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HT-Gusy: "I miss latin music and dancing"

This is a Meet&Greet interview, put together by the Ht-Global editors, written by artod together with HT-Gusy (272466), a Venezuelan girl who is working as a developer for hattrick (a Swedish-based football manager game).

We managers are often inquisitive about the people pulling the hattrick DNA strings. It is even more intriguing if they have been elevated from the ordinary global community. This is because many users think that working on the game they love would be a dream job. So who are these lucky individuals?

At ht-Press we decided to try to find out more about the people working at Hattrick: who they are, what's their story. Today, we are delighted to present an interview with HT-Gusy, who is a Venezuelan girl working as a developer for hattrick.

This is quite unusual.

About you
Hattrick Press: Hello HT-Gusy and thanks for giving us the opportunity to interview you. You are one of the three HTs actively developing the game (the other two being HT-Bodin and HT-Jens, if we don't count the occasional interventions from HT-Daniel) and, most notably, you are the only woman on the team.
We think you have an interesting story, and we'd like to know more. Let's start with the basics.
Could you please introduce yourself?

HT-Gusy: Hi, I'm Gusy. My real name is Maria but I got the nickname when I was just a baby so no one calls me for my real name. And if someone does I most likely won't even react, hehe!

HP: Please explain your interest in football generally?
G: I'm a fan of Real Madrid since as long as I can remember, I guess because of my family. I haven't played it that much, mostly because I'm a field hockey player, but I love to watch it.

HP: Have you ever watched football matches live, at the stadium? If you did, is there a special/significant match you remember?
G: Yes, of course. The most significant match is the only one I've seen at the Bernabeu (so far). It was a derby against Atlético de Madrid and the stadium was completely full, I got goose bumps when I arrived!! And we won 3-2, it was a great match!

HP: Few sports can provoke emotions so strong as football. Let's move to more personal questions. If I came to your home and looked in your room, what would I find?
G: A bed and a couple of wardrobes? Hehe, certainly you wouldn't find anything just lying around, except for maybe some of my dog's toys on the floor.

A Venezuelan in Sweden
HP: In Venezuela, a former bus driver became president in 2013, something that would be unheard of in Europe. On a day to day level, living in Venezuela must be dramatically different compared to living in Western Europe, because of the institutional differences. From your experience, could you please tell us the best 3 things about living in Western Europe, and (family and climate apart) the 2 things you miss most about home?
G: I would rather not discuss the Venezuelan president and the general political situation at home.
I wouldn't know too much about the rest of Western Europe, but to me the best 3 things about living in Sweden are:
* Things just work. Very seldom there are delays or inconveniences in my day-to-day life.
* People trust other people unless they show not to be trustworthy, quite the opposite from where I come from.
* There is no poverty and social classes don't even exist here.
The 2 things I miss the most are my family and the nice weather. Oh wait... apart from that?
* I miss the friendliness of people and that there's almost always someone making a joke. Here people are usually serious to other people they don't know.
* The latin music and dancing.

HP: Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries are widely considered to uphold an ideal global model for gender equality and civil rights in general.
Would you agree? Is there a difference in the way women are treated (more in general and in the IT industry in particular) between Venezuela and Sweden?

G: Yes, I absolutely agree about the gender equality thing. I haven't had any problems regarding that in any job I've had, but in a more personal approach I can say that in Venezuela women are the ones to take care of their homes and kids, even when having full time jobs. That is not the case here, and I especially like the relations I see between fathers and their kids.

HP: Please tell us some funny anecdotes about your life in Sweden.
G: I can't remember anything really funny right now. The first time I went to the supermarket it took me like 2 hours to buy the basic things because I had to use Google translate to know what everything was!

HP: That must have seemed a bit odd for anyone there to witness. What are the differences between working with a group of Venezuelans and working with a group of Swedes? How do you live with that/bridge the differences?
G: The main difference is that in Venezuela we have separate men and women's bathrooms hahaha! I think people here are more "at ease" at their workplaces, they take their shoes off, they bring their kids or pets sometimes if needed, they have "fika"[ed.note: coffee/snack breaks]... in Venezuela the work environment is much more formal, with tight schedules and a lot of rules. I have to admit that in the beginning I got frustrated sometimes, but now I've realized that people are more productive this way.

HP: Everyone has some trouble adjusting, I guess. What has been the most difficult thing about working in Sweden and in HT?
G: Well, I love working for Hattrick and the environment at the office is great. I guess the most difficult thing is the language issue. Not with work-related stuff, because that's always in English, but more with general conversations. My coworkers have always been very considerate and switch to English whenever I'm around, but sometimes they don't notice or forget or something (they're humans after all!) and it's kind of uncomfortable to be in a group and not understand what they're saying.
Also during the late fall and early winter the sun goes down really early, so it feels very strange (and sad!) to be working at 4 in the afternoon and seeing that it's dark outside.

HP: Most Europeans would probably consider strange if the sun had not set around 4 PM in early winter. But then again, having someone see something we deem familiar as "strange" is the whole point of sharing experiences. The Venezuelan HP Editor lived for a year in Stockholm and you couldn’t see daylight during the whole winter. You could only see a depressing grey sky and on the best days maybe you could have a nice light grey.

He remembers that at the beginning he was shocked seeing Swedes sunbathing everywhere (literally lying over rocks, like lizards), and some months later he was doing exactly the same. :D

G: Exactly! When summer comes I'm lying in the sun whenever I can!

HP: :D Since we mentioned the Venezuelan users, some managers feel that you have a different attitude since you are in Sweden, do you think living there has affected your perspective on life?
G: I don't think I've changed that much and none of my friends or family have told me anything about it. But I think this "feeling" is because before I worked for Hattrick I was a Mod and I was all the time on the (Venezuelan) Forums posting and helping out. Now I have the ability to help in another way and because of this I'm much less around the day-to-day Venezuelan threads.

A girl and an Internet football manager game
HP: Since we've mentioned the forums and your experience as a regular user, let's go back where it all started. How did you get to know about Hattrick and what made you stay in the game?
G: In a company I used to work everyone was playing Hattrick and that's how I started playing. I wasn't very engaged for some months until I joined the Forums and got completely hooked! It was definitely the community that has contributed to my staying around this long.

HP: The community are the usual suspect when it comes to explaining HT addiction. Let's turn back to the game. Do you see yourself as a good HT manager? Are you still competitive (unlike most HTs)? and if the answer is yes, then why/how come?
G: Well, it depends on what you call a good manager. I've never been very fond of match strategies, but I think when I was in the top division I was good at making money and optimizing my squad to get good ratings without paying huge salaries. And then, I'm still kind of competitive, I'm 4th in division II, isn't that OK? But I'm not trying to "win it all" like before for 2 reasons: one, now I spend my time differently when I'm on HT, and two, I don't think it's fair to other managers because I have access to how everything works.

HP: Let's talk about your view of the game. How do you see it? Is it playable by anyone? Is it a more economic-based game or a manager-based game? Is the community a big part of the game? And so on? What is your gaming philosophy in HT? What do you like in the game?
G: I think I've covered part of this question in previous answers. I think Hattrick is definitely playable for anyone, the economy is a big part of it but it's the user's choice to focus on that or on the football strategies. And obviously the community is a very big part of the game. I already talked about my philosophy, and what I like is the long term planning and the community. Even before I started working here I had many RL friends who I met from HT, and now even more!

HP: What are you working on at the moment? [editor's note: at the end of February]
G: The new Supporter feature that won the Platinum vote: Training estimation. I have to admit I was rooting for Live Ratings to win because it would be much easier to implement, but I've actually had a lot of fun doing this, I love digging into the back-end and see in detail how things work!

HP: What are the most interesting parts of your work?
G: Everything!! I mean, it's true when I say that I love my job, I'm happy on Monday mornings to come back to the office, how weird is that? So it's hard for me to say what's "most interesting", especially now after the whole Zattikka thing is in the past.

HP: It's heart-warming that you love your job so much. Let me present you with a choice, then, which of the following tasks you prefer and why?
a) developing new features from scratch, where you can express your creativity;
b) changing old pieces of code, going deep into the mind of the ancient developers, maybe even Björn's;
c) solving annoying bugs, the more old and annoying, the better.

G: I say definitely b. Next would be c, solving old bugs can be very frustrating but when you finally get to it, the satisfaction is great!

HP: A woman in the IT industry is not that uncommon. A woman that likes football is not uncommon. But a woman working on an Internet game about football is definitely uncommon. Please discuss.
G: Well, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one! I have to admit that before I started playing Hattrick I would have never imagined working in something like this. But after I became a "hard core user" things definitely changed. That, plus my IT skills, plus the fact that I was willing to move to Sweden... I guess it was a good combination because here I am!

HP: And on this positive note we end our interview. Gusy, thanks for your time and we wish you all the best in your work and in your personal life!

Editor's note: liked the interview? Don't forget to like it on the bottom of this page! Find furhter discussion continues on the forum: (16534267.1)

2014-03-25 10:35:42, 16762 views

Link directly to this article (HT-ML, for the forum): [ArticleID=17739]

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