Meet Arek, one of our #AilleronExperts, who grows with every day, month, and project carried out within our company, despite his young age. Arek is an Android Software Developer, and he proves that your passions and interests matter when choosing your career path. Only then we will truly enjoy our work.
1 . Arek, the beginning of your education did not foretell that you would be working in IT and creating code for applications and financial products in a few years.
It’s true. I wouldn’t call myself a “computer guy” type when I started technical school. After graduating from junior high school, I applied to an electrical technical school without any hesitation. I wasn’t interested in strictly computer issues. I preferred counting, drawing schematics in class, and working with a meter and screwdriver in my hand while building circuits and electrical installations in practical classes. However, after 4 years of technical school, I chose the field of study related to IT. Then I graduated from Applied Informatics at the Cracow University of Technology. Today I’m proud of the title of Engineer in this field.
2. How did it happen that you give up your learned profession from technical school and decided to enter the IT industry?
In short, I met the right people at the right time. My uncle, who works in the IT industry, inspired me to go into programming and successfully gave me very thick and full of knowledge books about Java. This was also when I became interested in smartphones, to put it very generally. At that time, I occasionally modified the Android software and, based on the knowledge found in foreign forums, uploaded a new system that the producer did not provide. The combination of mastering the basics of Java and the desire to test this knowledge in the Android system led me to the adventure with Android Studio and the first working applications. Mathematics was also always close to my heart; from there, it was a short way to the decision to study IT.
3. There are many opportunities today to gain experience from scratch – through college programs or internships. So, how did you build your work experience? How did you start?
Being a student, the best and most popular way to gain work experience is through internship offers at IT companies. This is how I started, too. Previously, I had created several unpublished applications written for myself, but I decided to publish one on Google Play. As a result, I could take off right away as an Android Developer, and I didn’t have to start from scratch at all. I believe I had a strong start, and today I think I could have even sped it up a bit. 😊
4. Tell us more about this application. How did it work, and what was its purpose?
The app was called “Expenotes,” from expenses. It was used to set financial goals for yourself, record how much you have saved, and track how much of your set goals you ultimately achieved. There was also a screen for monitoring current exchange rates and a live calculator for converting small amounts into other currencies. I guess that’s where my love for the financial industry came from, and I’ve been in it so far.
5. With the end of your studies, the next stage and work at Ailleron came, where after a year of practice, you joined the team as System Engineer II. This shows you can quickly climb the career ladder with a passion for working and high motivation. What kind of progress have you made at Ailleron this year?
I can call the last year in Ailleron a breakthrough year for me. Despite the experience I gained before, it was at Ailleron where I became a “complete” programmer – if you can put it that way. Being here, I got the chance for rapid development, work in advanced technologies and a great project. Joining Ailleron as a “mid developer”, despite my limited work experience, I have proved over a year that I really fit in. Most importantly, during this time, I didn’t become a “code prisoner” but instead tried to be a person who supports the company’s projects on various levels.
6. How does the company support you in this development?
I found myself at Ailleron quickly. The advanced project and the feeling that I was among “my people” only fueled me. I think every young programmer, after a while, gets to the point where they feel really good at what they do. Ailleron is great at helping you on your way to becoming just such a “fulfilled” programmer. Influence on decision-making and participation in project meetings on many levels gave me the feeling that working here was a good decision. I also have to mention the company’s atmosphere, especially the team. I can’t imagine having the such motivation to work if it wasn’t for the people I met here. 😊
7. What are you currently doing at Ailleron as an Android Software Developer?
I’m working on a rather large and advanced project right now. Together with the team, we are developing a financial application for individual and business customers of one of the Polish banks. I’m responsible for implementing new functionalities, maintaining existing solutions, writing tests, code review for other “android” team members, and supporting less experienced developers. I sometimes also replace the technical leader in his absence. Lately, with a few #AilleronExperts, I’ve been involved in giving lectures in Kraków tech.
8. Tell us what your typical day looks like. For example, is morning coffee a “must-have” for a programmer? 😉
I like to take advantage of the company’s flexible working hours, and I work non-standard hours from time to time. At the same time, I start a typical day between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. After waking up, I often look at my email inbox and review messages, and only then eat breakfast. And this may come as a surprise, but so far, I’ve defended myself against having a cup of coffee in the morning to start the day right. 😊
A programmer’s day usually involves daily meetings with clients or discussing the progress of tasks on a project. There are also meetings with the team leader about tasks assignments and with the other programmers about emerging issues in the code. We also have discussions with the analyst to clarify the requirements specified in the project. Meetings with testers are also important, ensuring that not even the smallest bug creeps in. Most of the day, however, is spent concentrating on completing my tasks, often the multi-day ones, consisting of many details and requirements.
9. There is a well-known saying – do what you like, and you won’t overwork a single day…Is it about you?
Honestly, I love my job. So much so that during the weekend, I can’t wait to see what new things await me in the coming week. It’s more than just the coding and exciting project that encourages me. Many factors influence it: the hybrid work model, flexible hours, and the ability to organize my work time, basically how I’m most comfortable. On top of that, in Ailleron work people with passion, with whom you can always talk, not only about work and code.
I have also heard a saying: “If you don’t feel excitement at the very thought of what you’re going to do tomorrow, you’re probably in the wrong place.” So, I’m in the right one.
10. What gives you the most satisfaction?
Satisfaction comes from growing and working as an equal despite my young age. I have found my dream career path. I also help others and see how it brings results. And what is more, I’m earning money doing what I enjoy and having fun doing it.
11. And finally, maybe 3 more tips for people who want to start their adventure in programming. 🙂
First, college is not the determinant of everything. Learn and grow by creating your projects – practice makes perfect.
Remember that you don’t have to learn everything at once. First, learn the basics of a programming language. Then, with practice and experience, you will learn more complicated issues. And finally, programming is not just coding and strings of numbers. It would help if you also focused on developing soft skills.
Arek, thank you for this inspiring conversation.
I hope it will motivate young people to follow what they like to do, what gives them satisfaction. To you, I wish you further success and only clean code 😊.