Daniel Criado is our Software Engineer but also a futsal player of Rosario Central de Catalunya, which is competing in the 1st Catalan division, traveler and a food lover who improved his cooking skills during the lockdown. He is based in our Barcelona office and his previous job was also related to the travel tech sector.
“I was working at PASSNFLY, a startup providing automated check-in for online travel agencies. My main goal was to boost the automation process and reduce the costs of the full process,” mentioned Daniel. Previous to that, he worked as a freelancer in a large school called Escola del Treball de Barcelona, where he developed custom applications from scratch.
Hey Daniel, you joined Kiwi.com in September 2020 while already being in Barcelona, what do you love the most about this city?
I was born in Barcelona and I’ve spent my whole life living here. What bad could I say about Barcelona? It’s an amazing city for living, with excellent weather, extraordinary food and a lot of activities to do. The Mediterranean Sea is touching the city with a perfect temperature and amazing beaches around the Catalan coast. There are mountains close to the city as well, and if you drive around just 2 hours, you’ll arrive at huge mountains like the Pyrenees as well.
And what do you love most about Kiwi.com in Barcelona?
Our office in Barcelona is in a co-working space with a full floor for Kiwi.com people. It’s located in the Sant Antoni neighborhood which was renowned lately, close to the city center. I’ve been living in Barcelona for thirty years but, before joining Kiwi.com, I didn’t know this area much. What I really appreciate is that only allowed cars can drive in these streets so it makes it easy for us walkers to move around.
I enjoyed only one month in the office because since October we were asked to do home office due to Government restrictions. During this month I managed to have some good moments while working in the office and enjoying drinks at the rooftop after working hours… Also, I had the chance to meet our CEO Oliver and we played table soccer together!
Tell us a bit about your current role.
Due to the pandemic situation, there have been a lot of flight cancellations which translates to a lot of refunds to do. The Refund team, where I work as Software Engineer, became a really important piece in all this chaos. We’re working really hard to automate as much as possible to help our customers to get back their money, but we are not directly connected with the customers.
Our main challenge is that the microservice we develop communicates with several other microservices. We need to understand which kind of data is needed in order to get the correct data or to request other actions. Also, I like a lot one of our latest features we introduced for helping customers to get refunded immediately. The feature is about offering Kiwi.com credits, instead of the original payment method and the good thing here is that customers will get a bonus if they choose credits.
How did you end up being an engineer?
I think there are three main reasons. Firstly, since I was little I was very good in math and I liked it a lot. Secondly, I was really curious about computers and liked to play first computer games. And thirdly, and most importantly, when I was at high school I was really good at syntactic analysis of sentences. My class tutor was a technology teacher and due to my logical thinking to resolve syntactic analysis of sentences, he saw that I have a huge potential for studying IT. I trusted him and here I am.
Sometimes at this age people are lost and don’t know what to study. I was really lucky that this teacher guided me on what to do, and I am very grateful for that. Nowadays I consider myself the kind of person who likes to solve problems by finding the best solution. I like to work as an engineer because each development gives me the opportunity to learn something and feel satisfied once it’s solved.
How do you keep up with current trends in the IT industry?
I read mainly technical articles from top companies as I am curious to see how they solve their problems, and I also read articles from my LinkedIn connections. As a Python developer, I read Python news from the official web page as well so I can be up to date with the latest language features. Since I joined Kiwi.com, I also read what developers share in between each other on some Slack channels dedicated to devs. There are also books as well, now I have one pending book to read called Architecture Patterns with Python.
The best workplace for you is?
In a few words – the one where there is a really good environment. I’m really an optimistic person who believes that with good vibes and honesty you can get better performance because in this way you feel more confident and comfortable. If you always take care of how you express yourself, I think you can say everything in a positive way, even if it’s something unpleasant. Also, I’m the kind of person who always wants to improve, so having people around to learn from it’s very important for me as well. What I’m really missing these days is to work from the office to have a better working environment.
How is Kiwi.com helping you achieve this?
Before joining Kiwi.com, I was searching for a bigger company than the ones I worked with before because I wanted to learn and keep improving myself more and see how everything is managed. After my onboarding meeting, I was astonished because Kiwi.com was bigger than I even expected. And after my first six months, I can say it is what I was looking for. I have a really good atmosphere and connections with my team. I have already learned a lot and from them, I’m still learning every single day. I feel also that they really appreciate my contributions and I like a lot of technical off-topic meetings we have where we share knowledge.
How connected is the Barcelona office to Kiwi.com HQ from your point of view?
Because of the pandemic situation, I couldn’t do my onboarding in HQ of Kiwi.com but I’m really excited about visiting it when it would be possible. As mentioned before, our team needs to talk a lot to other teams, so we have constant communication with people working from HQ and I would say it’s fully connected. Also, we had some off-topic informal meetings where we can feel more connected even being so far away. I hope the situation will be better soon for everyone so we can be more connected by traveling.
And the last question for today, what is the single thing that you value the most in your life?
The ability to enjoy what I do. My opinion is that if there is no motivation to do something, just move out of it.