Paulo Rasteiro works at Kurtosys as our Data Solutions Manager. Currently in our London office, Paulo is a South African national who recently relocated from our sunny Cape Town office to the (less sunny) UK. We talk to Paulo about his experiences, and favourite landmarks, in both cities, his career path into the technology field, and how working culture differs between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
Paulo, would you be able to tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in technology?
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa to Portuguese parents. I’m the middle of three children, with an older brother and younger sister, and I’m currently married and have a three year old boy, Diego. I’m a pretty easygoing guy – I love my parties, going out with friends, sports, travelling and, most of all, good food.
Interestingly enough, I have never really been into technology, or computers for that fact. The first time I used a computer was after school – that’s when I decided to give the Information Technology field a try. I got an IT Diploma after three years studying at Wits Technikon and started working as a developer for a scanner software company in Johannesburg. After a couple of years, I decided to follow my travelling passion and move to London.
Initially I struggled to get a job, but after lots of “on-the-job studying” and taking “a few” chances, I eventually got my break working at IMG in Chiswick. Here, I developed and managed websites including Wimbledon and Manchester United for two years. I was then head hunted by Bank of Tokyo to re-develop their Human Resources IT systems and was given (what I’d call) the best title of my career: “Assistant Vice President for Human Resources”. I then moved back to Johannesburg to be with my family for a while, and started working for a consultant company called IQ Business Solutions as a developer / manager. Working with IQ for four years, I was then given the chance to work in Cape Town for a further year, which I snapped up, and relocated again with my family.
At this stage in my career, I was heading towards the data and BI field, and that is when I joined Kurtosys Systems. After a further year in Cape Town, it was time to go back again to London where I currently work in the Data Team as a Data Solutions Manager.
What drew you towards your profession and to Kurtosys? How did you get to where you are today?
I always believe in making your own luck, working hard and taking your chances. I would say that those three phrases have gotten me to where I currently am in my career. In terms of profession, I would say I have a logical mind and this allows me to systematically work through issues which is needed in IT. Kurtosys has given me the freedom to express this side of my personality and there are some really great mentors that I look forward to working with.
You’ve worked for Kurtosys in Cape Town and now London – what do you see as the main differences in the work and lifestyle cultures of the two countries?
Having worked in both countries, my initial reaction would be to say that the feeling in Cape Town is that of a younger office. By this I mean that the staff in London have worked together for a long time and understand and know the business well. The staff in Cape Town are very young and are still building this type of relationship, except for a few of the old heads. Both Cape Town and London offices enjoy a good laugh and are always up for a “friendly” game of football or squash.
As a South African national in London, what do you see as the main attractions of the place? Why did you choose to relocate here?
Besides possibly the worst weather in Europe, there is a certain buzz in London that is pretty hard to find in many other cities. The people have got a certain dry, sarcastic sense of humour which makes for interesting conversations. London is a great place to learn and, at the same time, it is a brilliant base to travel from. Also, my wife has family here, so I probably didn’t have a choice to go anywhere else…
Can you describe your current role at Kurtosys?
My current role at Kurtosys is Data Solutions Manager where I am involved in all aspects of data transformation and loading. We are in the process of updating our data loaders from Talend Open Studio to SQL Server Integration Services 2016. This is a massive project which incorporates multiple teams in the company. I have been managing the continuous integration and deployment process of the loaders, as well as trying to keep the team working to time schedules. It’s the first project of this kind for me, so it’s a great learning curve and I’m enjoying the interaction with all the members of the Data Team.
Quick fire round:
Braai or Biltong?
Braai all the way.
Favourite Cape Town landmark?
I have two: Lion’s Head, and the Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront.
Favourite London landmark?
It’s a bit cliché (and two again), but Tower Bridge and Big Ben.
Table Mountain or Premier League Table?
As impressive as Table Mountain is, football has always been my first passion, so I would have to go with Premier League Table.
Best thing about working at Kurtosys?
Meeting Elliot, obviously. Plus, the relaxed nature of the company!
Thank you Paulo.