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Interview with Michele Roberti - Etiqa's Full Stack Developer

April 4, 2024

Coming from Forlì-Cesena in Emilia-Romagna, Michele Roberti stands as a seasoned Full Stack Developer, currently igniting innovation at Etiqa.

With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the prestigious University of Bologna, Michele's journey into the realm of technology began early on. While pursuing his Master's degree, he wasted no time delving into the practicalities of the field, juggling academics with hands-on IT support roles.

His academic journey culminated in a thesis on security in distributed systems at ETH Zurich, showcasing his prowess in tackling complex technological challenges. Transitioning seamlessly into software development, Michele honed his skills primarily as a backend developer before finding his niche at Etiqa in 2022.

Today, Michele stands as a central figure within the company, spearheading innovative solutions and driving technological advancements forward.

In this interview, we delve into Michele's journey, his insights into the evolving landscape of technology, and his role as Etiqa's Full Stack Developer.

Can you describe your role at Etiqa and how it contributes to the company's objectives?

My role at Etiqa is multifaceted and dynamic. As a full-stack developer, I am deeply involved in collaborating with diverse development teams to conceptualize, design, and bring to life the software solutions that cater to our customers' evolving needs.

It's an exhilarating journey where I've had the opportunity to expand my skill set significantly, particularly delving into the intricacies of both frontend and backend development.

What sets Etiqa apart is its commitment to embracing innovative and cutting-edge technologies, providing me with a platform to tackle stimulating challenges head-on.

Through this experience, I've come to appreciate the paramount importance of crafting software solutions that not only meet but exceed industry standards in terms of quality and user experience. This emphasis on quality and usability has become ingrained in my approach, driving me to consistently strive for excellence in every project I undertake.

How do you prioritize and manage various internal projects within the company?

Prioritizing and managing internal projects at Etiqa begins with aligning goals with the company's vision.

We rely on Agile methodologies to plan and schedule tasks effectively, ensuring progress towards our objectives. Agile practices enable us to break down projects into manageable iterations, fostering adaptability and momentum. Open communication and collaboration are also vital, allowing us to leverage team expertise for innovative solutions. Ultimately, our approach combines strategic planning, agile methods, and teamwork to drive project success.

In what ways do you collaborate with other departments within Etiqa to ensure cohesive and effective technology consulting services?

Collaborating with different departments at Etiqa is a bit like being part of a symphony, and one of the standout collaborations I've had is with the QA team. It's been a real game-changer for me.

What makes working with QA so great is that we really dive deep into project requirements together. It's not just about ticking boxes; it's about truly understanding what needs to be done and why. So when we finally have a solution ready to go, we can be confident it's up to snuff.

But it's not just about checking things off the list and calling it a day. We're all about continuous improvement and pushing boundaries. The feedback and insights from the QA team aren't just afterthoughts; they're integral to shaping and refining our solutions every step of the way.

In a nutshell, collaborating with QA isn't just about getting the job done; it's about striving for excellence and ensuring we're always delivering our best work. It's a partnership that embodies teamwork, innovation, and a commitment to quality.

Can you give us an example of a successful technology strategy or solution you've helped implement for a client?

In a recent project, I had the opportunity to contribute to a successful technology solution for a client facing challenges with managing their monthly subscriptions, which involved recurring online payments.

Recognizing the need for a streamlined and secure solution, I took the initiative to propose the integration of Stripe, a powerful payment processing platform. Through in-depth exploration of Stripe's functionalities, I gained a strong understanding of its capabilities. This allowed me to create customized subscription flows that perfectly catered to the client's specific requirements.

The implementation of Stripe resulted in increased customer retention through a more convenient payment process and improved operational efficiency by streamlining subscription management. This project solidified my proficiency in Stripe and demonstrated my ability to identify and implement effective technology solutions that directly address client needs.

Can you also share some examples of how you ensure responsive design for multi-device compatibility in your projects?

Multi-device responsive design is something I have honed at Etiqa. When working with web development, it is very important to make sure that the user experience for a certain service is effective and functional for any type of device.

Nowadays, the number of devices that are connected to the Internet and therefore can access a web page is countless. The principle I refer to is mobile-first, which is to prioritize design for mobile devices before considering larger screens.

The focus is on optimizing the UX for smaller screens, considering limited space, touch interactions, and slower connection speeds.

After creating the mobile version, the design adapts to larger screens. A responsive website must also ensure equal access and usability for all users, including those with disabilities. It's important to make sure a web design includes keyboard accessibility, screen reader compatibility, color contrast, well-structured content, and accessible forms. By implementing accessibility best practices, we ensure that everyone can access, navigate, and interact with website content, promoting a positive and inclusive UX.

How do you stay updated with the latest technologies and trends in the field?

Staying ahead of the curve in technology is crucial, and I employ a comprehensive strategy to ensure I'm familiar with the latest trends and advancements.

First, I subscribe to newsletters and publications from leading tech companies, industry associations, and respected news outlets. These provide curated insights and analysis on emerging technologies and their potential impact. Additionally, I actively utilize online learning platforms to access courses and tutorials on new technologies and frameworks. This allows me to delve deeper into specific areas that pique my interest.

Furthermore, I participate in online communities and forums, and attend industry meetups to stay connected with other professionals. These interactions foster knowledge sharing, provide diverse perspectives, and spark discussions on the latest trends and challenges. Finally, I stay curious and actively seek out innovative projects and tools. Experimenting with new technologies firsthand helps solidify my understanding and identify potential applications in my work.

By leveraging this multi-pronged approach, I am able to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends, and continuously expand my knowledge and skillset.

Looking ahead, what trends do you foresee shaping the future of technology consultancy, and how is Etiqa adapting to these changes?

The future of technology consultancy is brimming with exciting possibilities. One prominent trend I see gaining momentum is the continued acceleration of cloud computing. As organizations strive for scalability and flexibility in their IT solutions, the demand for cloud-based expertise will soar. Etiqa can adapt by strengthening its cloud capabilities, offering services like cloud migration planning, infrastructure management, and security assessments.

Another transformative trend is the growing importance of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Businesses are increasingly leveraging these technologies to gain valuable insights from data, automate repetitive tasks, and optimize decision-making. To stay ahead of the curve, Etiqa could invest in building internal expertise in AI and ML, or partner with leading AI firms to offer these services to clients.

Furthermore, the consultancy landscape is likely to see a greater emphasis on niche specializations. As technology becomes ever more complex, clients will seek consultants with deep expertise in specific areas. Etiqa could foster this by encouraging its consultants to specialize in high-demand areas like Cybersecurity, Blockchain, or the Internet of Things (IoT).

Why do you enjoy working at Etiqa?

Etiqa fosters a truly enriching work environment where I thrive. I constantly encounter cutting-edge technologies, which fuels my passion for learning and allows me to experiment with fresh ideas.

The positive atmosphere and strong relationships with colleagues make it a joy to come to work and collaborate effectively.

Moreover, Etiqa's commitment to continuous growth and development provides me with opportunities to advance my skills and contribute meaningfully to the company's success.

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