Relocating to China and Joining Microsoft
Joining Crystal InterActive also opened a new chapter in Lionello’s life. As one of the company’s development teams was based in Romania, Lionello relocated from Eindhoven to Bucharest to supervise a team of 10 programmers. After five years in Romania, he moved to Beijing for similar work with a local development team.
“I found that it was actually easy to work with the people there, but there were some cultural differences I didn’t know about. For example, in the Netherlands, you can do pair programming and comment on your colleagues’ code; everybody takes it as feedback. In China, you don’t give feedback in public because people will feel like you’re denigrating them. I remember during my first month, I told somebody that their code could be better written a different way. The person started crying. That was a tough lesson.”
After two and half years in Beijing, Lionello decided to quit the company and look for the next challenge. Having experience with starting his own company and running his development team, he wanted to get a different experience. Lionello thought: ‘Okay, this time, let’s pick the biggest software company and the biggest project.’ This idea led him to Microsoft in Shanghai, where he stayed for three years working on Windows.
New Startup and New Challenges