PART 1: SUMMARY OF 2022
With the beginning of 2023, we’re coming back with the Growth at Codete cycle. This time we’re talking with the Codete founders – Artur Olechowski, Karol Przystalski, and Grzegorz Greg Śmiałek.
What did this 2022 look like on the market for each of them? What surprised them, and what made them the most proud of Codete? We’ve been talking about all of this and more right after New Year's Eve, when it’s the perfect time to make plans and set goals for the next 365 days.
Dominika: How was 2022 for all of you, from a professional point of view?
Artur: I’m happy that we improved the results compared to 2021. The first few months of 2022 were spent on headhunting talented employees. We succeeded in building a complex organization managed by a group of people who have a real impact on Codete’s direction of development, not only by the executive board.
Joining Exadel Group [in November 2022, Codete started the cooperation with Exadel Group, the global software engineering company focused on delivering digital transformation and building novel IT products for Fortune 500 enterprises – author’s note] was a very important event, too, and it definitely required a huge effort from the entire company. In 2022, we enhanced a lot of systems and processes. Our business teams grew, which let us keep developing. It was all possible thanks to people, and that’s why it makes me so glad and proud that everything went so smoothly.
Karol: All of the things Artur is talking about happened despite different kinds of crises.
Grzegorz (Greg): I’d only add that 2022 was marked not only by the pandemic but also by investments in digitalization. It was a fruitful time for Codete if we talk about strengthening our recruitment capabilities because the number of projects snowballed. We were investing time and money in employer branding and brand image, and the results of these actions were noticed by the organizers of the HR Dream Team competition, in which Codete received an award for having one of the most innovative HR teams and engaged IT teams.
I’ve been thinking about how to raise the subject of the war in Ukraine. This occurrence has revised our plans, without a doubt, just at the beginning of the year. We’ve been launching a lot of activities aimed at helping people with whom we’re cooperating in this region, as well as at all the employees, like psychological support.
Artur: Definitely, the war has caused a lot of challenges, but it has also completely changed the “distribution of forces” regarding the software development talent pool in Europe. At Codete, we managed to create a really harmonious community composed of IT enthusiasts from outside the organization, too. It let us keep the balance and take care of “this mixture [Codete] to be stable”.
Dominika: What was the best thing that happened to you, regarding Codete, in this passing year?
Grzegorz (Greg): Despite a pandemic, a war, and other challenges, we are still seeing an increase in development. So, I want to thank the whole Codete team for the whole year of 2022. They are the reason why everything we're talking about here works.
Artur: I’d also add putting together a self-directed team of mid-level managers. Plenty of our employees have been with us for a long time, have learned a lot, and managed to reach the current level by themselves. Of course, it happened under our watch, but the need and willingness to develop came directly from the Codeters. In my opinion, it’s worth mentioning that we aren’t blaming Codeters for making possible mistakes. Instead of that, we put an emphasis on learning, drawing the consequences, and taking responsibility for taking ownership.
Since the very beginning, we have been promoting independence and taking ownership of the results., and in 2022 we found people who decided on this kind of self-reliance.
Dominika: Codete has recently teamed up with Exadel Group. What are the benefits of this partnership?
Grzegorz (Greg): The possibility of further development of an already big project – that’s for sure. From a historical point of view, Codete has been expanding dynamically, and joining a bigger group like Exadel will enable us to share the expenses, increasing the number of clients and projects for our developers.
From the employees’ perspective, we became a safer employer that guarantees the stability of employment and development to its team. Everything is thanks to the fact that not only Exadel but also Sun Capital [Sun Capital Partners, Inc. – author’s note] get our back now. It all increases the number of areas that can be succeeded for all the companies that are “under Exadel’s umbrella”.
Moreover, there’s also a possibility of development for people hired at all levels of the company. Starting now, they will be able to expand their competencies, exchange knowledge with Exadel, learn the good practices that are already used there, and pass on our know-how to their representatives. It’s good because the activities that give a “wow” effect can now migrate outside Codete. In the long run, I think Codeters will have more chances to move up, like taking global roles, etc.
Exadel is a key player in the US, while we are the same in Europe. This is why we are a great match for each other. The changes are also visible on the map of Poland. Codete has its regular offices in Krakow and Lublin, and now our employees can also regularly work from the spots belonging to Exadel (for example, in Gdansk)."
We’ve thought that we’d need much more time to reach Exadel’s size, but thanks to the cooperation with this global company, we can achieve leap growth right now – much earlier than we’ve been assuming. That’s an undoubted advantage, too.
Artur: Exadel brings a lot of interesting news for Codete's employees. Some of them concern the new locations (Bulgaria, Georgia), and others are about sharing knowledge, which we started doing when we brought Codete’s and Exadel’s communities together. Thanks to the cooperation with the global company, we can take part in large-scale competitions and tenders, which would be impossible for us if we stayed in the previous shape.
Aside from the highly qualified team, Codete gives this partnership “a friendly face”, a local feel that encourages all the employees to act. Exadel guarantees “opening another door” in the international market.
Karol: Together, we can reach different levels of cooperation with clouds like AWS [Amazon Web Services – author’s note] or Microsoft. For the employees, it’s a chance to learn new things and get certified. For the company – a chance to establish wider cooperation than ever before. Who knows? Maybe soon, we’ll enrich our portfolio with a client who will come to us directly on Amazon’s recommendation? Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for more events at Techie’s Space [a community created by IT experts and enthusiasts who participate in meetups and other events dedicated to technology – author’s note] than before, our offer will extend that way.
You can read the rest of the interview here: