This time, my article will be a bit unusual. I would like to share the story of what led me to the place where I am today. Over 10 years ago, I started my adventure as a Ruby on Rails developer. Today I am the Chief Operating Officer at Codest. Do you want to find out how I managed to get here?
Meet my amazing story at Codest
My name is Jakub Jakubowicz. I started my adventure with programming during my studies. I did not think that in a relatively short time I would be able to co-manage Codest – a global software house that specializes in building web applications in Ruby. Interestingly, everything started with this programming language.
The beginnings …
I lived in Wroclaw over 10 years ago. Together with a friend, I dreamed about opening my own business. We came up with the idea to create a web application. There was a small problem – we both knew completely different technologies so we were not able to build our product. We decided we would learn the same programming language, which we would use to create our dream product. The decision was made – Ruby.
Finally, after a half year of work, our project ended in failure. I do not need to go into the details of why that happened. I can only tell you that if I knew the Agile approach and the Scrum methodology at that point, then our project would not be doomed to failure. We wasted too much time in that software development cycle. But that is history now.
In any case, I learned Ruby on Rails. After some time, it turned out that this skill was crucial in finding a job. Several companies that were looking for a Ruby developer appealed to me, but one offer seemed the most interesting. I got a query from Jakub Krzych, currently CEO at Estimote, who was then starting a company in the adtech industry.
Our interview took place in a restaurant. We communicated well, made arrangements quickly and started working together. We worked in typical startup conditions – we did not have our own office and every day we worked in cafes or shopping malls! We were called Adtaily. With time, however, Jakub and Marcin managed to find an investor, and our company began to develop. We rented an office and our team grew quickly to five employees.
Since the beginning of my career, I have always emphasized that I am passionate about project management. I did not want to focus only on programming, wanted to expand my competencies in soft skills. I carried out my personal development through many courses and training.
Soon, Jakub suggested I manage a project for the first time. I divided my working time into 50% project management and 50% programming. I was responsible for the implementation of projects in accordance with the schedule and keeping deadlines. I was also a Scrum Master. This period of my career lasted about 4 years.
Time for changes
Over time, the company changed its structure and Adtaily needed even more support from the development team. This is how Codest – a software development company – was born. I became one of the people responsible for its development. I managed the work of developers, we acquired our first customers, we changed the office and … just started to grow.
On the way, I took on another interesting project. Together with Radosław Bułat, currently a Technology Mentor at Codest, we established the first programming school in Poland, named Code Sensei. We educated over 100 graduates over 2 years and some are still working at Codest. After this time – for various reasons – we disbanded the school and I again focused 100% on the development of Codest.
Codest as a software development company grows stronger every year. Our first foreign client was MittMedia, the largest media group in Sweden. That was also my first major success at Codest – I negotiated the terms of our contract in Stockholm. At first, this was a big challenge for me because I did not have experience and this is why I know how important self-development is.
After 10 years of cooperation, first with Adtaily, and now with Codest, I look back at this time with great satisfaction. I started as a Ruby on Rails developer, and today I manage a global company. If you are wondering what the effective development path is, I can give you two tips. First, set ambitious goals. Second, do everything to implement them and do not give up! Bet on your development, take part in training and constantly raise your qualifications. This is very important, I can assure you. Ten years ago I was really determined, but today I know that I did the right thing. It paid off.
Working at Codest gives me a lot of satisfaction. I am proud to look at how our team is constantly evolving. I am most happy when we receive positive feedback from our customers. This gives us even more motivation to keep pushing because we have really ambitious goals. We want to cooperate with the largest brands in the world, support great and innovative startups and take care of our current – trusted – customers.
I hope that the next 10 years of work at Codest will also be a time full of challenges and positive experiences. And finally, I have a short message for you. Focus on pursuing your goals. Hard work pays off.