“Sometimes I forget I am at work” – Meet Alex from Hotel Search Software Engineering

Alexander Kislev is a Software Engineer at trivago, who recently initiated a workshop to drive internal knowledge sharing while developing his own communication skills.

Life at trivago: Hi Alex! How are you?

Alexander Kislev: I am feeling pretty good actually!

Lat: You’re a very familiar face around the office, when did you start at trivago?

AK: I joined trivago almost a year ago. In January, I moved to Düsseldorf to join the Advertiser Matching team, in the Content pillar of Hotel Search.

“Working at trivago gives me a real sense of contribution to a great project, rather than being an insignificant cog in a corporate machine”

Lat: What first attracted you to a job at trivago?

AK: I heard about trivago from a friend, who was also looking for a new job at the time. In particular, I was attracted to the company culture, which was an important aspect for me. So I took a look at the job openings on the website and eventually applied.

Lat: How did you find the application process?

AK: The application process was very smooth and incredibly fast. I had my face-to-face interview in a couple of weeks after the initial application.

Workshop in full flow

Lat: And how are you finding things here? What has been the most eye opening or surprising thing so far in your trivago journey?

AK: I am enjoying it so much, where do I start!? Never before have I thought work could be so much fun. I really feel at home at trivago, so much I sometimes forget I am actually at work. Working at trivago gives me a real sense of contribution to a great project, rather than being an insignificant cog in a corporate machine.

Lat: Nice answer! and how are you settling in to Düsseldorf?

AK: I was positively surprised by reasonable rents in Düsseldorf. The public transport is also very good. For someone that likes traveling, it offers great connectivity: a number of airports nearby and fast train connections to Frankfurt, Paris and London.

Lat: So, I wanted to find out more about this workshop you are running. What is it about?

AK: It is actually a part of a bigger initiative, started by one of my co-workers, to promote knowledge sharing culture in the team. Initially, it consisted of weekly presentations on various topics of interest . Since many of colleagues come from a non-technical background, I though it might be useful for them to learn something about programming. The idea was met by a lot of enthusiasm and was quickly realised in a form of a weekly programming workshop. Together, we learn useful tools and techniques for everyday tasks. As for myself, I also learn a lot about communication.

Lat: When you say you learn a lot about communication, you are not a natural presenter?

AK: Definitely not, it’s not something you get to do a lot in my day-to-day work as an engineer. We give occasional review sessions and presentations, but I felt like I could use some more practice.

Lat: What kind of topics have you been touching on in recent weeks?

AK: We are focusing on scripting tools for automation of manual processes, which was the major drive behind the workshop. I am also trying to touch on general computer science concepts and breaking down complex topics so they are universally understandable.

Lat: And how does that tie in to your day-to-day work? What does an average day look like for Alexander?

AK: There are certainly crossover topics. Thanks to working in an agile environment, I get to spend most of my time focusing on software engineering tasks. Recently we’ve been putting a lot of effort in decentralisation of our infrastructure. Namely migrating to cloud services and moving away from centralised database storage towards data streaming.

Lat: Okay, last question: If you had to pick 3 words that describe your Life at trivago; what would they be?

AK: Constructive, engaging and friendly (if I am allowed three adjectives!)

Lat: I think we can allow that! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with me today Alex, and keep up the good work!

Florian Krushel

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