In Amsterdam Standard, we value the desire to learn and develop high. That’s why a wide variety of experiences is more of an advantage than harm.
Marcin has had a long and winding professional development journey. He has gone from being a student in technical university (Warsaw University of Technology) to a developer in several technologies and companies to a business owner and, finally, to the senior ios developer and the team leader in Amsterdam Standard. He has never considered anything else but the technology to be his vacation. But even in the IT field, it is a lot to discover and to choose from.
The beginning of the journey as a software developer
Marcin got his first job while studying. When he was searching for a summer holiday occupation, as a completely new in the industry, he managed to get a job in a small interactive agency as a web developer (PHP developer). The choice of PHP technology wasn’t his aware choice, it happened due to the prevailing circumstances. The job that meant to be for a few months turned to be a position for almost 2 years, as Marcin liked his new occupation.
“When I was working as a PHP developer, I thought that big, enterprise solutions are not possible to be built with this technology- at that time, it was more true than now,” - shares Marcin. That was the reason and the impulse to move forward, as he had the drive to learn, get knowledge, and discover new areas.
For these reasons, he found a company with a strong .NET team for his next step of the journey, which also recruited PHP developers. He secured a PHP position in this company while stating the fact that he is anxious to change technology. And they agreed! :) Marcin worked in that company for almost 5 years and went through a career path from a junior developer to an architect. “I have worked there on the projects that are still used by millions of people in Poland and lately also abroad”, says Marcin.
Changing technologies was never an obstacle to be hired for Marcin. He was firstly investing time in learning a new technology, then created some side projects, and if it was still interesting for him enough, he devoted himself to it more and more. There has never been a situation where he abandoned one technology and switched immediately to another. That was a well thought through and tactical approach for a change.
The era of mobile development
The first app developed by Marcin was placed in AppStore in around 2010. When mobile development appeared, the versions iOS3 and Android 1.6 were live. “A true antiquity,” notes Marcin. At that time, the request for mobile development appeared from one of the company’s important clients. But neither the specialists in the company had competences and skills to build mobile apps, nor the market had such specialists. “I was asked if I’m interested in trying something new. I’ve agreed without any hesitation. The same week I got my first MacBook,” - tells Marcin. “From this time on, mobile applications (iOS and also a little Android) were present in my work. With every year, mobile development took more attention and a bigger part of my projects”.
Joining Amsterdam Standard in 2013 was for Marcin an occasion to completely switch to mobile. Marcin finds several factors that kept him interested in iOS technology for many years. He shares: “First of all, mobile development has changed a lot during the last years. Comparing mobile systems and devices from 7 years ago to what it’s now is a completely different world. So even without changing technology, there was a lot to learn and to experiment with. Also, at some point, I became interested in Agile methodologies and tools. I wanted to discover how to make software development processes more reliable, optimized, and less stressful for developers. I was able to connect these areas and use my newly gained knowledge of Agile principles in mobile projects”.
“But, your question about being with mobile development for many years made me think maybe it’s a good moment for some pivot :D For example .NET world changed so much (in a good direction, I think) from the time when I was working with this technology that I would have challenges for the next several years … So, who knows :)” - jokes (or not) Marcin.
In’s and out’s of Amsterdam Standard
Marcin has worked in Amsterdam Standard from 2013 to mid-2015, and he is back to us from 2017. Marcin notes that when he left Amsterdam Standard in 2015, the company was very different from what it’s now. Projects were smaller, less stable; specialists worked more individually than in teams. He also mentions that he was a slightly different person at that time - with no management experience, so many aspects of the work weren't taken into account. For being a team leader, he had to learn something more than writing code.
During my absence, Amsterdam Standard has changed. It seems as if I came back to a slightly different company, but with the same great people! My attitude has also changed during this time.
Amsterdam Standard was not his first workplace. Marcin worked in other software houses, corporations, and product companies and ran his own company. The mix of experiences gave him a good overview and the possibility to compare. Marcin had left Amsterdam Standard at some point in his journey, but he stayed connected with the company, and he came back. That long-term connection with the company (almost 8 years) means a great deal!
In his current position as a team leader, Marcin combines his development skills with management skills. Combining these skills gives him a significant advantage in his position, as the IT industry requires people with experience in both areas. People in managerial roles often lack technical expertise, but he doesn’t. “It helps me a lot, says Marcin. I can directly explain to clients or any stakeholders the technical aspects of work. At the same time, I can talk with other developers and understand their problems.
If I possessed the qualities from only one side - it would be much harder to switch context in such situations.
For Marcin being a technical manager and having to work daily with his team is not a challenge but rather a benefit.
The main life lessons and entrepreneurship
Marcin shares that each workplace, each project, each team, and each technology influenced his professional growth. The most important thing is to do what you like and try to do it in the best possible way.
Do what you like and try to do it in the best possible way.
One of the most extraordinary career adventures was his experience to try himself as an entrepreneur, as it was a completely different experience from what he had known before. When Marcin left AS in 2015, he started his own business. It has appeared that the company and work around it take much more time than he wanted to devote to it. “I had no time for development and taking care of projects from an operational point of view. The main lesson I have taken from this experience - I prefer to deliver results much more than sell :D”- he says.
The advice for developers in the early stages of their professional journey
Everyone who starts his career faces the same problems and challenges and is forced to make choices. In my opinion, it is essential to have the possibility to work in a place where there is space to develop your skills, learn from people with more experience, and communicate with colleagues. At the beginning of our journey, we build a solid background and gain knowledge that will be important in the following working years.
If you are searching for a company to develop your skills further, join Amsterdam Standard! Check here our open positions. I hope to meet you soon, share my knowledge with you, and also learn from you!