Cogent Crew: Meet Peter

Mary Chen

Mary Chen

Organiser, social director, Mother of rabbits. Getting things done since 1985.

A behind-the-scenes look at the people who make us great.

Welcome to the March edition of the monthly Cogent Crew series, where one of our great people interview another great person and shares what they discover.

This month, our Office Manager Mary sat down with our favourite Swedish developer Peter to talk about his band and what’s kept him at Cogent for 5+ years.

Name: Peter Evjan
From: Sweden
Job: Developer
Time at Cogent: Over 5 years

Mary: So Peter, you joined Cogent a while ago now. Why have you stayed so long?

Peter: Ha! I like that it’s varied and we get to work a lot on values focused stuff like clean energy clients and systems. That’s far more interesting to me than working for a big bank or a multinational conglomerate. Plus, its a nice group of people trying to make the world a better place.

Mary: Were you always a programmer before joining us?

Yeah, well for me it started by playing computer games as a kid. We had an Amiga 500 at home in the early 90s and there was no internet, so when you finished a game you had to figure out something else to do.

I was ten at the time when I discovered that you could create your own games using a programming language called “Basic” and so I started creating text-based games. Then on a family trip somewhere, I found an old secondhand book from the 70’s on how to create a hotel booking system using Basic. Reading that, I remember thinking that maybe one day I could do this programming thing for a living.

Now as a software engineer, I mostly write Ruby back-ends for web applications, but with the occasional front-end work as well, like Javascript and CSS. Fun stuff!

Mary: What fun stuff are you working on at the moment?

Right now I’m working on Chargefox, which is Australia’s fastest growing electric vehicle charging network. We’re creating software that allows drivers to easily and simply find charging stations and their car charging.

I think this has actually been my favourite project I’ve worked on at Cogent so far! It’s really cool to work on a startup that’s growing and has a lot of potential to positively impact a lot of people.

Mary: Are you working on any fun stuff outside of Cogent?

I play in a band called Ghost of Now and we’re currently trying to record an EP, so that’s certainly been fun! I started playing music when I was ten and always knew that my career was either going to be in programming or music. I even went to a music specific high school in Sweden.

Peter’s band Ghost of Now
Peter’s band Ghost of Now

At the time though, I couldn’t take the amount of practise it required to become really technically proficient, so I dropped out after two years but it’s still a passion of mine. I’m also very heavily into Brazilian Jui-jitsu, which I train for three to five times a week.

I’ve recently become more interested in videography as well. My wife is a wedding photographer and I’ve started going along with her on shoots to learn more through practice. I’m shooting my first wedding this weekend.

Peter (left) trains in Brazilian Jui-jitsu 3–5 times a week. Photo: Dogs of War
Peter (left) trains in Brazilian Jui-jitsu 3–5 times a week. Photo: Dogs of War

Mary: Wow! Do you have any other hidden talents besides music and now videography?

I am great at puns. I have this hyperactive pun brain. People are usually very impressed when they find out that English isn’t my first language because of how many puns I know.

Mary: Are there any apps or software that you couldn’t live without?

At the moment, Firefox. It’s getting very heavy use because it has more privacy and less Google spying on you! Another one would be Spotify since I play music all day long. Spotify is a great Swedish invention!

Mary: It definitely is. Finally, what advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d say to learn the importance of sticking with something to become good at it. I’ve always been interested in a lot of different things, which can mean spreading yourself too thin and not really getting very good at one thing. Jui-jitsu has taught me that everything is an infinite martial art — there are endless techniques and you can’t learn them all, but you can make sure that you spend as much time on it as you can.

Like the idea of joining the Cogent team? Head over to the Cogent Careers page and say hello

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