Meet the Home Engineer and check how he combines work at Sii with his technological passion

The professional and private life of Szymon Markiewicz, who has been working at Sii Polska for several years, influence each other, enabling continuous development. At Sii, Szymon has been changing projects, Competency Centers, places of residence, and all of this while developing his passion. See how work can respond to private needs and how it drives the development of technological hobbies on the example of Home Engineer.

You joined the Katowice branch of Sii Poland over 5 years ago. What was your career path like?

Szymon Markiewicz, Software Engineer: I joined Sii in Katowice when the office was still located in a tenement house at Słowackiego Street. As a graduate of electrical engineering with a passion for programming, I started working on a project implemented for Bombardier – it was my first job as a programmer in C# technology. At that time, I also had a lot of testing assignments. My skills related to electronics and DYI I was already doing in the comfort of my home proved to be useful. I learned a lot about programming from my colleagues.

In the meantime, I met Ewa, who is now my wife – she lived in Wrocław and it was not easy for her to leave this place. But I had the opportunity to do so without having to change my employer. I used the internal Sii application Job Changer and I applied for relocation to Wrocław. I didn’t find a project right away, but things started happening and I was able to move and start living in a new city. An opportunity presented itself to participate in an Embedded project. After checking my skills in this respect, I found myself under the wing of this Competence Center in Sii. Here, I was able to further develop my skills related to C / C++ and other important technologies of this branch. It soon turned out that Wrocław was looking for a developer for one of the projects implemented for Qiagen. My CC “loaned me out”, and I’ve been working with C++ and Qt for this biomedical client for a while now.

A few editions ago you became a beneficiary of the Passion Sponsorship Program. What is your hobby?

Sz.M.: As I mentioned, during my professional career I spent a lot of time studying: I graduated from electrical engineering, not computer science. I had to catch up a lot, I was studying and practising at home, so I started looking for private projects using programming, which I did for training purposes in the apartment, completely for myself. For all of this not to get lost, I started documenting the implementation. Then I realized that my materials could be useful to others! I knew from experience how much knowledge I had acquired thanks to the fact that my project colleagues shared their experience with me.

So I decided to start a blog where I share my knowledge until today. At I showcase my projects and talk about my technical and technological ideas. They are not always IT-related, sometimes they pertain to DIY (do it yourself). You can even find my description of the renovation of old armchairs there. It turned out that my idea of sharing knowledge was successful and it started to develop dynamically, people want to read and listen about my experiences. I decided to develop a blog and start courses for others – for the development of my technological passions, I received grants from the Passion Sponsorship Program and thanks to this, it is actually easier for me to develop my blog and my skills that I use to run it. In general, working at Sii strongly influences the development of the blog.

In what way?

Sz.M.: As I mentioned, I am currently working on a project for Qiagen. I can’t tell you too much about it, but the impact of what I do at work and what programming problems I face are strongly reflected in my private projects. What I learn at work, I translate it into my projects in order to practice, which I have recently also shown in the form of streams.

My professional life is intertwined with passion a lot and quite often the blog also influences my work. I remember such a situation when I started working on the blog with Farnell – a large supplier of electronic equipment. At that time, in the project at Sii, we were looking for LoRaWAN communication testing plates, so my cooperation with this company began with this technology. I was given the equipment to test on the blog, and then I could share my new practical knowledge with the team at Sii, and then even organized training on this equipment for our employees!

Nowadays, in the time of Covid-19, many people complain about various limitations, but according to Sii’s values, let’s look on the positive side: have you managed to develop something cool recently against or maybe thanks to an epidemic?

Sz.M.: It was certainly a big change. Before the pandemic, thanks to the support from the Passion Sponsorship Program, I conducted workshops in electronics and programming throughout the country. I was able to visit various places with the equipment and talk to people who did not have a chance to see it yet. I also organized Arduino & Raspberry Pi Day, for which several hundred enthusiasts from all over the country came to Katowice. I was the first to conduct this event online, from Sii Poland’s office After the experience with this event, I started streaming my work: I write code for my projects, solder, tinker, conduct interviews. All of it live via YouTube. The next edition of Arduino & Raspberry Pi Day also took place online in March this year and turned out to be quite a success: we were visited by almost 2 000 users!

How do you see the further development of the Home Engineer?

Sz.M.: The development of streaming has prompted me to work on improving the quality of my videos. I am still learning and working on this form of interaction with the recipient. I think that on the channel I will prepare more and more specific materials that will reach people who want to learn something new in the most accessible way.

In the Passion Sponsorship Program, Sii Polska supports its employees not only in sports but also in technological development. Our engineers, thanks to grants from the Program, develop their professional competencies in non-commercial projects, such as conducting training under HackerSpace Kraków, building a Sumo robot, developing a project based on artificial intelligence and recently – building a racing car simulator. Check job offers if you want to develop your passions thanks to the support of your employer.

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