Thorleif Thorleifsson

Meet Jonas - software developer

Welcome to Maritime Optima Jonas Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thank you! I was born in 1991. I started working for Maritime Optima on the 1st of January 2020. I live in an apartment close to Majorstuen in Oslo. This is a very different environment compared to the one I grew up in. The first 16 years of my life I lived in a small fishing village, by the ocean west of Bergen. It is a quiet place far from the city life, where everyone knows each other.

What is your passion? What do you do in your spare time?

My primary passion is learning about all the different ways you can talk to a computer. In other words, computer languages. I am also interested in applying what I learn, when working with computers, to non-computer-areas of my life and vice versa.

I also have a passion for choir music. While living in Bergen I spent two years with the official male student choir at the University of Bergen - "Mannskoret Arme Riddere". I also spent two years with Ole Bull Chamber choir. In 2019 we traveled to Italy to compete in Arezzo International Choir Competition with choirs from all over Europe (plus one choir from Indonesia which won the entire competition!).

In my spare time, I enjoy doing activities like "not-sitting-at-a-desk" and "not-staring-at-screen", so if you want to hang out and do both of those things, I'm down!

Tell us a little bit about your background? Your education? What have you been doing before you joined Maritime Optima?

I did not start programming before I was 25. Up to that point, I had finished high-school, “Folkehøgskole” and the first half-year of two different engineering degrees - nothing related to programming. At 25, while I was working at a supermarket, I started attending a late-night programming course in Python at "Folkeuniversitet in Bergen". After the first lecture, I was hooked. A month later I had quit my job and started an internship at a local web startup where I spent the next 5 months. During this time, I decided to apply for a bachelors-degree at NTNU Gjøvik. I got in!  

Today I have completed the two first years of a bachelor in programming at NTNU in Gjøvik. After the first year, I spent the summer as an intern at the County Governor (Fylkesmannen) in Sogn and Fjordane (Now part of Vestland - RIP). After the second year, I spent the summer as an intern in Kongsberg working with Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace. The coming autumn I paused my education to start working full time at Kvalitetskontroll - a tech company with offices at Torsvikhøgda, a full 5 minute drive from where I grew up.  

1.5 years later I'm writing this as I'm starting a new adventure at Maritime Optima in Oslo. Programming has brought me back and forth across the country and I am excited to see where it will bring me in the future.

What programming languages do you feel comfortable working with both frontend and backend

When I choose which language, I want to use for my personal projects, I start with the problem and look at which languages solves the problem best, trying not to have any bias towards any language in particular. If the language solves my problem, well then I am comfortable with it - if not then I am not afraid to throw it away.

What do you think is the success criteria for a startup?

I think nobody knows before they try. Every startup is different. Some startups are answering a screaming demand for a new product, others are trying to create a product for customers that don't even know they want it yet.

Experience is valuable of course, but you also have to be prepared for what you don't know. You will probably find yourself in unexplored territory where nobody has ventured before. In this situation you have to be both fearless and at the same time have respect for the unknown. There is probably a good reason you are the first to enter the darker areas of the forest. There may be monsters lurking.

Can you describe what you mean by “a successful team” – and what is important for you to stay on a team?      

A successful team is a happy team. A happy team completes tasks. A team that completes tasks is successful. A successful team is a happy team... It's a virtuous cycle.

A successful team does everything to stay in this cycle. If the team is bleeding, it doesn't wait around and hope that someone else will come around patch everything it up. It will patch itself up. If a team member stumbles, the team will be quick to support the team member to prevent the member from crashing to the ground.

The team knows that it has to keep itself in the cycle to stay successful. It will be on alert for weak points and catch them early while they are cheap to fix. The team will create systems which are easy to maintain, and difficult to break. The successful team will take care of itself like it's a living organism, and it kind of is, because it exists of humans.

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