Kornel started working at Sii at Engineering Competency Center (CC), participated in CC Embedded projects, and currently works at CC Digital as .Net Developer. All that in projects, in which he could demonstrate creativity in line with his way of thinking, developing his private passion for the automotive industry along the way and co-creating a great attraction of the Sii Gdańsk branch. Meet Kornel Piestrzeniewicz, .Net Developer at Sii.
You have been working at Sii for 7 years. How did your adventure with the company start?
I studied automation and robotics in Szczecin. After graduation, I decided to work in my hometown. After 3 years of working as a maintenance automation engineer, I decided that in projects I want to create solutions, not patch them, so it’s time to change. After two more adventures with companies in which my scope of duties changed after a short time, I came across Sii’s a job ad. The offer for a PLC automation position, along with interesting business trips, sounded perfect, so I applied. During the recruitment process, it turned out that I would go to the States for a project related to the programming of production lines that assemble engines and transmissions in cars. And, as I am a total petrolhead and automotive freak, I didn’t hesitate for a moment!
After such promising beginnings in your dream job, why did you decide to change your path and become a C# tester with PLC automation and then a developer?
In my annual assessment, I wrote that traveling is the best and worst part of my job 😉 The trips are wonderful, but tedious, especially when you have children. Therefore, when little Filip appeared, I decided to change industry.
Changing the path is easy when you switch to the same technology, but it wasn’t easy here because I wanted to grow in .Net and C#. My supervisor was very supportive, but it’s also worth mentioning that I spent a lot of overtime training before I officially launched the project change procedure (before the Job Changer app was created) and got a proposal to work as a tester with C# from a semiconductor industry leader. This role has developed me a lot.
In January 2020, you officially started working as a .Net Developer. How did this change come about?
As a tester with C#, I worked for 2-3 years and at some point I felt burned out, I was not entirely satisfied with the client-side project policy. Then I decided to use the Job Changer application. And here comes an important reflection – many people don’t talk to their managers about their preferences and problems. You have to be brave and say what you don’t like about projects, Line Managers are open and often propose changes after such a conversation.
After I applied to Job Changer, I quickly got an offer from the Embedded Competency Center for a project to work on an access card testing framework, in which I could use my skills in automation and creating test frameworks in .NET. Unfortunately, the project didn’t come through, then the pandemic came and I stayed on the bench. But it also had its advantages – thanks to this, Siimulator was born 😊
The racing Siimulator was created as part of the Passion Sponsorship Program – how did you contribute to it?
The originator of the project itself was the Regional Director of the Gdańsk branch, Michael Desmurs, but I was interested in it from the beginning and wanted to take part in its implementation. The first team didn’t finish the project, so I quickly joined the second team that worked on it. Due to the fact that I participate in the Time Attack races, I was invited as a consultant from the user point of view. I really like tinkering and rummaging around in hardware, as I come from automation and have a passion for mechanics, so I was happy to join the team. The first version of the Siimulator on cables and ties was created at the Sii engineering hall before the pandemic. I decided to commute there for 2-3 months and work on the project with the help of the engineering team. The next steps include the transfer of the Siimulator to the office in Gdańsk, where it now stands and is the branch’s attraction. The next stage of work will take the Siimulator to the next level, because I received a grant from the Passion Sponsorship Program and we will replace the pedals, steering wheel and gear stick with a fully professional one and add a high-quality handbrake.
What do you currently do as a .Net Developer?
Apart from the Siimulator, I was doing smaller projects in parallel, using various technologies, for example .Net and Python. Finally, I applied to change the project again via the Job Changer application and now I work in the Digital Competence Center. I take part in rather short projects for various clients – I carry them out from start to finish, and then start new ones. These are still hardware projects. I can give you a few examples, e.g. the implementation of drivers for a system managing smoke detection sensors. I also worked on the software for a device that works like a smartphone with two cameras, which is used for dimensioning – taking pictures from different perspectives, calculating angles, distances, etc., which is used, for example, in the work of the police in traffic accidents. I am currently working on a project collecting information about the positions of devices in mines. These can be human-worn transmitters or built-in devices that are mounted on machines. The microservice I am currently working on collects this information, processes and archives it appropriately in order to have access to it in the future. It isn’t complicated in terms of business logic, but due to the fact that it is literally bombarded with huge amounts of data, it must be very efficient.
Due to the fact that I consciously communicate my interests and skills, in the present project I can utilize my way of thinking, which consists in refining my own solutions. Thanks to this, I can be sure that they will be very efficient and well tested.
You have made a major career change over the past few years. Considering all the successes and challenges, how would you rate this change? Would you recommend others using Job Changer?
I definitely recommend changing the project at Sii, and above all, I want to encourage you to talk to your Line Managers, Project Managers or other people who can help in such a change. It is worth looking for something for yourself and adjusting projects to your preferences. Just as I didn’t like working in other companies in Gdańsk, because I was looking for creativity, in Sii I can fulfill my passions. Let’s not be afraid to look! If someone likes Sii’s structures, they have the comfortable situation to look for a new way while still working on the current project. There are really many opportunities for change and development here. It doesn’t always work immediately and often requires a lot of commitment from you, so it’s not worth delaying it and waiting to get frustrated. From my experience, I recommend reporting your willingness to change at every stage and talking to your superiors. Thanks to this, your project isn’t only a project, but often gives you the opportunity to pursue your passion and use your unique skills.
Apart from working on the Siimulator, how do you pursue your passion at Sii?
My dream is to go to the racing track in Nuremburg, Germany – it’s a very long and demanding track. When I go there, I would like to finish it as quickly as I can, so I regularly train on the Siimulator, absorbing every meter from over 20 km of the Nordschleife loop into my blood. Additionally, my racing skills are greatly enhanced by participation in go-karts. For several years I have been running a go-kart group in Sii, where we meet every month and polish our skills. Infecting others with my passion gives me great satisfaction.
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