10 november 2020

Emigrating during the COVID crisis: Onur Saraç did it

"I made a conscious choice for a career in the Eindhoven region" A passion for software and for working abroad. It brings Onur Saraç from Turkish Istanbul to Dutch Eindhoven. A choice he makes very consciously. "I explored the technological hubs in Europe and Eindhoven suits me best. Friends of mine also live there and they were also positive about ENTER. So I applied." And now it's time: Onur is crossing over to Europe for a longer period of time.

In Ankara he studied Software Engineering, but because of the lack of interesting job offers he moved to Istanbul in 2012 after graduating. There he could immediately start at Huawei as a software tester. Onur: "Through Huawei I already got the opportunity to work abroad for a number of years on various projects for customers.” This came to an end when he returned to Turkey to perform his military service. When he finished it, he returned to Huawei, but in a different team and with the desire to improve in test automation. "But unfortunately that was not possible and then I went to Siemens.”

"Many cultures work together on the technology of the future. I want to be a part of that."

Onur Saraç

Virtual technology
At Siemens, he worked on Industry 4.0 and worked with different software technologies. He also spent time in Germany and Hungary a lot for training purposes. Meanwhile he also obtained a master's degree in Engineering Management. "The last three years I have used many technologies and programming languages, including Python and Java. With Docker, a virtual containerization technology and image of the test environment, we mimicked reality. We closed the gap between the technological colleagues and the stake holders as product owners and customers with Behavior Driven Development (BDD). Also, by preparing test plan and test strategy documents, I helped my colleagues to have better testing perspective".

And then he thought it was time to make the step to Europe complete. "Germany and the Netherlands in particular came into my sights, because of the technology industry. Eindhoven quickly gained an edge, Brainport is an interesting region in terms of technology and innovation, with many companies where I see myself as a good fit in terms of knowledge and skills. But also in terms of personality. Many cultures work together on the technology of the future. I want to be a part of that."

Onur Saraç
Onur Saraç

Living together with a ‘stranger’
At ENTER he spoke several times with recruiter Cune and Business Development Manager Koen. Cune also found him an apartment . Centrally located in Eindhoven, because he doesn't know yet for which client he will be working. There he lives together with Ahmet Aydin, who also came to the Netherlands from Turkey. Very exciting, because Onur had been living alone for eight years and had only met Ahmet a few times in Istanbul. But Onur has every confidence in them living together.

"Moving to another country alone is quite a challenge. And we also have to deal with COVID-19, which makes it difficult to build and maintain social contacts. Then living alone can be very lonely. For both of us it is better to start this new adventure from one house. Then we can support each other."

Onur is a team player anyway. "You can't do everything on your own and especially in high tech, a team is very important. Everyone brings their own knowledge and expertise. And the social aspect of a team is also very important to me. It's important that you enjoy your work together, but also outside of it. The atmosphere and environment are very important to me."

‘I saved his ass’

That doesn't mean that it always has to be fun. Onur: "As a tester, I think that bugs should be fixed at all times. Sometimes you have to push developers for that, even when it's late and they're angry and yell at you. But you have to guard the quality for the customer. Always.” That's what he found out when he worked for Huawei in Azerbaijan. "I came across a bug in the client's live environment and we worked all night to fix it." Laughing: "My manager the next day said that 'I saved his ass', literally."

The fact that he left his left his last job at Siemens was also a minor drain on his previous manager. "He said I can come back right away if I don't find what I'm looking for here. That's very nice to hear, but not what I'm planning. I want to make a success of my new life in the Netherlands. And to discover a lot of things here outside of work as well. I like to come to places with a lot of history, like an ancient city as Ephesus, where things from the past have been preserved. Then I walk on paths where people walked hundreds or sometimes thousands of years ago... Then I can almost feel the past! I like to travel and from the Netherlands I can discover many other things. Sometime, after COVID. Let's first go on an adventure to the nearest supermarket, together with Ahmet".