It all started with a small group of talented graduates from the University of Madeira back in 2017. The Madeira office has been expanding ever since, and not even the pandemic has stopped this trend.
On Oct 1, 2020, three new members joined the team – Diogo Pereira, Pedro Noronha, and André Rafael. Thomas Berndorfer, the company’s CEO, welcomed them: “We need new talent to keep delivering world-class software and connecting with top clients all over the world”. The customer portfolio is, in fact, widely spread across the globe, with more than a thousand clients in one hundred countries around the world. Customers include the Department of Justice Canada, public services in New Zealand, and many companies across North America, Europe, and other regions.
Diogo was born in Madeira and moved to Lisbon for college, as many Madeirans do. He ended up starting his professional life there. He worked in Lisbon and Oporto as a developer and also as a manager for 15 years. Everything was going well when, in May 2019, a severe road traffic accident led to a year-long recovery. That made him rethink where he wanted to be “Coming back to Madeira to be with my family became a priority”, Diogo explains.
He also felt his professional experience could add value to an innovative company in Madeira, and he soon discovered which one. “I found Connecting Software when I spoke with Carlos Lopes Soares from Startup Madeira” Startup Madeira is part of the European network of business and innovation centers, and they made the bridge between Diogo and Connecting Software. “I was pleasantly surprised to discover such cutting-edge technology solutions and such a global reach in a company that I previously knew nothing about. You might think that technology and Madeira are not a good mix, but it is quite the opposite!”.
After being in Madeira for one month, Diogo is enjoying the comforts of being back home and the joy of having the food and drinks that he missed “I know it is not everyone’s favorite, but I love pé- de-cabra!”. Coming back after so many years, he found a different Madeira and had to struggle with new things. “It was definitely an adjustment at first. The most difficult part was finding a non- furnished house that would be good for my two dogs. Now that I found one, I can focus on my challenges within Connecting Software, especially in terms of growing and nurturing our Partner Network across the globe. It will be a continuous challenge, and that is why I want to go for it!”.
On the verge of turning 30, André felt it was time for a change and to look for new challenges. He is originally from the Leiria area in mainland Portugal, and what made him consider moving to Madeira was a family connection. “My girlfriend is from Madeira, and she nurtured the idea of coming back to the island. Whenever we came on holiday here, she would point out how Madeira has great things to offer”, André reveals.
André goes on to explain, “For me, the question was whether I could find an interesting job in my area, IT management and support”. He heard about Connecting Software in a newspaper article, which he recalls mentioned the innovative Blockchain solutions the company was working on. When the pandemic hit, his first instinct was to put his plans on hold. Amid a backdrop of so much coronavirus-inspired uncertainty, he then changed his mind and reached out to Connecting Software. All the recruitment process was done from a distance, and after three remote calls, everything was settled.
One month into his move to Madeira, André is convinced Madeira is a good place to live: “The weather is perfect, and everything feels relaxed. Having nature all around me is a big plus for me, I especially enjoy Levada walks”. At the same time, he found the professional challenge he was looking for: “I am now Head of Testing and Support for the array of software integration solutions that Connecting Software offers worldwide.”
Originally from Madeira, Pedro Noronha studied Mechanical Engineering in Oporto. After graduating, he experienced several jobs connected to an industrial setting, as project manager, consultant, and business manager. He eventually moved from Oporto to Lisbon, and he had happily settled there. “Coming back to Madeira was not part of my plans” he confesses.
When he came for a family holiday on Christmas 2019, he started to see things differently. He felt that maybe coming back to where his family was would be a possibility – but he put it on hold. Enter the year 2020, the coronavirus pandemic, and the first lockdown in Lisbon. “Being at home all the time made me reassess my priorities. What I really missed was nature, the beach, and surfing.
Suddenly I realized I could have all that in Madeira and that I would be near to my family”.
Pedro started dreaming of a new life, but he still did not know where to find a professional challenge that would meet his professional background and experience. He found about Connecting Software in the press and thought he could fit into a sales position. However, Connecting Software’s CEO had other plans for him. “I noticed Pedro’s expertise in IIoT and digital transformation projects, which is a growing area in our company”, explains Thomas Berndorfer.
With this new vision, suddenly, all the pieces seemed to fit. “I felt it was time to move on and take all the lessons I had learned with me, to this new professional challenge”, Pedro explains. Viewed from the outside, it might look like a reinvention in challenging times, but for Pedro it feels totally different. This is how he sees it: “I feel I am in a honeymoon period. I love my new home, that is much bigger than the one I had in Lisbon. I love how easy it is for me to go to the beach. I love how family support makes things easier. I love the short drive to work along Estrada Monumental. And I love my job with Connecting Software’s innovative solutions - it is challenging, but a challenge that I look forward to tackling each day”.
Every disruption creates new opportunities. The pandemic crisis is no different, and 2020 has been a good year for Connecting Software.
“Our sales have been better than ever. We don’t do telemedicine, nor videoconference software, nor games. Nothing from the IT areas which have skyrocketed as a response to the new COVID-19 reality needs. And yet, in our niche of producing synchronization and integration software, we have been doing well, and we were able to hire new talent.”, Thomas Berndorfer says.
The CEO is optimistic about the future and sees the whole company and the Madeira office growing. “We recently got more talent from the University of Madeira as well - João Diogo Silva and Pedro Sousa. Yet, we still have open positions, and we hope to keep attracting skillful people to join our international team. Our Madeira team will clearly have to move to a bigger office soon!”, he concludes.