Our Journeys to Sentiance

At Sentiance, we define ourselves as curious and open individuals, it’s part of our core values. Our colleagues are true examples of that curiosity and openness. They traveled from their home countries to explore a new opportunity and a new experience with Sentiance. 

The majority of our relocated employees have never visited Belgium, Canada, or Lithuania prior to their move. They put their trust in us, it’s a great opportunity, and our employees took a step in exploring what was out there for them. We appreciate their trust in us to help them adjust, explore, and try new experiences. We share knowledge, play games, and team up on projects. Although our schedule is very busy, we still find time to catch up with each other. Even when Covid-19 struck us worldwide, our team kept moving forward while building a new home for themselves. We asked our colleagues to share their stories, check out what they have to say!

From the Philippines to Lithuania

From the Philippines to Lithuania

Oliver-Chan

Name: Oliver

Position: Machine Learning Engineer

Journey to Sentiance: Originally from the Philippines and now living in Lithuania

 

Q: What attracted you to join Sentiance?

A: The interview process is formalized with a pre-screening call, which didn’t yet peak my interest until I received an email from our Belgium Office Manager inviting me to take a Technical Test. 

This is where I was star-struck. I thought to myself, the person who created this test put lots of thought into the process! If this is how people do things at Sentiance, I believe it is a company worth working for. I looked forward to meeting very experienced people. During my interviews, Belgium’s visa application process had a few changes. It would have been 6 months before I could move. So instead, I got the opportunity to work in the Lithuania office. At that time, I was still skeptical about relocating to Europe, as the western culture is very different from Asian culture. Afterwards, I talked with a family who lives in Europe, which eased me to the idea of moving. 

At one point, I spoke with my dad about the opportunity. “Hey, I’m planning to move to Lithuania.” My dad said, “Is that in Russia?” In general, I am not picky about places, as long as there is internet I am sold, so I accepted the offer.

 

Q: How was your move to your new home? – Any interesting stories to share?

A: There was no Lithuanian embassy in the Philippines, so I had to travel to Japan to attain my visa. The process is messy, but I pushed it through. 

On my first day, I met the Vilnius team. It was a good experience, a very open and friendly environment. Our Vilnius Office Manager was very accommodating to the point that she went apartment hunting with me. Because of the limited personal space in my Airbnb, I was willing to say yes to the first apartment we saw. Although I was not picky about the apartments, luckily, my Office Manager is. She did all the negotiating and made sure I got a nice new home.

 

Q: How is a typical day for you as a Machine Learning Engineer at Sentiance? 

A: Two hours of development in the early morning, mid-morning commence meeting with either Data Science or Data Engineer. I work with both areas to see what they are expecting. After that, continue by alternating between software engineering work, some R&D, continue discussions of upcoming pipelines with Data Scientists and working out how the data flows within the platform with Data Engineers. The development work is either building or training a model or doing something in data engineering such as setting up a new schema. So, start the morning by drinking coffee, energy drinks in the afternoon, and beers on Friday! *after work 😉

 

Q: About working at Sentiance, does it meet your expectations?

A: During the interviews, the test was well thought out, impactful. The expectations I was looking for were met. Sentiance has great, well-educated people, and there are lots to learn. I enjoy working with the Vilnius team. We still catch up by playing games or having virtual drinks while working remotely.

 

Q: Where do you see Sentiance is going in the coming years?

A: Sentiance gives me hope of what will happen in the future. Our management team is doing a good job at identifying what potential challenges we will face and what comes next. They are very transparent during our Town Hall Calls. And I can rely on the management team to pave the way.

 

From India to Belgium

From India to Belgium

Prakash

Name: Prakash

Position: Functional Lead of Fullstack Engineers

Journey to Sentiance: Originally from Bangalore, India, now residing in Belgium. 

 

Q: What were you doing before you joined Sentiance?

A: I was running my own application development firm for 8 years, together with my wife. We were planning to travel, so we decided to shut down the firm and we started looking for remote options.

 

Q: What attracted you to join Sentiance?

A: I was looking for jobs with remote working possibilities, allowing my wife and me to travel abroad. When I came across Sentiance’s job post, although the job didn’t match my requirements, I gave it a shot and applied. 

During the interview process, I met with David, the CTO. He reminded me so much of my mentor at a previous job. I was floored by Sentiance’s interview process, and I was really intrigued by what Sentiance has to offer. But I was not ready for relocation, as my wife and I were right in between travels.

 

Q: How long did it take for you to make the decision to move here? 

A: When I received the job offer, I had 4 days to think about it. At the same time, I received another offer that was offering remote work – everything I was looking to allow me to travel. I sat down with my wife to discuss the opportunities and thought about how it was going to work. Sentiance and relocation oddly felt right for us, so we jumped on the opportunity. We had no idea what Antwerp looked like. Fortunately, the HQ Office Manager shared her screen and showed us a map, walking through the street views of Antwerp.

 

Q: How was your first 3 months here? What surprised you most when you moved here?

A: As soon as we moved, we stayed in an Airbnb. It wasn’t in the best area, but this didn’t keep us down. 

We moved to Belgium during a very interesting time. After the first Covid-19 lockdown, we had some freedom to roam around the city. What surprised us the most, was the scarcity of people. Originally from a large city, Sundays in India is the day where you are always out and about. On our first Sunday in Belgium, we woke up, ready to start venturing the city and came to realize everything was closed! We learned in Belgium, Sunday is a day to spend with your family at home and enjoy meals together. 

With Covid-19 around and not going away anytime soon, the most interesting encounter was meeting our downstairs neighbor. He was once the tenant of our current home. The day we went to visit our new home, he took us out for drinks and showed us the neighborhood. As a total stranger, it was a very nice encounter to experience.

 

Q: How is a typical day for you as a Functional Lead of Fullstack Engineers at Sentiance? 

A: A typical day for me starts with pull requests, it’s roughly 20% of my day. Since we are working from home, there is more time to cook and try new cuisines. The rest of the time is meetings to talk about full-stack work required.

 

Q: What do you miss the most from your home country? 

A: We miss our family and friends but it’s not dire as they also like to travel. What we really miss is the noise, I genuinely miss sounds. The air should have sound in it, tough to explain but easy to experience. I keep my windows open and TV on to help create that white noise we once loved hearing in our hometown, but it’s definitely not the same. However, I am growing to like living in quieter spaces.

 

Q: Where do you see Sentiance is going in the coming years?

A: While it’s been a year and two months working at Sentiance and 6 months since we moved to Belgium, I feel that Sentiance is growing at an organic pace. Our culture is evolving, our work is growing. I think the next 2 or 3 years are essential for how the next 10 years will go.

 

From Russia to Canada

From Russia to Canada

Aleksei

Name: Aleksei

Position: Senior Mobile Engineer

Journey to Sentiance: Originally from Russia, now residing in Canada

 

Q: What attracted you to join Sentiance?

A: For a long time, I believed in technology that would evolve such as Machine Learning and Augmented Reality. When I first looked through the Sentiance website, I liked that Sentiance sees the importance of Machine Learning and how it can be implemented in people’s lives to do good. It’s not just gathering data to readjust, but to apply this knowledge to help companies and end-users. 

At first, my family was not fond of us moving to another country, but I assured them that this is going to be for good. For a long time, it has been my desire to try to live in a foreign country and try to understand if it is real that the grass is greener on the other side.

 

Q: How long did it take for you to make the decision to move here? And what did your family say?

A: It was different for me. My heart was already set in moving. It took me 2 years to convince my wife and we were able to attain our permanent residency before applying to Sentiance. 

I chose Canada because it has a very similar climate to Russia. They speak English and treat foreigners like locals. When the opportunity presented itself, I applied to Sentiance, and we jumped to our new life.

 

Q: How was your move to your new home?

A: While in Russia, my wife and I decided to look for a place before moving to Toronto. We had a friend’s real estate agent who virtually showed us many listings around the city. I found it odd that many places for rent in Toronto are without furniture. When you rent a flat in Russia, it’s common to have the place furnished.

When we first arrived at our new home, in September, it was an interesting experience. Canada restricted new arrivals to be in a self – quarantine for 2 weeks. During that time, we first tried to use the washing machine. We’ve never used a combined washer and dryer machine. For our first load of laundry, I accidentally put detergent into the dryer.

 

Q: How was your first 3 months here? What surprised you most when you moved here?

A: For the last few months, while living in Canada, my wife and I find it hard to integrate with everyday life given the current situation. It surprised me that there wasn’t a lot of snow as he was expecting – in Russia, there is a lot of snow. We wanted the full Canadian experience of Christmas. So for the first time, we decided to go to a farm and cut down our Christmas tree. On our way back home, we found out that Christmas trees are not permitted. So we had to sneak the tree into our apartment. 

It struck me that there were a lot of people who spoke Russian. At the Russian Embassy, I learned that there were over 250,000 people who speak Russian in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

 

Q: How is a typical day for you as a Senior Mobile Engineer?

A: It’s been 4 months since I started working at Sentiance. A typical day for me is developing core SDKs and integrations, such as maintenance, automation and testing. – It doesn’t sound too exciting but it is for me, I enjoy digging deeper into the integration. Soon I will be working on implementing Machine Learning models inside the Sentiance SDK intended to run directly on the smartphone.

 

Q: How is your 4-month experience working at Sentiance? 

A: So far, so good. I was amazed with the exceptional care I received, starting from a really smooth recruitment process. The people team helped me with booking flights despite the COVID Cancellations (third time’s the charm), to my onboarding. Our CEO, Toon, is open about the plans and things going on. We see where the company is going and it’s inspiring. 

I am happy to see that Sentiance treats everyone like family. It’s a different experience than my previous company in a large corporation. I like the flat organization, where we can easily speak with executive management. It’s a pleasant surprise to find that I am not the only Russian person working at Sentiance. I hope that the COVID situation will allow us to spend more time together with the team countrywide.

 

Sentiance future hires

A word to Sentiance future hires

An employee’s opinion holds high value in a company’s culture. From our leadership to our interns, each of us have curiosity, grit, openness with a touch of weirdness. We value our teams’ thoughts and it’s the driving force behind Sentiance’s success. We wanted to share a piece of advice to future hires: 

“If you’re someone who believes that you have the skills to do design and development at a high level, Sentiance is the place for you. To experience freedom where you can share your ideas. And they will actually listen to you and work with your ideas, without having to shout commands. You have the freedom to essentially explore your designs or ideas and try them out.

— Oliver

“Personally for me, everything felt good. And I believe that you will feel very similar. You might be skeptical of the company’s intentions. The reality is, Sentiance is a very ethical and special place. I suggest you talk with a few employees and I believe you will feel better about the decision.

— Prakash

“The first couple of weeks in a new company is very crucial. It’s a perfect time to meet and get to know your team and other members of the company. So, don’t be shy, ask questions, and interact. The sooner you get to good terms with your colleagues, the better.”

— Aleksei

 

Interested in joining us? 

Check out our latest job openings at https://www.sentiance.com/careers

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