27 Aug 2020
Step back in time – story #2 Rafał Janik
The IT world is a fast-paced environment with constant turnover and short-lived relationships. However, every now and then, a brief narrative becomes an epic story. What makes a tale special are the protagonists, and who’s better to tell the story than the main characters themselves? That is why we decided to give the floor to our colleagues who cooperate with us at Software Mind for more than 10 years. Their memories are humorous but also do a brilliant job at showcasing the reality of the IT business of the past decades.
1/ How did your cooperation with Software Mind start and what’s your current position?
My first day at Software Mind was set to be on September 1, 2008, but to be honest, I started with a two-week-long sick leave ? So we might say that I began working here in the middle of September 2008. I came to Software Mind for an internship and stayed since. During those years I became a software architect, and that’s my current position.
2/ What was your first responsibility in SM and how did everyday work look back then?
First project I was involved in was a semantic web project financed by the EU. My job was to recognize Apache Jackrabbit as a content repository. Later, I was working on Semantic Analysis. At that time our office was located on Bociana street, we had one and a half floors there. At first, three of us shared a room, later as we grew, we had 5 and finally 8 people in the room. The internal “vibe” of the company was great since my first days, we all knew each other, as back then, there were only about 70 of us. But we didn’t have fresh fruits delivered as it is now ? I even remember the first table soccer that came to us. We put it together in the stairway so every time we played, everyone in the whole building knew that Software Mind is playing ? Now there’s more than 650 of us, we have multiple locations and sometimes when you see an unfamiliar face in the hallway it’s impossible to say if it’s a new employee, intern or just a visitor. However, that amazing “vibe” that was here in 2008 hadn’t changed and Software Mind is still a fun place to work in. We have many occasions to integrate and meet with people from different projects – trips, table soccer tournaments, board game afternoons, etc. We like each other and have fun working hand in hand. No one rushes to his/her desk straight upon coming to the office, codes for 8 hours and leaves – we always greet each other when someone enters, chat in the breaks and so on.
3/ What’s the first anecdote connected with working in SM that comes to your mind?
Most anecdotes I recall happened during the company trips. As we had to travel a lot during many projects, we also had many adventures ;D Once, we had to visit our client in Israel, and one of my colleagues decided to bring a jar full of mud from Black See for his wife. When we were trying to get on a plane our whole group had been stopped at the security check, as the mud looked suspicious at the security scan. We spend almost 4 hours with the airport security guards, being carefully frisked and questioned. Finally, they allowed us to take the mud and let us on the plane. We reached Poland being extremely tired but in great moods. As we were leaving, we were stopped by customs officers who wanted to check what we brought to the country. We already knew the drill and were great humoured so we asked if we can see how the mud looks on their scanning device ? In the end, after confirming three times that this is normal mud taken from the Black See, they believed us and let us go without having to go through same procedures as we had in Israel. Another time once we got off the plane and were moving to border control my friend recalled that he left his leg warmers on the plane. He ran through the airport board to the almost closed plane and managed to retrieve the warmers. Our sprinter had more chances to present his skills, as for example, he also left his luggage on a train once. We left the train discussing our newest project and once we heard the whistle, he reminded himself about his bags. Being experienced in such situations he managed to get to the conductors and stop the train before it completely left the station ? When it comes to projects, I remember that once we were working for a financial institution using .NET. After some time, the client decided that it should be rewritten in Java to be kept on Websphere servers. We started the process and after about a month we concluded that it would be better to use Tomcat. We asked our client what he thinks about this idea, and he not only agreed with us but asked If we can just use Windows Servers – making the whole month of our rewriting completely unnecessary. We finished the project, that is probably lying in someone’s drawer till today, and my friend perfectly summed it up – we did a lot of great but completely unnecessary work ?
4/ What made you stay in Software Mind for 12 years?
The friendly and fun atmosphere inside the company. It was like that here during my first days and it is now. Over the years, I’ve established lots of true friendships and although some people left and some new came in, I still have a lot of colleagues and friends here. A new job is always a new challenge and that would be fun, but I don’t want to leave my friends. Even after these years I still can develop my skills here working on demanding projects.
5/ What do you plan for the following 12?
We will see ? as for now I do not plan any changes and hope that Software Mind would still be a place where I can develop and fulfil myself.