How has your career at Metapack been so far?
When I joined Metapack three years ago, I was still at the university. The possibility of combining studies with work was a great advantage. At Metapack, you don’t need to be a specialist with many years of experience or work for eight hours a day. You can come to an agreement with the company so that you can work and study at the same time.
My first contact with Metapack was through the Summer Academy. I participated in it as a student, and after that – also as a mentor. Every year I apply for the role of the leader, because – I always say it – knowing is a great value, but it is even more important to be able to pass the knowledge on to others. Indeed, if we have one good programmer in the team who cannot share knowledge, it will still be one good programmer. However, if we have one good programmer who is willing and able to transfer knowledge, then we will have a good team.
So sharing knowledge is an important part of your everyday work?
From the very beginning, I was surprised by the level of knowledge sharing in the company. Every week or two we have meetings aimed at spreading knowledge. We share what we have learned, what problems we had, what to watch out for. There was never a problem with providing help. Small companies do not have to deal with it, because everyone knows each other. We are already quite a large company, and still finding a person willing to help is not a problem. I remember that when I was still a student and got a more ambitious task, I was never left alone with questions.
What have you learned over the last few years working at Metapack? From a professional point of view, but also in terms of relationships or business.
Even though I have only been working here for three years, I had the pleasure of joining three teams. So I have a well-developed overview of how individual teams function and what they need. What have I learned? Certainly, programming does not end with programming (laughs). This is a very broad field. Many people think that a programmer is a guy who sits in a corner in a room without windows, has a coffee drip connected and programs (laughs). But it never looks like that. Interpersonal communication skills are also very important – they are very much appreciated. In addition to writing the code itself, there are also various issues related to deploying the application, i.e. uploading it to the cloud. So there is the topic of the cloud that we use, more specifically AWS. This is also a very broad field and soft skills play an equally important role here.
Another thing I have learned is that it’s not worth focusing on one direction of development, it’s worth going wide, instead of choosing one path; learn as many topics as possible. Then we are able to learn everything quite quickly. The cool thing is Metapack is such a large company that you can do it within its framework without changing employers along the way. As I said, I’ve already been in three teams and each of them worked on something different, also the cross-section of people who are needed is very wide and very diverse. Everyone can find a place for themselves and that’s cool. You don’t have to be afraid that if you choose one job, you cannot change it to another. The best example is Tomek from my team, who in the beginning was not a programmer at all, but now he is. In Metapack, anything is possible (laughs).
You mentioned the cloud. It is a solution that is now used widely and thanks to services such as Google Drive or Dropbox, people not associated with programming understand what it’s all about. However, the cloud in Metapack is a completely different story. How is it different from a Dropbox?
Dropbox is specifically used to store files, Amazon has its counterpart, the so-called S3, Storage. We can store files there. Amazon WebService is something completely different.
We as programmers see this from a very abstract perspective. There are of course some names for some mechanisms, but you have to remember that in fact there is also a computer somewhere that handles and processes all of this, a hard disk. So in the end, it’s the technology we know, only much more efficient. Cloud solutions are more effective, resistant to overloads, they are also cheaper and, above all, always available. This availability is particularly important in our case. Every minute of downtime in this business means a lot of money and we must protect our customers and end consumers against that.
Metapack has always selected solutions that are reliable and that we can rely on. At the moment, we don’t have to deal with many breakdowns, and you have to remember that we are doing more and more. Now there is a pandemic, online sales have risen, the number of parcels sent has increased significantly around the world. Our systems feel it too, yet no major problems arise. The AWS cloud means certainty and availability.
What distinguishes Metapack on the local IT market?
There are many companies in Zielona Góra, there are also more and more new, smaller IT companies. In my opinion, Metapack offers stability. This is a company that has been around for 20 years and has a long history behind it. In addition, there are a lot of people here who have been working from the beginning until now. They have enormous knowledge to draw from, and as you know, knowledge in this profession is a priority.
There is also a wide range of people who are needed, you can get into various positions, also through internal recruitment. As far as I know, there is a problem with that in other companies, because if someone is good at something, they don’t want to let him or her go. That’s not the deal in Metapack. The company always wants a good employee to do what they do, but there are no blockades. There are many possibilities and I like it very much.
What else? Certainly the atmosphere. The fact that it is very informal with us. We are not on the “mr / mrs” basis with anyone, regardless of the position, not even with the owner and managing director. And that’s cool because it allows you to break the ice much faster. People feel at ease, therefore they work better, and they go to work with pleasure.
Thank you for the interview.