Interview with Sofia, Head of Legal
For this month’s dxSpotlight, we explore Sofia’s career and personal perspective as Head of Legal at Devexperts.
Through Sofia’s eyes, we’ll explore her fascination with the law in the IT world and discover why she sees programming as a work of art.
You have been at Devexperts ever since you’ve graduated from university. What are the main reasons for over a decade-long dedication to the company?
I believe that I grew up along with the company. Here, you have access to a great number of possibilities to develop new areas, expand your knowledge, and try new processes. That’s why I am still very devoted to it. There is also the fact that I find what we do as a company to be so interesting and inspiring that I keep wanting to know and learn more about it.
What makes you so interested in what we develop at Devexperts?
As a lawyer, I enjoy working with two different specialties: International Law and Intellectual Property. Technological innovation is far ahead from the legislation, but when you work in a tech company you soon discover that you need to make this a reality in your everyday work. Following the technological progress of the company, lawyers like myself need to create something new from scratch. We need to understand how to translate technological progress into legal terminology and framework. This process of understanding the product that we do and being able to reflect it through the Law is something that fascinates me.
What is your expertise and how does it come into play in your work?
My master’s degree is in International Law, a branch of the Law that includes a bit of everything and then multiplies it by all the international systems you come across.
I’ve witnessed the transformation of Devexperts into an international company. This transformation requires a strong global structure and the knowledge to develop it across different countries and cultures. What I am doing in my job is exactly what I’ve learned years ago as a law student. I ensure legal expertise, communication, and compliance across all our client’s business locations and our offices’ various locations.
Do you find there are specific challenges to law practices in Fintech?
Yes, of course. I have previously mentioned the freedom that lawyers face in this industry when it comes to creating legal documents custom-tailored to each innovative project the company develops. There’s also the other side of the coin, of course. Sometimes it’s challenging to know what do to do when you’re creating something in this void. There is a lot of pressure there, you need to be able to accept the risks, to make decisions. This is the great challenge that Fintech and IT Law as a whole bring.
What skills have led to your success at Devexperts?
I am always interested in learning with the people I work with. My natural curiosity leads me to try my best to understand new things and that only can be done by the team that actually created them. I interact with our engineers and all the people involved in making things happen at the company.
I also believe that being someone who loves to meet other cultures and learn new languages has helped me thrive in an international company like ours.
2 years ago, you embarked on a big life change and moved to Munich. How has your experience in the city been so far?
I know I may sound like a broken record, but the truth is that I wanted to experience living abroad as the ultimate international experience. Munich’s location means that I am in the very center of Europe, and that allows me to easily go anywhere I would like to in a short time. I was also curious to learn about Germany’s culture and I’ve been learning German, a challenge that has delighted me.
There were tough times in the beginning, especially because my relocation coincided with the early days of Covid-19. Part of my experience until more recently was linked to all the restrictions, lockdowns, etc. As someone who loves traveling, I turned to internal tourism during the pandemic. It has been wonderful to discover German cities and the countryside. I feel very grateful to the company for the possibility of this relocation.
We heard about your newfound passion for hiking! Can you tell us what this hobby brings to your life?
I used to prefer camping, but I found out that in Germany that is sometimes restricted in some locations. The natural attractions where one might be delighted to set up a tent are often protected so people won’t cause any harm to nature. And you know as a lawyer I need to follow the rules.
So, I became keen on day trips and hiking naturally came along. There is something about having the goal of reaching a summit that simply speaks to me. Nothing beats the view you get when you reach the summit. It’s worth everything.
What are your sources of inspiration for your life?
I find beauty and inspiration in cinema and theater above all else. These are the places I go to relax, discover joy, and be inspired. I’m also quite fond of opera and ballet.
Inspiration also comes to me when I look at the work we do at the company. In my opinion, programming should also be considered a work of art.
Why is that?
Software, legally speaking, is considered similar to art. It’s a creation; it’s intellectual property. I see our developers as kind of artists themselves creating this new art form.
You sound like someone who sees beauty and art in all kinds of ways in your life.
Absolutely. That is me. In every situation, I look through the prism of beauty.