Beda Schmid

August 30, 2018

Well, you’ve already read how Beda’s close colleagues feel about him, one of our dedicated Toolset supporters.  We know his name, we know his work, but how much do we know of the real Beda?

Beda with Jacqueline, his ex-girlfriend, in 2012

Beda comes from Switzerland, from Lucerne, the elder son in a family of four.  Do we find him comfortably living and working in idyllic Alpine scenery? Far from it! Beda is a nomad, not simply a rover but an adventurer.  His escapades began when he was a young lad…

When I was young I always wanted to become a swashbuckling pirate on the high seas. My father cleverly harnessed my enthusiasm and convinced me that pirates needed boats and so I was apprenticed to become a boatbuilder.   I have many favorite memories as a child, basically my entire childhood – I was raised in a very “liberal” family. But there is one thing I am very ashamed of down to this day. Foolishly, thoughtlessly as kids, my brother and I bullied our dog…

Beda in Hong Kong

I believe the free spirit of the life of a pirate has never left you entirely. 

Let’s say I have a zest for life and new experiences. 

In April 2012 with temperatures around 3-4°C and the threat of rain and snow,  I set out from my home in Sarnen and hiked to Bern, on to Lausanne and Geneva, crossed over to Provence and Marseille in France, attempted to cross the Camargue and onto to the Pyrenees and reached Barcelona. From Barcelona, I traveled on to Miami, Mexico City, Guatemala, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Buenos Aries and eventually Rosario in Argentina.

An epic journey!  You joined OTGS in 2014, but how did you finance your travels before then?

I worked at anything I could find – barman, working in hostels, anything, but probably the most unusual was working for an enterprise that built ecologic human waste recycling plants.  Unusual because of all we did and how we did it … To top it all, I never got paid for that :P )

Working at OTGS

I got to OTGS “by accident”.  I was a client initially and received hiring emails (twice, to be honest) before I responded.

OTGS has changed a lot since then, but I can also say it has changed only a little. What I mean to say is that we are still doing what we always did, but, oh man, how we have grown!

I have learned a lot while here – sometimes it baffles me how! Probably, I have asked everyone at OTGS at least one question during my time here :) I really want to take this opportunity and thank all who helped, and are still helping, in this process of learning.

I think my favourite projects are when I can do something completely new, like building an internal site or when I created an A to Z  list where users of our Toolset website can vote for feature requests.

One thing I would like to say is that someone who wants to work at OTGS needs a strong sense of self esteem and to cultivate pride in his/her work, rather than relying merely on academic knowledge. By this I mean that we can all learn, but applying that knowledge successfully depends on our approach and what motivates us.  Proudest moments? Probably, it’s when I mention to someone where I work and the feedback is something like, “Oh really? I have an account; you guys are amazing!”

Sure, there are always the highs and lows as with any kind of work. I must admit, though, that it can be really embarrassing when someone needs to remind me of an obvious mistake!

A market in Barcelona, 2018

I would like to remind you of something you once said: “I want to work and be able to travel throughout Asia, Africa and to do the Inca trail from Patagonia as far as at least the Equator.”  Are you any closer to these goals?

Thanks to the flexibility of working remotely with OTGS I have enjoyed living in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand.  I even went over to Brazil for the New Year 2017/2018 and flew back again to Asia :P

Chimie, Beda’s girlfriend, at the shore of a lagoon in Rio de Janeiro 2017.

If I could, I would be traveling in some far distant galaxies – but I am quite happy here and now too, being with my girlfriend and working at OTGS and traveling the globe. Everything is quite perfect :)

OTGS is a truly international company.  Our colleagues are scattered all over the world, working from 39 different countries. We pride ourselves in that we are not merely co-workers, but, as Beda has shown us,  we have succeeded in cultivating friendships and bonds that traverse even international borders.