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Career Story: Sergej

Who are you?

I’m Sergej Oleskevic. I work as a developer in the engineering team at Supermetrics.

How did you end up at Supermetrics, and what made you decide to join?

I heard about Supermetrics a long time ago, but at that time, I wasn't looking for a new job. Then, almost a year ago, I decided to take a look at open developer positions. When I saw Supermetrics, it was the only one that really matched. I tried using Supermetrics products once or twice, knew that I wanted to work with big data, and was like, “this is it”.

The rest was a smooth flow of meetings and communications. I wasn’t looking at other options at all after that. The whole interview process was done well. First, there was an assignment. After this, two or three meetings. One was a live meeting with the Vilnius Team Lead, Darius, at the Vilnius office, and after that, online meetings with Niklas, a Team Lead from the Helsinki office.

Why did you think this company/role would be the right fit for you?

I knew that what Supermetrics is doing was close enough to what I was doing earlier. And to top it off, Darius made a good impression — he was easy to talk with, and I felt it was easy for me to express myself with him.

Tell me about a time when you were challenged to grow in your skills and capabilities.

I didn’t have very strong engineering skills. Or I had some of the skills, but the quality of the code required is quite high at Supermetrics, so I knew that I needed to grow and learn a lot to get on that level. And that’s ok because what’s most important is having people here to help you. Here, you can ask anybody for help if you’re getting stuck — even Mikael, the company’s CEO. You can just post or message him on Slack, and he answers straight away. This is a company of 150 people, and he is still answering questions actively, which is really great and helps a lot when you’re growing and developing your skills.

In a lot of other companies, people are afraid of asking their team leads for help because they’re afraid of being judged or looking stupid. Here, our open culture keeps this fear of communicating with others in check. When you feel stuck, ask for help straight away — no matter if you know the person or not. This is the culture we have at Supermetrics and what I see as the main reason we’re growing fast.

Tell me about a new skill you’ve learned while working here?

The most important one so far is learning to use PHPUnit. I hadn’t ever touched it before, but with the help of Darius and Mantas, I discovered it’s like a framework for writing test code. I know not everyone will like it, as testing takes some time and you don’t see much happening on the outside. Like I said, I hadn’t used it before, but learning to use this tool had a great effect on me. I’m grateful that every time I got stuck while writing tests, my colleagues were so responsive and helped me straight away. There has been no time where I would have been left alone with an issue.

What kind of career growth have you experienced since joining?

I have already moved from junior to mid-level. This was the main thing I was working towards. I have discussed growth with my leads, Darius and Mantas, and they see lots of growth paths for me. I just need to understand my next goal, and they’ll help me plan how I can get there.

What does a typical day in your role look like?

Every morning, we have a standard stand-up overview. Our engineering team is split up into smaller teams. Every team has a daily standup led by their team lead. Everyone tells what they’re working on and how they're progressing. If someone’s stuck, they’ll share it, and maybe someone can help straight away. If not, you can find a person after the session who can help you out. The sessions take around 10-15 minutes. Then we have other meetings, like engineering meetings, company meetings, personal — for example, with random coffee buddies, meeting people from the company, communicating online with a new person in the company, and so on.

We work with agile, and our main tool for keeping track of stories is Clubhouse. This is where our team leads and product managers assign stories and tasks for us. So most of my day is working on those stories and tasks to get them done. Basically just writing a lot of code most of the day. On that note, something I also like about working at Supermetrics — while there are deadlines, the main priority is always the code quality. If you see that you can improve your code, it should be the priority. You can fail deadlines as long as you’re doing your job well. I like it a lot in this company. You don’t feel that stress about deadlines. As far as I know, in other companies, this can be very different. People are hurried with their code, and it can lead to errors in production. Here, we are avoiding that as much as possible, which is great.

What makes your work meaningful for you?

Actually, what I like about Supermetrics is that we are doing really great and meaningful stuff. When I joined, my wife asked me so many questions like: What do you do here? What is the company doing? I said we are pulling reports to Excel from different sources — Facebook, Google Ads, and so on.

Ok, how many people are working in the team? 10 people, I answered. What do they do? Do they copy-paste reports manually? Why do they need programmers?

I replied, no, that’s not it. We are working on automating custom reports — in a lot of cases, some data sources give you certain data, but we’re updating and combining it further, giving a lot more information to our customers.

The main answer, in short, we are working on solutions to provide data for businesses. Businesses make decisions based on the kind of data we provide. Decisions lead to results. As the data gets faster and more accurate, the results become better too. I feel that I’m working on something that helps other people grow their company and their business. This is a very important aspect to me in what Supermetrics exists for.

One of the engineering team’s most important values is quality. To help each other, if someone’s asking for help, you can’t say you won’t help. It’s the company’s culture — if someone’s asking for help, you're going to try to help them. You are trying to suggest other people who can help.

Another thing: code reviewing. The process is quite simple — when you write code, you’re assigning someone to review it. Two options — write a short comment, if seeing some kind of bug issue, write a short answer, e.g., “change this and that.” No notes, why. In this company, every time I want someone to review, most of the time get detailed comments. “Please change this because we need X.” After that, you understand why you need to change.

How do the company values align with your own?

For me, having trust and good communication is important. The entire company is accommodating open conversation, and asking questions is encouraged. Everyone should also be polite. These are cornerstones. We don’t lie — we don’t punish people for not knowing something but encourage them to grow and not try to reinvent the wheel. This is why we’re able to have casual kitchen talks, 1:1s, relaxed atmosphere, where people can talk about anything. You must talk.

What keeps you working here?

Definitely the people around me. This is the first one. Another one is the kind of product we’re building. The value we’re providing to our customers. I find it so important that the outcome of my work impacts other businesses positively.

Would you recommend your friends to work at Supermetrics?

If we ever open a position in accounting — I'm gonna tell my wife and ask her to apply immediately. Knowing our company culture from the inside and comparing it to other companies, I see how we differ, and I think our way of solving things is better.

I think my answers are almost too positive. I’ve been here for a year — I’m motivated to wake up in the morning and solve these tasks. Supermetrics has exceeded my expectations.

People from outside are gonna read it like it’s fake. I’m thinking of bad things, and the only thing I’m coming up is the lockdown situation, forcing us to work from home. I can’t remember things I don’t like.

 

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