Curiosity is one of the main characteristics that Anisa Oshafi uses to describe herself. Working as a Backend Engineer at Belvo from Barcelona –and originally from Albania–, she enjoys the chance to continuously learn from others, the multidisciplinary nature of the team, and creating a positive impact with her day-to-day work.
In this first chapter of ‘Life at Belvo’, Anisa shares some of her favorite aspects about working at Belvo, her love for technology, and the importance of facing your fears.
Can you describe your role at Belvo?
I am a Backend Engineer working in the team responsible for building tools to help developers use Belvo in their solutions simply and smoothly.
What motivates you about your job?
What really motivates me is the positive impact it has on so many people’s lives.
In just about two years it’s unbelievable how the idea of helping financial innovators build the next generation of financial services took wings and came to life, already helping other companies build on top of it. The butterfly effect has turned Belvo into a source of energy for other enthusiastic people and companies that use our product to create other solutions. If that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is!
As employees, we spend around a third of our day working, and it’s important to make it fun and engaging. I believe finding meaning in our jobs is very important and correlated to engagement and happiness.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in technology?
When I was in high school I had no clear idea what I wanted to do. Of course, how can you expect 18-year-olds to know what they are going to do with their lives?
Actually, computers were not always my thing. When I was young I used to be scared of working with them. At secondary school, I’d see boys in my class play computer games, use the internet, or social media “faster” than me and I’d be scared that I was not able to do that. I just was not very familiar with that world at that time.
While during high school, in our computer classes we’d do fast typing exams, and I was not among the fastest keyword users. However, I decided to face the fear and anxiety that I got from computers and debunk my misconception: typing faster has nothing to do with being a computer engineer. In fact, I discovered that writing code is much slower than it might seem.
Movies and stereotypes confuse us and the reality is much different. But unless you try things, they look impossible from the outside.
With time, I learned more, gained more confidence, and learned how to like technology and even love it!
What do you like the most about working in technology?
One of my main characteristics as a person is curiosity. If I hear something new, I cannot be at peace until I discover what that means. I love how computing has empowered us with so many opportunities to learn just about anything and for free. Before I’d dig into magazines and encyclopedias to find out answers to my doubts. Now it’s just a matter of seconds and I get instant answers.
I have such deep respect for technology and how it improves our life for the better. I love technology that is at peace and does not compromise with the planet, nature, and sustainability.
And what about working as an engineer at Belvo?
I am a big fan of the tech stack. It is one of my favorite things about my job. We are always adding new tools and frameworks that help us have good quality code. We share that knowledge through Notion documentation or through engineering meetings where we communicate knowledge, lessons, Do-s, and Don’t-s.
I personally care a lot about the outcome of my actions. So I also feel lucky to work at a place that is honest and respects my personal principles.
How’s Belvo different from other companies?
One of the key aspects is the multidisciplinary nature of the company. If you like to work with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and mindsets, this is your place.
The technical skills you acquire are very comprehensive and diverse. In my personal journey this last year, I am surprised by the number of new things I’ve learned. I can thank part of that to my great colleagues that are always sharing their knowledge and helping.
I also love how beautiful international environments such as Belvo’s are. It makes me more open-minded, empathetic towards others, and it triggers my culture and curiosity.
Are you an office or remote person?
I personally spend a good portion of time working remotely, however, I never feel alone. I can always send a Slack message to my colleagues, and they always help me clarify my doubts; give me ideas on solving a problem; are open to having a virtual coffee with me, or even validate my plan to implement a new feature.
Now, we just got a new addition to our benefits package: the possibility of working from any of our Belvo offices every six months. This is such exciting news for so many of us! As some of us have never met in person yet, this gives us a very nice chance to meet the people we work with. Apart from that, we can take the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures from the other side of the continent.
I’m based in Barcelona and I am very much looking forward to my first visit to our offices in Mexico and Brazil.
What do you like about Belvo’s internal culture?
I really like the culture I found here and I wholeheartedly try to add to these values. We are all a team and a family with shared values.
I personally enjoy learning from others and feel accomplished when I can share with other belvoers what they might not know.
And here, everyone knows something that others might not know, and no one knows everything. This is a very simple fact, but we tend to forget sometimes. You can always ask, and someone will reply, even if it’s later if they’re busy at that specific moment. Also, part of the culture at Belvo is that “there are no stupid questions”. You can ask honest questions, whether that’s technical ones or company-related things.
I also really like the transparency about what is going on with other aspects of the company. During the all-hands meeting we share the most important highlights from the week, and it’s rewarding to hear the achievements, alongside the learnings.
There is an amazing vibe in the company, and everyone is equally important: we all respect each other’s work. We highlight the most important events, especially what went well and what didn’t. It is equally important to keep in mind positive things and be realistic that there is always so much space for improvement.
Finally, who’s someone that inspires you?
My mother is my superhero. She comes from a very humble background – a warrior, a person with a great heart and she has worked so hard all of her life and continues to do so and rise above. She has always helped me become a better version of myself, and I am grateful to her for her example.
Her name means “good luck” in Albanian and she is just that. My mom might not be successful in the mainstream definition of success. But with the trait of perseverance, (almost) anything is possible! We don’t need to be perfect, and really we shouldn’t seek perfection as that doesn’t exist.
To all invisible heroes, thank you for making our society better!
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