Looking for new career opportunities? Meet Grzegorz Hudziak, our iOS Developer! He started working at our company over 5 years ago. How it was changing and what is he doing now? All the answers and more in the interview of My Applover Path!
How did you get a job as an iOS Developer at Applover?
This is quite an interesting story. But before we’ll get into it, I’d like to give a little bit of an outline of my career. Before working here, I was over a year-long at my friend’s company that produced software for MIDI interface devices. These were mostly digital equivalents of the physical devices. Back then they were also supporting applications for working in programs like Logic Pro X, or Cubase. I remember that time very well, unfortunately, despite the success of apps, the profit from sales didn’t allow me to support myself. I was forced to find a job somewhere else. It was over 5 and a half years ago when I decided to change.
I put out an announcement that I was looking for a job in the iOS developer’s group on Facebook. And within a few days, I got a message from Radosław Bułat, back then the CEO of Applover, who invited me personally for an interview. Can you imagine that? The CEO invites me for an interview! I’m skipping the fact that at that time the company employed literally only a few people, and I didn’t know who the CEO was but never mind. We met, I took an online Swift language test, and after about 2 weeks I started my journey at Applover.
How did the recruitment process look back then?
In beginning, the recruitment process didn’t look like it. It was based on one of two paths. First, classic interview with a short online test of Swift, or the second way – knowing someone at the company. You could be hired right away. It was enough that you could program something there and knew how to find yourself in the chaos that often appeared.
Nowadays, the recruitment process for the iOS Developer position depends on whether we are looking for someone for a contract or for us.
As for the contract, there’s no need for a full process, because in that case, the client handles a detailed check of the candidate’s technical skills, which is why we hold a theoretical interview. It allows us to check in general terms whether the potential candidate understands certain concepts required for the position.
As far as our recruitment is concerned, it consists of an extra hour-long meeting that includes pair programming. During this meeting, we test technical knowledge and general soft skills. It always takes place 1:1 with one of our programmers. There is one rule: the recruiter is a “good friend” who helps out throughout. We don’t mean to stress the candidate and push him or her to the wall because in a real project such situations are rare (or at least they should be).
Which project did you enjoy the most so far?
One of the projects I remember the most was the one related to the application for Nest Bank. I learned more than the most, mainly because I managed to meet a great senior developer – not only in terms of skills but also in terms of character that strongly changed my mindset. That’s when I realized that I want to code more professionally and look for best practices.
After did you become a leader, how did it change your day-to-day work?
The leadership position came out top-down. Through the growing number of employees, it became clear that it was difficult to manage such a large group of people. Such a flat structure was hard to maintain when there were several people “pulling the strings” and the organization already had more than 50 faces. Transferring some responsibility to other people was a natural thing to do. The idea was to create departments and leaders that would deal with minor problems, communicate information from the board, lead evaluations, and be the first contact person in everyday things around the company.
But I have to say, at first I was very skeptical. As a programmer, I just wanted to code – this is something I enjoy. After many days or even weeks, of thinking about it, I thought that if the board thinks that I’m suitable for this position, I’ll take it and contribute. If I succeed then great, if not then I will have no problem stepping down for someone else.
Today, I have been in this position for over 2 years and I have been finding myself in it. I’ve dedicated hours in a month which are dedicated to department-related issues. My responsibilities include preparing evaluation feedback, organizing team integrations, educational meetings, and communicating information to make sure everyone has had a chance to see it.
How do you combine leadership commitment with work in the project?
It seems that it’s a matter of soft skills and the way they are used. One person might find it difficult to be involved in two separate duties, but I like it. I like working with people, I like helping them with communication, management, and technical things. At our company, the leader is someone who takes care of the team and makes sure the employee grows in the long turn. It also deals with evaluations and prepares feedback. In other words, it’s a communication bridge between the management and the department.
What tools do you use in your projects? Do you have any that you prefer better?
I use a classy stack, nothing special. What I care about in tools is that I want to waste as little time and effort as possible when dealing with them. Of the generic tools, these are SourceTree, Xcode, Slack – that’s it. Everything else is always dependent on the project.
What are you doing in your current position? What are your responsibilities?
Currently, I’m working as an iOS Developer under an outsourcing contract for one of the largest restaurant meal providers in the world. My responsibilities include developing new functionality based on documentation. As far as leadership issues are concerned, at the home company, I am currently involved in evaluation feedback and communication between management.
You have been working in one company for over 5 years. What, from your perspective, is the most important thing that you have managed to do professionally during this time?
Mentally, what I’m most happy with and what I found difficult to change at first, is the mindset of work I experienced in the organization I joined as part of IT outsourcing.
There, I experienced for the first time in my life the lack of project rush as well as long conceptual work times, but most importantly an emphasis on mental health. It was directly correlated to the performance of each team member. Of course, this sounds beautiful and as the whole it is, but when there’s a lot of opportunities, there’s also a lot of responsibility.
What I realized is that the best people need to be able to enjoy what they do. They need to be able to mentally self-motivate and go further and higher, even when there is no external encouragement. When someone treats you seriously and professionally, they don’t look over your shoulder to see whether you are doing everything right, whether you’re spending every hour at work, or whether you haven’t taken a break for too long. These elements of control don’t exist when you treat someone as a professional. They trust you to do the job with proper care, without the need to keep the “whip” eye of Big Brother. And if someone isn’t a professional, it comes out very quickly.
What, in your opinion, did change the most in the 5 years you work at Applover?
Everything. We started from a small room of about 20m2. It was an incredibly dynamic time for all of us. Everyone, starting with the management and ending with the developers, was simply a novice in the profession. A group of freshly minted “adults” who had ambitions and wanted to conquer the world. There were zero processes, zero organization.
Often the developer was also PM, Scrum Master, Product Owner, and HR all at the same time. Totally a no-holds-barred ride. It seems to me that the only reason why we managed to get through it was that from the very beginning we had a unique atmosphere, and close cooperation allowing each other to make mistakes without judgment (because as someone, I think rightly said, success comes from allowing to make mistakes). I think it’s fair to say that everything has changed except for the atmosphere.
What professional successes are you particularly proud of?
That’s an interesting question. I used to feel pride every time I finished some task with functionality. I still have that to this day. But as time went by, it was no longer enough for me and I wanted (besides the satisfaction of individual tasks), to know that what I do has a real impact on other people. I mean in a positive sense, in line with myself, and my values. I’ve had two projects where I felt pride that they were meaningful and important. It’s an incredibly enjoyable feeling. I know that not everyone has this feeling but for me, it’s additionally motivating and what’s more important – it gives a sense of meaning to my work through the perspective of importance to others. The first project was a banking application project for Nest Bank – I worked there for about half a year, and the second is my current project for a restaurant meal provider.
Any plans or challenges that you await in the nearest future?
For day-to-day, all the time to take care of developing good and clean code. There’s a temptation to maybe let go and do something faster, not because of lack of time, but because of laziness that no one will notice this detail anyway.
And from such more future-oriented – I would like to get deeper into the subject of CI/CD. Currently, my knowledge allows me to understand basic configurations, and I would like to feel in this area as easy as in everyday code programming.
Do you have any advice for people who want to start their career as iOS Developers? Maybe you can share your favorite knowledge sources?
I have some advice for people who want to start or have already started their journey:
- Always try to stick to high industry standards in everything you do.
- If you come across a company or project that doesn’t suit you, and you feel you can’t achieve your goals – change it.
- Use the right tool for the right problem.
- Search on your own first, and only ask when you’ve hit your head against the wall at least 3 times.
- A Senior Developer, with the right approach to work, is the ticket to rapid growth.
In the future, never forget that you were once a Junior Developer too.
Become the iOS Developer
If you’re looking for a place where you’d like to grow as an iOS Developer, keep checking Applover’s Careers Page! We start new recruitments regularly due to the company’s growth. We might need someone like you right now.