We interviewed our long-time colleague Martin Hlavatý, who has worked at Profinit as a developer, analyst, and team leader and now is our delivery manager. How does he view Profinit, what motivates him to succeed, and how does he think Profinit differs from other companies?
How long have you been working for Profinit and how did you get here?
I started working at Profinit on 1 February 2008, but I did my Master’s thesis at Profinit before that. My first contact was 15 years ago after I had completed the Software Engineering in Practice course at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University (FMP CU). To this day, I remember the discussion I had with my boss shortly after arriving, when I told him “The subject matter was incredibly interesting, but unbelievably poorly taught.” Today, I wouldn’t be able to say such a thing because I have been lecturing the course myself for the last three years. 😉
What do you do at Profinit?
Since I am obsessed with measurements, I can tell you that I spend exactly 18% of my time working on projects for Prague Airport, 15% lecturing on software engineering at universities (FMP CU, CTU FEE, CTU FIT), 12% advising colleagues on career development, 12% training people or organizing training courses, 11% conducting interviews for Profinit, 11% on internal and student projects, 8% reviewing projects and consulting colleagues, and the rest of the time, I am in meetings, I do administrative work, or I educate myself.
When did you start getting interested in IT / computer science? What and where did you study, and what influenced you the most when choosing a specialization?
I intentionally chose to go to the university with the most difficult entrance exams. And while the Czech Technical University Faculty of Electrical Engineering (CTU FEE) accepted me on the basis of a certificate and the exams at the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering (FNSPE) weren’t too difficult for me, the exams at FMP CU gave me a pretty hard time. (If you are wondering why I didn’t list the Czech Technical University Faculty of Information Technology (CTU FIT), please see the date of my arrival at Profinit in response #1—yes, I’m an old guy, so FIT didn’t exist yet.)
How does Profinit differ from other companies?
1) The people. In the 13 years that I’ve worked here, I’ve never met anyone who I didn’t like as a person. In my opinion, the recruitment process (which can do quite a good job filtering out arrogant or incompetent/overconfident individuals) and the career system contribute to this, making career development a very transparent matter (and since the number of senior positions isn’t limited, people don’t compete and, therefore, cooperate).
2) By trying to apply common sense, whether working on projects or company processes. (I consider the long-term stability of Profinit’s management to be an advantage, and the company is managed by the people who own it, so they are not only focused on short-term goals.)
3) An emphasis on education. And not only an emphasis but also support—training, certifications, books, e-learning, conferences, lectures at universities, professional communities, company-wide knowledge sharing, etc.
How do students combine study and work at Profinit?
This is another thing that makes Profinit different from other companies, in my opinion. Many employees are still students, and the company tries to meet their needs as much as possible. For example, the workload can be adjusted when necessary (reduced during exam periods, increased during the summer holidays, dramatically reduced before state exams—perhaps even to nothing). Another benefit of working for Profinit is that students can do Master’s and Bachelor’s theses (on selected topics that are interesting for the company) during their regular working hours and get paid for it. I confess that 13 years ago, I actively used all of the above benefits.
Thank you for the interview.