Greece

Michail Kassapoglou (Senior Technical Trainer, Greece)

There’s not much Michail can’t handle with his trusty guitar by his side. For him, each day is a new opportunity to learn and teach, all under sunny Greek skies. That drive to share knowledge has even made him famous for a day.

What’s been your journey so far?

I was already working in another job when I came across FintechOS. Having seen an ad for the job I sent a CV, and got some calls from HR. I wasn’t actively looking at the time, just exploring on LinkedIn, but I did like the sound of a remote job, and the connection to training. It was quite a decision to make though, as I already had a pretty good team lead position. Now, everything is new – new people, new product, new approach. There’s a lot to learn, but everyone is very supportive. 

Strangely, the company I left ended up becoming a FintechOS partner, so I still come across people from my old job. At the boot camp, I met some of them. It was so funny, I had a brand new environment, but ended up talking to the same people again. Just shows, it’s a small world. 

What made you move to a company you had never seen?

I find it hard to change jobs actually. Staying in one organization, I believe you can grow and nurture that role. The salary, team and everything were great where I was and I was training people, which I love. At the same time, I needed a next step. Where I had previously taught on different platforms or languages, my focus now is on one product, and I have to really specialize in that. It’s a new challenge where I get to learn deeply. This product has no end, and now I’m constantly learning. I can do my job from Athens too, that’s a big plus. I’m not looking for re-location. It’s nice here.

What’s your favorite hobby?

Guitar, I started in high school. Like everything else, I’m self-taught. I’m also a big tech lover, very curious about how tech works, and I experiment a lot. Playing the guitar is my way to take a break and relax. I don’t even need to do things like watching TV, just play for three minutes and I can go back to work energized. I like classic rock and Greek music, but I can play pretty much anything. 

What’s your philosophy in life?

I believe you can learn anything as long as you put your mind to it. I taught myself the guitar and about technology. You just need to fully dedicate yourself to something for a time, let yourself gain a deep understanding, and simplify things. Einstein once said, if you can’t explain something in simple language, you don’t fully understand it. I believe that and bring it into my work. To teach well, I need to be able to get something across in uncomplicated terms.

What’s your day to day like?

Well, I love training, so I kind of get to combine my hobby and my job. My position in work is new, there was no dedicated trainer. My role is to help the team understand the platform and train our partners. The second part of the job is enabling newcomers. We hire up to ten people every month, so everyone needs fast-track training to get up-to-speed on the product as quickly as possible. 

Aside from that, I took on the challenge myself to rebuild the entire Academy. I want all aspects of that platform, including online training, to be in simple language. Our product is an easy-to-learn platform, so that can extend to teaching our own people. I really got into that project, choosing to stay up late nights rewriting the entire platform. Generally, I like things to move fast, and to get quick feedback, so I put things in place pretty quickly. My next big thing is to organize the bootcamp and deliver all of the trainings.

You seem to like moving fast?

Well, if someone gives you a car on an empty highway, what will you do? You won’t go 20 kilometers an hour, you will step on it. My manager in work is great, he just gives me direction and lets me go for it. Once I know which way to go, I’ll step on it. Why walk when you can run?

What’s your big passion in life?

My daughter, who’s four years old. She definitely created a change in my priorities. I like travelling too, but only if I’m seeing things together with others. I want to explore places with my family. In fact, if I’m going myself then I’d prefer not to go, I want to share those experiences. 

I also like to challenge my mind, even with movies. The Matrix is my favorite, I’ve watched it probably 50 times. The concept behind it is great. So many other movie themes had gotten a bit boring for me, but this was not even close to anything I’d seen before, scenario-wise and tech-wise. 

Do you have any claim to fame?

You could say I have been kind of famous once. Over the past few years, I created a blog and have been using it to share my programming knowledge, stuff like that, in Greek. The idea is that younger people can use it as a free resource to learn, free lessons so they don’t have to pay for expensive classes. 

Well, a newspaper found out about the blog. The TV news stations generally read the paper at 6am, then they go out to report on the stories. That happened when they read about me. By noon the TV channels were stationed outside my apartment, two vans with big antennas. So, I gave some interviews. It’s a funny story.

I’m updating the content on the blog these days and around 2,000 people log in daily. I like to share, I can show you programming, guitar, whatever it is. Knowledge needs to be shared, that’s my motto. 

Any advice for a new starter at FintechOS?

I’d say, stick with the Academy, there’s a lot in there, and there’s more to come. Lots of people have knowledge and experience in FintechOS. There’s so much information in people’s heads so we need to bring their experience into one place. That’s what the Academy is all about, it’s a bridge to people’s experience, shared for everyone.

My vision is to make that Academy a strong center of knowledge, to make it big as an internal community and external resource for partners. You need to know the basics, have a fundamental foundation of knowledge. It’s like a ladder, to reach the top you need to climb the steps of learning. That’s the trick to going far and the Academy will give you that. 

What’s in your future?

The sky’s the limit, seriously. Whatever is out there, I’ll go after it, within the policies and rules of course. If there’s something to achieve, I’ll chase it. In general, I go after management positions. I like having a group of people to give directions to and support in getting their job done. Outside of work, I look forward to bringing my daughter to Disneyworld. I like travelling and will be back doing it soon. She will be there by my side.