Libraryour peopleMeet Madis Pink: An interview with Veriff's Senior Developer Experience Engineer

Meet Madis Pink: An interview with Veriff's Senior Developer Experience Engineer

Madis Pink is a Senior Developer Experience Engineer at Veriff who joined the Veriff team back in July 2019 as an Android Engineer. Before that, he worked on various successful projects with many global tech companies such as Skype, Spotify, Fortumo, and more.

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Ucha Vekua
February 23, 2022
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Madis Pink joined the Veriff team in July 2019, as an Android engineer and now he is our Senior Developer Experience Engineer. He joined us to talk about his time at Veriff as well as how he spends his time outside of work.

Let’s talk about your professional life. Why did you choose to follow this career path?

My passion for engineering comes from an early age. I was seven years old when my family got the first computer. That machine really got my attention because it could connect to the internet and go online. In the late 90s while still at school, I started learning HTML. This was the time when the whole of Estonia was slowly coming online. So, as a kid, I could already make extra money by helping local businesses create their websites. 

Later, when I finished high school, I decided to study physics at university. I made this decision because I wanted to go for the most challenging faculty I could think of. But after one year, I realized that my real passion was Computer Science, so I switched to that. 

Tell us about your first engineering job experience. What’s the story behind that?

I had my first engineering job experience during my time in high school. It happened during the summer before my final year of school. The reason I got the job is connected to one of my biggest passions in life — playing the guitar. There was this really awesome guitar that I wanted to buy back then and the price was 7,000 Estonian Kroons (450 Euros today). Obviously, as a high school student, I couldn’t afford it. So I decided to find a job and buy the guitar that way. I knew that companies were actively looking for programmers at that time, so I started sending them cold emails and asking them if they could offer me a job. Some of those companies invited me to their office for interviews, and one of them offered me an internship. 

I did my internship for two months, and then I managed to buy the guitar. Finally, they offered me a full-time job, and I started working there during my university studies. 

You worked with many global tech companies after that, including Spotify. What were the biggest takeaways for you?

At first, I got really lucky to work Skype's Android app back in 2009, and it was great to have my first experience with such a large scale-up at that time. 

After that, Spotify was looking for Android Engineers. They reached out to me on LinkedIn and suggested I apply. I just decided to go through the hiring process to see what the interview stage would look like. I liked their hiring and interview process and, finally, I decided to join their company, so I moved to Stockholm. It was already quite a huge organization at that time. I learned a lot by working with them on various projects and product launches. After some time, I decided to bring all these experiences back to Estonia and come back home. 

How did you find your way to Veriff?

That’s an interesting story. When I left my job at Spotify, I decided to come back to Tartu. I enjoy living in a small city because it’s not very busy and you can walk around anywhere, which makes life more comfortable. In Tartu, I worked at ZeroTurnaround for three years, but sadly the team got disbanded. After that I was a bit in flux, I tried to work with many different initiatives as a contractor. Finally, I ended up joining a company working on developing a chat app called Fleep. I worked there for around a year, and then one of our key engineers was hired by Veriff. 

Veriff’s solution and way of working sounded interesting to me. The engineering team of Veriff approached me and offered me an engineering job. I already knew some people working there, so it was an easy decision for me to start my new journey.  

Which of Veriff’s values resonate with you the most?

For this question, I want to mention two of our values. The first one would be “we have each other’s backs” and the second one , “we are a force for good”. I think both of these values are an integral part of what we do at Veriff. For me, it is really important that people care about each other and the company as a whole. In my opinion, this is one of the main reasons why Veriff is successful. 

How does your everyday life look at Veriff?

I am a Developer Experience Engineer at Veriff. This means that I work with many different teams, and my mission is to make sure that every developer is happy here. I also monitor tools that we use in the company. My everyday work life is very diverse. That’s why I enjoy going to the office and meeting my colleagues there. Active communication helps to easily figure out what are the problems that we need to work on. Generally, I’m based in Tartu, and I work from here. But I also enjoy coming to the Tallinn office and talking to my colleagues there as well. 

Thanks for the answers! Let’s move on to the quick-fire questions now. 

Tell us about your hobbies

My biggest passion, alongside technology, is music. I enjoy playing the guitar in my free time, and I try to improve my skills in that area when I have an opportunity. I also try to learn more about the media production side of things and understand how sound design works. Other than that, I recently started learning more about 3D-Printing technology. It is interesting to understand how different controllers and motors work. 

What is a ‘must read’ book for you?

I have two answers to this question. Firstly, I am a huge science fiction fan, so I have read all of the Culture Series books from Iain M. Banks, and I really enjoyed reading them. If I had to point out one of them, I would say “Player of Games” was one of my favorites. From non-fiction books, I enjoyed reading “Coders at Work” by Peter Seibel, where he talks about the interviews he did with 15 highly accomplished programmers and breaks down the key takeaways.

What’s your favorite podcast?

I enjoy listening to the MindScape Podcast by Sean Carroll. He is a physicist, but he has many different guests joining the show to talk about science, society, and philosophy. 

Mac or PC?

For work, I use a Mac. But, I have both Windows PC and Linux PC at home. So, I wouldn’t say I like to take sides — some things are good for Mac, and some things are good for PCs.  

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be?

I think it would be something related to media production. For example, being a Sound Recording Engineer sounds very interesting to me. Other than that, I really enjoy the process of sharing my knowledge and teaching things to other people, so maybe I would also try that field, if not engineering.  

What would be your advice to anyone who wants to kickstart their career in the engineering field?

Don't overthink, and just start working on your ideas. People are usually scared to take the first step, but the key is to start building projects, and success will eventually come. Don't give up and keep digging into the topic. This attitude will help you reach your goals.