A Coffee with: Kevin Salim

July 7, 2017

Kevin Salim at Dimebox

Meet Kevin Salim, one of our very talented software developers who works on the back-end of the Dimebox platform. He walked an unconventional path to turn himself into one of the most valued coders in the fintech business.

They say good things come in pairs. Kevin Salim came to Amsterdam from Indonesia travelling with his twin brother, primarily just as a companion. Even though he had aspirations to become a bookbinder in the Philippines, he blindly followed his sibling on an adventure to The Netherlands.

“Because we are twins, we always stuck together. Following that mentality has brought me many successes, like the fact that I now work at Dimebox.”

No clear path, but an ambitious drive

After moving on from his bookbinding ambitions, Kevin’s current role as Software Engineer wasn’t his second choice, either. Choosing a new path, he first went looking for studies that would prepare him for work in tourism and hotel management. Fortunately for the technology industry, no faculty seemed to be a right fit, so instead Kevin started on a journey that would lead him into the world of IT.

“I was overwhelmed at the beginning.The students were really passionate, and I clearly had less experience than most. But I was hellbent on doing the work and getting ahead. Despite a rough start, I started to do my own self study and quickly caught up with the rest.”

A true passion for software development eventually reared its head, and bloomed during Kevin’s internship at a mobile advertising start-up.

“The internship actually helped me to understand not only the programming language itself, but also applying Software Engineering principles in general. I think when applying all of those theories in actual projects, that really helps you to understand things faster and progress further.”

From then on, things seemed to quickly fall into place: Another internship, a research thesis and his first big international project. Working on analytics, he supported both back-end and front-end departments by fixing various real-time problems.

The ultimate choice

After five years, Kevin left The Netherlands and the company he was employed at as an expert in Software Engineering. He went back to Indonesia to start a new chapter in his life. It wasn’t long after he became a married man that he decided to come back. Right at that moment, he  got in contact with Jan Joost Kalff – the CCO of Dimebox. As an already experienced developer, he obviously had more job opportunities lined up, but ultimately Dimebox’s atmosphere won his heart over other corporate competitors.

“A first impression is quite important. When Jan Joost first showed me around the office, I totally loved it. I could already feel the environment and the vibe around the office. It felt comfortable. Dimebox left an impression on me that no other company did, so I chose to work with them.”

Thanks to his JavaScript proficiency, Kevin can easily switch between back-end and front-end within a single language. His flexibility and international experience background make him an ideal fit at Dimebox. Even though Kevin mostly works on the platform’s back-end he is also occasionally supplies emergency front-end support. At the moment, he performs end-to-end testing with third-party services that Dimebox platform is integrated to.

One of the things Kevin appreciates at Dimebox is the cross-reviewing process which speeds up the pace of his growth, but also the technology stack setup which simplifies processes and creates a highly efficient workflow.

Kevin’s twin brother eventually moved back to Jakarta and started his own business. Kevin found his passion in software engineering through hard work and a disciplined work ethic. He offers this advice to anyone who is unsure of their career path:

“Work hard and never stop learning really. Not everybody is a genius, but I believe you can always get to that level and learn to be just as good, as long as you keep learning.”

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