Poland-based Tomasz Abramowicz chimes in this week about solving puzzles for his clients as part of his job, his mountain climbing aspirations, and the impressive Squiz Szczecin office.
Squiz: Tell us about your job at Squiz.
Tomasz: As a senior applications support engineer, it’s my job to work with our clients to make sure their sites and systems are running properly at all times.
I mostly deal with technical issues, such as managing upgrades for our clients here in Poland, but my job does involve a lot of variety. Sometimes I have the chance to work with our developers for smaller front-end-development requests; today, for example, I’m helping build some forms for one of our sites.
How long have you been at Squiz?
I’ve been here almost three years.
Last year, I actually got a chance to work from our London office and help with some projects there. I lived for a month in our ‘Squiz flat’ there. It was a great experience to live in a different culture, and because I was working with English clients, I had to learn the language fast – so my English improved a lot. It was a great adventure.
What’s the best thing about working at Squiz?
I would have to say the people. If I can’t figure out how to solve something or need help with a client project, I always know that somebody has my back.
I work with a talented group of people, many of whom have a lot more experience than I do, so every day, I’m learning something new from them.
What’s your proudest achievement since working for Squiz?
It’s hard to pick one thing, so I’d say the continuous self-development – I think that’s my biggest achievement. Every day, there’s a new problem that I have to solve, and new technologies and projects that I have to work on. So every day, I’m developing my skills and improving.
Again, my co-workers provide big help with my development; I mostly learn from them. We have internal groups and web chats through which we collaborate and share knowledge, so I get a lot out of those.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and what’s the biggest challenge?
The thing I enjoy most is what I like to call ‘solving the puzzles’. As I said before, every day, there’s something new, so you always have to be prepared to work with new problems and find the best solutions for your clients in the shortest amount of time possible.
That’s probably also the biggest challenge. To do this, you need to make sure you’re always developing, staying up to date with projects and technology. But working hard to overcome those issues and find solutions for my clients feels great.
How did you first become interested in working with technology?
When I was growing up, I always dreamed of being a fireman – it’s probably still my dream job! But when I was about eight years old, my mum bought me a computer. I became interested in HTML and started my journey with web development.
After university, my first job was as a system administrator. As part of that job, I had to help people in the company with any tech problems they had, which I enjoyed a lot. So I stayed on in the support business, because I like solving problems.
How does Squiz differ from other companies you’ve worked for in the past?
It’s the atmosphere. Squiz is a large global company with more than 500 employees, but we don’t feel like a large corporation. We’re all good friends, and that’s very different from companies I’ve worked for in the past.
Working here has been a great opportunity because I work with other Squiz staff and clients all around the world. It’s amazing going for beers on a Friday evening with my friends and being able to tell them that I worked that week with people from Australia!
What’s the Szczecin office like?
It’s the best office I’ve ever worked in. I think it’s the best office in Szczecin – or maybe even in Poland!
When I first started working for Squiz, we were in a very large house. It was also really great because it had a large garden with a grill, so we used to have barbecue lunches every Friday. A few months ago, we moved to our new office, which is an old motorbike factory that was rebuilt into office space.
It’s very modern – the design of the meeting rooms is unbelievable. Our office was even featured in an architecture magazine. We also have a ‘play zone’ with a pool table, ping pong, foosball, PlayStation, and Xbox – there’s everything we need!
What do you like to do outside work?
I really enjoy biking. At the moment, because it’s so cold in Poland, I haven’t been riding much. But in the spring and summer months, I usually ride my bike to and from work.
We also started a Squiz biking group; employees and their families and friends meet up on weekends and go biking together.
What’s your all-time-favourite TV show?
My favourite show is The Simpsons – there’s no better show on TV. I love it for the humour, the stories, and all the problems Homer has to face. The fact that they still have ideas for new episodes is amazing.
I have all 27 seasons on DVD. Every so often, I’ll restart the whole series and watch every episode from start to finish. It takes a few months, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen.
If you could master one skill, what would it be?
I love the mountains, so I’d like to master mountain climbing.
I often spend summer holidays in the mountains, and when I get a chance, I try to find an instructor so I can practice climbing some smaller mountains – nothing too big. It’s pretty challenging but makes me feel really alive!
Tomasz will be tweeting his week at work at @lifeatsquiz 13 to 17 February. Follow along to see what he gets up to on a daily basis in Poland.