At lengoo we are all about people, tech and language. That is why we want to introduce you to the friendly faces behind the technology.
This time around we are talking to Pedro Gil Carvalho, lengoo's new Head of Engineering.
Pedro talks about his early ambitions about being a space pirate, as well as what it’s like being onboarded during a pandemic and why Prenzlauer Berg is so incredibly comfortable to live in.
What’s your role and how does a typical day at lengoo look like for you?
I’m Head of Engineering, managing our software development teams and reporting to our CTO. My days always start with a quick “standup” meeting with each team. After that, it varies day to day. Mostly, my time is spent writing high-level technical documents, helping the teams architect and design their systems, doing research, and spending time with my team members to make sure everyone has what they need to be happy and productive. I also write code sometimes.
What did you do before joining lengoo?
I was a customer-facing solution architect for Contentful, providing technical and organizational enablement to software development teams in large companies across Europe and North America, both remotely and on-site. I worked very closely with Customer Success, Sales, Marketing, Product and Engineering while on that role. Before that, I was Head of Engineering for HelloFresh here in Berlin, which was very similar to what I do now.
If I had pursued my childhood career dream, I would be a space pirate today. Unfortunately, there are no pirates in space so I can't pursue that. Yet.
If you had pursued your childhood career dream, what would you be doing today?
I would be a space pirate. Unfortunately, there are no pirates in space so I can’t pursue that. Yet.
What gets you excited about lengoo?
I’m very passionate about the future of work. I mean, what does it look like? It probably involves lots of automation so that us humans can be free to do the interesting, creative bits. I see lengoo and our Machine Translation and Learning technologies as a potentially big player in shaping that future.
What is the biggest challenge when it comes to your position?
I find that software reflects the people who made it. So, like in any leadership function, the biggest challenge is communication and alignment. The bigger the teams, the bigger the challenge. The second biggest challenge is to help the teams strike a balance between innovation and pragmatism. It’s crucial to invest in new, better technologies so we’re prepared for the future, while maintaining most practices and solutions that deliver value today.
If you didn’t work in the engineering department, in what department would you be?
I might work in Sales or Customer Success, as I absolutely love interacting with the people who use the software that I’m involved in making.
Your motivation in a film line?
“Never tell me the odds!” - Han Solo, Star Wars
What is it like starting a new job in the midst of a pandemic? How did it affect the onboarding process?
I was lucky to have a great boss who gave me a lot of his time during the remote onboarding process. Having so many video calls with him and other members of my teams helped to mitigate some of the feeling of remoteness. On the other hand, this experience highlighted some opportunities to improve our processes in terms of documentation and process, which we’re doing.
What made you decide to join a language-tech company?
I worked in content management before, and the need for innovation in the localization space has always been very apparent to me. Lengoo is driving that innovation in a really cool way, so coming on board and helping to realize our vision is very exciting.
What does language mean to you?
Language is a miracle invention that lets people share what’s on their minds. It is the foundation of civilization.
Which morning routine is essential for a successful day for you?
A quick workout, some coffee and writing a little bit on my journal to remind myself of the things I have to be grateful for and which challenges I’m facing.
Why do you believe in AI?
Let me put it this way: I believe that advancements in AI might help us understand intelligence and ourselves better, and that is fascinating.
What are you most excited about at lengoo?
I believe there’s huge potential in advancing machine learning technology, and we have a chance of doing that here.
What is relocating to Berlin like?
I’ve been here for five years now and still don’t speak much German. Berlin has been an incredibly welcoming city for me as a foreigner. It’s also a very exciting place due to all the cultures and scenes that merge here.
In which district do you live and why is there nowhere else to be in Berlin?
I’m in Prenzlauer Berg, which is just incredibly comfortable. I can have peace and quiet, or I can have excitement. Everything is within reach.
What will the future of translation look like?
I believe machine translation will take care of the heavy lifting so that human linguists can focus on the interesting nuances. We might be looking at near-perfect instant translations soon, which will be a boon for all kinds of communication needs, from news to entertainment to tourism.
What is your long-term goal at lengoo?
To build a productive and happy engineering department that delivers value while offering a rewarding place to work.
If you want to be part of our amazing team too, go and head over to our open positions!