Creating the second episode of “Growth at Codete” interviews, I had a chance to meet the speakers in person. Visiting the Cracow office became a brilliant opportunity to feel the Codete’s vibe again, so the chat about “What Makes Codete a Good Place To Stay” was even more exciting than we expected.
With Aleksander Lurie – Senior Frontend Developer, and Andrzej Mikulewicz – Senior Software Engineer at Codete, we’ve been talking about the most exciting projects in their careers, plans for the future, and, of course, a few insights from the company.
Check out another part of Codete behind the scenes and feel free to comment below.
Dominika: How long have you been working at Codete, and how did it start?
Alek: After finishing high school, I tried my hand at the Computer Science department of Pedagogical University in Cracow, but only a short time passed until I realized it was way too theoretical for me. That’s why I decided to look for a job in some Cracow companies, and I was hired by one of them soon. For the next three years, I worked in a hotel, taking care of their website and other technological aspects, but after then, the time came for me to start my own business. For 6 years, I’ve been my own boss, but finally, I started feeling too much solitude, so I made a decision to find employment in a company.
In 2013, LinkedIn was less prevalent in Poland, but I created a profile on Goldenline, where Codete found me. One day, suddenly, Ania [Stachurka – former Talent & Communication Lead] contacted me, and that’s how it all started. I shared my story with her, told her that I didn’t want to work for a regular corporation and that I was even considering closing my profile on Goldenline. In response, Ania invited me to the Codete’s office to spend a day with them – and I stayed until now. [laughter]
Andrzej: My adventure with Codete started about 9 years ago. I was invited by my friend who was working at Codete at that time. We had been studying together, so I was sure his recommendation would fit me. And it does, perfectly!
Dominika: What’s your role at Codete? What do your everyday tasks look like?
Alek: I’m working as a front-end developer, and my main activities are related to React. For the last few years, I’ve been working mainly on it, but, to be honest, my range of duties at Codete is quite broad. [laughter] I really like being a part of the company, belonging to the group. The feeling of being needed makes me feel great, so I’m engaging in as many activities as possible.
Andrzej: I’m a backend developer, so I spend my working time mostly on implementing features and fixing different bugs.
Dominika: Do you remember your first day with us?
Alek: At that time, the office was near Invalides Square in Cracow, which looked totally different from what our office looks like now. We were working in a regular flat, in an old tenement house, so the atmosphere was unique. God, I’m thrilled when I’m coming back to these days… [laughter] I remember the task I was given, as well as the interview with the Codete’s bosses. As it all went more than well, I had a call from the company with a positive answer even before I managed to reach back home, and on November 13th, I officially started working here.
Maybe it’s thanks to my unusual CV because I created it in an electronic version, looking like a pin board with many graphics and animations! [laughter]
Andrzej: Unfortunately, not. It was so long ago, and so many thighs have happened since that time that I can’t recall it.
Dominika: What brought you to Codete? How did you get to know us?
Alek: As I mentioned, it was definitely Ania’s contribution that I’m here. I didn’t send my application to Codete, but she found my profile on the Internet and showed me the company’s best side.
Andrzej: In my case, it was thanks to my friend who was working at Codete then. First, we had been studying at the same faculty, and then he invited me to join the company.
Dominika: What makes you stay at the same company for so long?
Andrzej: Nice and positive people – that’s for sure. There are also different events and company parties so that we can integrate with the employees from different parts of Poland. What I enjoy at Codete is also the amount of various exciting projects with clients from all over the world. Each activity is another challenge!
Alek: You know what? Recently I’ve realized that if one day I changed company, it would be for a small, starting one. The opportunity of growing with the business, support it, and implement innovative solutions is something that makes me feel fulfilled, and that’s how it has been with Codete. Right now, there are hundreds of Codeters worldwide, and sometimes I feel sorry that some of them quit their job before we even have a chance to meet. But still – people, atmosphere, and the feeling of constant growth – it’s something that keeps me here. After all these years, I treat Codeters as my second family! [laughter]
Dominika: How has Codete changed since you started working here?
Andrzej: It’s the 3rd office I’m working in, and the company has grown by 150 employees. When I started working at Codete, no one thought about Techie’s, and today it’s the center of our daily events. The bunch of social benefits has also enlarged. When I started working here, there was only a game of table soccer and billiards. [laughter] Now, we still can relax in the chillout room, but there are also plenty of other sports benefits, medical insurance, etc.
Alek: I remember my first Codete’s office – dark and gloomy are the words that come to mind when I think about it. Now we’re working in two big, bright offices with dozens of people. That’s a particular change. But since I started working here, we’ve also got better projects, the number of our clients has grown… Looking at the Codete from the past, I feel some kind of nostalgia, you know? How fast we’re growing, and how professional we’re becoming every day.
Dominika: What makes you the proudest of being a part of the company?
Andrzej: The entire company’s successes. When I take a look at the past, I remember Codete from 9 years ago.
Alek: This company let me feel involved in its development, we started many projects together. I remember that after 2 years of working here, I started receiving many job offers from all around, and it surprised me a lot. Recruiters were saying, “You’ve been working for so long here. Aren’t you thinking about making a change?”. But during the first three years of my employment, no one quit Codete – can you imagine? So I wasn’t thinking about it, either.
I also enjoy the fact of the flat structure. Communities instead of hierarchy, cooperation… It all makes Codete a wonderful place to work!
Dominika: Imagine that, for one day, you can switch your role at the company for any other – which one would you like to try? Why?
Andrzej: It’s tough to say because I’d have a lot of opportunities! [laughter] Maybe I'd choose a role similar to mine but in a different technology…? Or maybe even something requiring soft skills – I don’t have much to do with them every day, so I’d like to try.
Alek: It’s a problematic question… My role let me do many things – contact with clients, programming, a bit of designing… I’m really happy with where I’m now. But maybe I’d like to change with you? [laughter] What you do: interviewing people, listening to them, that looks quite demanding but exciting, so why not try it?
Dominika: What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear “Codete”?
Andrzej: Coding and programming, of course!
Alek: A lot of positive things. I’ve always felt here very well, and I keep returning to my start here. I can imagine that when I’m on retirement, I’ll look back on these first days and the whole adventure with Codete.
Dominika: Ok, deal – in 30 years from now, we’ll repeat this interview, and then I’ll ask you the same question again. [laughter]
Dominika: And in the end, it’s time for burning questions now!
What I like the most at Codete is…
Dominika: My work at Codete started…
Andrzej: With turning on my MacBook. [laughter]
Dominika: In 2 years, I see myself at Codete…
Andrzej: Honestly, I don't have such far-reaching plans. Time will tell.
Alek: Well… It depends on where Codete will be at that time. [laughter]
Dominika: Thank you, guys, for this interview and your time. It was a pleasure to look at Codete through your eyes.
Andrzej, Alek: Thank you!