Growing Up to Fulfill the Dream: Szymon, Senior Software Engineer
I became interested in computers when I was 6 years old and my father brought from the US a Commodore 64 8-bit computer in the late 80s. My time was split between playing games and trying to understand how they work. I got hooked.
Some years later I noticed a book on neural networks on my parent's bookshelves and seeing a connection between this and robot movies/AI made it obvious for me what I want to do for a living.
I joined Qualtrics after working for over 10 years for various (small and big) software companies. It seemed like an obvious choice as Q is a technology company with an amazing culture, full of highly skilled engineers and with all the experience data. With all this mix there is a unique opportunity for me to do amazing AI-related products. Basically, I can do here what I dreamed of doing since I was a child.
What attracted you to Qualtrics in the first place?
The challenging recruitment process got me interested because working with highly skilled colleagues was always very important for me. Also, I openly admit it was a bit of a "hold my beer" reaction.... ;-)
What was the turning point where you 'had to have the job'?
Learning about the amazing (TACOS) culture here and the importance of experience management data. This is data authored by people about their experiences. Coming straight from their heart. Contrary to a bit boring operational data which is at most some proxy to the valuable stuff. What Qualtrics gathers and processes is what I call Most Worthy data. ;-) I just had to play with it.
What does your day look like?
Recently a mix between crunching data in Python and many useful meetings with awesome coworkers, where we work together to crack problems related to time series anomaly detection.
What is your favorite part of your role?
The best thing is that I can actually shape my role means. I'm currently part coder, part data scientist, and adding gradually more leadership spice on top. The company and my manager is, and have always been, extremely supportive of me growing as a person and an employee.
Can you tell us your story of being in Krakow with Qualtrics?
I didn't have to move to Krakow, but in some sense, Qualtrics moved here, by opening their quickly growing new engineering office here. Perfect timing. It was a great opportunity for me to have some additional impact while at the same time not having to risk too much by joining a new start-up.
Any tips for someone who is considering a role at Qualtrics?
Once you realize that you should(!) apply here, then learn about our process and spend time preparing for it. Believe me, these hours spent is a worthy investment of your time.
What surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
What surprised me is seeing how a company can do important serious business stuff, yet stay cool, dynamic, and true to their values.
What made you want to get into engineering?
I just wanted to do useful things with computers since I was a 6-year-old kid.
What are your aspirations in career/life?
I am still deeply passionate about tech but recently I realized "programming" humans pose an even bigger challenge. I realized that organizing the best people on a task and helping bring out the best of them may give me even more impact and satisfaction. So my longer-term ambition is to become an awesome people manager still working on data-related products. If I was asked about my career goals before joining Q I would never actually consider any form of management (I just perceived it as boring), but meeting more fantastic people at Q changed my way of seeing this.
What is your top #LifeHack?
Not trying something in your life just because you might fail is itself the best recipe for immediate failure. Not trying simply doesn't make any sense!
How have you become involved in community at Qualtrics?
I'm helping with 5FTF charity locally. Organizing knowledge-sharing events at Krakow office as part of our Engineering Enablement initiatives and doing what I can to help our local recruitment efforts.
Qualtrics is growing, and if you're ready to find your "why" at a place like this, you can
explore our open opportunities at any time by visiting our career page. Looking to discover more reasons "Why Qualtrics"? You can find the whole series here.
|Szymon is an alumnus of AGH University of Science and Technology and started his career at Sabre Holdings. After which he moved to the UK to work at Amazon in Edinburgh. Where, because of Brits having steering wheels on the wrong side of the car, he brought a motorcycle which became a main means of transport, another lifelong passion and a way to get back home from emigration. He joined Qualtrics after working at two other companies back in Poland. He spends his free time either tinkering in his workshop or on family trips with his wife and two daughters.|