Internship in Norway: Opera Software

    Opera Software holds summer internships every year . Last year, Kirill Ignatiev Kiri11squid from Yaroslavl got an internship in our office and we asked him to tell his story.

    Oslo Opera House. But not Opera Software, but where they sing

    They often ask me: “Why Opera?”. Difficult question, but try to answer. Actually, I have long liked Opera: both as a browser and as a company. Once I just went to the Opera website and looked for internships there. I chose the most interesting for myself (Python, Desktop) and decided to submit an application. To do this, I had to update my resume and rewrite the grades from the set-off to the file (this is called Transcript). That was in April 2014.


    Oslo Central Station

    In early May, I received a test task. It consisted of several simple tasks (writing functions in a couple of lines), one more complicated (one-screen program) and an open architecture question (how would you design ...) I liked the tasks, they were interesting, but not olympiadic. Easier than give in Yandex. They imitated the problems that arise during real work: processing strings, arrays, choosing the right container and algorithm. I tried to stick with the Pythonic way (PEP8, explicit is better than implicit, readability matters, etc.) and used the standard library to the maximum. Apparently that's why I got single-line functions, because in theory the same thing could be painted much more verbose.

    We were given a week for assignments, but, as always, this week there was a blockage both at work and at school, plus a trip to Moscow was outlined. I had to answer the question about architecture briefly and with honest admission that I don’t really imagine how it would be better, since experience is not enough (do not do it!).

    After a while, an invitation came for an interview on Skype. It was scheduled for May 27. I was interviewed by three people: two from a potential team and one from HR. The interview lasted about an hour, with HR asking most of the questions, so it wasn’t very technical.

    A day later I received a job offer. It included the size of wages and working conditions. It should be borne in mind that salaries are indicated in Norwegian kroner and before taxes. The crown exchange rate fluctuates, now about one crown costs 7.5 rubles. Usually you can expect to pay 25-35% of taxes. But even if you subtract 35%, the trainee’s salary in Opera Software is 3 times higher than the salary of a regular developer in Yaroslavl (about 100 thousand rubles instead of 30 thousand). Of course, for the residents of Moscow, such amounts will not seem surprising, and Norwegian prices are much 2-3 times higher than Russian prices, so not everything is so rosy. Nevertheless, I agreed without hesitation.

    Obtaining a visa and work permit

    The red “O” in human growth in front of the office was

    scheduled to start the internship in June, and then I calmly started taking exams, which, of course, was my mistake. Because when it came time to apply for UDI, it turned out that not all documents were ready ( list of documents) The most difficult thing was to get paper from the university, which they do not mind. The first semester of the fifth year has just been set aside for practice, but my idea to work in another country was met with perplexity. Still, “times are turbulent now” and “no matter what happens”. I had to negotiate with the dean's office, ask for help from the international department (thank you very much!) And write a statement addressed to the rector. All this took about a week and finally the application was submitted (the employer filed for me). After that came the wait, which dragged on for a month and a half. And finally, in August, when all the deadlines had already been broken, I received a letter stating that I received a residence permit! Next was a trip to Moscow for a “D” visa - it only gives entry to Norway. Within 7 days after entry, you must contact the Service Center for Foreign Workers to receive an oppholdstillatelse card. So it’s better to make an appointment with this center in advance. Although if you can’t make an appointment within the first 7 days, no one will find fault with this. The card is sent by mail, so in the first month it is desirable to have a permanent address.

    Housing, salary

    Housing in Oslo is not difficult to find, but expensive. Usually all ads are placed on (even there is a map) For 4-5 thousand crowns it is really possible to find a room, for 10 thousand already a one-room apartment. Personally, I was lucky, and there was a free room in one of the apartments owned by the company, for only 4,300 kroons (32 thousand rubles). It is also a big plus that this money is deducted from the salary, that is, you do not have to pay in advance. At the same time, for Norway, they usually ask for a deposit when renting an apartment - an amount of 2-3 monthly plans, which is returned after the tenant leaves. Therefore, for the first time, a significant amount of money may be needed. Salaries in Opera Sofware are paid every 20th day, and usually only from the second month. Fortunately, you can ask the accounting department to issue a certain amount in cash in advance. Which I did in the second week. Before that I used Russian bank cards. Accepted everywhere, the bank automatically converted the purchase amount into rubles.

    The company also provides dinners for a nominal fee and a corporate SIM card. So even the trainee will not have financial problems.

    Bank account

    To get paid, you need a Norwegian bank account. I recommend Nordea Bank. Although they refused to give me access to the online bank due to the availability of only a temporary D-nummer (this number is issued to those who have been in Norway for less than 6 months), they still have a Check-In program with a free card for people under 28 years old , and ATMs are common in Oslo.


    Oslo is a very calm city. The most popular vehicles are buses and bicycles. There are not so many traffic jams as in large cities. The city has only 600 thousand inhabitants, although it is the capital. But for Norway this is normal, in the country as a whole there are 5 million inhabitants, although the territory is quite large. The main area is occupied by natural spaces. The country is very beautiful, you can leave the city on foot and immediately get into the beautiful forest. I'm not talking about the opportunity to go to the fjords!

    Student status provides some benefits, such as a discount on travel and train from Flytoget airport. You can also borrow an electric bike from the garage of the Opera. The office of the Opera is located on a hill, so the help of an electric motor does not hurt at all!

    After a while, I was even able to take possession of my own bike for free. On the same site there is a Gis bort section , that is, for nothing. I was surprised how many useful things are given in good hands!

    For the first time, I also appreciated the convenience of living in a city with an international airport: it’s not a problem to fly to other European countries on weekends. Ticket prices start at five euros.

    Standard of living

    Norway ranks first in the world in terms of the HDI - an integral indicator of living standards. In short: everyone is rich here. According to my impressions, every person in Norway - at least a cleaner, at least a seller at McDonalds - everyone gets a decent salary. Therefore, the average level is very high. On the other hand, there are few billionaires. The more people earn, the more taxes they collect from them.

    Language and immigrants

    I don’t know Norwegian at all. But it never bothered me. Locals know English well, and in the company all business communication is conducted exclusively in English. You can go to Norwegian courses, but I repent, I went only once. After some time, the main words and phrases stick themselves.

    In general, Opera Software welcomes internationality. I met employees from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, as well as Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Peru ... And this is only from those I personally know.

    In general, Norwegians are calm towards immigrants and foreigners. Personally, I have never felt a hint of negativity. Nevertheless, a certain amount of discrimination is observed in relation to the Poles. For example, they might say, “after all, it’s better to tie a bicycle, otherwise all sorts of Poles walk along the streets ...” It is unclear how they deserve such an attitude. I know many Poles, great people. One of them said: “We met the girls in the club, word for word, all things ... How does the conversation go:“ Where are you from? ”“ From Poland ”. After that, without exception, all the girls in a minute informed: “Oh, I need to urgently leave here ... So come on, good luck!”. Probably, the Norwegians are simply not accustomed to immigrants, and the Poles are the largest and most visible group.


    After 4 months, my Norwegian contract expired, and I returned to university to finish my studies.
    It seems to me that for any student the experience of an internship in a foreign company will be extremely useful.
    This is an English practice, an opportunity to live in another country and learn a foreign culture.

    And Opera turned out to be a very good place for this!
    The internship vacancies for 2015 are already open.

    Also popular now: