How to choose Career Path in IT? Interview with Adam Wierzbiński
How should I choose my career path? Does the company in which I want to work, offer me defined development opportunities? These questions are asked by many people who want to start working in the IT sector. In our company, the employees’ professional paths sometimes take unexpected tracks. This was the case with Adam Wierzbiński – currently People Manager in Apollogic. He decided to share his story with us.
How did your recruitment process look like?
Apollogic is the first company to which I applied during my studies. The first step was a conversation with my future Team Leader, Paweł Skiba. After the interview, which did not go too well, I had to do a recruitment task in C#.
Frankly, I was surprised when Paweł called me after a few days to talk about the task. He liked my answer so much that he decided to recommend me to work for Apollogic. The next step was a talk with Łukasz Radomski, CEO of Apollogic. He was very open to my vision of future cooperation. This is how my adventure with creating business software started.
Tell us about your beginnings as a Business Software Developer. How did you learn new skills? What challenges did you face?
I joined the Apollogic team at the age of 21. The environment in which I found myself was different from the current shape of the company. At that time the company had only 15 people who shared the Open Space.
My mentor was Agnieszka Grzywacz, who showed me everything and helped me integrating with new colleagues. From the very beginning, I liked the warm and friendly atmosphere that remains in this company to this day. Moreover, I finally fulfilled my professional dreams!
My first project was related to the development of a business application for the financial industry. It was an implementation in Flex technology. Thanks to my high motivation and the help of my colleagues, I easily combined my studies with part-time work.
Another challenge I had the opportunity to take was to move the business process of Material Managment from SAP Gui to Silverlight. My role in the project was to program in ABAP language.
After the end of the MM project in Silverlight, I was involved in the SAPUI5 project. It was realized for one of the largest e-commerce companies operating on the Polish market.
The next step was to manage a team of three on this project. It ended with a success, and I became an ABAP/ SAPUI5 Programmer.
Another year, another project. I joined a team that created an application for the automotive industry. In the end, it turned out that the projects changed every six months. This had one huge advantage – it allowed almost instant skills development on practical cases.
Working in IT often requires participation in foreign projects. How was it in your case?
On my first foreign project as an ABAP Consultant, I was working in Hannover. The first few weeks were a complete change of environment for me – I had to be on-site all the time, in Germany. Only weekends I was spending in Poland. Fortunately, I managed to negotiate partial remote work from Poland relatively quickly. Meanwhile, the person who led the project from the contractor’s side was assigned to another project, and I took over the role of Support Manager.
It turned out to be a huge leap in my career. Since then, I have been responsible for supporting three existing applications as Support Manager. I was only 24 years old at that time, but I treated it as a challenge I overcame.
I finished this role because the company started working on the largest existing project in the Cash & Carry industry. I became involved in it in 2016 as an ABAP Developer. However, only after five months, I took over the role of a leading Consultant. I took the whole team of Business Application Development.
Adam, your development path seems to be full of variety and unexpected twists. Speaking from experience, what are the biggest challenges ahead of you as a Developer?
The biggest challenge, which is also often stressful, is to deliver tasks quickly and in the best possible quality. However, the pressure is compensated by the satisfaction that comes at the end of the project. You are constantly facing new challenges. It is great to see the final effects of the work – that the application works and is practically used in the company.
However, the role of Developer is not the only position you have experience with. What challenges will future Managers face?
For my side, I can say that the most demanding tasks are related to soft skills. These mainly include deputation of duties, risk identification, and people management. Recently I was also selected as one of the coaches. They are seniors in our company, who can be approached in cases of issues and doubts. My role will also be to introduce new people to the culture of our organization and familiarize them with the Apollogic team.
What are your plans for the future? Development in which areas are you most interested?
I certainly want to hold water as a coach. In the Internet of Things classes in Business Applications at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, I realized how much I like to share my knowledge and experience.
Recently I am fascinated by Node.js and Machine Learning technologies. I see great potential connected to innovations regarding artificial intelligence and its impact on business.
How do you feel about the company’s growth? Our team grew to more than 120 people in a very short time!
When I joined Apollogic, the company had a very startup vibe. Anyway, it resulted from the small number of people at that time. Now, despite the rapid growth, I think we have managed to keep this spirit. We often meet privately – we go for beer, concerts or even organize joint trips.
Thank you for sharing your story, Adam! Finally, can I ask you for some general thoughts and pieces of advice at the end of your adventure with creating business software?
The most important tip – never be afraid and always take the challenges! The success I have achieved in a short time is the result of taking up the challenges, which were often thrown at me. In my case, this approach has paid off, and I can recommend it to everyone who thinks about a career in IT !
Interview was given by:
Adam Wierzbiński, People Manager/ Senior ABAP Consultant in Apollogic
- On 13/03/2018