Lilla Fésüs, Lilly, Hungarian, has lived in Vorarlberg for 3 years and has worked for Fusonic in Götzis for 19 months. In an interview, she tells us about her career, her way from Budapest via Vienna to Vorarlberg, her work at Fusonic and her life as an expat in Vorarlberg.

You can find out more about her job, her view of her new home Vorarlberg and how she tackled the challenges involved in the full interview.

Lilly has answered our questions:

Lilly, what does your business card say?
Lead Software Developer.

What is the coolest thing about your job?
The variety of problems, the way to the solution and creating something tangible. Every day is different and I never get bored. Also the flexibility should not be underestimated. Both in terms of time and space, this job in particular and Fusonic in general are very flexible.

Does your job involve any limitations?
I don’t see that as a limitation, but teamwork and collaborative skills are essential.

What is your working day like, and what skills are required for your job?
Some days I have many meetings, some days I can program quietly, and other days I have to solve other people’s problems. Analytical thinking, curiosity and no fear of challenges are very important. Knowing where to ask or look for solutions is just as important as knowing a programming language or framework.

What education do you have?
I studied media informatics at the Vienna University of Technology. The degree combines IT in the fields of computer vision, computer graphics and visualization with training in the design of innovative interfaces.

What did you do before?
Computer science is part of our family. My parents are computer scientists, my grandfather was a mathematician and my first holiday job was with an IT company. The only outlier was an internship at a bakery during my studies.

How did you learn about Fusonic?
Google. I wasn’t satisfied with my previous employer and after a difficult day I googled for front-end developer jobs in Vorarlberg. I found the job advertisement both on the website and on laendlejob.at and applied on the same day.

What made you finally decide to come to Vorarlberg?
I wanted to gain professional experience before completing my studies and applied for many internships all around Austria, including one at OMICRON. When the opportunity arose to work for OMICRON in Vorarlberg for 3 months, especially my mother encouraged me to accept the position. She said: “You are still young and free, go explore the world, because you won’t get many opportunities that easily”.
When I finally got here, I didn’t want to leave any more. My short and conclusive answer to this question is: “I have fallen in love with the mountains”. This feeling is also shared by many others: No matter who comes to visit, leaves with a heavy heart. I admit it’s a bit far away, 6 hours to Vienna and 9 hours to Budapest, but it’s still closer than Australia. There is also a very good and direct train connection. Sometimes I ask myself if we should have stayed near Vienna. But when I think about having to leave Vorarlberg, my heart feels heavy.

Before you moved to Vorarlberg, you already had lived in Vienna for 8 years. How did the change from Vienna to the ‘Ländle’ feel like?
Liberating. I don’t miss the big city at all. The Rhine Valley offers me the best mixture of countryside and city. In a short time I can reach both nature and a supermarket. People are friendly, you greet each other on the street and life doesn’t just pass by anonymously.

How long have you been here? How have you settled in?
3 years. We have built our lives here. In the beginning we slept on a 120cm wide mattress, now we bought our own apartment. We moved with a van with the little things we got from our family, now we have to book a moving service. I have applied for and obtained Austrian citizenship here. I am simply reborn here.

What does your community look like? Did you find any local friends?
Yes, both colleagues and neighbours belong to my circle of friends. I see familiar faces everywhere and can talk to anyone.

Did you have any special help here in Vorarlberg?
Before we could afford a car, I was happy to get a ride every once in a while. From Muttersberg in Bludenz to the train station after a strenuous hike, from Lauterach to Wolfurt in the rain with some furniture or from Lauterach to Dornbirn after the movies. I have experienced so many good things and would love to help others just as much.

What surprised you in Vorarlberg – positively or negatively?
Here I experienced for the first time that people let others in at the cash desk. People from Vorarlberg are very friendly, open and helpful. Somehow it is not as stressful here as in Vienna. I am not saying that there is no stress, but driving a car, public transportation, shopping or even waiting in line is much more pleasant and quiet here.

Did you face any language barriers? How do you cope with the dialect?
It’s fine. I had to learn German very quickly – in 4 years – for my high school diploma. Therefore I would say that I have no big problems with languages. Dialect is like another language with its own rules and allows conclusions to be drawn. I learned quickly that ‘eu’ becomes ‘ü’, like e.g. Leute -> Lüt, heute -> hüt.
Besides, the younger generation doesn’t speak so incomprehensibly anymore. And when I talk to someone in High German, they automatically answer in High German.

What do you particularly like or rather not like here?
The perfect mixture of countryside and city, the mountains, the people, the climate, the traffic. But I’m a bit careful with the cheese.

What could be improved for expats?
I found the CHANCENLAND VORARLBERG website very helpful. Just at the beginning, I often browsed through the printed edition.

What tips can you give to expats who want to move to Vorarlberg?
Be courageous and open with others, because help can literally be found at every corner here.

In Vorarlberg there is a lack of skilled workers. From an expat perspective, do you have any ideas or suggestions on how to get more specialists into the country and keep them here?
Eliminate prejudices. The people of Vorarlberg can also contribute a lot to this. When I rave about Vorarlberg, they fight tooth and nail against it. Vorarlberg is not the small hidden village behind the Arlberg that does not exist for the rest of Austria. It is a hidden treasure, full of opportunities, waiting to be discovered. Be it for adventurous, active, young people or for families. It is a country worth living in.

 

©Matthias Rhomberg

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