Who ya gonna call (when you have a question about your Nexonia account)? Why, none other than our exceptional Customer Support team, whose remarkable reflexes and friendly approach to customer interactions has resonated with the administrators and users we serve.
Who ya gonna call (when you have a question about your Nexonia account)? Why, none other than our exceptional Customer Support team, whose remarkable reflexes and friendly approach to customer interactions has resonated with the administrators and users we serve. These Nexonians work hard to problem-solve everything from quick account fixes to complex accounting software data exchanges, making them an efficient unit and an integral part of the Nexonia experience for our customers. As Lead of the Level 2 Support team, Vishnu Singh has been with Nexonia long enough (a solid two and a half years) to see just how quickly progress has been made with the evolution of Nexonia’s products. In an interview with Vishnu, he reveals what working on Nexonia’s Support team is like, how his role has evolved and what makes working at Nexonia so great.
JILL: Naturally the first thing I’m going to say is: tell us about yourself!VISHNU: I was born in London, England and moved from the UK to Canada when I was only 13 years old. I started high school in Toronto then completed post-secondary, and I’ve pretty much been a Torontonian ever since. I actually studied Journalism in University, which seems like a separation from what I’m currently doing now but there’s an element of customer service in journalism, just as much as there’s an inherent need to be a skillful storyteller in a Customer Support role. As a Support member at Nexonia, one facet of my job is to take large chunks of technical information (whether that be a feature request or a bug) and distill it into a cohesive and straightforward way for our customers to understand. At the end of the day, all that our customers want to know is whether their system or feature will function properly, so it’s up to me to relay important information in a way that makes sense to them and addresses their question directly.
JILL: It’s great that you’ve found a way to incorporate your communication studies into your daily work. So, how did you find your way to Nexonia?VISHNU: Right before I joined Nexonia, I was looking for new work and a friend I follow on Twitter pointed out that someone she followed was tweeting about an open position that sounded like something I’d be interested in. So I followed up with Mark, the Customer Support Manager at Nexonia (who had been tweeting about the job) and we chatted back and forth for a bit before I came in for an interview. That was two and a half years ago, and at that time I think I was employee number 28. The office was much smaller back then; there were only four people who worked in Customer Support (including myself) and we all took on both a support function and management of implementations for our customers. Our team has grown quite a bit since then!
JILL: How has your role changed from the time you started at Nexonia to now?VISHNU: The company has grown quite quickly in the past two years, and I’ve since moved into a different role. In order to scale our growth, what I worked on originally is now being handled between 3 different teams (Implementation, Support Level 1 & Support Level 2). Now, my job has become more focused on managing my team, following up with them and making sure they’re not being overloaded. My role as a Team Lead means that I have less tunnel vision; I’m not just thinking about myself and my own work, I’m able to see the bigger picture much better.
JILL: As a senior member of our Customer Support team, can you tell us what your day-to-day is like?VISHNU: The Customer Support team at Nexonia is broken down into two levels, and my team (Level 2) deals with the more complex questions that roll in. When support tickets do come in, they are evaluated and assigned to Level 1 or 2 immediately. Compared to other support agencies out there, ours has a very quick turnaround for responding to support tickets. We often have meetings with our product development teams, as well as representatives of the various accounting software solutions we integrate with, in order to better tackle these ticket queries. My team also handles any corporate credit card questions that customers might have. Generally, when things are going well I really don’t have too much direct contact with customers, but I’m the first point of contact if things need to be escalated. [caption id="attachment_18215" align="alignright" width="444"] Positive feedback from a Nexonia customer regarding working with Vishnu.[/caption]
JILL: Can you tell me about something you were really proud of while working at Nexonia?VISHNU: Even though the front end of Nexonia is easy to use, the product in the backend has a lot of moving parts, and depending on the customer’s account, it can be quite complex to set-up. My proudest moment involves helping to set-up a very complex customer account on my own. Once that account goes live and is running on its own, it’s like “I made that possible!” It’s a really good feeling, especially when you can make even a complex process very straightforward for a customer.
JILL: What appealed to you about working at Nexonia? What do you enjoy most about working here?VISHNU: First and foremost: the people here have created an amazing culture. These are people that I instantly connected with, and who I also enjoy hanging out with outside of work hours. I also find the growth and changes at Nexonia to be both exciting and challenging. It’s a great place to grow your career at because you’ve got a strong team who are all rolling up their sleeves to build better processes from the ground up.
JILL: When you’re not at work, what do you like to do?VISHNU: I used to spend my money on going to films, buying new records and trying new craft beer from independent breweries. Now, I’m spending my hard-earned money on diapers and other baby supplies! My son is now five months old, so my main hobby at the moment is being a dad. We plan on travelling to the UK in the Fall to do a bit of a “baby tour” with my extended family there.
JILL: And finally, besides Nexonia's mobile apps, what are some of your favourite apps that you use?VISHNU: At the moment I don’t really have a favourite app, especially considering I’ve been through four or five new phones in the span of the last year (a number of “butter fingers” incidents involving a jacuzzi, a lake and a concrete sidewalk)! I do, however, spend far too much time on Twitter (hey, it’s how I got this job) and my Instagram has become a collection of one of two things: beer or baby photos. Want to join this team? Nexonia is hiring! Visit our Careers page for more information on the opportunities available.Nexonia Employee Spotlight: Customer Support Team Lead Gallery
Who ya gonna call (when you have a question about your Nexonia account)? Why, none other than our exceptional Customer Support team, whose remarkable reflexes and friendly approach to customer interactions has resonated with the administrators and users we serve.
At Nexonia, we pride ourselves on creating unbeatable integrations that will constantly delight our customers, and our Implementation team is the powerhouse that supports us in reaching these goals. No matter if you are an Intacct, NetSuite, Quickbooks, Microsoft Dynamics GP (or any ERP) user, our Implementation team designs, creates and configures solutions for all of our customers that leave them feeling confident in their new system integration. While Implementation takes care of most of the back-end work, it’s time to shine some light on this talented team. I sat down with Emma Roe, one of our Senior Implementation Specialists, to learn how she has mastered the art of creating amazing integrations for our customers.
MADELEINE: First things first, tell me a little bit about yourself!EMMA: I was born and raised in Toronto and have lived here my whole life. I temporarily moved away for school to the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario where I studied Anthropology and earned my Bachelor's of Arts Degree. I originally started in a Science program during my first year, but chemistry really wasn’t my thing. I took an Anthropology class (and loved it!) so I switched my major and continued my degree with that line of study. I also earned a minor in French, but I don't get to practice it as much as I'd like to. After I graduated from university, I moved back to Toronto and I've lived here ever since.
MADELEINE: How has your career developed and led you to Nexonia?EMMA: Well most people who study anthropology obviously end up working at a software company doing implementation... or I guess that’s just me! When I finished school and came back to Toronto I had an assortment of odd jobs working at bakeshops and cafes, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. After doing that for a while I got a job working for a event production company who was working on a project for the CN tower’s tourism efforts. They created a handheld navigation guide where you could raise the device to the skyline and it would show you what exactly you were looking at, for example "This is the Royal Ontario Museum you're seeing out the window. And this is the Art Gallery of Ontario building." I supervised a team of people who were onsite selling the device and renting them to tourists. I had a one year contract with this company and when it ended the management team offered me a position as their Finance Administrator. At the time I didn't have any other positions lined up, so I thought, “...why not?" As the Finance Administrator, I was responsible for receiving our credit card statements in the mail and had to manually type out the statement details, search for the corresponding receipts, and code them each individually. I might have actually enjoyed the job a little more if we had a solution such as Nexonia. I also worked as a bank teller for a while but this still didn’t seem like the right role for me; I knew I wanted a job that was much more interactive. And it wasn’t too long after that I came to Nexonia! I actually had an interview here one year before I joined Nexonia’s Implementation team, for a Sales position. Turns out that I wasn't really interested in working in Sales per say but I was really interested in working at Nexonia. When another position for an Implementation Specialist opened up, I came in to interview again and thought, "Yes. This is going to be a perfect fit for me," and I’ve been here ever since!
MADELEINE: Did you know a lot about the FinTech industry before you decided to join it?EMMA: I’d say I’ve learned on the go for the most part. The companies that I’d worked for in the past had used outdated accounting software solutions that weren’t user friendly at all. Before I found out about Nexonia, I didn’t know very much about the SaaS world or financial technology.
MADELEINE: Sounds like you’ve had lots of experience working for many different types of companies. What sets Nexonia apart from them?EMMA: Honestly, I've never had a job before that I loved until I started at Nexonia. The support that I've had from my manager, the other people on my team and the other teams that I work with has been unparalleled at any other company. The people who work here make it such an incredible environment and the support, knowledge transfer and social occasions are the best I’ve experienced. The people here are truly amazing and it's very exciting to see the company grow so much in the time that I’ve been here.
MADELEINE: Implementation is one of the three major departments that fall under the Customer Success team. How would you explain to someone how Implementation interacts with the other two departments (Product Education and Support)?EMMA: Implementation is the first of the three teams that you’ll be interacting with when you become a new customer at Nexonia. As a new customer, you’ll see the Product Education team briefly during the demo stage, but once a customer goes through the sales process they come to the Implementation team next. Here, we are responsible for designing and configuring your account, as well as setting it all up. First, we meet with you to identify what you need from your solution. For example What are your business requirements and needs? What have your employees used for tracking their expenses or time in the past? What pain points can we alleviate for you with your unique configuration? We use these responses to calculate how we will design and configure Nexonia for you, as a new customer. As a new customer, once your account is configured to your liking, you’ll be transferred to our Product Education team to complete your team’s product training. When your Nexonia account is fully live, you’ll be introduced to our Support team. The Nexonia Support and Implementation teams work very closely together for a lot of knowledge sharing because we do many of the same configurations and set-ups. We are constantly helping each other out with little areas that we're stuck on, or areas that need a second set of eyes.
MADELEINE: Do you have a specific area that you specialize in as part of the Implementation team?EMMA: Yes, I usually take on accounts that are integrated with QuickBooks® Desktop, QuickBooks® Online, Microsoft Dynamics GP and many of our non-integrated or flat file customers.
MADELEINE: While I can imagine there's no typical day for you, what would you say a day in the life of an Implementation Specialist at Nexonia would be like?EMMA: I’d say a day in the life of a Nexonia Implementation Specialist would start off with our morning huddle. The whole Implementation team meets to discuss what we have going on during the day, and if there are any areas that we're stuck on so that we can all be aware if someone may need help with anything. Then, I might go into an admin training with a customer, which would involve a member of the Product Education Team to walk them through a day in the life of an Nexonia admin. I am involved in this part of the onboarding process incase there are any specific questions the customer has pertaining to their unique configuration. After the admin training call, I could potentially work on a custom layout with someone on my team, where we brainstorm ideas about how we can configure a custom layout for a customer. Following that, I might work on some upload files; this is when a customer would send us data that they want to have integrated into Nexonia, which I upload to their account. The rest of my day usually includes answering customer emails, ending the day with a credit card set-up call to integrate a customer’s business credit cards with their account. A few times a week, we also have a meeting with the Product Education team to see what we have coming down the pipeline; how many customers are coming in for demos, how many we’re expecting for admin trainings and which customers are scheduled to go live soon. This ensures that everyone’s prepared for the week ahead and we can plan accordingly.
MADELEINE: What would you say is your favorite part about your job?EMMA: I think my favorite part about my job is when I turn on a feature or a setting in an account, and someone gets excited and cheers on the other end of the phone, saying "No way! You can do that?!" And I’m happy to tell them, "Yes. Yes we can!" I love working with people and providing solutions for them that will make their lives a little bit easier.
MADELEINE: What's your favorite customer success story?EMMA: I've had a couple of really challenging implementations that I can think of where we've had to revamp their entire account and give them a couple of options to choose from. We’ll go back and forth a few times until we find the perfect configuration for them and the end result is that they’re really, really happy with it. A few months ago a customer emailed my boss directly, giving me praise for my hard work on creating the perfect configuration for her PO account. I spent a lot of time making sure I was meeting all of their unique needs and to hear such positive feedback really feels amazing.
MADELEINE: When you're not being an Implementation hero for Nexonia customers, what do you do in your spare time?EMMA: In my spare time I really enjoy going on bike rides, so I’m excited now that the weather’s starting to get so much nicer here in Toronto. I'm hoping to do a bike tour this summer; I really want to ride to Montreal to visit our development teams, which would be around six full days of biking. I'm also currently in the middle of planning a trip to Europe in June, which I'm really excited about. I'm going to Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris for two weeks. I also enjoy going out with friends to enjoy a pint of craft beer on the patio in the summer and I love going to see live music - there's always so much happening here in Toronto. And did I mention that I really like to put fun colors in my hair?
MADELEINE: And last but not least, what are some of your must-have mobile apps?EMMA: I have quite a few! I really like Pocket which allows users to save all of their favourite articles on one easy-to-access platform so they can access them anytime, on any device. When I’m on my way to work in the mornings I’ll check what I’ve saved on my Pocket app and can read articles on the subway (and anytime I’m offline). Another great app for commutes to work (or anytime) is Pocket Casts - when I'm not at work, I love listening to podcasts. Oh and RocketMan is amazing too, it tells you exactly when the next streetcar is coming so you don't have to stand outside and wait a long time before it comes. Instagram and Snapchat are also a few fun must-have apps too.Nexonia Employee Spotlight: Senior Implementation Specialist Gallery
At Nexonia, we pride ourselves on creating unbeatable integrations that will constantly delight our customers, and our Implementation team is the powerhouse that supports us in reaching these goals.
The Nexonia engineering team is the lifeblood of everything we do here; without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today with our high caliber web services, integrations and mobile apps. In recent months, the dev team has added 50 percent more team members, creating several new positions in an effort to scale progress and ensure that the high quality of Nexonia’s products are continuously delivered to our customers. As a lead developer on the web development team, Gontran Segue has been with Nexonia long enough to see just how quickly progress has been made with the evolution of Nexonia’s products. Here, Gontran reveals what working on Nexonia’s development team is like, his journey from Cameroon to Canada and how video games inspired his careerpath.
JILL: First of all, tell me about yourself!GONTRAN: I grew up in Douala, which is the economic capital and the largest city in Cameroon. I moved to Montreal in June 2012 and just over one year later I began my journey as an employee of Nexonia. I’ve worked for a wide variety of companies before eventually becoming a Nexonian: I was a consultant for a company that had a contract with some soccer clubs (such as Chelsea FC and New York City FC) building a platform where coaches could buy training courses. I was the lead on building the performance module, which allowed them to register all relevant information about the players and their training sessions and drills. I’ve also been part of a team that builds platforms that controls equipment remotely; I was the lead in developing distinct modules such as controlling battery cells, generators and producing live notifications. I first studied applied Mathematics at Douala University, in Cameroon. After that, I decided to pursue Informatics at Laval University in Quebec City, where I received my Bachelor of Applied Science degree in 2009. During my degree, I worked to develop a web portal for the Douala University; the goal was to add certain functionalities that would help university students access their records online, send SMS alerts to students and manage professor documentation. It was a project that I was very invested in, having been a student at Douala University myself!
JILL: Why did you decide to study Informatics in university? What about that program appealed to you?GONTRAN: I really enjoy video games and I’ve always loved trying to find solutions to a problem or discover a hidden component. Video games are the perfect for platform for this. Zelda and Mario Kart (the Super NES version, of course) were my passions. In a competition, I was able to play Street Fighter in an arcade with one hand! For a traditional gamer, occasionally you have to open up your physical controllers to clean them. When I would do this, I was fascinated with the mechanics of it; I wanted to understand why, when you click on a button, it creates an action or series of actions on the screen, depending on what buttons you press. After high school, I realized that Informatics was the field of study that could help me understand how the video games I loved so much were made.
JILL: What did you know about the technology industry before you decided to pursue a career in it?GONTRAN: I actually didn’t know too much about the technology industry before I went to school. I thought that everything was a video game! After getting more familiar with the industry, I discovered that there are two major parts: the software and the hardware. I fell in love with the “soft” one! And the interest continued to grow when I began to get more and more answers to all of my burning questions about the mechanics I was studying. When I started participating in some key projects like the University of Douala portal, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to building tools that would help people in their day-to-day work.
JILL: You’ve been working at Nexonia now since 2013. What interested you originally about working here?GONTRAN: I’d honestly have to say that what really inspired me initially was the way Pascal (Nexonia’s CTO) explained all of the architecture and how all things fit together. During your journey of becoming truly great at your work, you need to have a proven expert to mentor you. I knew after our first meeting that under Pascal’s leadership, I would master many things with his guidance. I could also sense from Day One that I would have the opportunity to take on a variety of daily new challenges and could participate in the construction of a global product.
JILL: What does your role at Nexonia involve?GONTRAN: My role has changed quite a bit over the last three years, and it continues to do so. When I first joined Nexonia, I spent a lot of time learning how everything works and fits together; now I am leading a team of developers and working with them to carve various paths that we can all follow. As part of my role as Lead Developer, my job is to provide the relevant development tools for the developers on my team. I am responsible for the code being developed by the web/server developers, I manage the quality of the code, oversee technical tasks required for different projects and I conduct code reviews with the developers within the web/server team. I also lead the technical best practices and principles, and make sure all of us are on the same page.
JILL: What appealed to you about working at Nexonia? What do you enjoy most about working here?GONTRAN: We have a particular way of all working together as a team that I enjoy and it’s a really fun place to work. I am continuously being challenged in a good way and I’m working with people who work hard and are great at what they do, but that can also have a laugh when it’s the right time and place for it. All team members pitch in and help out when it is time to pool our resources and make something work, or generate a strong architecture for our platform.
JILL: What’s it like developing code at Nexonia, compared to other places?GONTRAN: As a developer you want a place where you can share your ideas, where your potential can be used and you can receive knowledge every day. It’s also important to be at a company where you can have the opportunity to improve things, be innovative and where your hard work can be used by many people around the world, making their day-to-day work easier. Working at Nexonia lets me achieve all of this.
JILL: When you’re not at work, what do you like to do?GONTRAN: When I’m not coding, I like to sing along to the music I’m listening to (anything from The Rasmus to The Weeknd to Linkin Park). I’m becoming a pretty good reader with non-technology books. I also do spinning once a week, which is great because it gives me a few moments to completely unplug!
JILL: And finally, besides Nexonia's mobile apps, what are some of your favourite apps that you use?GONTRAN: Gallery
The Nexonia engineering team is the lifeblood of everything we do here; without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today with our high caliber web services, integrations and mobile apps.
At Nexonia, we are in the business of delighting customers and ensuring that our unbeatable integrations are easy for you to navigate. This is where our Product Education Team steps up to the plate, ensuring that every customer is confident in using their Nexonia products and services. When it comes to the Product Education team: no question goes unanswered! With almost zero turnover since our company started selling products in 2004, this is largely due to the hard work and dedication from this energetic team. Leading this talented group of Product Education Specialists is Jason Carlin, Nexonia’s Product Education Manager, and a veteran of the company. In between calls on a busy afternoon (which is every afternoon for someone on the Product Education Team!), I had the opportunity to sit with Jason and pick his brain about Nexonia, his role and his life outside of work:
MADELEINE: Let’s start at the top: tell me about yourself and your role at Nexonia!JASON: I manage Nexonia’s Product Education Team, which is a customer-facing department that delivers product demonstrations for prospective customers. We learn what their problems and pain points are, what challenges they face and then we show them how Nexonia solutions can solve these issues. We also deliver all the training efforts for our customers; from planning the training, to the content, to the delivery – we cover it all.
MADELEINE: What was your role like on Day 1 versus now, and how has your career at Nexonia evolved over time?JASON: I started with Nexonia almost two years ago, in March 2014. My first role was as a product trainer, and I was only the second trainer we had at that point in time. I quickly became the go-to person for most of our product demonstrations and training sessions company-wide. We have developed our team since then; presently there are four of us including myself and we're definitely looking to expand. My career with Nexonia is constantly developing and evolving. Before starting here I had a lot of different job experiences, and many of these positions were at companies with thick organizational “red tape”. Responsibilities, policies and procedures were already set in stone. Whereas here at Nexonia, it’s a rise-to-the-occasion type of position. This hands-on, take action mentality was really exciting because it has allowed me to identify areas where we need to start doing something or try something differently, and immediately deliver on these needs. I would say the best word to describe the evolution of my career at Nexonia is organic – it’s been very empowering.
MADELEINE: I imagine there is no "typical day" for you, but generally what would a day in the life of a Product Education team member involve?
JASON: During a typical day, I could be doing six one-hour sessions at any given time, so it’s safe to say that 80% of our days are usually spent on calls with customers or prospective customers, identifying their needs and presenting solutions to them.
MADELEINE: What do you enjoy the most about your role as Product Education Manager?JASON: I really enjoy receiving feedback from customers about how our solutions have affected them and made their lives easier. When we deliver the product to the customer and can hear them be “wowed” by it, it’s confirmation of a job well done. It’s fantastic hearing the relief in their voice, and them telling us, "Oh, we don't have to stay the way we are? This can actually make our jobs a lot easier!" We’ve even heard cheers in the background of a training session or demo every so often. Another great instance is when we hear from someone who's been in finance for ages, having to use Excel spreadsheets to manually key things in. Within five minutes of showing them how our products work, we can literally hear gasping on the call, which is pretty awesome.
MADELEINE: What, in your opinion, are some of the best aspects about working at Nexonia? What would you say differentiates Nexonia the most from other companies you’ve worked for?JASON: I would say that one of the best aspects about working at Nexonia is accessibility. You can approach anyone, managers or team members in Toronto or Montreal, and ask for their advice or opinion at any given time. Another great aspect about working here is that everyone’s very engaged, and we are all working towards the same goal – to delight our customers and help build an amazing company. The best part is that the company is open to new ideas and new processes, and that we're not locked into a static, set way of doing things. At most companies, people don’t question why certain policies, procedures and goals are in place. Here, we are always asking, “Why are we doing this? What can we do better?” We're constantly evolving and growing.
MADELEINE: When you're not working at Nexonia, what are you up to?JASON: I wear a few different hats. In addition to working at Nexonia, I'm also a part-time instructor at George Brown College’s School of Continuing Education. I teach an introductory course to social media marketing, giving students the foundational tools to navigate the social media world. Other than that, in my quiet time I can often be found singing karaoke on a regular basis with friends.
MADELEINE: What is your go-to karaoke song?JASON: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen is definitely my go-to.
MADELEINE: What karaoke song best describes Nexonia (or) working on the Product Education team?JASON: That’s a good question, I’d have to think about that a little bit. “With a Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles would probably be the most fitting.
MADELEINE: And finally, besides Nexonia's mobile apps, what are some of your favourite apps that you use?JASON: I use OpenTable quite frequently which is a restaurant reservation app. Restaurants use it as their booking system, and for the user you can indicate how big your group will be, what time you are looking for, and it will generate restaurant suggestions, ratings, and menus for you. I also regularly use Instagram, Facebook, Uber, and GameTime to get tickets for Blue Jays games. Aside from that, Downcast is a great app for listening to podcasts, which I frequently do in my downtime and on my commutes. Nexonia Employee Spotlight: Product Education Manager Gallery
At Nexonia, we are in the business of delighting customers and ensuring that our unbeatable integrations are easy for you to navigate. This is where our Product Education Team steps up to the plate, ensuring that every customer is confident in using their Nexonia products and services.
Nexonia’s mobile team is a well-oiled machine, consistently being challenged to develop refined versions of Nexonia’s Expenses and Timesheets apps, on top of seeking new mobile opportunities. When the Apple App Store opened its doors on July 10th, 2008, Nexonia Expenses was one of only 552 apps immediately available for download. Now, the five-star Nexonia Expenses app is among 1.5 million apps offered on the iTunes App Store, continuing to provide users with an efficient portal for expense report creation, submission and approvals. Using feedback from our regular customer surveys, the mobile team works hard to build great software that directly addresses the suggestions provided by our mobile users. While on a recent visit the Nexonia Montreal office (which will soon be at a newly-renovated 14,000 square foot office in the downtown location of Square Victoria) I sat down for lunch with Nexonia’s Senior Mobile Development Manager, Ioana Negrean, to discuss her career in mobile development and her insights for the industry at large.
JILL: First of all, tell us about yourself!IOANA: I was born and raised in a small town in the region of Transylvania, Romania. Many people hear the word “Transylvania” and think Dracula, but it’s also well-known for its medieval towns and mountainous borders and castles, which are quite beautiful. For university studies, I moved to Cluj-Napoca, a Transylvanian city with many universities and a big focus on IT. Even during the early years of my studies, I began thinking about moving to Canada. I suppose I fell in love with this country’s culture, diversity and amazing landscapes that I was eager to explore. I moved to Canada in February 2010 and just a few months later, I started to work for Nexonia.
JILL: What did you know about the technology industry before you decided to pursue a career in it?IOANA: When I was 7 years old, most kids were dreaming of becoming doctors and police officers. Instead, my dream was to become a software developer! As far as I remember, my knowledge about the tech industry back then was that, if you are a person with good logic and math skills, you can do amazing things with a few keystrokes. When I was young, I used to go to an IT club for children, where I discovered that it takes only a few lines of code on a HC 90 to make a teddy bear and an antenna drawing appear on the screen. It was amazing for me as a kid. I still cherish that wonderful memory.
JILL: Why did you decide to study Computer Science in university? What about that program appealed to you?IOANA: After a brief introduction to Computer Science in my early education, I followed an IT program in high school. I’m passionate about problem-solving, so after learning the basics of programming, data structures and algorithms, I became even more curious and felt compelled to dig deeper into this line of work.
JILL: Why did you pursue mobile development over other aspects of Computer Science?IOANA: It was definitely not a linear decision. I began by developing desktop applications, migrated towards building security software for USB flash drives and then started work on mobile applications. Out of the three, mobile development made me feel more complete because I could combine my knowledge of software development with my passion for UI and UX, resulting in applications you literally hold in your hand. Knowing that Nexonia’s mobile products are in the hands many of our customers and that our apps are making their lives a little easier, feels amazing.
JILL: Less than 30% of people working in tech in America are women, and the numbers are similar in Canada. Why do you think there are generally less women working in tech?IOANA: Did you know that the first person to ever write an algorithm (which was intended to be implemented by a machine) was a woman, Ada Lovelace? She is commonly considered to be the world’s first computer programmer, and was a brilliant mathematician. Considering her work was published in the height of the Victorian age, she was definitely ahead of her time. It’s hard for me to speculate why the statistics currently look that way, but these numbers should not discourage anyone pursuing a career in IT. If something seems difficult, learn as much as you can, show everyone that you can do it and that you can do it well. This is a challenge for anyone, regardless of gender! We can encourage more women to pursue careers in tech by stimulating their interest and curiosity in this industry from an early age, and by making them aware of the great achievements, personal satisfactions and perks that come along with it.
JILL: What would you say to people who are considering a career in technology?IOANA: I’m always excited when I hear that someone is passionate about technology and decides to follow a career in this field. My advice would probably be to follow their dreams, be confident, remain true to their values and never stop learning new things.
JILL: What appealed to you about working at Nexonia? What do you enjoy most about working here?IOANA: The company’s culture and strong leaders were certainly a factors in my decision to join Nexonia. The cofounders’ passion for technology, for always doing everything the best way and producing good quality software while exceeding customers’ expectations are inspiring traits to have, and I can see these values in all of my colleagues. Every day, I have the chance to work with fun and skilful people in what I would consider the perfect environment for developing my skills, where the leaders are open to new ideas and new perspectives. I often say Nexonia is a company with a heart, there’s a human element to everything we do here, and management truly cares about its employees.
JILL: And finally, besides Nexonia's mobile apps, what are some of your favourite apps that you use?IOANA: I love to try new apps as often as I can. Some of my favourites would be: Gallery
Nexonia’s mobile team is a well-oiled machine, consistently being challenged to develop refined versions of Nexonia’s Expenses and Timesheets apps, on top of seeking new mobile opportunities. When the Apple App Store opened its doors on July 10th, 2008, Nexonia Expenses was one of only 552 apps immediately available for download.