The guest today is Jakob Thornér, who works as a technical lead and developer here at Zooma. The purpose is to get to know him better. What does he do at Zooma, and what does he do when you don't work?
Jakob started to work at Zooma at the beginning of 2017. He brings solid experience and knowledge from various tech projects within both B2B and B2C business and has worked with .com, e-commerce, mobile and intranet solutions. Before joining Zooma, Jakob held a position as lead developer at Knowit and has 15+ years of experience in system development and architecture.
In our conversation, we talked about his role at Zooma, and what he does when he doesn't work. Listen to a sneak preview of this podcast episode below.
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AE: [00:00:00] Hi, and welcome to The Onlinification Pod, a podcast produced by Zooma. I'm Alex, your host. The guest today is Jakob Thornér, who works as a developer here at Zooma, and the purpose is really to get to know him better. What does he do at Zooma, and what does he do when you don't work? Well, listen to this episode and find out. Now it's time to roll the jingle.
AE: [00:00:34] Hello, Jakob.
JT: [00:00:35] Hello, Alex.
AE: [00:00:36] How are you?
JT: [00:00:37] I'm fine today. How are you?
AE: [00:00:39] Yeah, I'm good. I'm at the office.
JT: [00:00:42] Working from home?
AE: [00:00:43] Yeah, I'm in a pod at the office.
JT: [00:00:50] As we always are when we are in the office.
AE: [00:00:52] Exactly. So this episode is, the title is 'Get to know Jakob.' First, you can start explaining what you do at Zooma. What's your role?
JT: [00:01:00] Yeah, my role is called Tech Lead. What I do is I work with all kinds of clients and do all sorts of work. Actually, I do development both front-end and back-end development. I do like strategic work, like workshops or investigations for our clients, what kind of platforms they need or what kind of decisions they have to take regarding technical implementations and so on. So I help them advise them.
AE: [00:01:31] Yeah, I've been working closely with you for some clients, and I think that that really describes your role well. So how long have you been working at Zooma?
JT: [00:01:42] Soon six years. So quite some time now.
AE: [00:01:45] Yeah. What did you do before?
JT: [00:01:48] So I started my career in this kind of line of work many years back, like in 2008. And I started to work at what then was called Framfab.
AE: [00:01:59] And I, like many others that Zooma.
JT: [00:02:02] Yeah, exactly. And many others, I think in Sweden, it was a big player at that for a long time ago. And after a couple of years, five years or so, I changed, and I worked at 'Knowit' here in Gothenburg as well, 'Knowit Experience' as they are called now and worked primarily with the EpiServer development at that point. So then I changed to Zooma, where I have a more diverse role.
AE: [00:02:31] And here, you work also with EpiServer, now called Optimizely, right?
JT: [00:02:37] Yeah, exactly. That's one of the things I work with.
AE: [00:02:40] Yeah. And yeah, could you describe like a normal work week for you? What does it include?
JT: [00:02:50] What does it include? Yeah, it includes everything from a couple of internal meetings regarding project management, and so on that, we're dealing with usually a couple of external meetings with clients. It could be anything from statuses in projects or more strategic things or suggestions on ways to go forward. And then there is usually some development, and that changes a lot. Some weeks I do absolutely no development, and some weeks I do more. So it can be quite different.
AE: [00:03:27] So during these six years, could you mention one of your proudest accomplishments or something you really enjoyed a project or something you've been involved in?
JT: [00:03:40] When I started at Zooma, we actually started by doing a major dot-com project. So that was the very first thing that happened in the second week, and it was supposed to be done extremely quickly. So we started it in January, and it was supposed to launch, I think, in April, and we had a very, very good project manager at that time, and I think it was six or seven weeks in. She said, like, Jakob, you have to cover for me during this week because I'm going on vacation. And I was quite new at Zooma. I hadn't done much project management since before. It's definitely not in the line of work I do normally. So yeah, but it worked. It was very hectic, and yeah, but it was fun.
AE: [00:04:27] Did you launch within three months?
JT: [00:04:31] Yeah. We launched on time, yeah. So it was a good project overall.
AE: [00:04:34] So what do you do outside work when you're not working?
JT: [00:04:39] Yeah, I have two daughters, seven and nine years old, so they have a lot of activities. That takes a lot of time. I'm sort of coaching my eldest daughter's team, so there are practices and there are soccer cups on the weekends. Besides that, I like carpentry, so I do different projects around the house outside, not inside, but on the outside. So yeah, that's, I guess, my two major things that take most part of my time. I try to do some sports within myself. Also, I play some soccer when my body allows it.
AE: [00:05:19] Yeah. So if any of our listeners is a developer who is thinking about joining Zooma or applying for Zooma, why would you recommend a person to work at Zooma with development?
JT: [00:05:32] Yeah, I think for most people coming to Zooma and working as a developer, I think the biggest change probably, depending, of course, where we worked before, but that will be the variety of work of clients and also that we are quite a small team. You become quite quickly, quite independent and you have to take a lot of suggestions and responsibility yourself. But it's also very fun to do that. So in a lot of companies, you are more controlled maybe by someone who decides how you should develop and exactly how it should be like from a senior developer. But we work more individually than you take to make your own decisions. So yeah, I think that could be one of the biggest fun things working with Zooma.
AE: [00:06:18] And what skills do you think are needed?
JT: [00:06:21] I would guess like from any developer, you have to like problem-solving. That's a big part of how you should solve the problem. That's where you start. You're basically doing it in your head before you start coding. and, of course, communicating with your fellow teammates and also being able to communicate with people that are not in your same line of work. So as a developer, you have to work well with the designers and the project management and so on. Of course, there is not only a group of developers whom you can spend your whole time with, so that's, of course, important as well.
AE: [00:07:00] So yeah, I think that that's wrapping it up, getting to know you, Jakob better, and your role at Zooma. And is there anything else you would share with listeners, anything, it can be any tip, life tips?
JT: [00:07:21] Life tips, Yeah. Maybe try the sub. I did that this summer, and that was really, really fun.
AE: [00:07:30] What was that?
JT: [00:07:31] Stand up paddling.
AE: [00:07:32] Ah yeah.
JT: [00:07:34] Yeah. So maybe try and stand up paddling. That was a really fun experience, and it makes you feel a bit younger. So I recommend that.
AE: [00:07:43] I heard you went wakeboarding a couple of weeks ago.
JT: [00:07:48] Yeah, or at least I tried. I used to come up on the lake once, but. Yeah.
AE: [00:07:54] But would you prefer sub then?
JT: [00:07:57] It's much, much easier if you are a beginner, so. Absolutely. Yeah.
AE: [00:08:02] That's good. Yeah. A good tip for the listeners to take them with them. Yeah. Thank you very much for participating.
JT: [00:08:11] Yeah. Nice. See you. Take care.
AE: [00:08:14] Bye bye.
JT: [00:08:14] Bye bye.