Meet our people: Mario

Meet the diverse people at blue-infinity that help make us distinctive. Mario leads the front-end development team for the digital marketing department at blue-infinity headquarters in Geneva. “It's a group of very talented people and I'm happy to be part of such a nice team. A lot of dedication and passion in what they do, when they get to work on something challenging and fun, they really run with it.”

Meet the diverse people at blue-infinity that help make us distinctive. Mario Ballario leads the front-end development team for the digital marketing department at blue-infinity headquarters in Geneva. “It's a group of very talented people and I'm happy to be part of such a nice team. A lot of dedication and passion in what they do, when they get to work on something challenging and fun, they really run with it.”

Front-end development is about coding - producing HTML, CSS and JavaScript for our client websites or web applications, so that their customers can see and interact with brands and services.

Mario has a get up and go Italian personality, starting with the morning routine - “Coffee as soon as I enter the office, a nice chat with the rest of the team, then check emails, check FWA, check some technical news websites, jump into the work schedule.”

So how did Mario end up working in Switzerland? “My wife and I love Switzerland, we went to Stockholm before but it was a horrible weather, so we wanted leave either to London or Switzerland. Switzerland has the balance of Northern European ‘order’ and the good sides of southern Europe. Right in the middle, the best of both. So I started at an agency in Geneva and now I’m at blue-infinity, where I enjoy the challenges. The level of projects are different.”

Mario is currently on some diverse projects, involving luxury watchmakers. “This is the most important campaign for this year for this brand, as the whole collection is redesigned - the watches, the movements… and more than half the brand’s revenue will come from this collection.” Mario previously worked with watchmakers and luxury, but not the two combined. “Now I deal with fashion and design but also highly technical products. Another reason I’m in Switzerland!”

What would Mario consider the greatest advantage about working at blue-infinity? “Knowledge - someone always knows the answer here. You have so many people with a diverse range of skills. Whereas in pure advertising agencies, you discover things because nobody did it before and everything is new. Usually the goal is to scale down the idea as little as possible. The back-end is standard or minimal, so you don’t discover as much. Here you discover things by consulting with the other people and the server-side knowledge is very high, and we don’t need to look outside.”

What has been the biggest challenge for Mario since joining us in mid-2015? “Dealing with time, in advertising campaigns. We have to carefully consider client decisions and all the channels involved. How to fit a good result even when you don’t have the bandwidth to do the best coding in the world – that’s the challenge.”

Mario takes on different responsibilities in his role, namely that of supporting the team.  “I help make sure that projects go ahead, but also give my support to anybody that is in charge of running them. I’m more of a help than a ‘commander’.”  Mario takes it it on his shoulders, so that the weight is not another’s. “I am at the service of the team, rather than the team is at my service. I try to identify if we are moving too slowly, or something might be missing and then discuss strategy with the project managers to resolve the problem. And by doing that a developer doesn’t lose momentum.”

Mario appreciates being able to “enable the developers” and make their lives easier. From his background, he understands the difficulty of agency work when one doesn’t have all the answers. “By solving the problems they have, finding the hardware and such... I take on problems and fix them, so they can focus on what they have to do for development. That’s the most rewarding thing.”

A new environment can be challenging. “When I joined we had a new team, so my role was built piece by piece whilst I was finding my feet. I started as a developer, more than a tech lead. That was a challenge because I had a lot of people who helped me discover where things fitted in. It also made it fun. I had a chance to shape the team culture.”

“More or less there is a similar atmosphere throughout blue-infinity. I like the feeling here, it’s quite relaxed but hard-working. Of course, personalities are different, but when you get to know people they are more or less the same.”

How does Mario derive pleasure from his work? “To be able to succeed is a great thing. blue-infinity provides a great social environment too, because I’m enjoying my team right now, and some of them are becoming my friends so there’s a positive side there too.”

“I have the chance to work with people that have such a wide knowledge, and I get to learn so many new things every day. That makes my job exciting. We face different problems everyday. The diversity and range. Here we don’t do things that are only say, 2 months. They are much more long term. ”

Outside the office, Mario is a judge for FWA Awards and also worked on 17 FWA winning projects. What attracted him to being a judge? “In general I don't feel qualified at all! There so many talented people around the world that I usually feel I have so much to learn from them. I was attracted by the role because this way I'm confronted every day with the best projects.”

The first that blew his mind on the internet was a website called Ray of Light, in 1999. “It's the one that opened my eyes about the potential of Flash and the direction the internet would take in the future.” So in what way is Mario “Passionately digital”, just like blue-infinity? “Well, I try to have side projects that explore some new possibility of the digital world. A personal project that I built a website within Instagram. Trying to build something digitally! I think mobile and social media are what’s defining more people across blue-infinity, in general.”

“Our people at blue-infinity – they're what makes….my life interesting!”

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About the author

kirk havelock
Kirk Havelock

Kirk drives internal and external communications according to company goals, ambition, values and culture, to support objectives throughout Dentsu Aegis Network.