Meet the team: Orlando Goncalves

This series will help you get to know more about a different Hyphen team member, what they do and who they are away from work.


Orlando Goncalves is a people person first and foremost. As our senior software developer, he works hard to ensure our digital resources make life as easy as possible for the rest of our A-team. 

But his international travels have brought him face-to-face with professionals from a host of different industries, offering all sorts of inspiration. These explorations have been invaluable for him, as have AI advances in recent years. 

In the latest feature in our series, Orlando shares his views on a host of topics, including the value of human interaction in a computer-driven world, the impact of tech evolution, his incredible travel schedule and much more. 


Hyphen: In Adam’s profile, he explained how life in the Technology team works – but how do you approach work on new digital products? 

Orlando: You can have a lot of impact here and really leave your fingerprint on things so there’s a lot of responsibility and you can take your own initiative. Everyone in the team is given room to think and use their creativity to solve problems or try new tools or approaches. 

Given it’s a small team, you can clearly see the impact of what you do here because most of the tools we build are for our team, which is very rewarding. When teammates say, “This helped me so much, thank you”, you get that instant reward loop. You know you’ve produced something, that someone else is using it, and that it improves their day and their mood. I take a lot of satisfaction from being able to do that. 



Hyphen: A lot of people look at technology development as very function-driven with the output as the priority, but you seem a lot more human-orientated. Is that a view you held in previous roles and how important is it to think about the people using digital tools when building them? 

Orlando: When looking out for job opportunities, I am looking for somewhere with the right spirit and I think, “Will it excite me? How can I bring value? Where can I create things?” Normally, startups are the kind of profile that fits my personality but I must say it’s different with Hyphen and I am enjoying it much more here. 

For the vast majority of people, software is something very fluffy and abstract and obviously it’s not tangible, right? The way I see it is that we are building tools that should increase the quality of life for people. We want to enhance users’ processes and make their lives easier and that’s the way I like to build tools. 

I like to build things that are meaningful, of good quality and give people enjoyment; that creative process is what I really enjoy about software development. 

Even though software development is a highly rational job, it’s very important to be stimulated emotionally, so I often look at something and think, “Does it excite me?” If yes, then that excitement is like fuel and gives me the energy, imagination and creativity for each step.  

Different developers have different approaches when creating software – I jump in head-first, get something down and then it’s like a refining process and you look at the final picture and think: “Is this where it should be?” You want to make something people will enjoy. 


Hyphen: A lot of people are talking about artificial intelligence and there are differing views on what it means for humans. As someone in the software development field, what do you think about the potential – and possible pitfalls – of AI? 

Orlando: From what I can see, tools like ChatGPT can only enhance and make us better and more productive. The developers who adapt to it and learn how to take the best will gain advantages from these tools. I think these resources could multiply productivity by 10 to the point that you can use your time for things you like doing. 

It’s not a question of how it will impact my work; it’s how it’s already impacting my life at work. Tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot are already integrated with my code editor and they help me to write code more efficiently. You can think of it as a spell-checker for coding. You can select the code you just wrote, and you ask, “Can you spot any errors? Can you spot any possible bugs? Can you please generate tests for my code so that I can be more reassured that all the case scenarios are safe?” It saves time. 

If, in the future, I change something in the code that causes it to fail these tests, I instantly know that I need to fix the code so ChatGPT can already write code, can write tests, and can tell me if I have errors. It all helps developers – I know it makes me sleep better at night without being paranoid that maybe the code is going to break! As I say, it’s already freeing up a lot of space and time to do more creative work. 



Hyphen: Another development in some sectors in recent years is the rise of remote working, though tech has been more adaptable than many industries on this. How does it suit you, both as an individual and as part of the Tech team?  

Orlando: There are still things to work out from a team perspective perhaps but considering we all work in different places and have been together for less than a year, I think we have made real progress and understand each other’s ways of working. 

From a personal perspective, it’s great. In 2023, I spent time in Vietnam, where my wife is from; Italy for a short time; the south of France for a month or two; then Bansko in Bulgaria, which is a digital nomads hub and which was a really good experience. I also spent time in my family’s base in Helsingborg, Sweden, and then I went to Portugal, my home country. We also spent three weeks in Cape Verde for three weeks of holiday, and then back to Sweden. 

We are like a tapestry of connections and every life experience will affect us in one way or another. All the travelling I’ve done throughout my life and all of those conversations with the people I have had the pleasure to meet along the way make a difference. Those digital nomad hubs are particularly interesting – there are so many professionals from different industries and everyone seems to have life hacks to be productive, you learn about different networks and tools so it’s great to make those connections. It gets you out of your own bubble. 


Hyphen: Thinking about your life away from work, how do you spend your time? 

Orlando: Besides being a father, I enjoy a lot of sports. I love football – I used to be an amateur player for nine years, I like to go and play with friends, and I like to watch it. Rock climbing and bouldering are also fun and I really like to surf, which unfortunately I’ve not been able to do for a long time. Even though I’ve only skydived once before, one of my goals is to do a skydiving course as well! 

I like to spend a lot of time with my son – I’m still quite a recent father as he is not even two yet but I am really enjoying the ride of fatherhood. All these countries that I’ve been to, he has been with me as well and I am enjoying doing all of this as a family – I want him to be as multicultural as possible and it’s super fun to spend time with him. 


Quickfire questions 

Do you collect anything? The only collection I have is an Asterix and Obelix collection, which I inherited from my father. He started the collection and then I started to keep it up when I became an adult. When a new edition comes out, I normally offer to buy it for him, it’s like my heritage from him. 

What are your favourite film genres? I really like sci-fi and I also enjoy a good thriller for the plot twists. 

Do you believe in ghosts, aliens or anything of that ilk? I don’t know about specific things but I believe there is much more we cannot explain. There’s a lot out there that goes beyond our comprehension. 

Which superpower would you most like to have? I would love to be able to fly.