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What’s It Like to Be a Developer at Objectivity?

Business

Mar 29, 2021 - 10 minutes read

1560 What’S It Like To Be A Developer At Objectivity 416 300[33013]
Małgorzata Caban Senior Content Marketing Specialist

She specialises in translation, writing and knowledge management. In her work, she combines her passion for languages with an interest in technology. Privately, she was part of a team of volunteers responsible for the Polish translation of “Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear” video game.

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At Objectivity, we have a people-oriented philosophy — one of our core values is People. We take pride in the fact that our company is made up of talented and motivated specialists from many different fields. We offer them an inclusive work environment, a range of professional development opportunities, and the support they need to achieve their goals.

How do we deliver on that promise? We asked Mateusz Pacholec, a Senior .NET Developer at Objectivity, to share his thoughts and the experience he’s had with the company.

How long have you worked at Objectivity?

Mateusz: This summer it’ll be 4 years since I joined the company.

Throughout that time, have you held the same role or were there any changes or promotions?

Mateusz: I joined the company as a regular developer. After one year, I was promoted to a senior position. Later I also became the front-end community practice leader. In addition to that, I also help the recruitment team by taking part in technical interviews for .NET and front-end developer positions.

It looks like the scope of your responsibilities is very broad. Can you tell me a little more about your role as a Senior .NET Developer and the additional initiatives that you’re involved in?

Mateusz: I think it’s worth mentioning that, in general, the role of a developer at Objectivity isn’t a “standard” one. You can, of course, stick to your regular assignment, but for those who want to develop new skills and explore different areas, there’s plenty of opportunities to do so. In my case, as the community leader, I can work on many different initiatives across the company. I support projects, perform audits or estimations, and become involved in various tasks that aren’t considered a typical part of a developer’s job. This role also gives me the chance to expand my organisation and leadership competences. By taking part in the recruitment process, I get to work on my soft skills by talking to the candidates and supporting them during the interview. Besides that, when I was working towards the senior position, I mentored one of our testers on his path to becoming a developer.

From a developer’s perspective, I had the possibility to work at a client’s site and I appreciated this chance. It can be a bit stressful because you’re dealing with the client directly, in a foreign language, and you have to coordinate your actions with many different people. Still, it’s an invaluable experience. Once you’ve met someone in person, it really changes how you cooperate in the future, even if later the communication takes place on Teams or via email. Obviously, it’s also a chance to visit a new place and do a little sightseeing after work, which is great.

Overall, I can say that I enjoy the diversity of assignments and think it’s one of the biggest advantages of working here.

Can you compare working here with your previous experiences?

Mateusz: Previously I worked for a company that created software for education institutions in Poland. It was a different experience than here, as we worked on our own product that would then be sold to clients in one sector. As developers at Objectivity, we can work for many industries and learn how they operate. In my first project here, I worked for a client from the finance sector, now I work for an aviation engineering leader. You get the chance to try your hand at working in different business areas.

Objectivity is also bigger in numbers than my previous employer. There’s around 250 developers here, whereas there were only 30 in my previous company. The general approach to development is different too because, here, we create many products for various clients and don’t focus on a single solution. What I observed at Objectivity though is how well-organised work processes and methodologies can make everyday tasks easier. We use Scrum best practices, ensure the right planning, and deliver in sprints. From my perspective, the synchronisation and tracking we have here help to keep things in good order.

Moreover, there are many people here with whom you can exchange your knowledge. People are eager to learn new things and we motivate each other to develop ourselves further. I think that when you work in a team where people support each other like this, it’s good for us as individuals, but it also ensures that the quality of the projects remains high. This is because we actually want to do cool things and look for extraordinary solutions. When you have a great team, it really gets the work going, and this was the case in all the teams I worked in at Objectivity.

Since we started talking about teams, could you please describe what roles a typical team consists of?

Mateusz: When it comes to roles, in the projects I worked in, there were always developers, testers, an architect, a Business Analyst, and a Project Manager. I know there are situations in the company where the architect and the Business Analyst work on more than one project at the same time, e.g. because the projects are smaller. This wasn’t the case in my projects though.

I also know that in other companies testers are often part of the client’s team, or there’s simply very few of them and the software isn’t tested as well as you’d expect. Here I must say I always had the pleasure of working with truly excellent testers. It’s nearly impossible for something to escape their notice. It’s really great to work with people like that. You can rest assured that everything you work on is being thoroughly checked and tested, and you don’t have to worry that something will go wrong on the production environment. I really appreciate such high standards of professionalism in our teams.

What’s the scope of your responsibility in a project? Do you have a say with regard to the development approach and tools?

Mateusz: I’m a rather proactive person, so I make sure that I have some influence over the solution. Currently, my main domain is front-end architecture. There are, understandably, things that are done solely at the client’s discretion, but for the other parts of the system, I participate in choosing the solution.

In my current project, we cooperate a lot with the UX designers. We analyse their proposed solution and provide recommendations to find the right balance for the client. The communication is really great, there are actual discussions on the final solutions, and we’re included in the decision-making process. It was the same in all my projects at Objectivity, there were always consultations within the project and the client would receive alternative proposals to choose from.

Can developers decide which technologies will be used in the project?

Mateusz: That depends. In my first project, there was little room to manoeuvre in this aspect, because work on the solution had started a few years prior to me joining the project team. Development was started by other vendors and then taken over by Objectivity. When I joined the project, I had to work in the style that was already established. Now, when we start a new project, we propose the technology to be used (of course, sometimes we need to adapt to the client’s existing systems). In my current projects we decided on the technology stack in consultation with the client.

What’s the typical technology stack and project management methodology?

Mateusz: I can speak from the perspective of a .NET developer. In new projects, we predominantly use .NET Core. It may happen that we’ll still have the .NET Framework somewhere but, in general, we choose .NET Core. When it comes to tools, we use the standard ones, which the majority of.NET developers are familiar with, e.g. containers for dependency injection, mappers, Entity Framework. There are, of course, some single CMS or SharePoint solutions, but in the recruitment process we always ask the candidates if they’d like to work on them too. If they have other preferences, they can be assigned to development projects with no CMS or low-code elements.

In project management, a lot depends on the client. I happened to work with two Microsoft solutions, TFS and VSTS. If the client has their own solution, we’ll use it. If we can choose the tool ourselves, we’ll go for Jira. Regardless of the tool, we’ll follow the same Scrum or Kanban-based agile approach, with its standard elements: sprints, demo sessions, stand up meetings, etc.

How often do you change projects and what happens in between them?

Mateusz: For some time, I’ve been working with the same team for one client. Even though we work on different projects, I don’t think of them as actual changes, because the team and the client remain the same. I changed client projects once so far and it was a smooth transition, I didn’t have any bench time. I realise it may be different for other developers when one project ends and the next one starts a few weeks later. At Objectivity, you don’t spend this time idly waiting. People work on their Gold Cards, certifications, or do some research for the Guild. There’s always plenty of topics that require such research so there’s no chance that someone will be bored between projects.

What do you consider the most interesting project or challenge that you worked on?

Mateusz: There are a few things, actually. My first project was a huge one, with a lot of dispersed, advanced technology and a massive infrastructure. I learned a lot about architecture and its intricacies, as well as processing big amounts of information. It was extremely satisfying that after ten months in the project I was ready to participate in deploying the solution at the client’s site.

In my current projects, the challenge is mostly in application support, as we target mobile, tablet and desktop devices. The app needs to be simple, fast and intuitive, and the code needs to ensure its sustainability without significant time investments. The cloud solution here is interesting too — the client’s infrastructure is hidden in their private network, but we also use Azure, which is public. It was also my first project with Infrastructure as a Code — the infrastructure needed to build an application was in the code and we could set up a new environment in minutes, without any manual work. As a team, we handled DevOps as well — we were motivated and managed to upskill ourselves to be a fully-fledged team.

What development perspectives do you see for yourself now?

Mateusz: There’s a lot of things that I’d like to do. I see myself as a “technical lead” and even though it’s not an official function, I play this role from the front-end perspective. I’d like to continue to expand my expertise. For a time, I was considering going down the leadership path and becoming a team leader, but I’ve parked this idea for now as I already have my hands full. I would also like to work on a certification — I’m currently thinking about the Microsoft DevOps path.

How does Objectivity support your professional growth and development?

Mateusz: Obviously, the company can and does support us financially when we work on certifications. In addition to that, there are multiple communities of practice here. If you want to upskill yourself, you can join them, do some research, and learn a lot. In my community, we actually have a documented learning path for people who’d like to boost their front-end skills. There are internal training materials and external courses for which Objectivity can pay.

At the company, we also have an internal academy where you can attend trainings or become a trainer yourself and improve your teaching and other soft skills.

What do you like the most about being a developer at Objectivity?

Mateusz: I think it would be the variety of tasks and the possibility to do new, different things. There’s always an opportunity to join cross-company initiatives, for me it’s the community of practice and the recruitment. I get to meet other teams and learn their best practices. I also enjoy the opportunity to meet the clients in person.

What may be interesting from a candidate’s perspective is that you have the option to switch projects. At one point, I needed a change from a big, mature project to a new one where I could work more in front-end. The company gave me the possibility to do that. Of course, such a change takes time, but the company listens to you and tries to give you what you need to grow.

From a non-technical angle, I really appreciate that I have a team leader with whom I have monthly one-to-one meetings. I know this isn’t a standard practice in other companies. These meetings bring a lot of value — you have open discussions about your performance, and you can share your impressions and opinions. I think Objectivity chooses the people with the right skills to be team leaders. During my time here I had four team leaders and they were all fantastic. Our culture is feedback-driven and it always goes both ways, you are free to express your thoughts. I think this is one of the biggest benefits of working here.

Join us!

If you’d like to work with people like Mateusz on projects that can help you grow your skillset, have a look at our current openings. We’re always on the lookout for talented professionals — let’s talk about your goals and aspirations, and how we can address them.

 

 

Retail Report Resources
Małgorzata Caban Senior Content Marketing Specialist

She specialises in translation, writing and knowledge management. In her work, she combines her passion for languages with an interest in technology. Privately, she was part of a team of volunteers responsible for the Polish translation of “Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear” video game.

See all Małgorzata's posts

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