Typical 24: Gennaro Varriale, Buzzoole
Human Resources

Typical 24: Gennaro Varriale, Buzzoole

22-01-2018-gennaro-varriale-buzzoole

 

Name: Gennaro Varriale

Job title: Chief technology officer

Company: Buzzoole

Location: Naples, Italy

Work experience: Started coding at 8; 20+ years of work experience

 

  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    I arrive at 9.30am, but start my day a lot earlier. The very first thing I do is read the latest tech news (and newsletters) then I have quick session at the gym. I usually do weights – then I run to the office, usually about 2 km, along Mergellina, the most beautiful seaside in the world. As the old Roman poet Juvenal said: “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Absolutely. I do many different things: from standard team meetings, admin through to developing new features and products. But my main focus is developing new AI-driven algorithms to automate the processes behind influencer marketing.
  3. Is your job creative?
    Yes, it is. Some people think that being a developer just means sitting in at a computer all day, but programming actually requires great creativity. You need imagination to join the dots in your knowledge and uncover the best solutions.  
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    I lead the Dev (development) division at Buzzoole. But I also take time to study too, which helps me develop new technologies and algorithms. I‘m constantly reading books and articles about technology. Most recently, I’ve had my head buried in the world of neural network algorithms.
  5. Do you personalize your desk?
    I don’t actually sit at my desk much at all. I’m usually found working with my team and I spend a lot of my time going around the office from desk to desk.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    Of course. I think that imagination is a fundamental part of life. I try to bring it into my work as much as possible, channelling my creativity to solve everyday problems and make life at work easier.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
     Yes, I greet everyone in the office with a fist-bump. It’s a great way to start the day.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    When I’m at the office I like being a reference point for my team, answering questions and offering support. So I spend a lot of time working with others. But when I’m programming new algorithms it’s a different story – I absolutely need to be on my own.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    After leaving the office I continue working at home. Which sometimes means I can work up to 18 hours a day, but I actually don’t consider it real “work” at all. For me work is more of a passion.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on emails? Taking calls? In meetings?
    Usually I spend one hour on emails, two hours on calls, and two hours on meetings.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    Of course. I like understanding the way people behave on social media because it helps me fine-tune Buzzoole’s algorithms. It inspires me to develop new features too.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    The fact that it isn’t work! Well, at least I don’t feel like it is. My job is a great passion and I never tire of it. Plus, new challenges give me the enthusiasm to go on every day.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I don’t usually listen to music when I’m at the office, but when I work at home classical music helps me concentrate. Two particular favourites are Bach’s “The Art of Fugue” and Chopin’s “Nocturnes”.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    As a good Neapolitan, I go and eat good Italian food with my colleagues. I’m also trying to diet, but it’s not easy with all the excellent food we have here! I’m a big calamarata fan, a kind of pasta with squid, which is just delicious.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues?
    Absolutely yes. I believe that creating good relationships with colleagues helps make the work environment more peaceful and workdays more pleasant. It’s great to go out together too – and I regularly organize a night of pizza and aperitifs for all the staff.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    When I worked freelance I worked directly with clients, which could distract me from my projects. Now I can devote myself entirely to my passion, studying and creativity.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    I check that all daily tasks have been completed.
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    Reading books and watching TV series (looking forward to the new season of Game of Thrones!)
  19. Do you keep checking emails through the evening?
    Yes.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    Yes.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    Maybe I would tell him to start travelling earlier, and to stay away from Fabrizio Perrone (our co-founder and CEO) at all costs. Just joking, of course!
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    I would love to be a writer or a cartoonist.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    My laptop.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    Yes I do, work and life are one and the same for me.

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