Our office in Spain opened the door to a whole new adventure.
To share what the journey was like, we asked several colleagues that work in Spain, work remotely with our Spanish teams from Germany, or have relocated from another country to Spain!
How did you end up with an office more than 2000 kilometers away from your headquarter in Frankfurt? (Hans v. Freyberg, CEO)
Knowledge and luck. Knowledge because I knew from prior professional experience that there is great, highly educated talent in Spain. And then luck: My friend and successful Spanish IT entrepreneur Ignacio de la Oliva made it possible that his company, Atlantic, supported us. Atlantic’s support was crucial in creating our Spanish presence. They happen to be headquartered in Seville. And that was another lucky strike because Seville offers a superb tech environment and, on top of that, is a gorgeous town.
What do you remember most about the first year with our Spanish team? (Marc Kutschera, Managing Director)
First, it was the fact that we suddenly received many promising CVs when we started recruiting in Spain. After long and fruitless searches in Germany, it was great to see so many talents interested in Cocomore. Secondly, it was the motivation and passion of our first team members that joined. It was also an adventure for them to start in a team that was set up from scratch, working for a company from abroad. But it was this passion that made it possible to overcome all the challenges going along with setting up a new team in a new location: from simple tasks like connecting into Cocomore’s IT infrastructure to feeling at home in and contributing to Cocomore’s culture. And thirdly, it was Atlantic’s hospitality and flexibility in helping us to set up shop in Seville. I remember our first “office” – a large meeting room – in Atlantic’s former office building. And we have come quite a long way from that, which makes me proud of the team and thankful for Atlantic and their ongoing great support.
How does it feel to work as a German in Spain? (Sandra Bloem, Corporate Communications)
Moving from northern Germany to the south of Spain is especially challenging when summer comes around. Luckily, my working hours change during the summer. Which means I can have the afternoon off to cool down. :D
Other than that, living in Seville is pretty amazing. The everyday-blue-sky is still unbeatable for me. Of course, the tapas are one of a kind, and if I could, I would have every lunch break in one of the many bars Seville offers.
I’m also very happy with my office and colleagues in the city center. There is not one day at the office where I don’t go home with a smile. But that also might be because, besides many great conversations, laughs and good food, the coffee at the office is addictively tasty. And, of course, the everyday-blue-sky plays a huge role as well.
What was the first German/Spanish expression you have learned? (Spanish team)
Feuer, bitte / Ja, genau / Kein Bier vor vier / Achso
What was the strangest food you have eaten in Germany / in Spain? (Ciprian David, Director Project Management)
Andalusian food was for me a total revelation. German kitchen just got nothing on it. But there’s the surrounding culture that made me like my Spanish culture even more:
Staying with the food, everyone is convinced that some special food originating in their birthplace is the best thing in the world. And as an outsider, you have nothing else to say but “they are all right”! Spanish cuisine is just too multi-faceted and delicious.
Moving to the meal setup – there’s one key word I got to love about Spain: "compartimos". The group orders as a group, not as individuals. We always ordered several dishes and split them, so that everyone got to enjoy everything. And there’s a lot to enjoy.
Finally, in Spain, the quality of the conversation going along with the palatal delights is casting a huge shadow over the German culture: folk talk so much more, and there’s zero work talk. Everyone has nice little stories to tell, everyone is interested in the other, and everyone gets included. If you ask me, this is a perfect recipe to make friends.
Who do you want to thank? (Manuela Meier, CTO)
A big thank you to the pioneers: Javi & Christian as the first two Drupal developers who spent a few months in Germany to get to know us, Ale as the first Spanish office lead (we will never forget you <3), Pedro, Antonio and Jesús who joined shortly after. The way you made me feel at home whenever I was in Seville made a significant difference and had an impact on all future developments. Thank you for all the time you spent with me, showing me around the city and your hometowns, having dinner with me, introducing me to your friends, drinking coffee and beer. I often think back to those days.
The Spanish team (past and present): It was and is a pleasure to collaborate with you. It's great to experience such a level of professionalism and dedication, to see so much hard work, but at the same time there is always time for a joke and some kind words. And besides the work, I'm grateful that I've not only met colleagues but also made close friends. My heart is full of happiness when I'm in Seville and we meet not only with current colleagues, but also with former ones.
And thank you to Seville! Because it is such a beautiful city, with so many great people, awesome food, a happy mentality, always lively and bustling - and all the other beautiful cities, beaches and landscapes of Andalusia nearby. Feels like a 2nd home for my husband and me.
Thank you to our German colleagues at Cocomore: Especially in the beginning, we all had to adapt to the fact that we suddenly had to communicate in English and that our colleague was no longer sitting in the office next door. Everyone had to get used to that, and it wasn't always easy. But we managed it with our combined efforts, and I'm really proud of the fact that we did it - that we managed to build this team and integrate it into Cocomore. It was never a separate team, but always a part of Cocomore, and that was definitely one of the key factors for success.