Story about Argentinian in Montenegro

Leandro Gilardi
leandro_gilardi
December 15, 2016

As a student at Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina I used to search for various opportunities of working abroad. After advancing in my studies, to the point of almost finishing it, I enrolled in the internship program IAESTE, the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience. Membership in this organization provided me with the opportunity to spend three fruitful months in Montenegro, as a developer intern in the company Bild Studio.

The first challenge I faced was the language. I obviously don’t speak Montenegrin and my English is basic, and on the top of it all, I am a little shy to communicate, which is why this was my main concern. Luckily, people here always wanted to ask me something, starting a communication with me and trying to integrate me in their daily routine.  

At the beginning, I took the position of the entry back-end developer, learning the new technologies, developing basic applications and putting myself in tune with the other office companions who shared their knowledge and their time with me. After several initiation projects, I was offered to work with the Raspberry Pi platform, in a project that allowed the communication with different devices, but especially with the air conditioners. My engagement was actually an upgrade of a project idea initially developed by the previous fellow intern from Turkey, Hasan Aksoy.  

The general idea is to enable the control over all air-conditioners in Bild Studio with the mobile phone application using JavaPython language and Raspberry Pi microprocessor. This was a real challenge. Having never worked before with such a device, it took me some time to internalize with the working environment and the components enabling sending commands to the devices to be controlled. The entire process was quite facilitated thanks to my fellow colleagues and mentors, who provided me with everything I needed. 

Although quite demanding, I can now say that the project has been carried out successfully,  achieving communication with the air conditioners I worked on. The feeling of pleasure of an accomplishment is yet hard to explain. :)  I’ve learned to develop an application from a scratch, along with all the development phases: planning, division of modules, verification of commands, software testing, etc. I once again learned that the most important thing is to persevere, as in the famous phrase “persevere and triumph”.

Leandro in Kotor, Montenegro

Now, when my internship is coming to its end, I can freely say that my expectations went far beyond their reach. Looking back to a month before my arrival to Podgorica, I remember being afraid of not being able to comply with tasks I might be given or getting along with the colleagues. Yet, nothing of that happened. Each and every member of Bild family (because they actually feel like a family) were very kind to me, taking me to places, always making me a part of their activities. This is what I, as a lonely Argentinian rider in Montenegro, appreciated the most. 

Culture exchange – check!

While not many dared to try the Mate (a traditional Argentine infusion) or Fernet (bitter herbal liqueur), I’m glad I I could have shared some culture of my country with this lovely people. I have to say I enjoyed the Montenegrin cuisine, taking home some good recipes to share with my family and friends, upon my return. 

Finally, I am grateful to have chosen to be part of the Bild Studio. I do hope I will come back here someday and continue sharing time with all these people who treated me so well during my stay. 

No digo ‘Adiós’. Digo ‘Hasta luego’. 

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