Klarna grows rapidly across the world as more people and merchants benefit from an improved shopping experience. Beneath the shiny shopping surface, more than 1400 engineers work continuously to innovate and scale the organization. To meet the hiring demands of engineers, Klarna decided to launch its fourth tech hub in Milan in June 2020.
Antonio Trapani, Lead Engineer specializing in risk assessment processes, joined right before the doors opened.
– We started with 10 people and 9 months later we are now almost 80. Despite the intensive growth, we managed to keep a family vibe. The office is located in the heart of the city, next to the fashion district and 10 min walking from the Duomo, in the WeWork coworking building.
Antonio Trapani – Lead Engineer in Servicing
Antonio has also been involved in the recruitment process with the goal to hire Italy’s most talented engineers.
– What I usually say to candidates is that within Klarna you are given professional autonomy and trust to deliver your objectives. This allows for more flexibility and life-work balance, but also requires that you are a person who takes responsibility.
Unlike other Italian companies, Antonio describes Klarna as less traditional and hierarchical.
The average age of Klarna is 32 and over 100 nationalities work within the company, which means that there are many opportunities to learn and get inspired. Besides work, the employees are encouraged to stay curious and engage in culture related activities.
– A couple of weeks ago for instance, we participated in Google Hashcode. I wasn’t expecting that much as I am not used to these coding competitions besides from some hackathons from the startup environment in Italy. Me and my team joined in at the very end of the competition and when starting we realised that the task was very complex. Our solution brought us to place 2200 out of over 9000 teams. Unfortunately, we realized that if we wouldn’t have messed up one line of code at the very end, we would have ended in place 815. Overall, it was a great experience and we’ll try to organize/participate in similar activities regularly.’
From left to right, Antonio Trapani – Lead Engineer (Servicing), Marco Denisi – Senior Engineer (Servicing) and Michele Gargiulo – Senior Engineer (Consumer Card) in the Klarna office in Milan
Oana Sas grew up in Romania and moved to Milan with her family 2 years ago. After working 6 months in Klarna, she describes the organization as a disruptor in an old industry.
– I have been working in other big companies and they were a bit clunky, and it was hard to make your voice heard. Now that I joined, I can truly say that Klarna is an inclusive and collaborative company. Your ideas come across and your actions have an impact.
Oana Sas – Engineer in Core Banking
When describing the culture, Oana explains that there is a great acceptance for being “different”.
– It’s truly diverse. I have a different background as I come with a degree in Pharmacy. Many companies would be like: “why are you here in engineering?” But here, everyone seems to cherish that I come with a different perspective. I would say that if you are curious enough you could strive into every direction in Klarna.
More specifically, Oana works in the Core Banking domain, who provides a toolbox to enable Klarna to send, receive and collect money, create and manage bank accounts, and issue payment cards globally.
– On a normal day, my team starts with a stand-up where we talk about our tasks and blockers. After that, we usually get a coffee to talk about stuff unrelated to the job, before proceeding with code reviews until lunch. After that, in the afternoon, is usually when my time to code starts. In the evening I usually go home and relax before having a good dinner.
Oana describes the best part of her weekly routine as the retro.
– That’s when the whole team meets and we reflect on the past week – pros and cons, successes and challenges, improvements in ways of working and so on. We get a lot of action points from these retros, which means that we can improve ourselves.
Engineers who join Klarna should, according to Oana, always try to be open and ask questions. They should also embrace collaboration.
– Don’t save your doubts and questions for another time, it is fine to ask straight away as there are always people to help out. I mean, if you just want to sit on your own and code without having any sort of team work, then Klarna is not the right place for you. Things happen rapidly, and you need to work with the colleagues to make it work. You do get time to work on your stuff, but you need to see the value of sharing knowledge.