Adam Pantkowski, Poland
Adam Pantkowski was looking to expand his horizons when he came to Denmark to study 8 years ago. Today, Adam works as a Lead Android Developer at the digital insurer Undo, where he gets to live out his passion for coding while contributing to disrupt the insurance business for the benefit of the users.
Lead Android Developer@UNDO
"At the age of 17, during the pre-Facebook time, I was presented with an opportunity to spend a year abroad in the United States. Due to my rebellious nature back then, as well as curiosity and the desire to experience the unknown, I took that opportunity in a split second and attended an American high school in Kentucky. This time spent abroad opened my eyes to the magnitude of possibilities the world has to offer. I knew at this point that I wanted to achieve much more than what I believed was available for me back home. Influenced by my experiences from that time, in 2012 I sold my car and I moved to Spain for six months where I started to research different possibilities of studying abroad.”
Explore: What career opportunities are you looking for?
I was convinced by the affordable higher education and the low unemployment rate in an European tech hub city
“At the beginning, I was considering studying in London, however I've changed my direction after reading up about Denmark, and specifically Copenhagen. It's high scores in the life quality and happiness ranking, the low unemployment rate, along with the governmental aid for students and the fact that Copenhagen is considered a key technological hub in Europe seemed perfect for me. I've decided to apply to the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU) and got accepted in the summer of 2013. I packed my bags and I left for Denmark.”
The challenge in InsurTech is to build a reliable product for the difficult moments in life
“At Undo my official title is Lead Android Engineer. It means that I pave the technological way for the development of our android app while being responsible for it's well-being. When I joined Undo, we didn't have a single line of code written for the Android platform so I had to start the project myself, however we now have a bigger team. I’m now responsible for our tech stack, the architecture, feature specifications, and maintaining a high quality of code. Every day I am facing countless new challenges.”
“The insurance business also provides a specific set of challenges. The biggest one is to build a digital product that provides enough trust for people to choose it over the well-established options in the insurance market. People have high expectations, they need to be confident that if something unfortunate happens to them in their life, we will have their back. On my end, it means the app needs to be stable and robust but also that it should perform reliably.“
“We also have to build an app that is scalable while allowing quick changes here and there because in the startup world, if you are not evolving, then you are actually retrograding. My task is to build it in a way that is future-proof, meaning it needs to perform every day on a myriad of different Android phones, regardless of circumstances.”
The culture and society are very different from Poland
“Coming from Poland, I experienced quite a cultural shock when I arrived in Denmark. It was a totally different environment and a different culture. Even now, I still get surprised sometimes at how things are here. In work-related context it could be about the flat hierarchy within an organization or the interactions between work colleagues.”
“I find it amazing that the moment a foreigner joins a conversation, the Danes switch to speaking English, even when there's only one foreigner and several Danes. I think people may underestimate it's value as it helps to feel integrated into the circle and feel accepted. I think it's a rare event to experience outside of Denmark.”
“Even after all those years I've lived in Denmark, I think I still haven't gotten used to the weather, which can be difficult at times. I would advise everyone moving to Denmark to stock up on Vitamin D.”
Explore: FinTech in Denmark.