Meet Layar: Pambo Paschalides
If you hadn’t noticed our rapidly expanding list of job openings, Layar is growing, and fast! With that, we have lots of new people around the office - myself included. I’m Chris and I’m brand new to Amsterdam and to Layar. I have been brought on board as Web Producer, so right here on the blog is where you will find me most often.
With all the new people around the office, we thought it would be great to let our community learn more about the people that work here and the experiences they all have in doing so. As I’ve realized already, working at Layar is like having a big family. Everyone is very friendly and caring. So to help you better know the Layar family, we are beginning a series of blogs profiling each employee in the office.
This week is the first entry in the series, and the lucky Layar employee that drew the short straw is Pambo Paschalides!
Pambo, who helps support Layar developers, has been working at Layar for just a few months. Pambo, 27, was born and raised on the “sunny island of Cyprus” in the Mediterranean and is the second of three children. He has an older sister, 29, who is a doctor in Athens, and a younger brother, 25, who is studying Civil Engineering in Nottingham, UK. His parents still live “happily in Cyprus,” he says.
Here’s a brief Q&A I had with Pambo.
What do you like about working at Layar?
Pambo: I was really surprised at how relaxed the environment is and how approachable people are. From day one I felt at home, and having worked at a couple of Dutch companies in the past, I didn’t think that was really possible. One thing that I still can’t get used to is eating sandwiches for lunch. I think it’s also really funny that Dutchies drink milk during lunch. I thought these things were reserved for breakfast!
What did you do before joining Layar?
Pambo: Before joining Layar I worked as a research assistant for Professor Tanenbaum at the Vrije Universiteit, as a System Engineer at Intralot NL, and as a Software Engineer at Hyves. My work at Hyves can be seen at www.hyves.nl/nu, I worked on the backend of the trending topics system.
What are your interests outside of Layar and technology?
Pambo: I’m a big fan of classic rock and metal music. I’m really crazy about anything from the 70s. There’s nothing like discovering an old vinyl, or a band that probably disbanded 35 years ago, but before that they released a couple of cool records. I would say my favorite bands are Rush, Rainbow and Megadeth. If you like any of them, can we hang out sometime? As embarrassing as it may sound, a movie that changed my life is “School of Rock”, with Jack Black. I rarely watch movies. But I do love documentaries about music.
So you’ve only been in The Netherlands for a few years. How has life in Amsterdam been different from back home?
Pambo: For some reason, everyone thinks I’m Italian. Sometimes I think that for North Europeans, dark hair means Italy. When I was working at Hyves I was so fed up with people coming to me and talking about Italy that I printed a t-shirt saying “Ik kom niet uit Italie.” It was a pity that even like that, it still wasn’t clear I am not Italian. Some girl came up to me once and said “I know a few words in Italian,” and my response was “That’s a shame, because I don’t know any.”
Fun Facts About Pambo
- Pambo’s full name is Charalambos (Χαράλαμπος) which means that he “shines of happiness.”
- Like all Cypriot boys, Pambo served in the army after high-school for 26 months.
- Pambo studied in Greece, earning a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering. He is currently working on a second Master’s in Software Engineering.
- His favorite foods include Indian, Italian and Greek.
- Al Bundy from Married with Children is his favorite TV personality, and his favorite show is South Park.
- He hates rude and grumpy people.