Thorleif Thorleifsson

Meet Jørgen - full stack developer

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

Thank you! I am 21 years old and live in a town called Fredrikstad, which is located 1 hour south-east of Oslo. I recently moved here just after the end of my graduation, and I am currently living with my family. Fredrikstad is also the town grew up, however, I moved away temporarily to study in 2016. I have a passion for creativity, systems, and the art of making an impact. Moreover, I thoroughly enjoy observing how computers process information, especially in an autonomous manner. Throughout the years, I have found that music is a medium that translates my creativity well; I have from an early stage in life admired and performed the art of composing music.

Up until university, I mainly had a generic and standard education through the Norwegian public school system. However, in high school, I chose subjects highly focused on science and computers. Furthermore, I spent a considerable amount of my spare time in high school programming math/physics tools and entertaining gadgets. After high school, I started studying programming at NTNU (The Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in 2016 at the age of 18. I fulfilled my BSc in programming at the beginning of June 2019 and then I started working at Maritime Optima.

What programming languages do you feel comfortable working with?

Languages are to be learned, and their use-cases vary. It is, therefore, more important to be comfortable with the requirement to use a language that fits the use-case given. That said, throughout my studies, I have been a heavy user of the NodeJS ecosystem due to its simplicity and speed of development. For front-end development, I have the most experience using React (and React-Native for mobile) and Express/Koa for backends. However, I do enjoy the MO tech stack, and I am looking forward to becoming more experienced with Go and its benefits.

What do you hope to achieve during the summer months in Maritime Optima?

I am really excited about the possibility Maritime Optima provided me to build an impactful and significant platform from scratch. A high-level hope of mine is that we are able to create a platform that affects its target audience in a positive manner and that I am able to witness the MVP we have created collectively. In regards to tasks, I am working with the module responsible for plotting the most optimal route from A to B. This task involves working with big data and distributed computing to create a visibility graph and perform pathfinding using the graph and relevant data (such as weather) that affect the optimality of possible routes.

There are so many digital maritime initiatives around and start-ups - what do you think is unique with Maritime Optima?

From a developer’s standpoint, the startup is interesting due to the technology stack; Kubernetes, machine learning, and distributed computing are highly attractive concepts that have advanced massively recently. Furthermore, as a small startup with employees that are passionate about the project, it is safe to say that the resulting positive environment sparks motivation in everyone engaged in the project. These factors are among the many that make Maritime Optima a great initiative.

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

There are multiple factors that I think contribute to a successful startup. First and foremost the execution of the idea, even though many argue that it is the idea that defines a startups ability to succeed; Google’s search engine was revolutionary not because of the idea (there were multiple search engines at the time), but Google’s excellent execution. For an idea to be executed well, a project needs a solid plan, inspiring leadership, and motivated employees. These factors lay the foundation for what is done in the company, such as product development, marketing, and the encouragement of investors.

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 able to execute a project to the best of its ability while building itself up using constructive feedback and shared knowledge in a positive manner. Programming revolves around using intelligence to create solutions, and it is, therefore, important for the team to contribute to a positive environment. If team members receive destructive feedback on solutions, they could perceive it as an insult, which in the long run might entail a bad work environment for the team.

It is also important for the team to have mutual respect regardless of the members’ background, skill and age. I personally enjoy working with people that are diverse, as it allows me to observe problems and solutions from new perspectives. First and foremost, an excelling team does not necessarily need rules to be successful; it is nice when a team works well together without any rules. However, I think that rules/norms may help push a team in the right direction.

Jørgen started as a summer intern during the summer of 2019, but his intern was extended into a full time employment contract. Today he is working full time as a full stack developer.

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