Over six years ago, Alessio joined the Mobiquity development team. He shares with us his interest in all things Mobile and how to utilise Mobile in a smart and secure way, bringing value and convenience to people's everyday lives.
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Alessio Roberto: I am Italian, born in a small town in North Italy and before moving here in Amsterdam I lived and worked almost eight years in Milan. I have a passion for photography. Ever since I was a child watching my father take pictures, I have loved it. For me, photography is my way to express myself and switch off from work. I started out creating mainly digital photography, then instant analogue photography using Polaroid cameras and I’m now delving into more analogue photography using 35mm cameras. Going back to the basics, without digital help, means it is a lot more complex, with more elements to consider before taking the picture, but this is what I like. You can view some of my work on my website and instagram page. Some of my pictures have even made it to exhibits in Italy and here in the Netherlands.
I first started to write code in middle school (‘93/’94). I had a desktop computer and an old book to write code in Q Basic and that is where my enthusiasm for development was ignited. I love being able to write code and create something, where you can actually see it working. As a child, I thought wow I can create my own computer games. It was amazing.
I started my working career in the automotive industry at Magneti Marelli/Ferrari, where I worked on writing code for hardware and was also sometimes involved in designing hardware for the car dashboard. I really enjoyed it here and learned a lot. However, when Apple presented the first iPhone I was very intrigued as the microcontroller used for that first iPhone was the commercial version of the industrial microcontroller I had worked with. Then, when they presented the tool for developing native applications I was even more curious. Shortly afterwards, I took a brave decision to step back from my automotive career and switch to working in the mobile industry and start building native apps.
In Italy, I worked as a freelancer, so after a while, I started to crave a better work-life balance and also some more adventure. I decided to look into what requirements were needed to work elsewhere in the EU. I had always wanted to go to Amsterdam specifically, as when I was young I had friends living there. Not long after I saw an opportunity at Mobiquity in Amsterdam and decided this was my chance to follow my dream. Six years on, I love it here. I have a better work balance and it is better for my personal life also, as myself and my wife spend much more time together now than before in Italy.
Why do I choose to stay at Mobiquity? Because I can continuously grow my career. I started out in 2015 as a Senior Developer and have since grown to become a Principal Mobile Developer, and I'm still growing so I’m excited about the future. The company is on a strong growth path which means changes happen internally with how we structure ourselves, but I really like that Mobiquity still keeps the same spirit, even with all the new hires and new roles. I like to say that Mobiquity not only sees the importance and value of adding a human touch to our work for clients, but they don’t forget about it internally either. At Mobiquity you are not just a number. Each employee is valued. There is great emphasis on ensuring you are happy in your role and you are growing in the way you want, not only from a professional point of view but also from a personal perspective. I feel a lot of ambition from my colleague. With each project, we always try to see how we can improve, and change our approach to get the most successful outcome for both our client and our team. We not only work hard but also make sure to take time to hang out and enjoy our time together, so there is a great balance of professionalism and fun.
As a Principal Mobile Engineer, I help to oversee the requirements and requests of the client and conduct a high-level check to see if in fact what is being asked is achievable. Part of this is to think about what the final product could look like in terms of which technology to use, what security needs to be implemented, what elements need to be included in the mobile application. In this sense, I work with both the client and internal team to set expectations and start creating the product roadmap.
I have worked on many big projects for Mobiquity including ila Bank, where we designed, developed and built a neobank from scratch. This was an exciting project as we were working with teams based worldwide and had to learn how to work in an efficient way remotely.
I also worked on the Princess Maxima app, where we were able to build something that really helps others. Princess Maxima is a specialised hospital for children’s oncology, with a mission to cure children with cancer and to provide them with the optimum quality of life. We designed and developed an interactive and visual digital support tool to guide families during the different treatment phases. We started small with a prototype and from there built an iPad application. I really enjoy working on healthcare projects in particular as the products you create aren't just something cool and new to the market, but actually something that is truly going to make a difference to people’s lives and well being.
I like to keep up to date with new technology that comes out, by studying, investigating and understanding if it is something useful for Mobiquity to consider when building future products. It's important to share knowledge not only with those in your team but also throughout different departments in the company so we can all learn from one another and continue to grow our skills and expertise.
Mobile is everywhere! I’m sure everyone reading my story right now, has a mobile device within reaching distance. We use these devices everyday for numerous tasks. Therefore, when involved in the development of applications it is important to envision; How can such applications help a person to live an easier, more convenient life? How can you help a client reach more customers? How in this digital world we live in where there is so much noise, can you help your client to reach their customer in a new way?
Nowadays, there are so many new types of mobile devices capable of utilising applications; such as tablets, smartwatches, and other smart appliances. There are also many features available; such as voice, widgets, machine learning, and AI, that can be integrated into your mobile application. With so many different options it is crucial that you start by first assessing the needs of your client, in order to determine the best and right fit solution.
Another key area to focus on when developing mobile applications is security. Security must always be on your radar especially when designing apps that interact or connect with financial, health, and personal data. It is great to have an app for every task, but you want to ensure that by using an app you are not sacrificing privacy. Sometimes this can impact the initial design and complexity of an application, but it just means you need to rethink an innovative way to overcome these problems to ensure maximum security and limited loss on design, function and feeling of the app.
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