gives you an edge over them. My computer was really old, and it couldn’t handle much of the new stuff. But there was this abandonware website, which held games that were really quite open for tinkering to get some extra points or other boosts.”
When it was time to get serious about the future, Simon had two options: fine arts or engineering. At the time, computer engineering was the best field in college and arts didn’t seem like a sustainable option in the long run.
“From there, I got to work in development companies and for the government. And yeah, it became a career before I knew it.”
“I still do a little bit of drawing and photography and stuff like that.”
What about code? Is that an art form?
“Maybe. System architecture could be like an art form but coding is a precise engineering task. There is definitely some similarity because you kinda get excited to see this well-beefed code and then crave to do something similar yourself.”
Finding work in Finland
Right now, Simon is finishing up his Master’s studies at the University of Eastern Finland. The university became familiar to Simon as a sponsor of Eritrean education tasked with developing an educational technology lab at the Eritrean Institute of Technology.
“We had almost two years of working together with the people from Finland and we also kept some contact after that. Making the move to Joensuu was ultimately a no-brainer. Once I was set on moving and all the college admission stuff was done, the next step was to find a job.”
Funnily enough, it may have been the artistic side of Simon that lead him to apply for a job at TX. In the middle of browsing LinkedIn and contacting companies, it was the company logo that grabbed his attention.
“I used to design logos as a side hustle. When I saw the TX logo, I found it really interesting. Simple, plain, not overly sophisticated. So, what does a company, with this type of logo exactly do? I had to find out and read things about Web3 and decentralized services that were mentioned on the site. I knew about blockchain and cryptos, but I didn’t have any information about designing or developing such things.”
Flexible combination of work and studies
This November marks an anniversary year for Simon and TX. Life was hectic in the beginning, requiring Simon to get accustomed to studying, working, and living in Finland. The flexibility of working weekends and late nights made the transition smoother in addition to remote working.
“Especially in my case, there were classes during the day and something you get a lot of assignments and school deadlines coming up and you might have to make trade-offs. Like working today, then assignments tomorrow, and back to work stuff on the weekends.”
However, it is the flexibility in the role itself that matters most.
“There is no exact definition of my role in DevOps. Others in the tech team and even the management have been quite open to letting me try new things if I find an interest in something. I also have the freedom to choose the technology I work with. So having this space and the generous amount of time to transition have been important to me.”
If everything goes as planned, Simon will soon be holding a graduation party from his Master’s studies. Depending on where his social circle transitions, we may be seeing Simon a bit more often face-to-face.
“Sooner or later Helsinki might be the ideal place to be. Maybe then I’ll come to the office once or twice a week. I’ve never really worked in an office so I don’t really know what to do there. Maybe I need to start getting up really early and wearing nice clothes. We’ll see.”
We are always on the lookout for good people to join our team. Our open positions are listed on the Careers page. If you don’t see an appropriate role but think you might be a good fit, you can also apply via the open application listing.
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