A podcaster and backend dev with over 10 years of experience. Meet Patryk

Patryk got his first software job as a teenager. Now he is a backend developer with over a decade of experience. He has just started a podcast to share knowledge with other developers. What are his career beginnings? Why can’t he work without wearing slippers? Check out the story of Patryk, a Backend Developer and a host of the BrightDevTalks podcast.

Backend Senior Developer at Bright Inventions

Last year you had your 10th anniversary as a software developer. Do you feel like an IT dinosaur?

If I had done things I did 10 years ago, I would have felt like that. But I don’t. Software development changes so dynamically that even if you started this career line 10 years ago you still have to learn new things all the time. When it comes to learning new languages you can sometimes be at the same level as a junior developer (with a small advantage).

Quote on learning as a software developer

How has the Polish IT sector changed over this decade?

A lot has changed. Technologies are just one thing, the whole sector has changed. The Polish industry has become more and more similar to the Western one. The ecosystem of the companies is the same. The culture and work methodologies are the same, everyone tries to follow the best practices and standards. Okay, probably I shouldn’t say everyone.

You can still find yourself at a company that is way behind. However, you have options to find Polish companies that simply are top of the top globally. It is unique about the software development world. It is not the case for many other industries in Poland.

Patryk - Senior Backend Developer

How do you recall your software development beginnings?

It all started thanks to my Computer Science teacher from middle school. He inspired me to dive deeply into the tech world.

What’s more, back then I was playing Quake II multiplayer game where I started my own clan. I decided to develop the clans’ website. It turned out that I got more invested in building the website for this clan than actually playing the game.

I started by building simple static websites with HTML. Then I learned PHP. I guess I earned my first money from software development in middle school building a website for a local car dealer. Then in high school, I regularly did freelancing jobs.

During that time I also started my blog about security. This led me to cooperate with Software Developer's Journal. I had my own column there. I was also a press spokesman for the online Python Polish Group so I was strongly associated with Python and PHP stack.

As a teenager, you already were a column author and spokesman. That’s impressive. Your age wasn’t an obstacle?

Back then Polish online communities were really different. Smaller. I could say that then the internet was really like a global village. You were a part of it, you were trusted and no one even thought of verifying your age. As long as you contributed to the community, you were appreciated. Obviously now the internet is different. There are many tools that enable one to get information about internet users. Often too much information.

Patryk's private photo

Eventually, you changed freelancing for a regular job?

Right before high school graduation, I got my first regular software development job at a company in Gdynia. I programmed in PHP there. It was a company that was developing a price comparison website. There was a really great sharing knowledge culture there. Everyone was open to teaching fresh developers all the necessary skills.

You got a job in the IT sector but still went to college, didn't you?

Yes, I went to the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Gdańsk. My plan was to study and work at the same time. It turned out to be quite challenging. I worked during the week and then had classes on the weekend. There was hardly any time to relax and spend some time with friends and family.

Also, it wasn’t easy to keep motivated to study when I actually already had a job in software development. However, I did graduate after all, yet it was a busy time.

You came to Bright in the middle of the pandemic. Was it challenging to change a job in that circumstances?

Yes. Not only have I changed my work but also a working model. Before the pandemic, I believed that working at the office was the ultimate way. I thought that I would never be able to focus at home. It has been a total mind shift for me. Nowadays, I work mostly from home. However, my home office beginnings were far from perfect. I struggled with separating my free time from office hours. It was tempting to go back to work during the evenings and check out Slack messages because my computer and desk were next to me.

Then I read the article that recommended picking one wearable item that would be associated only with my work. So I bought “work slippers” that I wear only when I work. When I finish my work, I take the slippers off and this is the metaphorical way of leaving the office. My body and mind know that the workday is over. It definitely helped me to separate work from life even if my office and home are the same places.

Team retreat

What have you learned since joining Bright Inventions in 2020?

I have learned a lot. I came with strong Java skills but I learned Kubernetes and Kotlin here. Back then Kotlin was mostly associated with mobile development and not many backend devs used it. So Bright hired developers with strong Java skills so they could switch smoothly to Kotlin. It was a nice learning process because everyone here has been really supportive and cheered each other during the learning process.

Kotlin is a very friendly language so it was a nice experience. It’s great that even if you are in this business for over a decade you get to still feel this excitement while learning new stuff.

Quote on learning Kotlin

You are a host of the BrightDevTalks podcast. How did that happen?

I enjoy being a backend developer but I also want to do more in the future. I would like to guide future juniors and help them establish themselves in the IT world. I think there are too many boot camps out there that promise a lot but give much less.

I have been contributing to the community for years, writing articles, being a mentor, and more. So my podcast is just another step. I hope that it will inspire developers, less and more experienced, to simply learn and grow every day.

Sharing knowledge is very important to me and I know that it is in Bright Inventions’ DNA as well. Therefore we created this podcast. On BrightDevTalks I want to speak a lot about soft skills to show this other crucial side of software development that can sometimes be neglected.

The podcast is conducted in Polish. You can listen to it on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Who is this podcast made for? Who will benefit from it the most?

I want to share insights that will be of value for every software developer no matter their years in the IT branch.

Some of the episodes will be short stories, more like anecdotes, showing the ups and downs that I experienced during all these years in software development. Other episodes will be interviews with inspiring folks. Recently I talked with Rafał who is an experienced blockchain developer who used to be a ship navigator.

Podcast episode number 2

I hope to push aspiring developers and more experienced ones to constantly grow. As I said in many cases junior devs, as well as seniors, start together from the scratch. For example when it comes to learning a new language. We can have similar struggles. Also, we all need to work strongly on our soft skills which are not always covered in university classes. I want to focus on that as well on my podcast.

Based on your experience what mistakes junior backend developers should avoid?

It is impossible to avoid making mistakes. All of us should make them. Mistakes aren’t made only by people who don’t do their work. Even if your bug ends up in production, it is an integral part of the learning process. Naturally, there are mistakes that cause embarrassment for years. I definitely have made some mistakes that still make me ashamed when I think of them. However, I know I will never make them again.

quote on mistakes

You call yourself a petrolhead. What does it mean?

It means that I want to drive anything that has an engine. 😀 Cars, motorcycles – anything with a motor. I am not a car mechanic but I am deeply interested in what’s under the hood.

Patryk's passions

Do you have a dream car that you would like to own?

There are so many great cars that it is hard to limit myself to only one. My favorite models are changing too fast so this question is difficult to answer. 🙂 I can say that my favorite brand is BMW.