Who we are

Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina Palmiotto

While packing before a journey what can’t be missing in your backpack?

A bottle of water. I can’t leave home without it. If I know I have water with me, I can walk with the person in front of me on any “journey”, otherwise it would be the only case where I would not be able to fully listen to the person in front of me.

What was the most impactful, trasformational experience you had, professionally or private? Why?

At some point in my life I decided to quit a good job as an employee, with all the security it entails, with no real alternative plan in mind. It was perhaps the first big insanity of my life and hopefully not the last, given the outcome. I made this decision simply because I felt that this was not the way I wanted to work and live, and to be able to make the journey that I had long wanted to undertake and that was completely incompatible with the work of the moment. Some people around me thought I was crazy, I went ahead anyway. After two months of working as an au pair in the Canary Islands, I came back to put the pieces together and discover the freedom of freelancing. That was what I was looking for, being able to choose how to work, what to work on, and why. It has definitely been and continues to be a challenging journey, but it is worth it every day. It showed me how we must never stop asking ourselves what matters to us and if what we are doing is leading us in that direction.

List three values on which you base your actions and your life.

  • Open-mindedness: everyone is different and has different needs. Each person has to find his own path to fulfillment and it’s almost never what we would have imagined, so there’s no point in judging what we don’t yet understand.
  • Nothing is impossible: never tell someone that what he want is impossible, because it only means that we have not yet found a way to achieve it, while he has.
  • Listening: it is essential to stop trying to interpret others through our own vision, while we must try to simply listen to them. Sometimes listening is just more helpful than a thousand words.

What is it in your job that you enjoy the most?

If you ask the right questions, the people in front of you light up, as if for the first time they have a clear vision before their eyes. And the coolest part is that their answers and solutions are often quite different from what I imagined. The resources people find inside and around them are always inspiring.

What episode related to your profession would you like everyone to know about? How do you think it can help other colleagues and why?

Once, when I was still working as a programmer, we were running a very normal planning process. The Product Owner was not there because he had to go abroad to visit a customer to install the product. He had already reported several urgent bugs to us that needed to be immediately fixed. Since we had fixed all of the reported bugs, we had started the planned as scheduled for that day. When the PO, who via Whatsapp asked us where we were at, was told that we were doing the planning, an escalation of repartee began, again via WhatsApp. Few minutes, there was a very angry PO who didn’t even remotely understand why we were doing the planning instead of fixing the bugs. Only at that point did I suggest that, instead of responding via Whatsapp, it was better to call him directly to see what his concern was and explain that, as far as we knew, all the bugs had already been fixed. Obviously it was just a misunderstanding and somewhere the communication flow hadn’t worked, so that the PO was convinced of one thing while we were convinced of a different one. Two minutes on the phone and everything was resolved. As trivial as this episode is, it always reminds me how much attention needs to be paid to the correct mode of communication and how important it is to prefer the famous “face to face conversation” whenever possible.

Add a personal anecdote, the kind you’d put at the bottom of your résumé – or at the beginning, depending on your point of view – under hobbies and interests.

My biggest hobby has definitely been playing rugby. I think it taught me more about life than any other experience, and whenever I face something scary, I always think that at the end of the day it’s nothing compared to what I faced with my team in a few games. Since I don’t play anymore, I’ve replaced that sport with hiking: alone, or even better with company, I like to walk anywhere, as long as it’s in the wild. Unexpected views, where you least expect it, pay off and recharges your soul.