Coaching and Coding: Interview with Gianfranco Muggianu.

The first in a series of interviews in which we ask our colleagues to tell their stories.

Tell us about yourself, how does your story intersect with GFM's?
I started out as an electronics technician, but I soon realized that designing electronic boards didn't appeal to me-I preferred writing code. I started working in 1987, and in the early years I changed several jobs, looking for something that fit me. After an experience in a company that designed management software, I landed at GFM-Net in 2005: I knew right away that I had finally found what I was looking for, and in fact...I'm still here!

What were the early days like?
The fact that I also found myself as an external consultant, comparing myself with larger realities, enriched me a lot professionally. The level of knowledge I have reached now I owe to meeting people, to the suggestions they gave me.

What was the first project you worked on? And the last one?
I started with a project to digitize the entire production process of a food company, a supplier to large retailers. When I say, "the whole process," I really mean everything from warehouse management to packaging to product traceability, returns, and invoicing management. After that I ranged in various areas, always learning new things. For the past 10 years, my work has focused on a remarkable project: there are more than half a million connected users! Keeping the software "running" and efficient at all times is a great challenge and involves a high degree of responsibility.

What is your role, how do your younger colleagues see you?
Within the group, I am an expert figure, assigning tasks to be done, reviewing them and correcting them if necessary. Younger colleagues often ask me for support and technical opinions. Regardless of my role, I have maintained a humble attitude and share the hard work with those who have to do an onerous task. I try to get people to the next step gradually, growing skills naturally, and respecting the person's natural talents.

So you feel led to be a coach...
You hit the nail on the head! Over the past few years, I have been coaching for several months with a team from an outside company, and I have found that I have a frame of mind that lends itself to being passed on. I treasure the "neuronal decrease" and the simultaneous increase in experience and interpersonal skills.

What are the unique aspects that characterize GFM?
The way I see it, you must do work that you enjoy, not work that you can't wait to finish. Money is not a goal to achieve, but a dutiful measurement of your worth. On the other hand, GFM is a place where you can grow a lot. We live in a corporate dimension with very interesting projects, but without suffocating with procedures. There is a very informal relationship between manager and employee. And then, more than a company, it is a family: the colleague is a friend, there is no antagonism.

What would you say to a recent graduate from a science faculty to convince him or her to come work at GFM?
Even though it is a small facility, you can grow professionally within it, which is no small thing. You're in a stimulating environment that gives you the opportunity to delve into new technologies and range in multiple areas. You have fun here and there's a lot to learn. And then, last but not least, we are sensitive to the aspect of well-being in the workplace.

And to a senior profile?
To a senior colleague I would say that in GFM he would not be caged in overly structured dynamics, he would have the opportunity to express himself fully. I never felt my wings were clipped.

What do you do in your free time, what are your passions outside of work?
It may sound strange, but in my spare time mostly I study. I have no other particular passions, I go twice a week to the pool. I'm married and have two daughters aged 14 and 12, everything revolves around my family.

How do you see the future development of your profession?
In the future I see myself a little less as a "coder" and more as a coach-I would like to be someone who shows the way forward, someone who helps people grow.