Life at Northmill - Ana Cancino: “It’s a paradise climate”


From the paradise of Venezuela, through the ports of France, all the way to the North. With a passion for tech, Ana Cancino breaks down how she is thankful for technology, how she wants to make a difference and why she and Northmill are a perfect match from the beginning.

- Yeah… But we have FaceTime!

Ana Cancino is the positive kind of person, the one who believes that good things will happen rather than lowering the expectations.

She is far away from her birthplace. Venezuela is shining in the west, along with the setting sun, but a pandemic has stopped her from traveling home. Her brother is an accountant, her sister soon to be a psychologist. And then there is the niece.

- My brother has a baby girl. She is the apple of our eyes, but I haven’t met her yet. It’s good that I have my small family here - my husband and I - but naturally, I miss my big family.

In September 2019, Northmill became a bank. A week earlier, Ana had entered the tech department. When she was close to finishing her journey at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, she came across a job opening.

- My husband and I started at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. I studied Electronics Engineering and both of us moved to Sweden to get our Master’s Degree here. My thesis dissertation was about how to improve people's financial lives.

A perfect match with Northmill?

- Nathalie Pace from the product department contacted me and said just that. Since I got the job, I’ve learned a lot about finances and how to improve our products, looking at the problem from a customer's perspective. After developing our own product, seeing it in the hands of customers, getting amazing feedback and really good reviews… It makes you really proud of what you do.

Ana pauses.

- At Northmill, all the ideas are being heard. We are constantly improving our products and provide customers with better solutions. As a software engineer, I am involved in the process of product development. When you feel that you make a difference, it keeps you very engaged.

A 29 year-old, Ana would describe herself as a person with a great passion for technology and development.

- I have learned about AWS new technologies, such as serverless services, that from an engineering perspective are very innovative. Combined with our relentlessness, curiosity and ability to focus, we are constantly trying to improve and find new solutions.

Can you give us an example?

- We launched the first version of our own product Reduce. As we wanted to do better, instead of dismissing the product, we created a second version of it based on the feedback we received from our customers. Today, it’s an amazing product that helps people with their financial situation by reducing the cost of their loans and saving money.

Is tech something you can talk to your husband about?

- For sure. We are kind of a tech-couple! Haha! He is an Electric Power Engineer.

The road to the North had a quick stop in France. After high school, Ana studied one year in Bordeaux, the city famous for its wine, even though she is more of a tea drinker.

In her spare time, Ana enjoys hanging out with her loved ones, as well as learning new things and improving her skills as a developer.

- I have always liked technology, from robots to Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. In a fast-growing company such as Northmill, you have a lot of opportunities to be innovative. Even though it’s a bank, it’s still kind of a startup company, which means that we have a lot of angles in different areas where we can improve.

But if you put work aside after the pandemic - where would you want to travel?

- To Venezuela, to visit one of the small islands of the coast, such as Los Roques. It’s a paradise climate. And in Venezuela, I would get the chance to meet my family again. They are so far away. I still can’t believe I haven’t met my niece yet.

Is it tough?

- Yeah… But we have FaceTime!

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Quick questions

Coffee or tea?

Pizza or pasta?

Which Venezuelan foods would you like to eat right now?

A movie or a book?
It depends on the book, but… A book! Me and my husband also love watching documentaries.

Favourite book?
It’s impossible to have one.

The forest or the beach?
For me, the forest is kind of a jungle. I would have picked the jungle. In the south of Venezuela, we have the Amazonas, where you can see “tepuyes”. These are mountains that are squared at the top. You can also see waterfalls like “El Salto Angel” or Angel Falls, which is the world’s highest waterfall.

Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
None of them!

Would you rather change the past or look into the future?
Look into the future. In the past, you did your best based on the circumstances and the tools and knowledge you had. The future has so many possibilities and is the only thing we can change - by doing what we like today.