An excellent coder. A passionate cornet player. A father of three. Born and raised in scenic Iceland, Guðmundur Hreiðarsson never thought he was going to be a developer. For him, that always sounded a bit too geeky.
But just five years after he finished his bachelor’s degree in maths, Guðmundur became the lead developer and co-founder of the fast-growing fintech, Spiir. Based on the technology behind Spiir, the co-founders launched a new product in 2018 called Nordic API Gateway.
I sat down with Guðmundur to talk about technology, decision-making, work-life balance and everything in between. Let’s hear what he said.
What do you like most about the technology at Nordic API Gateway?
I think the most special thing about our technology is that we’re incredibly flexible. Instead of deciding to use one specific technology, we handpick the best from every technology to achieve the best results. When we hire new developers, we want them to own the gateway. It’s important for us that our employees take part in deciding what technology to use and how we’re going to solve different problems. When that’s said, it’s extremely important to be consistent. We don’t switch out our technologies every other day.
Rumor has it, you have a degree in maths. How did you come to be a developer?
Somehow, I’ve always been a developer. I’ve just always been too stubborn to admit it. So it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone when I got my first developer job in Iceland right after finishing my bachelor’s degree. A few years later, I moved to Sweden to start a master’s degree in theoretical computer science. But one year in, I decided to quit as I couldn’t see myself as a theorist. When my wife was accepted to a master’s programme in Aarhus, we decided to move to Denmark.
That’s when I got a job as an interface developer at Denmark’s largest classification site, DBA. As I started to code, I quickly discovered that it didn’t matter to me if I was doing frontend or backend development. I entered the position with an open mind and was willing to work on many different projects. And that definitely had a great impact on my career in the years to come.
Where can we find you when you’re not at the office?
When I’m not at the office, I’m with my family. As a father of three, I’m always trying to spend as much time as possible with my family. Work obviously takes up a lot of time, so it’s important for me to have a good work-life balance. With flexible working hours and the opportunity to work from home, it’s definitely possible to maintain a good work-life balance at Nordic API Gateway.
What might come as a surprise, I’m also a passionate cornet player. I play in a brass band in Iceland but since I moved to Denmark, I’ve become a passive member of the band. Nevertheless, it’s still my favorite hobby of all time. When you have your own company and a big family, everything takes up a lot of energy. But the two hours I played in the brass band every week gave me an important and necessary break.
What’s the biggest advantage of being a developer at Nordic API Gateway?
I think there are many different aspects that makes Nordic API Gateway a great workplace for developers. First of all, we always strive to use the best and newest technologies. But we also want to use specific technologies in areas where it makes sense. That’s why we believe in making co-decisions. If one of our developers comes up with a great idea or reason for changing technologies or introducing a new one, we’re going to make that change. When you grow, we grow.
What is more, it’s important for us to bring positive change to society. As a developer at Nordic API Gateway, you’re building the future of financial solutions. In a world where PSD2 and Open Banking can foster both confusion and new opportunities, it’s our job to make innovation easier and build software as a service that will benefit society.