Tell us what your professional path looked like before you started working as a Scrum Master at SoftSystem.
I am a paramedic by education. I worked in the profession from 2016 to 2021. For the first year of this wonderful adventure, I fulfilled myself professionally, as a paramedic in one of the regional hospital emergency departments. For the next few years, my place of work was an ambulance. At first, I was working as a paramedic – driver or paramedic, who is at the back of the ambulance with the patient. It was in an S-type ambulance, with a doctor on board. Then, I was quickly promoted to a P-type ambulance, with two paramedics. It was there that I worked as a paramedic – driver or more often as a paramedic team leader until the end of my paramedic career. Last year in paramedic services, I started to learn a new profession. In addition, at that time I focused on running my first project, i.e. the implementation of Agile in an architectural office. However,
I don’t think it was my first encounter with agility. The work in an ambulance involves the ability to react quickly to changes. I think it was there that I unconsciously took my first steps in agility. Then, I implemented this agility in an architectural office.
In February 2021, I worked in a website development and e-commerce company, as a Project Manager. I tried to introduce agility to the world of e-commerce. I worked in that position for about a year, and then I began my adventure as a Scrum Master in our company.
Why did you decide to change the industry and become a Scrum Master?
The decision to change the industry and turn my world upside down was not easy, but it was influenced by many factors. One of them was finances. You can say a lot about Polish paramedic services, but unfortunately, it is not the best paid profession, especially comparing the number of duties and responsibilities to earnings.
In addition, a very unhealthy lifestyle was slowly taking its toll on me – sleepless nights, carrying patients, etc.
The next thing was issues related to development opportunities offered by other industries. At some point, I realized that as a paramedic I am not developing in the way I would expect.
Among the people who influenced my change of profession, I would mention primarily my father-in-law. He was the one who supported me from the beginning and claimed that I should change my career to the IT world (he is a programmer himself). Another person is my wife who has been very supportive throughout the process. Then I could mention my friend Karol, who also works in IT. It was after talking to him that I made the final decision and started the process of transformation from paramedic to Scrum Master.
Throughout the process, I met many people who supported me, including Szymon from Kopalnia Biznesu, who helped me believe in myself and achieve my goal. You can see a more detailed history of my change of profession on the YouTube channel, where I and a number of people, who changed their jobs and entered the IT world, were interviewed.
Tell us what your work looks like now and what are the challenges?
I currently work in the Research department, where I support two teams. One of them works in Scrumban, a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban, and the other in pure Scrum. On a daily basis, I support my teams by attending or facilitating meetings. As far as possible, I remove all problems and blockages noted by the team and myself. I reinforce teams in their quest for self-organization. I collect and analyze data from the sprints thus measuring the value the teams provide in a kind of Evidence Based Management. I complementarily support other teams in our company in agility. I try to spread the agile methodology widely wherever they need it. The current challenge I face is analyzing the data provided by the teams and preparing feedback for these teams in the form of a summary of their performance, based on various indicators that measure value. That is a responsible task, because based on these indicators, goals can be set for the next year. An improper analysis and presentation of them may cause these goals to be incorrectly defined.
What do you like the most in your work?
What I love about my work is the freedom and variety in what I do and the opportunity to interact with people. Those who know me know that I enjoy talking about all kinds of topics, not just professional ones. I also get satisfaction when I see a team spread its wings and start to function very well. Such moments prove that I have chosen my profession well and give me the feeling that I am doing my job decently.
What do you consider your greatest professional success?
A question of which professional success I can boast 😊 Well, I have had many successes in my professional life in various fields. Nevertheless, one of the greatest successes that I have been able to achieve recently is, above all, getting out of many of my comfort zones and working on myself. In turn, considering the current profession, it is a success to introduce agility to an architectural office, i.e. to a world where Waterfall is the bread and butter.
What are your future career plans?
I plan to grow as a Scrum Master. Ahead of me is Scrum.org certification as a Professional Scrum Master II. I don’t want to limit myself strictly to Scrum, I would also like to develop in other frameworks. The more tools we can use/work with, the easier it is to help teams move towards self-organization. I wouldn’t want to close myself off to roles like Project Manager or Product Owner. We don’t know what life will bring us, so I try to keep on my toes and supplement my knowledge in these areas to perform one of these roles when needed.
We are currently recruiting for Web Developer and DevOps positions for the Research team – how would you encourage potential candidates to join your team?
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest advantages of this team is that we have great relationships here. We work very openly, which means that even new team members do not feel like strangers here. On the contrary, we try to make them feel our family atmosphere from the first day of work. In addition, the projects we work on are very valuable. The results of our activities affect the current shape of IT in medicine, which translates directly into everyone’s standard of living. In addition, in our team, we take care of the right amount and complexity of challenges tailored individually to the needs and capabilities so that each team member can fulfill themselves professionally. We also provide opportunities for development on different career paths, which seems to be the biggest plus of this team. Members can’t complain about boredom. I could encourage candidates for Web Developers and DevOps with the modern technologies we work in, so I invite you to apply!
What are your interests outside of work?
I have a lot of interests, but lately, I have been very focused on travel. This year I was able to visit three countries and at the same time fulfill one of my dreams – to see the Sahara. I have not abandoned my passion for emergency medical services, so I had the opportunity to participate in a great training course in battlefield medicine. I was trained there by the best specialists in this field – former operators of the Military Commando Unit from Lubliniec (greetings to the Guys). Another interest of mine is the broad leadership of special units. I admire their way of planning operations and how they manage their teams. I try to learn from them all the time and get as much knowledge as possible… I am very impressed by such a true military mentality. In fact, their thinking gives you a kick to be better and helps you to be a good leader, Scrum Master or Project Manager.