#DevelopersofMSAB – Gustav Björk

If I was doing something which I did not see as challenging or fun, then I would not keep doing it. It’s a big part, I think, for every developer to have fun at their job.

For Gustav Björk, team lead for the Android division of MSAB’s Smartphone team, a run-of-the-mill job just won’t cut it. He’s more about finding the fun in complex challenges. He’s all about constant learning and improving. He’s more invested in professional development than he is in having a cushy, boring office job.

And luckily for him, he’s found just the place for that.

How it all began

Gustav Björk comes from a game development background – that was his university major and his first big passion. However, as he began searching for jobs in 2020, the dice fell in another direction.

He decided to explore other software engineering opportunities.

It didn’t take too long before that quest led him to MSAB, two years ago. For a young developer, the promise and challenge of app decoding, understanding and investigating app data, sounded too fun and appealing to miss. “So, I jumped on that train, and I’ve been here ever since,” said Gustav recounting his leap to join MSAB.


Choosing MSAB: A smaller company with a bigger impact

MSAB is not a small company – we have over 200 employees spread all over the world. However, compared to some of the giant corporations out there, we’re still pretty modest in size. And that has a ripple effect on how employees are treated within the company. In our workplace, we pride ourselves on creating a personal atmosphere where trust is the very bedrock of our way of working.

It didn’t take for Gustav long to realize that’s exactly what drew him to MSAB. “It’s a smaller company. I felt that here I could have a bigger impact and also a bit more freedom.” The opportunity to make a more substantial impact and enjoy a touch more autonomy was just too good to pass up.


Why do routine coding when you could be doing reverse engineering?

For many developers, the daily grind involves routine coding and system maintenance. Some find it completely fine and satisfactory. Others, Gustav included, are on the lookout for something more. They’re after developing skills like cryptography, reverse engineering, and other specialized talents that don’t often pop up in your typical software job.

“Some of the most fun stuff we do is reverse engineering related. I don’t know of many other software engineering jobs where you actually get to do a bunch of reverse engineering and implement that in your usual workflow. So, I really see that as an opportunity to learn more about that kind of stuff and get more technical knowledge.”


Keep it challenging – that’s what makes it fun

Gustav thrives on projects that keep it challenging and interesting. It takes a certain amount of finesse to solve the tasks that come across Gustav’s desk, but the pride he takes in his work is palpable. Who wants simple challenges easily resolved by conventional means? Not this guy.

“I guess I’m most proud of the projects where I’ve built most of the decoding for a specific app,” he says. “I’m a fan of all the problems that require reverse engineering, because it’s not your usual types of challenges that are easy to solve just by doing simple investigations and looking at the data normally.” Easy tasks are overrated, anyway.

Contributing to innovation

Gustav’s role extends beyond the boundaries of everyday software development. He recognizes the profound impact that his work, and it’s not a responsibility he takes lightly.

“I think we are in small enough of a business where the decisions we make will impact how the future of it looks. The decisions I make and that my colleagues make will actually impact both the product and the market. And that leaves a mark on a lot of the things I do.”

This mark is further reinforced every time Gustav travels for work to speak at industry events or customer conferences.

“I met some customers at events, and they seem very invested in our products, asking questions and wanting to help make our tools as good as possible.” For someone who works first hand to make MSAB tools as extraordinary as they are, it’s an incredible opportunity to hear this type of feedback directly. “It’s fun to actually get out and talk to people and get to hear their opinions,” said Gustav.  “And it helps to keep me motivated and invested in making as good of a product as possible. We do a lot of thinking about how will this be interpreted, how will this look and how can we report this data so that there’s no misconceptions about what it means. And seeing what kind of impact the product has keeps me motivated.”

Never a dull moment

There’s hardly two days that are the same when you’re a developer in the field of digital forensics.

On any given morning, Gustav picks a task from his lists and starts investigating. “It can be a bug of some sort or a new feature that we want to add. I look into the background information for that particular task, figure out what exactly is required and expected. If needed, I’ll create some relevant test data. And then, I get to work, investigate, and see how I can look at the data and how I can translate that into code that will parse that data and get us the information we need.”

And on top of it all, Gustav’s combining his developer work with the team lead side of the job. “Handling the team and collaborating with the other teams is, of course, way more social. From holding a few meetings and the daily stand-ups to being involved in the recruiting process – never a dull moment.”

Finally, Gustav’s drive became undoubtedly clear: “If I was doing something which I did not see as challenging or fun, then I would not keep doing it. I mean, it’s a big part, I think, for every developer to have fun at their job.”


On work life balance

It’s not uncommon for developers to have the lines between work and personal life slightly blurred. Gustav’s got a refreshing perspective on this.

“I think it’s important to realize that you are hired to do a specific number of hours per day, and you do those hours. And you do them well. And then outside of that time, it shouldn’t be work-related, and you shouldn’t stress about work stuff.” That is not always easy, as Gustav also admits. “I think that it’s important to have an employer that understands that you do as good as you can. And if you’re outside work hours, there’s nothing to be done now, but you’ll get to it first thing next day. That’s the case here at MSAB. I don’t feel pressured to work overtime or do job stuff on my free time.”


And speaking of life outside of work…

“I program on my free time as well, but then it will be games mostly. I ride my road bicycle. I photograph a little bit, hang out with friends, drink beer, play board games, video games, everything.”

Even though he programs all day for work, Gustav still finds the joy in doing it as a hobby, too. He explained, “It’s different programming. I guess that’s a good part about this, the programming I do every day here at work is not the same that I choose to do in my free time. And that keeps my hobby alive.”

That’s a pretty neat way to keep your skills sharp.



“I really like the people,” said Gustav. A pattern started to emerge. Everyone I talked to at MSAB just keeps on praising how great the community here is. “I am very happy that we’re a social team. We do stuff outside of work. Also, the company plans after-work activities, which I really like. And the culture is just so friendly. Everybody is so understanding, and I don’t feel pressured. I feel like I’m trusted, which is important for me.”


Gustav Björk is all about tackling challenges head-on, seeking fun in complexity, and, above all, delivering results. And guess what? “Delivering results” just happens to be one of MSAB’s core values too. It’s funny how our team here really embodies those values, isn’t it? We’re not just a company; we’re a bunch of folks who love what we do, and that shows in the work we deliver.

Gustav’s journey is a perfect example of that.

Contact us

If you would like to request a quote or learn more about our products, contact sales

If you have a general question, let us know here and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.

"*" indicates required fields