Q & A with Christian Borresen, Lead Full Stack Engineer

Q & A with Christian Borresen, Lead Full Stack Engineer

We sat down with Christian Borresen, one of our Lead Full Stack Engineers, to find out what his day-to-day life looks like, what significant milestones he has had at Vortexa, and what he really thinks of our company culture…

30 September, 2022
Jessica Irvin
Jessica Irvin, Head of Operations & People
Before I was a software engineer, I spent 5 years as an engineer in the shipping industry. In fact, I was working for one of the companies whose vessels we track, Teekay! When I transitioned into software engineering, I always wanted to find a place where I could use my experience (and fondness) for shipping together with building software. That place was Vortexa, and I’ve been here for 4 years now.
Fun fact: I recently crossed the pacific in a 36-foot sailboat with two friends, sailing from Chile to French Polynesia. We went 37 days, and 4000 nm without seeing land.
We wanted to find out what inspired Christian to join Vortexa, what some of his biggest milestones have been to date and what day-to-day life really looks like for the Lead Engineer…

What inspired you to join Vortexa? 

When I found out about Vortexa, which combines cutting-edge software engineering with shipping analytics, I knew I had to join.

What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your role? 

The most interesting aspect of my role is the complexity of the problems we’re trying to solve, and that we’re turning data into intelligence.

What have been some significant milestone moments for you at Vortexa?

Finishing an interesting project always feels like a milestone. Such as the Onshore Inventories project where we track the contents of land-based storage tanks through satellite imagery. Seeing it in use by our customers is a gratifying experience. However, I think perhaps the most significant milestone was when I saw that my team was coming together.

The Vortexa culture is highly collaborative, friendly, and we expect a lot from each other.

What does day-to-day life look like for you as the Lead Engineer?  

On an average day, coffee in hand, I’ll start by getting up to speed with anything that has been going on in Slack etc. I’ll then set aside a bit of time to study some of the technologies we’re using, or could consider using. There’s a difference between learning-by-doing and purposeful studies, and I like a nice mix of both. I’ll make sure that tickets are updated before I start the morning stand-up with my team. We try to avoid unnecessary meetings as much as possible, so the productive portion of the day is spent on planning work, writing code, collaborating with my team, reviewing production releases etc. Every once in a while, we’ll be working on a cross-team project, so we try to keep communication open either through Slack or the occasional meeting where we discuss solutions.

What key qualities make a Lead Engineer successful? 

I believe the quality of the team is a lot more important than the output of an individual. This often means the lead must sacrifice some of his or her time and output to help the team members. It can be painful, but I strongly believe that the team overall will recoup the cost as the team grows stronger. It can be summed up in a simple concept; the lead works for the team, not the other way around.

How would you describe the culture at Vortexa? 

The Vortexa culture is highly collaborative, friendly, and we expect a lot from each other. We’re all motivated to achieve the same thing.

What advice would you give to people hoping to join Vortexa? 

We’re working on hard problems, but they are all solvable. Be prepared to learn new things constantly. Also, make notes of all the weird shipping concepts you hear. Look them up, we can’t find the solution if we don’t understand the problem.

Describe your working life at Vortexa in three words! 

Solving interesting problems.

Jessica Irvin
Head of Operations & People
Jessica Irvin
Jessica is Head of People & Operations at Vortexa and is responsible for hiring, learning & development, culture, engagement, performance management and leading expansion plans.