Victoria is an attractive place for many tech companies to set up shop. Warm weather (at least for Canada), the island lifestyle and a supportive community are just some of the reasons people end up staying here from all parts of the world.
A recent newcomer to Victoria is Mario Zimmer, Country Manager of Daitan Group, a Brazilian- based custom software development company. In October 2018, Daitan made their Canadian headquarters right here in Victoria.
After considering options south of the border, the company decided that Canada would be the best spot for the expansion of their business. Victoria was a natural first choice as it offered many amenities and was the warmest place they could find in Canada.
VIATEC sat down with Mario to hear about his journey in tech and find out what he loves about Victoria...
Q&A with Mario Zimmer
Where did you grow up?
I grew up mostly in Belo Horizonte, where I was born and in Ouro Branco, a small countryside city. They are in Minas Gerais state, in Brazil.
Where did you go to school? What did you study?
I did a technical course in electronics and then I did electrical engineering. After that I did some post-graduation courses in computer networks and the PMP certification. I also did dozens of specific courses and training, always focusing on what was best for my company and my career.
What did you want to be when you grow up? What/where do you want to be in 10 years?
As most of Brazilians, when I was 10 I wanted to play football in a professional league! At some point in my childhood, I also wanted to be an astronaut or a car racing driver. When I turned 14, I definitely knew that I would be an Engineer!
Tell me about what your business does and your role at the company?
Daitan is a company that does custom software development; we build software for our clients. Most of the time, the software that we code is the product that sustains our clients - the heart of their business.
What are some things people may not already know about your company and/or product?
We are all for long-term partnerships with our clients and with our colleagues. We do some transactional work, but our business model is based on long lasting relationships; not enforced by contracts, but by the will to remain in the partnership. This provides the stability that the company needs, and so the employees can live their lives and create their families.
What introduced you to this field of work?
Since my internship, I have always been involved with software development. My role has changed around the product life cycle, but I was always in touch with the development teams.
What’s been one of your greatest accomplishments?
There are many things that I am proud of in my professional life. I helped build a product and I established it around several countries. I helped shape one entire unit inside my company, creating all basic procedures and fundamentals. When I think about great accomplishments, I think of my son! I am so proud of him. He is so polite, smart, intelligent.
Are your skills self-made or did you learn them in school?
I guess that’s a bit of both. I also learn with other people. I had some good mentors in my life, like my father and some managers. I also like to observe what works and what doesn’t for others, and try to use that in my favor. Last year I went back to school and studied Data Science for 4 months in the point of view of managers and executives.
Who are your mentors? How did you meet them? What do they do for you?
First is my father. He was a model of honesty. Every time I changed jobs I talked to him and he gave me great advice. I had some mentors during my career and I believe that most of the managers I had since I started working contributed to my career.
Outside of work and family, what do you love to do? What are you passionate about?
I love to resolve problems, find a solution and explain it. If I have to create a PowerPoint, an excel spreadsheet, and a graphic, that it is perfect. As you can see, I talk too much, so talking to resolve a problem is one of the things that gives me a sense of fulfillment.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I love to play guitar and sing rock n’ roll music!
What do you enjoy most about Victoria?
It is calm, beautiful, organized and offers lots of places to be with my family!