Igor has been at Intergiro for over two years, and experienced both in-person and remote work in his role as a full stack developer. He is partial to Intergiro's trusting and enjoyable atmosphere, and through his experiences across both work forms, has come to appreciate Intergiro's unique internal communication.
How long have you been at Intergiro?
I haven’t kept close count but I started before the COVID pandemic began, so approximately 2.5 years ago. I had about half a year of working at an Intergiro office before switching to fully remote work.
Can you give me a brief overview of your role?
My official title is full stack software developer, but I have done many different things and my work has changed a lot since I started working at Intergiro. Right now I am working on what’s called a “platform for platform”. Basically we have our own engineering team, and I assist them by developing tools for them to use. So I’m not necessarily developing the Intergiro product, but I am developing tools for developing the product. Something like that.
Can you share a bit about your background?
I started by working with computer hardware, later migrating to software development. I worked on applications for kiosks, meaning payment terminals, banking kiosks, etc. Then I promptly switched to working on financial systems. I worked at a bank on an accounting system, and I switched jobs multiple times. But the main business area remained the same: it was accounts, payments, transactions. Maybe from different sides, like from banking side, business side, etc. But overall this is the background I brought to Intergiro.
What does a ‘normal day’ look like for you?
I don’t necessarily have a fixed agenda for each day. My role is about seeing the problems other employees are experiencing and understanding how to actually help with those problems - mostly from the technical point of view, of course. And that’s why my days are not really planned, as I primarily react to things that happen around me. Instead I try to figure out different problems and work on them. Now, if our system goes down or anything goes wrong, I will drop everything and start working on that. Otherwise, I help when I see our developers experiencing a specific issue, when it’s actually needed.
Of course I do have some planned work. I have about two hours’ worth of regularly scheduled meetings per week. So I would say the first half of each day, I have technical meetings and try to talk to people about problems, and the second half I usually focus on the development work. That’s the closest to an average day for me, with some exceptions where I have a full day without meetings and I focus on development tasks all day.
Can you share your favourite aspects of your role?
There’s two aspects that this job offers me that I particularly enjoy. One is the ability to design things. When you have some kind of complex problem that needs to be split into simpler parts, and you need to build the structure of different components and everything in your head, it's just cool. This is what I’m doing when I’m developing different architecture changes and new tools.
The other aspect is simply trying to understand things, namely what happens when something goes wrong, and you don’t know what actually happened. There’s an error in front of you and you need to imagine what could have occurred to produce it. This happens quite a lot. Sometimes it can be simple, and sometimes it can be very difficult to understand what actually happened. And I would say I excel at this, as I can find various issues and explore different solutions and actually arrive at the root of the problem, and this makes me happy. The whole process where you have to build a logical conclusion from the error to the actual cause, this happens often.
What are your favourite things about working for Intergiro?
First I should mention that work at an office is distinct from working remotely, so I have different impressions from both forms of work. When I started with Intergiro, I was quite impressed with how cosy and trusting the office was. And I was impressed with the people, as they were also easygoing and comfortable to speak to.
It all changed somewhat with remote work. I sometimes see people in meetings and I know that they’ve been working for half a year, but I’m seeing them for the first time. It's both interesting and unexpected.
The way communication now works at Intergiro is also enjoyable. I’ve seen, especially when you’re working remotely, that someone might write you a message on a chat and expect an immediate reply. But here at Intergiro, the culture of communication is good and well-structured, and the way we talk to one other is not stressful. It’s like our office life migrated to the remote life, and it’s actually working out quite well. That’s what makes me feel good working here.
Besides that, there are also the technical challenges, and interesting startup business challenges. I’m not really sure we can call ourselves a ‘startup’ anymore, but it’s what was new and still remains new to me as things change so fast that you have to adapt.
What motivates you to work at Intergiro and keep up the good work here?
The primary thing I want to see at each and every job I’ve had is actually seeing the results of your work. I’ve had some jobs where you do something, you create a new feature, you do your work, but the results are never shown to you because you’re here and the clients are somewhere way over there. This is not how it works at Intergiro. When I started working on the product, I was seeing how the clients reacted to the products. Even if it wasn’t directly but through other people’s outreach, it was very open feedback.
Now I’m not really working on the product side but I see how the other members of the team use my work, and this is what makes me happy. I’m not working on something that’s not used by anyone, it’s actually useful. This is what drives me.
And of course there are other things. I like research work, and I get a lot of that here too. I like designing things and imagining things in my head, and this is what I get to do. It’s enjoyable knowing that what you like to do is actually needed by someone and you can work on that here. That’s what is best for me.
Have you had any particularly satisfying day or project while working here?
I guess it was a project. I worked on what’s called an observability platform. This is essentially a system used to understand how good our product is working, from the technical point of view. And it turned out that I would be implementing this system almost alone, not fully individually but around 90% of the work was done by myself. And it was quite a long project, it was around four months that I worked on this.
So I had to spend a lot of time just imagining how it should work. And after 4-5 months, everything was working. It was all documented and I could present my work. When you know that this work is finally ready, that people are interested and using it, and you can present the results of your four months of work, you can just sit and relax, finally. This was my happiest day because I’d finally done something really big and I felt accomplished.
Is there anything you want to touch on or expand on?
Sure, there’s actually something else that impressed me with Intergiro’s ways of working. It’s how the company and the people here approach problems related to communication and to what we could call ‘soft skills’. It was the first time in my working experience that people were speaking so openly about problems with speaking to others, which is even more relevant when we began working remotely. I really appreciated that here, and it led to the most useful feedback I got on my work in about 5-6 years of working.
How was this approached?
Well, it can be challenging to work remotely because you have to assume a lot about what other people are actually thinking, but not all people are good at understanding what other people think. I think it’s even more difficult than that when you’re just writing messages in the chats, and it can be easy to assume the worst about people who have written a difficult message. I was trying to understand why it was that I was interpreting people as being rude when they were not, and this is actually a problem that was solved. I could discuss with my manager about these communications challenges, and this is when I got good feedback that was actionable, very useful to me, and not blaming me for anything. It was something I hadn’t experienced before.