Welcome to our first LLI spotlight of 2023! We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Piotr Gawlik, our Ruby on Rails Junior. Tune in as we dive into Piotr’s experiences at LLI to date as well as some of his personal hobbies and inspirations.
Tell us a bit about your role and work at LLI.
I'm a junior Ruby On Rails developer, and I work as a dev for one of our clients. Mostly, doing a typical developer’s job, but I'm also trying to work on my Vue skills working on some of the frontend tasks.
Recently, I've also been involved as a mentor in an internship project where, together with the help of others, I’m trying to work on learning Ruby on Rails with our new interns.
What have been your biggest accomplishments at LLI?
Since I'm at the beginning of my developer experience, I do believe that the most difficult and challenging tasks are soon to come. But recently, while I was working with my dev team on implementing a new big feature to the client's application, I was assigned an interesting role.
More specifically, I was appointed as the person that should wire up all separate parts of the feature and should be contacted on what should be fixed and how at the end it should separate parts work. It happened to be not exactly what was intended while sprint planning, but in the end, after a few meetings and discussions, my idea was decided as a better solution.
I feel like this has been one of my biggest accomplishments because it was more of planning the architecture task rather than just reading the requirements and implementing some small and repetitive parts of the project. This was something new and challenging for me.
How would you describe LLI’s company culture?
I feel like our company culture can be described as open. In my opinion, LLI's culture allows people to feel comfortable because of our transparent communication. When something isn’t going as intended or there’s a topic that needs to be discussed, I know that it will be – and to do so, it's as simple as asking someone to talk about it.
Also, when I was starting out at the company, I was surprised at how easy it is to have a talk about a topic and how easy it is to reach out for help when it’s needed. I feel that this atmosphere is really healthy and it creates trust among people.
I must admit that I was a bit worried whether or not I would be able to fit in here, but now, I feel that I’m comfortably representing LLI’s values.
Who are some of your current professional mentors or role models?
For a long time, I was convinced that having someone as a role model is a bad idea. I feel like everyone is good at some things and not as good at some other things, and the question if a certain skill/behaviour is good or not depends on the point of view and context.
For example, I have a colleague that really inspires me in the case of doing additional work on clients' projects, refactoring things, and taking care of the codebase as a whole. On the other hand, in the case of my communicating and cooperating with people as well as trying to work with my team in the best possible way, I feel like my mentor is our own team’s Mariusz Pikuła, who has been helping me with these topics since I started working at LLI.
Overall, my approach is to find things in others that I see as valuable in some way and that I'm trying to implement in my own behaviour.
What are your favourite hobbies?
I feel like I try a lot of things and don’t always stick with them for a long time. However, I do have a few hobbies that I've been doing for a few years: First, I play tabletop RPG games. I started over two years ago and I've been playing them with close friends since then around once a week. They help me with my soft skills and are some kind of way to make use of my imagination and will to create stories. Also, they’re a lot of fun and I recommend everyone to give them a try!
My second hobby is reading. I'm reading mostly horror books about philosophy or other topics that I find interesting. Finally, a third hobby of mine is philosophy – especially ethics and religious philosophy.
What’s the quirkiest job that you’ve had that taught you a valuable skill?
I remember one of my internships that I was doing a few years ago. I was introduced to the company by a friend of mine that I met while playing video games. I needed to do some internship to finish my studies, so my friend told me that his friend is looking for someone who will be able to implement a side project web service for the company from scratch. It sounded like a good opportunity to gain some experience.
When I began the internship, though, I was left alone with the task of creating the whole project out of some unfinished example sites – that was too chaotic for me to work on. So I ended up doing everything from the ground by myself (I was only invited to some milestone meetings on how things are going).
It was a huge challenge, but it taught me a lot about being independent and all areas of developing websites that real users were using. This experience helped me learn just how important it is to have a positive working environment.
Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your career and current interests, Piotr!
If you’d like to check out more of our LLI spotlights, you can find them here. Stay tuned for more upcoming LLI team members to be featured.