Employee Spotlight: Timur Bikbaev

by | Mar 7, 2024

DevOps Consultant Timur Bikbaev joined Expert Thinking’s Portugal division recently, working remotely from a little town in between bustling tech hub Lisbon and the beautiful seaside town of Cascais. We caught up with him to talk about the couple of weeks in his new role.

First off, how’s life as an expat in Portugal?

I moved to Portugal from Ukraine about 2 years ago. I was doing research into relocating to different countries in the EU, and then one of my friends recommended Portugal because of their expat tax offering. It’s a good country to live in, with great weather and a low cost of living.

Finding an apartment was a bit challenging, as there’s a lot of demand. Additionally, there’s the usual paperwork and hassle that comes with relocating and setting yourself up in a new country. I really had to get used to the typical Southern European “amanhã de manhã”-culture (“tomorrow, tomorrow”), but apart from that, everything’s great and I’ve settled in well!

What were your initial thoughts when you first joined Expert Thinking?

From the very first interview I had with Expert Thinking, I knew we were on the same page. I met a lot of different people during the interview process, all experts, and we got on well. I gained a good understanding of their way of working and mindset towards remote work and collaboration, which is precisely how I like to work as well. And when I joined, it was exactly like they described in the interviews. That’s why Expert Thinking is a perfect match for me. We really found each other!

How has your experience been collaborating with your team members?

I’m really excited about technology, and what they’re doing here. But most importantly, I value the teamwork. Within Expert Thinking there are several core teams working on a project. When I joined, I was assigned to one of those teams. There’s four of us in the team and the relationship with the others is really good. They’ve been of great help getting me up to speed and pushing me forward.

The Project Manager set up a meeting for me with the team leads of every core team on the project, so I had the opportunity to meet all of them and ask questions. Around what they’re doing, how they collaborate amongst each other and with the other teams, what’s the best way to go about things, etc. This was really helpful to get started and work together efficiently.

There are no communication issues, specifically because of their company culture. Everybody’s experienced in their field and is used to working remotely. The fact that all of us work fully remote is actually so much better than a hybrid model, for example. I’ve been working fully remote for almost 10 years now, and I’m used to it. It’s more productive, and you can deliver more. So when I started here, I knew I was in the right place.

Have you had any opportunities for learning or skill enhancement since joining?

I’m still learning new things, you know? I’ve been in tech for more than 20 years, and I thought I’d seen everything already, but coming here has been really interesting from a technical perspective. Expert Thinking have created and built a lot of great things, and I’m still learning how it all works.

The project I’m working on right now, for example, is for a big company and their infrastructure is huge. It’s a really complex and interesting project to work on. I’m familiar and experienced with all the tools that Expert Thinking use, but the way they use these tools is on another level. Take Terraform for example. I’ve worked with Terraform for a long time, but the way they use it here is like nothing I’ve seen before, because of the scale and the complexity of the infrastructure. There’s still a lot to learn, which is exciting!

What do you find most inspiring or motivating about working for Expert Thinking?

What I really like is the fact that we have a clear roadmap of where we’re going. I already know what we’ll be doing for the next 6 months, maybe even a year. Every single task is also perfectly designed. I don’t have any questions about what I need to do, and I can just crack on and deliver. No frustrations!

In your opinion, what makes Expert Thinking stand out in the industry or marketplace?

Expert Thinking are really at the forefront of every aspect of current tech trends. For example, they integrate AI into their work. It’s innovative and exciting. Everyone in the team is also very mature and experienced, so you’re surrounded by people you can learn from, bounce ideas off and create new solutions.

If you were to recommend Expert Thinking to someone seeking employment, what positive aspects would you highlight?

The most important thing for me is working with experienced people who have a similar mindset and are used to working remotely. Because that makes everything so much easier, and it means there are no frustrations. It’s all about working together as a team, understanding each other, and moving forward.

That’s why I really like working here, from the technology to the teamwork and collaborating remotely, it’s a great fit and I would recommend other technologists to look into Expert Thinking.

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