Hicham Settah* has been working as a Software Engineer at MailStore since 1 January 2017. We asked him a couple of questions regarding his hiring and first impressions, the company culture, and the way we work at MailStore. Read on for his answers.
How did you find out about MailStore, and what was your impression of the application process?
“I found out about the position at MailStore’s Viersen location from a headhunter. I had already been looking for a suitable position close to my home, and it was important for me not to have to commute to one of the major cities in the Rhineland area. The application process was very professional. Moreover, I immediately got the feeling that MailStore was not only interested in my professional qualities, but also in me as a person. In particular, the standard trial day wasn’t set up to find out if my qualifications made me suitable for the position; instead, it was much more about finding out if I was a good fit for the existing team. At the same time, I got the chance to find out if I wanted to work together with my potential colleagues, and see if we got along well.”
What motivated you to accept the job offer from MailStore?
“Definitely the professional challenge the job involves. Here, I can develop new things and promote them with the team. Moreover, I was already impressed by the friendly atmosphere here during the interviews, and especially on the trial day at work. I’d call it a ‘getting to know you’ day. The mood at the workplace is far from an anonymous environment or a dog-eat-dog one. I immediately sensed that it’s important to approach each other as fellow people here, not just as fellow employees, and there isn’t a hierarchical mindset at all. Everyone communicates with everyone else; we all work together as a team, across departments, to achieve a common goal: the success of the company! MailStore emphasizes keeping our comfort and happiness levels as high as possible. We regularly order lunch together and eat in our newly built common room. We play FIFA on the X-Box, and whenever we’re feeling a bit worn out, we can just take a power nap on the couch or go out to get some fresh air at the Niers, a little river around the corner. All of that helps us perform better. And of course, drinks here are on the house.”
MailStore sees itself as an agile company. How does that translate into our everyday work, and did that influence your decision to come on board?
“Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with the waterfall model as well as with agile methods. Both styles have their purpose and their pros and cons. Personally, though, I greatly prefer agile software development, like we do it at MailStore. I think that’s a state-of-the-art approach. I also think it’s interesting that this agility is reflected in many other parts of the company. As a result, we were able to respond to the growth of the company, especially the increase in the number of employees, in a very quick and uncomplicated way. The offices were rebuilt to accommodate employees’ everyday work and needs, and to create larger spaces for rest and communal activities.”
Would you recommend MailStore as an employer?
If you could easily imagine yourself working in an environment like the one I described, you aren’t looking for an urban setting, and would prefer to commute to a more rural area for work without having to wait in traffic, then you’d absolutely love MailStore. In my experience, MailStore is a fair employer that makes an effort to ensure that I enjoy working, even when I’m under pressure from deadlines or when things get hectic.
*About Hicham Settah
Hicham is a father of three. He was born in 1978 in Morocco and lives with his wife and children in the Lower Rhine area between Mönchengladbach and Düsseldorf. He came to Germany as a secondary school student, earned his secondary school leaving qualification there, and then studied at TU Dortmund University and TH Köln. He holds a diploma in computer science. At MailStore, this Software Engineer and qualified scrum master is primarily addressing product development. He focuses on developing new and innovative software. Alongside his professional and family life, Hicham is also pursuing a degree in Philosophy through the University of Hagen, a distance teaching university.