Numerous of our ongoing projects include Python technology. We would like to unveil what these projects are about and especially those who stand behind it. We have conducted a series of interviews with three of our Python developers. Let’s discover what they have shared with us.
Interview with Szymon
The first person we have talked with is Szymon. Szymon works in Amsterdam Standard for almost five years, and more than half of this time, he is working on the Onrecruit project. Szymon was hired as a Full-stack developer (with an accent on PHP). When he got the opportunity to join the Onrecruit project as a back-end developer with the main emphasis on Python, he got this opportunity without thinking twice. The main reason for the move was his strong ambition for self-development.
OnRecruit is a platform to automate HR work, improve the recruitment process, measure ROI for recruitment campaigns, and track and visualize candidates’ journey through companies’ recruitment flow. The project was already ongoing when Szymon has joined it, and the team consisted of 2 developers. The expansion of the team was demanded. Till this moment, the team has grown to 5 developers and one more expected to join in December. Product Owner for this project works on the client-side.
The work on this project is going according to Agile principles. The team maintains and monitors the project and adds new features. They perform real-time tasks like aggregating candidates’ data, showing candidates insights based on personalized company requirements, and so on.
The main technologies used for this project include:
Deployment stack: AWS ECS
Storage: PostgreSQL, DynamoDB, S3, Redis, ElasticSearch
Applications: Python, Django, Celery, Django Rest Framework, Tornado, Nginx
Frontend: React, Redux, Styled components
Development: GitHub, Travis, DockerHub
Data analysis and others: AWS EMR, PowerBI, Zeppelin, Presto, Hive, AWS Athena, Apache Airflow
It’s important to mention, that our team is fully-responsible for choosing the technologies to work with. Only the Python language was formerly set by the client.
Besides learning a lot of new technologies (for example, data analysis AWS cloud-stack), the advantage of this project for Szymon is that all the team works in one place - our Krakow office. Working remotely on the previous project was more complicated for him. Also, he finds it convenient that the biggest part of the communication process is taken by the team lead, which allows the team to concentrate more on the development process. In situations where some questions or issues emerge, any team member is free to contact the client directly via Slack or call.
How is it for you working for Amsterdam Standard?
It’s Perfect! Especially in our new Krakow office! We have a great atmosphere: no frustrations, no strict deadlines, everything goes evenly. Moreover, we have a great management team. All the devices are prepared, and the process is organized that we have nothing to worry about, except for doing our work the best way possible! And that is what we are here for.
What are your wishes/ aims for the near future?
I would like to be an even better developer, keep learning modern technologies, and improve myself in every aspect of professional life.
What do you do to develop further?
I learn a lot during my daily work, and I participate in workshops organized by Amsterdam Standard and looking forward to the English classes, which will start shortly in our office as well.
Interview with Marcin
One other Python developer that has also worked for a while on the Onrecruit project and almost a year ago has joined the Srprs.me project is Marcin. Marcin started in Amsterdam Standard in November 2014 as a Python developer with a strong knowledge of the Django framework. He enjoys working in Amsterdam Standard mainly due to the company culture and communications with other colleagues. “I like the informal environment we have in the office. We are a quite flat-structure organization where management is friendly and is there for you when you need it. There are no unnecessary formalities as in certain corporations”, - Marcin states.
Then we asked him a few questions about the project he is working on.
What is Srprs.me project about?
Srprs.me is a city break to a destination unknown. Srprs.me enables travelers to skip all the planning and must-sees. The main project of Srprs.me is a surprise trip. The system will choose the tour for travelers depending on the people’s number, preferred transport, and their budget. Travelers will know their destination just 2 hours before departure. Srprs.me are currently working for Dutch, Belgium, and British markets.
The job of the development team on this project is to cover all the functionality, create new features, take care of existing ones, and maintain the platform in general. We are currently a team of 3 developers, and we are getting a few more developers on board soon. So the team is rapidly growing. We have already finished the integration with an external service for flight bookings, as previously it was done manually. Currently, we are working on the automatization of accommodation bookings as well. Through the external service connected to the back office service of the platform, specialists can view all accommodation results for the chosen city at the same place.
What was the biggest challenge so far during this project?
I think that the hardest and, at the same time, an exciting part of the project was to match the hotels in our database with the hotels' list from external service. Quite often, there are hotels with very similar names in the same city, and this data must be accurate to the limit to send travelers to the correct accommodations. We have created a side project with a code name “Hotel matcher” or “Hotel Tinder” as we sometimes say :). This system gives a score to the match regarding three criteria: Name, address, and geographical coordinates. Regarding the score for these criteria, we ensure accurate matching.
Another exciting thing about the project is that we have improved some processes for the client that they couldn’t even imagine. As an example, we automated some repetitive actions; this automatization saves a lot of time for specialists in their daily work.
What is the tech stack you use on the project?
Python, Django, Celery, Django Rest Framework
ReactJS, Redux, TS, Webpack, Jest + Enzyme, Puppeteer / BrowserStack
React Native, Bugsnag, Smooch.io, Branch.io, Firebase
We also learned from the interview that Marcin had visited the client in Amsterdam two times. The first time was for the integrating meeting and the second time while finalizing the flight bookings integration. It is planned that the client is coming to visit Amsterdam Standard’s Krakow office in December.
Coming back to the conversation about Amsterdam Standard, Marcin finds it inspiring that colleagues are taking initiatives for organizing different activities with colleagues such as morning fruit cocktails, board games evenings, and many others. Marcin is not an exception, as for a few years in a row, he has organized the Amsterdam Standard teams for a “Krakow Business Run” event.
To complete our interview, we asked him to say something about Amsterdam Standard what people outside our company don’t know yet. And his message was: “The people and atmosphere in Amsterdam Standard are very nice, it is hard to find the same environment in any other company.”
Interview with Anna
One more person we have interviewed for this article is Anna. Anna joined Amsterdam Standard more than four years ago as an experienced Python developer. Firstly she started with us on the project for Legalloyd - lawyers and legal tech, and around a year ago, she began for Regulatory Lab project - The Legal Compliance Software. It seems that the Legal industry is her other interest after software development, but she said it’s just a coincidence :).
We asked her how she has decided to become a developer, and the reply was: “It’s a hard question, as it was so long time ago. I have always preferred math and exact sciences. Programming looked so challenging, but conquering the challenge gave me a lot of satisfaction. Probably, this was the reason”.
Anna started on the Regulatory Lab project as an individual developer. In the last half-year team has grown to 4 specialists where Anna is a team-leader. “It is fascinating and challenging for me to work on this project - shares Anna - as my role has changed during the time. Before, I was responsible only for the development of the digital product, and now, in addition to that, I am building the team, making decisions in challenging situations and creating a friendly environment. Regulatory Lab doesn't have the IT department on their side, we operate all the technical support for them”.
Besides developing her technical skills as Docker and Rancher tools and Angular framework on the front-end, Anna is working on improving her soft skills as communications with clients and resolving conflicts. She is learning it during and besides her work. Out of work activities include reading topic-related literature, watching videos about team-leading and team-building.
The Legal Compliance Software (LCS) software is ready and available to use. It’s already in a stable phase. The LCS is the state of the art software for the notarial profession, the legal profession, and tax specialists to comply with all current and future requirements from the Wwft. It offers content, efficiency, uniformity, consistency, customer friendliness, integrity, transparency, and much more. Anna and her team are maintaining the stability of the system and improving it. They are working on attaching the external APIs and completing a new design for the website.
Anna has daily communication with the client through Slack and Jira, and once a week recap meeting. The team works in 2-weeks sprints with daily stand-ups. The communication structure may be adjusted soon to be even more efficient.
Besides online meetings, Anna had a two-days meeting with the client in our Amsterdam office around a year ago. And in October this year, the Regulatory Lab management team visited our Krakow office for workshops.
Anna enjoys working on this project and in Amsterdam Standard company.
Working in Amsterdam Standard is pleasant. The best thing is that it doesn’t feel like a big company: when you need to talk with somebody the person is easily reachable. And we have a very friendly atmosphere in the office.
Thanks to our Python developers Anna, Szymon, and Marcin for their time and for sharing their experiences with us!
Do you want to know more about our projects? Check our Cases section.
Do you want to be the next Python developer we write about? Apply on our career page.