The Netherlands is calling! Our teammates are on the move again for a new business trip with Daxx. How did it go? Check all the details down below!
Daxx business trips are in full swing. From January 26 to February 1, our teammates Anton Parkhomenko and Inna Zakharova had a business trip to the Netherlands. They paid a visit to Daxx’s client Carerix in Rotterdam. We asked guys to tell us about their trip and share their impressions. So let’s get started!
1. What is your job and how long have you been working at Daxx?
Anton: Lead Product Designer. 2,5 years
Inna: UX/UI Designer. 3 months.
2. Tell us a bit about the project and your current role.
Anton: Carerix is a Dutch company developing software for recruiting agencies. The target market is Western Europe. In the Netherlands and Belgium, they are one of the proven leaders in the field. Want to know how sophisticated the product is? Carerix’s clients have a full-time ‘Carerix Administrator’ position – whose role is to setup and support our system. My role is to come up with new digital products: from market research and identifying the user needs to the solution development and control during its implementation. Last year, we delivered a mobile app, now I’m working on a new version of the main tool.
Inna: I explore user experience and transform it into a new user interface. Our goal is to make a profound update to the product: its logic, features, UX, and UI.
3. You work on the international team. Do you face any difficulties in communication?
Anton: Our team is based in the Netherlands and Ukraine. Difficulties? I wouldn’t say so. Firstly, our mindset is not that different. Secondly, before hiring a person we look at how the candidate’s personality fits our team – it’s as important as hard skills. Thirdly, we always keep in touch so we got used to each other. In addition to this, our Dutch colleagues visit us in Kyiv at least each 3 months.
Inna: Yes, we are an international team but everyone has a good command of English. Direct communication with the client and regular business trips help us stay on the same page.
4. Tell us more about your business trip. How did you meet with the client? What interesting facts can you remember?
Anton: It was an urgent business trip and not planned in advance. We decided to go just a week before. We even booked a hotel 100 m from the office – not to waste time on commuting. It wasn’t an idle tourist trip. We had mountains of work to do. I conducted a workshop – to prioritise the scope of our future product and create a roadmap. The trip I had two months before was way more interesting. Quite an extensive user research trip with 15 interview sessions in 8 companies (Carerix’s clients) in the Netherlands and Belgium. It was exhausting but much more fun facts to remember. For example, one of the offices in Breda was located in Van Gogh’s uncle’s house, or we had lunch at the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven.
Inna: I enjoyed this business trip to the fullest. No bragging. The client’s office was within 5 minutes from our hotel so I could fully concentrate on the product. Our colleagues from the Netherlands were very open and friendly. When we met for the first time, I had a feeling that we’ve been knowing each other for years. The purpose of our visit was to prioritize new app functionality. I know it doesn’t sound like design stuff but it’s actually the point – the whole team got involved in developing a strategy. Such meetings help me understand the idea of starting point for the interface, its pitfalls and what kind of issues I need to start working on right away. As to interesting facts, there is no soup culture here. Locals eat sandwiches with a salad for lunch.
5. Did you visit the Netherlands before? What did you like most?
Anton: Yes. Nine or ten times, starting from 2015. So trips to the Netherlands is something I got used to. As to my faves, I think it would be better to share some of my observations and give a few tips.
- If you are taking the direct flight – take KLM, not UIA. Price is the same, they often operate the same plane, but the cabin baggage limit is 7kg UIA including laptop vs. 12kg KLM excluding laptop. If the plane will be a KLM-operated, you’ll get some food as a bonus. The wine is cheap and not that good (both white and red).
- Getting a local SIM card with a data plan makes sense only if you are visiting the city for 5 or more days – e.g. 7GB Lycamobile would cost you €15 euro. It’s exactly 5 days of my Kyivstar roaming. If you have a phone with an eSim support (e.g. iPhone 11), you can install any of eSim apps from the App Store, buy a data-only eSIM, use it for the Internet, while preserving your physical SIM for calls.
- If you’re going to use public transport, buy an OV-chipkaart (€7) once you arrive. It pays off on the second day – a single journey without it costs €2.90 compared to around €1.20 if you pay by OV-chipkaart.
- Except for tourist places, Dutch grocery stores won’t accept non-Dutch MasterCard and Visa cards – only local cards. Prepare some cash before doing grocery.
- Be ready to eat sandwiches every day. Lunch doesn’t take much time – it’s just a process of consuming some calories, which may be done along with random work mingling. No ‘pershe, druhe i kompot’ (for those who understand) – you grab your sandwich and go away.
I can tell a lot more, but most of the info you can find on the Internet, or better by visiting yourself. For example, by getting a job at Daxx where we have a lot of Dutch clients. And non-Dutch as well.
Inna: Yes, I visited the Netherlands as a tourist in the summer of 2018. A very modern and interactive Van Gogh Museum impressed me most. It’s definitely worth your attention.
6. What is a dream country on your bucket list of destinations?
Anton: I haven’t decided on a specific one, but the entire list is quite long. If we’re talking about Europe, it’s the UK (I still haven’t been there because of visa needed), and Iceland (which I wouldn’t call 100% Europe). But generally speaking, Europe is very similar country to country and boring, with just a little difference. If you’re anything like me – after having visited the first ten countries, you find the next one less and less interesting. What I’d prefer much more is Latin and South America, Asia (India, China, Korea, Japan, South West Asia), Australia, and New Zealand. Actually, my goal is to cover the entire list.
Inna: It’s the USA and Japan. The further the country is, the more appealing it looks for me. To live there for a while, explore the mindset of locals, experience everything firsthand – it’s what I love most about traveling.
7. What is your favorite book of all time?
Anton: I don’t have any preferred one. Now I’m reading ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s about robots taking over us. It’s really good, and the author is one of my favourite. I’ve read his ‘Sapiens’ and ‘Homo Deus’ before. Highly recommended!
Inna: The best book for me is the one I haven’t read yet. This intrigues me most. ‘Antifragility’ by Nassim Taleb (about chaos and instability) frequently comes to my mind, though. While being in the Netherlands, Anton and I spent a bunch of time in the local bookstore. Three hours flew by in a split second! There were piles of old books that looked like a piece of art. Literally! It was barely possible to pull my eyes away. Now I have new books on Bauhaus, architecture, and comics in my collection. I do love them!
Many thanks to our teammates for sharing memories about their bright trip!
You can also learn more about Daxx business trips here.