People of PressPage: Altaf Samnani
A true IT talent with a big heart
Our backend developer Altaf is a true IT talent with experience in a few very different companies and domains. He is passionate about his work, but his face lights up even more when he is talking about his love for helping others. We are very curious to find out what he is helping others with!
Could you describe briefly what your role is within PressPage?
Together with Anee I work as a backend developer, we make sure the offered services work as they should. When someone is doing an action on the frontend, we make sure the backend matches that action properly. You can think of the front end as the curtain, we are working behind the scenes. Every three weeks we organize a hackathon. For that we are trying to build support mobile application using our API’s that can not be used for the platform yet, but may be relevant in the future. It gives great insight in what we can develop moving forward. In my job it is of vital importance to keep on learning and developing, the IT business develops continuously. For me, that is the most exciting part. You really need to keep learning new things.
Before I studied Computer Engineering at Mumbai University, I studied for what is called Diploma in Computer Engineering. There I started with language C/C++ which inspired me to learn HTML. My studies was mostly based on theory, when I started working I learned a lot by being part of the everyday developments within a company. My first job was as a trainee in a client based company, we needed to be very strict with our deadlines to make sure we could deliver what was asked. After that I moved to more product based companies. My time at Shaadi.com, a matrimonial service website, was great because I learned a lot about daily processes and standards since it was a big company. Working at OpenDoctors247.com was very different, but also very exciting to learn about a very different webservice. After a while I received a call from Amsterdam, a company called BidX was looking for a developer. I stayed for over four years at this company, they match entrepreneurs and investors in emerging markets. Working in different domains and very different companies has been very valuable, I learn new technical skills and a new domain. When I started working at PressPage, I didn’t know much about PR. Now I have a better understanding of what it is and why people do it. I like that a lot.
Three things you didn’t know about Altaf
After moving to the Netherlands, I started learning Dutch. I speak the language a bit, but I tend to struggle a little with my vocabulary. I understand it quite well, but I need some time to think of the words to use, which can slow down a conversation. Working in an international environment, it is usually easier to switch to English when talking to colleagues.
I really like doing voluntary work. I have worked with refugees when they arrived in the Netherlands, I visited their camps and we organized a day outing. I love helping people and giving back, I’m active in my community and try to do good.
Something that I really believe in, is the concept of pluralism. The world is coming together in one global civilization, to which each of us brings our own traditions, cultures, and beliefs. As I observe the Netherlands, what delights me and inspires me most is rich diversity of this country. I love the vibrant multiculturalism - that we are one but we are many.
The secret dream of Altaf
When I have earned enough money to retire early or to work less, I would love to spend my time helping others. Perhaps working with senior citizens or refugees. I don’t care about material things, I’d rather help people and make them smile. Or maybe helping isn’t the right word, it’s more working with them. People who are very isolated, like some of the seniors, may just need someone to listen to their stories. If you cannot do anything for somebody, just listening to their stories can make them feel better because they are being heard. IT is my passion, so I do want to keep doing that. Perhaps I can combine my profession and voluntary work, by building an app to connect people who would like to spend some time with a volunteer with volunteers that are available. That might be a nice way to help people to get in touch easily.
PressPage provides a SaaS PR platform with additional services for creation of advanced social newsrooms, virtual press centers and online media hubs. It enables brands to publish and distribute rich content, and provides direct insights into the results. PressPage empowers PR professionals by adding efficiency and effectiveness to their daily work routine.