A strong personality or technical skills – what is more important for professional success… or maybe both?
Piotr Chruścielewski is a Service Delivery Manager at the Testing Services Competency Center and works for our client, one of the world’s largest companies in the pharmaceutical industry.
Dawid Dobroń, Junior Communication Specialist at Sii: Piotr, at the beginning of your career path at Sii you were a Test Engineer. Where did this idea come from?
Piotr Chruścielewski, Service Delivery Manager, Testing Services Competency Center: In general, everything started with the decision I have made at the university, that I have to start “attacking” the labour market. After several adventures in various industries I got to IT and testing. I managed to join the newly created test team from the telecommunications industry. Since I have always been very thorough and meticulous, I did very well as a tester.
D.D.: Which project from those implemented by Sii can be considered the biggest success?
P.C.: I would not perceive it this way. Each project in which I had the chance to participate contributed to my current situation and position, so I will answer that every single one was important. I must admit, however, that the most personally valuable project for me at Sii, apart from the current one, was the one implemented for a large client from the banking industry, where I learned a lot and gained valuable experience that turned out to be priceless in subsequent projects.
D.D.: Checking the correctness of the work of applications and systems as a Test Engineer is a very responsible role in the creation process. Probably, an average person doesn’t have a clue what your work looks like. How do you educate your colleagues and friends about your work?
P.C.: It’s true that many people do not know what a Software Tester does. Usually, if I was asked this kind of questions, I tried to answer using specific examples to illustrate what I do in the best possible way. For example, the first tasks under Sii’s wing in 2008 consisted of testing and implementing one of the portals to serve the clients of one of the largest players in the Telco market in Poland. Thanks to such examples it was easy to explain the essence of testing.
D.D.: You used to be a Testing Expert and currently you are in charge of managing the delivery of services in Pre-Sales Delivery, where the Sii Competency Centers are located. What was the key factor in your success?
P.C .: That’s a good question. In general, while working as a consultant at Sii for various clients I have worked with many managers of clients for which we have provided services. After several years of work, I started to think that I would like to go into management. I have always wanted to develop within the Sii structures. Thanks to my work with various clients, I have gained a lot of experience with different management methods. When I started working as a Service Delivery Manager, I tried to bring out what I thought was the best of my previous experiences and draw conclusions from the mistakes. In addition, I could always count on mentoring at Sii. Three years ago, I managed to achieve the goal I had set at the time. Now I’m trying to continue to grow, so that I can get better every day.
D.D.: Tell us about the biggest challenges in your current role.
P.C.: First of all, good and effective time management – this is crucial, especially for such a large and dispersed team. Cooperation with such a large customer, which now I have the pleasure to cooperate with, is also a challenge, because every day you need to communicate on a very large number of fronts. For me a challenge is the so-called work-life balance. Sometimes it’s hard to separate work from family life – but I’m working on it.
D.D.: Challenges are for sure a part of your job, but tell us what exactly makes you happy about being one of the Sii Power People?
P.C.: It is certainly learning new things and facing challenges on a daily basis. Thanks to this I can grow, at the same time there is no room for routine and boredom.
D.D.: In our latest promotional video of Sii’s Calendar 2018 you come across as a strong, uncompromising personality. You put strong emphasis on being yourself. Do you think this helped you in your career at Sii?
P.C .: I believe that it did. I am always myself. I do not like to deceive anyone, including myself. I am what I am. I am aware that probably not everyone is comfortable with it and you will always find people who are not on the same page with me, but there’s nothing you can do. I always try to be direct. I never liked being lied to, which is why I try not to do it myself.
D.D.: How has Sii supported your professional development?
PC: First of all, Sii has listened to me. In the right moment, my supervisor trusted me. In my annual interviews there was always this one question asked: “What next?” During the first years, the answer was always the same – “We do as we have done before”, but after 3 years I stated that this is not the best way. I presented my vision to my supervisor at the time. After some time, the opportunity to apply for the position of Team Leader had appeared – I convinced the management to give me a chance. It’s been 3 years since then – I have the impression that I have not disappointed them. The mentoring of people with more experience was priceless and it still is, because I realize that there is still a lot ahead of me.
D.D .: Speaking of development… Today Sii can boast of 3,500 employed specialists, and literally a moment ago we found out that we have received the title of Great Place to Work for the fourth time in a row. What do you think, what makes Sii a great place to work?
P.C.: In general, our development makes an electrifying impression. I remember that I was employed as the 123rd or 124th employee in Poland, and now at Sii we have, as you say, over 3,500 employed specialists. Speaking of Great Place to Work, I think that we keep on receiving this distinction because we have a much better approach to employees and people in general. We can listen – which is very important and we are quite flexible. Thanks to the structure we have, we are able to make instant decisions and make quick moves in projects. Thanks to this, we can efficiently respond to the changing environment or to the requests of our engineers. But probably, first of all, because at Sii we treat each other with respect, and this is probably the most important thing nowadays.
D.D.: What advice would you give to younger people who are starting their career in IT? What should they put the strongest emphasis on?
PC: In my opinion, humility is key – you have to be aware of your experience, skills and grow all the time, whatever is happening – because it is not always easy, but it is inscribed in every profession. You should not care that you do not know where you want to be in 5 years – get some experience in different branches of testing and then decide what to do next.
The article prepared by: Dawid Dobroń