Life@Squiz Q&A with Patryk Poźniak, Junior Front-End Developer

Patryk Poźniak chats with us about Squiz Poland’s internship program, his love of coding, and the awesome Szczecin office.

Squiz: Can you share a little about your role as a front-end developer? What are some of the challenges you face in your job?

Patryk: As a front-end developer, I’m generally responsible for coding the layout of a website. So, I receive a graphical design, and it’s my job to turn that into code within Matrix and deliver that to the client’s expectations.

The biggest challenge is dealing with bugs – mostly just because they can be tricky, and we’re often working to strict time frames. You have to investigate and analyse a bug and then fix it so that you can code what you’ve promised.

How long have you been at Squiz, and what attracted you to working here?

I’ve been at Squiz for about a year and a half.

I started here through an internship program called Squiz Camp, which gathers students who have little developing experience and gives them a chance to work at Squiz Poland. At Squiz Camp, you work closely with the senior developers to learn new skills as well as how to use Matrix. It can be very difficult at first, but it’s a great way to improve your abilities.

Even though I hadn’t heard of the program when I first contacted Squiz, I was grateful to be selected – it’s given me a lot of opportunities.

What’s your proudest achievement since you started working here?

The first project I ever worked on at Squiz was very challenging. It was like being dropped in the deep end. Thankfully, the other developers were so friendly and willing to help with any issues I had. I worked really hard and learned a lot just from working on that one project. My skill level jumped significantly.

What’s the best thing about working in the Szczecin office?

Everything is so awesome – I don’t know where to start! I’d say the best thing is that it’s easy to feel at home here. We have a great group of people and a relaxed dress code.

It’s also very social – most Fridays evenings, we order pizza and drink some beers after work, and in the mornings, we have breakfast available. There’s also a gaming area where people can chill out.

Were you always interested in programming? How did you get into developing?

I wanted to do all the normal jobs that kids love – DJ, army commando, astronaut – but from about the age of 12, I started to really like programming. I spent all my time on the computer, but while most kids were playing games, I was more interested in learning how to write code and make them.

A couple of years ago, I was getting ready to start studying, but I had a few months free first. I was looking online for some work to do in the meantime and saw an advertisement for Squiz. It looked like such a fun and amazing place to work – I knew I wanted a job there.

I sent an email to Squiz, on the off-chance they had something available. The company emailed me back, inviting me to take part in the Squiz Camp that was just starting. It’s funny because, at the time, I thought it was going to be only one day of teaching. It turned out to be an entire month! At the end of the camp, I was lucky enough to be offered a full-time role as a developer.

I’m really happy I received that opportunity because now I’m getting real, hands-on experience, which I think is the best way to learn.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to get into development?

When you’re first looking to get into the industry, it can be difficult because you don’t have a large portfolio of work to show. It’s important to start coding and building your own websites at home, even if you’re just using templates from the internet.

When I started doing this, I was not only developing work to show potential employers, but also gradually improving my skills. So, my advice would be to just code – all the time!

What are some of the exciting new trends you’re seeing in your field?

One of the trends I’m most excited about is the improvements in JavaScript. In the past couple of years, the capabilities of coding with JavaScript have changed – you can now do basically anything, from native apps to games.

I really enjoy coding games in my spare time, and because JavaScript now has its own framework, I can apply a lot of the skills I’ve learned as a front-end developer to my personal work at home.

Do you code a lot outside work?

Well, I have a five-month-old son, so he takes up a lot of my free time! But, yes, when I’m not playing with him, I’m usually coding at home.

Because the world of technology is constantly changing, developers have to work really hard to stay on top of the latest trends. I have high ambitions, and I want to be the best I can be, so that’s why I code a lot in my spare time.

What’s your perfect pizza topping?

Let’s put it this way: My only rule is that it needs to have meat on it. If it has meat, it’s probably going to be pretty tasty!

Patryk will be tweeting his week at work at @lifeatsquiz from 6 to 10 March. Follow along to see what he gets up to on a daily basis in Szczecin.

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