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What motivates one to work – a broader look at the responsibilities of Solution Architect

Patryk Święczkowski has been associated with Sii Poland for over 2 years. In e-Commerce Competency Center he used to perform the role of Magento Senior Developer and Technical Leader, and is currently working as a Solution Architect. At the same time, Patryk would share knowledge with others during training sessions and conferences and he has been involved in the company’s HR and marketing activities. What motivates him to act and gives a sense of accomplishment? Read our interview.

How did it happen that you started working in Sii Poland?

Patryk Święczkowski: I started this cooperation more than 2 years ago and I have to admit this time went by in the blink of the eye! I knew the company earlier as I used to work with people from Sii from a client’s end. I was very curious to constantly hear that Sii is given the title of Great Place to Work year by year. I can understand once or twice, but every year? I had to check it out myself what it really is. I applied and so started my adventure in the company.

What are your tasks?

P.Ś.: I work in e-Commerce Competency Center, where something interesting is always taking place. A cross-section of projects that we realize is also exciting: these days, these are applications for the producers based in music, dyeing and fashion industries!

The duties of a Technical Leader or Solution Architect include organizing the entire team’s work, ensuring code quality and work standards. What is often much more demanding is taking care of communication and technical support in the team and in the project – so as to eliminate potential risks. You need to “embrace” all teamwork to be able to respond to changes and possible threats on time.

Technical Leader must have a programming background, but it’s basically team management. What motivates you more: technology or people?

P.Ś.: I cannot devote 100% of my time to development solutions as before, because my current duties do not allow me to do so. And I’ve always been hyped about technology. At the same time, a lot is going on in the world of e-Commerce – you need to be up to date with technological innovations at all times to be able to work in this industry. Acquiring knowledge about new solutions is in my case necessary in everyday work. On the other hand, without a well-made team, without a group of people who are working on a joint solution – the way forward in e-Commerce is impossible. We have entire project teams made up of a number of different specialists.

That is why, I think that in the case of Technical Leader we have a 50/50 proportion. The motivating factor must be both a human being and technology. In my case it works perfectly.

Would you recommend such a development path to programmers who are thinking about change or promotion?

P.Ś.: I reckon this is the next stage on the career path for some programmers: by learning about processes and technologies, we are able to look at specific problems and propose solutions not only locally, but supporting the entire project. But not everyone will like it. It is best to start by talking to Line Manager or Technical Leader about how our knowledge and experience can be most useful to the team. At Sii, we also have a Job Changer application that allows one to move between projects – it can also be useful here, as it lets let you know in which direction you should develop and what opportunities you have. It is also worth checking if we are ready for a mental change and investing in the development of soft skills needed in team management.

It is very valuable that in Sii we have many development paths – certainly everyone in the company knows people who have already been promoted within ranks. Before the change, you can talk to them about what has changed, what surprised them, what they are happy with. Not everyone has an idea for self-development in advance, not everyone is sure of their strengths – in the company you can support yourself with both the tools and knowledge of more experienced colleagues. For people who are considering a change of their project to pursue a Technical Leader path, I also recommend reading the interesting “Technical Leadership. From expert to leader. ” by M. Sieraczkiewicz: there is a process described in terms of changes that should be expected.

In addition to daily duties, you also engage in a number of other activities at Sii: you take part in technical events as a speaker or trainer, in improvement meetings, you support local HR. It looks like you are pumped when a lot is going on.

P.Ś.: What do we do with the knowledge and experience we have if you can’t share it with others?  People who have documented work experience and competence in team management also have considerable mentoring potential, which Sii recognizes, as it launched an internal mentoring program for managers. At the same time, passion and commitment are also needed, and these naturally also fit into my private value system.

Such continuous action motivates me. Thanks to this, I am constantly developing, I meet many interesting people with a lot of knowledge and a broad perspective on the issues that interest me. In addition, the role of a speaker is also a learning opportunity and a diversity factor: it is going beyond one’s comfort zone, which allows to improve communication skills or speaking in front of the audience. I’m glad to try these different roles. It allows me to look at my work more widely, as compared to just performing my duties.

What exactly does this broader view mean?

P.Ś.: Apart from the tasks scheduled on a daily basis, we are also interested in the development of the entire team and its daily support. It is when we are interested and we have influence on what is happening on the outside of the project room. At the same time, when performing tasks, we employ constant readiness to bring the project to completion. When we look at the project, we remember that on the other side there are other people. In my opinion, this is a broader view of work that constantly generates new and interesting tasks that I can accomplish at Sii. I’m even fortunate that e-Commerce topics are close to my heart, the team is developing very well – so my work is pure pleasure and provides a sense of accomplishment.

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