With the start of the new decade, we welcomed Alexander Hägele as a Software Engineering Intern to our Oslo office. Originally from Germany, Alex is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Computer Science at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. He joined us for a short-but-sweet 6-week internship, where he helped our team of engineers strengthen and extend the terrain and external data system, the backbone of the Spacemaker platform. Together with Alexander, we took a look back at his journey at Spacemaker and reflect on the time he spent with us in Oslo.
How did you hear of and get to know Spacemaker?
It all started last year in March, when I visited a career fair for Computer Science students at ETH Zürich. There, I was amazed to see a company from Norway flying down to Switzerland to recruit people and make a name for themselves. I had a really nice chat with Spacemaker’s developers and found quick interest; and ever since then, I never stopped following Spacemaker’s success. I knew that if I would ever look for a job opportunity, Spacemaker would be at the top of my list.
What made you decide to pursue an internship at Spacemaker?
First of all, I was totally blown away by the product and the idea behind it, something I had never seen before. The short introduction I was given at the job fair immediately made me believe how exciting it would be to help build such a revolutionary platform. I knew an internship at Spacemaker would give me a valuable experience. On the personal side, I was drawn to the adventure of living in Oslo and Scandinavia for a short period of time, a region I had previously never been to.
How was the process before (and during) your move to Norway?
The team at Spacemaker was helpful at every step of the process.
Starting with my interviews, which were all done via video calls, to finding a place to stay, to tax inquiries for the Norwegian government, I would always get the help and answers I needed. More importantly, I think that it was particularly easy to communicate with people across the entire organisation. This, in my opinion, is what sets Spacemaker apart from every other company I know.
What is it like to live in Oslo, Norway?
Oslo is a very multicultural city with a high quality of life and a lot of cool things to explore. One of my favourite places, for instance, was the Nobel Peace Center, which I would recommend everyone coming to (and living in) Oslo to visit. Albeit coming here at the beginning of this year, I unfortunately did not get to see the best of a Nordic winter so far. But nevertheless, I was able to try out cross-country-skiing just right outside Oslo — the most Norwegian thing ever!
And what is it like to work at Spacemaker? What are some of the highlights and challenges?
The atmosphere at Spacemaker, to me, is best described with two adjectives: open and fast-paced. I believe it is unique in a way that people are very free to decide and use what they perceive as best, not what someone has told them to. Automatically, this freedom, which is built on trust, leads to more responsibility. That means, you learn a lot in a short period of time but you also have to be hyper-aware. I personally think that is very exciting.
What are you left with after your internship at Spacemaker?
I definitely learned extremely valuable things — not only about software and technology. I discovered architecture and the way it is designed; I learned about the value of a healthy company culture; and also, I found out what good teamwork is made of. Clearly, I will never forget this experience. Looking back, I am still very thankful and humbled to have been given this opportunity.
Do you have any final take-aways that you would like to share?
I think the most important thing is to work hard, but never forget to be yourself. If there is one thing I have learnt coming to Spacemaker, then it is that the skills you have are just a small part of who you are as a person. What matters more is knowing yourself, what you want to achieve and being authentic. To me, that is the core of the Spacemaker family.