Exploring startup life in Oslo

JP Wright

JP Wright

Software Engineer

Office space designed by Hille Melbye Arkitekter

If you’re like me, you may come across articles or literature about how great quality of life is in Scandinavia. As an American expat who lived in Berlin for 2 years before moving to Oslo, I can happily say that my experience confirms what the literature says: life in Norway is great.

I am a full-stack software developer finishing my first year working at Just in Oslo. Demand for software engineers is high in any major city, and Oslo is no different. As I spoke to companies in Oslo, Just stood out for several reasons:

First, it was a startup, and having worked at startups in the past, I knew exactly what that meant: that I could get my hands dirty in any way that would help the team. Since joining, I have not only had the freedom to explore many new technologies that will help me as a software developer in the future, but I’ve also been able to help shape the company’s culture, build a better sense of team, and make processes more efficient so that we deliver the right value to our customers faster.

Team lunch at Just

Second, the office was right in the center of town at Youngtorget, and the lunches were the best I’ve experienced in my professional career. While this sounds trivial, it enabled me to walk to work everyday instead of taking the subway, and since Oslo is clean and there are only few cars in the city-center, my walks to work and back are always a pleasant mood booster.

An additional aspect of Just that I didn't preempt was how true to the company values Just would be. One of our values is “transparency”, which is something that pervades throughout the company, and my feeling is that it has become stronger over time. Our leaders share important information, even sensitive issues, early and clearly and indeed this leads to more fair and trusting relationships within our team.

Of course there a few differences between Oslo and the tech-heavy startup cultures that fuel my two former homes, San Francisco and Berlin. One simple fact is that Norway has higher respect for work-life balance in contrast with America, a fact I value greatly.

While today, startups might not carry with them the same level of prestige for job seekers as they do in a place like San Francisco, I think that the Norwegian cultural appetite for risk is growing, with companies like Just leading the charge. Our sights are tuned to problems that we are uniquely positioned to solve for our Norwegian customers, but that we know are pervasive across the world, giving us huge potential for global scale. The skill and quality that the Norwegian base of labor brings with it, and the international atmosphere in both Oslo and at Just create a melting point for a city ready for a rapid expansion of startup activity, and a company ready for rapid growth. I personally believe startups are the place to work—the fast-paced do-or-die environment enabling employees to learn more in less time than they would at larger corporates. Ultimately, people working at startups are left better off since they will have acquired many skills quickly, no matter how the company does in the long run.

Whether you're Norwegian and looking to see what life at a growing startup has to offer, or from another country and looking to settle in Norway, Just is a fantastic place to work. Check out our careers page, or simply drop us an email at careers@gojust.com.

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