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Juan Carlos Rivera, Senior Software Engineer

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«It was an amazing opportunity to hone my hard skills in coding and soft skills in international collaboration»

Juan Carlos Rivera, Senior Software Engineer Mimacom, Madrid

Juan Carlos Rivera, Senior Software Engineer

Customer: Hauni

Industry: Tobacco manufacturing 

Solution: A B2B portal that provided a single touch point for customers, using an innovative headless Liferay CMS system.

Hauni supplies machinery to big players in the tobacco industry. The machinery they build, supply, and maintain is nothing short of colossal. Some units fill entire warehouses, churning out 18,000 cigarettes in just one minute.

This was a project where we were talking in the millions in every sense, whether it be consumers reached, euros spent, or data transmitted. With so much at stake, it was a really exciting project to work on and I’m immensely proud of what the team came up with, which at the time, was a completely novel solution. 

Hauni wanted to create a fully-integrated webshop where customers could order machinery, request maintenance, manage warranties, and contact customer service, among other functions. We built them a bespoke platform from the ground up, designing and developing every aspect from the backend to the UX. 

Hauni wanted a single-page application (SPA) in the frontend, which Liferay didn’t offer at the time. To solve this problem, we implemented an SPA with Angular 5, using Liferay 7.0 as a headless CMS. This solution was completely custom; we used Java and Spring to connect the elements and create the UX the customer was looking for.

This project was an international collaboration at every step. From code to UX, Mimacom teams were collaborating to deliver our client the whole package. I was working with two guys from Ukraine, four from Germany, and here in Spain we were two or three people. 

For some of us, it was our first time working on an international project. That was a challenge for some of us, but in a good way. There are many languages you might need to speak in tech; Java, C++, Python…and in most of the biggest cross-border projects, you’ll need English too. It was an amazing opportunity to hone my hard skills in coding and soft skills in international collaboration, working across time zones, physical distances, and cultures. 

Even though the project was almost entirely remote, we went to Germany twice to meet in person at the Mimacom offices in Stuttgart. It was great putting a face to the name, sharing beers, and getting dinners together. We were also all together in person in Spain, where we got the chance to connect and discuss new features we were going to release. Now, we are not all working on the same project – some are not even in the company – but for me, they are friends. I still talk with them on a weekly basis. 

Although we might not all be working together anymore, we’re still working with Hauni. They’re commissioning new features, launching the product in new markets, and we meet with them on a regular basis. It was amazing creating something new, but it’s the fact we’re still learning and growing that makes this project really rewarding. 

I think that captures the whole atmosphere at Mimacom: that making something innovative isn’t just captured in the eureka moment, it’s also about collaborating and developing in the long term.