About #Code series
Developers, developers, developers… they are not alone in the IT world. This world is not just for programmers!
And the success of a company, project or product, in addition to good, clean code, is also influenced by the work of other experts. At Merixstudio, we have 4 main departments, which include individual specialized teams:
- Engineering – our Frontend, Backend and Mobile developers, DevOps Engineers, and QA Specialists
- Delivery – Product Design including UI and UX Designers and Project Management
- Business Development – Inbound and Outbound Analysts plus Business Researchers
- People & Culture – including EB, Content, and our HR Managers
- Business Growth – covering fields of Customer Demand Generation, Sales & Marketing Data Management and Business Communication & PR
So let's leave Engineering teams with their code, architecture, and tests, and focus on the other side of creative technologists instead! In the next few weeks, we'll be posting a couple of articles to help you understand better how a real software development looks and who stands behind the scene! Today, we’re introducing the people behind the project management.
What do our Project Managers do?
PM team in Merixstudio
Our PM team is a part of the Delivery Department headed by Piotr Diering (insight note: Piotr has been working in Merixstudio for almost 12 years! Check out how we keep low employee turnover!). There are currently 10 highly qualified Project Managers with an average of 8 years’ experience in this field! Two of them, Kamil Grzyb and Piotr Nowaczyk, are Team Leaders.
Our team is very stable. We've been working together for years and we've managed to develop a very nice co-operating system. We are happy to share knowledge and experience, we work together like a well-oiled machine. What makes Merixstudio a nice place to work? People!
PM’s responsibilities and challenges
So what exactly do our Project Managers do? I would say... they control the universe! But no… they don’t! They “make things happen” and help employees, clients and companies keep a high quality of satisfying business needs and teamwork.
Project Managers take care of projects from soup to nuts. It means they are involved in all stages of the software development process from both the employee and the business side! That gives them a broad perspective and comprehensive knowledge about clients, technologies, and coworkers.
On the one hand, their duties include building a project team, motivating them, monitoring progress, and setting directions for their work. On the other, they control the budget, handle the project work schedule using agile methodology, and manage risks. They are responsible for keeping the effective contact clients and coping with all crisis situations that might arise while working on a project. Asking questions and collaboration in looking for answers, sharing opinions and observations with the rest of the project team and clients – this is their bread and butter.
Each of our PMs works on different, diverse projects. They are in daily contact with the client, the engineering team, and the business developers to talk over the progress of the projects. They take part in design workshops, scoping sessions, and project valuations. But they all need specific tools to handle the challenges they meet every day.
What tools do our PMs use?
Of course, with such a wide range of tasks, we can’t leave our PMs unarmed. They use a lot of tools designed to support project management and maintain ongoing communication, i.a:
- Jira Software – for project management, task tracking, bug tracking, and logging time spent working on a project (Tempo addition).
- Confluence – for sharing and recording knowledge, good practices, important information, and guidelines.
- Float – for resource planning.
- Slack – for everyday communication.
- G-Suite – for performing a wide array of tasks thanks to email, online storage, shared calendars, sheets, and more.
- Google Meet – for video calls.
If necessary, we also test, check, and implement other tools, e.g. Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting – especially when our clients prefer to use them.
What’s the secret sauce to our PM team’s success?
All our Project Managers are great specialists in their field, but they also differ in terms of skill sets. And so Maciej S. is a more technical person with a focus on technology (you should definitely check his vlog about APIs!), Radek has excellent competencies about processes and how they’re related to business, whereas Piotr N. is an expert in building teams and motivating their members to reach set goals.
Despite the differences in specializations, experience, and development paths, they found their place with us, perfectly complemented each other and the company with their activities. Diversity refers also to the responsibilities our PMs handle in a typical workday ... oh wait! Did I just say "typical workday" as a Project Manager? That’s not the case in this profession. When you work with people, every day is similar even though it's really different. The only repetitive tasks each day are:
- Daily Scrum Meetings (as the name suggests held every day),
- others Scrum ceremonies when they are on schedule,
- budget and risk control.
The changes stimulate their self-development and encourage PMs to broaden the horizons. After all, their tasks demand diving into specifics of new industries within which their clients operate. With such a wide range of tasks, they never get bored!
The variety of challenges, decision autonomy, teamwork, constant development, freedom for experimenting, and implementing ideas is the basis of my work as a Project Manager and as a member of Merixstudio. If you value a healthy work environment with interesting tasks and want to constantly grow - you should consider joining our team!
A permanent hunger for knowledge and improving skills is another key factor in the successful work of our Project Management team.
The need for self-development fuels the strength of our Project Management expertise. You don’t have to encourage PMs in Merixstudio to educate and expand their know-how. They are always willing to gain valuable knowledge and obtain certifications proving their competences.
Less than 800 professionals in the world obtained PSK I (Professional Scrum with Kanban I) certificate and 5 of our Project Managers are among them! 🏆 Kamil, Maciej, Piotr, Maciej, and Piotr came through the rigorous assessment and their profound knowledge about #Scrum and #Kanban is something we can take pride in! 🎉 Working in our PM team means constant self-development - not only by obtaining certificates but also by learning from teammates. Sounds like something you would like to do? That’s perfect, because we are hiring a Regular Project Manager, find out more with link in our BIO! . . . #meetmerix #merixstudio #certificate #software #softwarehouse #networking #community #startup #hiring #job #development #developers #webdevelopers #webdevelopment #project #projects #projectmanagement #PM #softwaredevelopment #programming #programmer #dev #developer #webdeveloperslife #projectmanagerslife #coding #webapplication
Moreover, they’re open to sharing this knowledge and they do it on a regular basis within internal and external events and meetings.
In my opinion, you can only become "better" if you surround yourself with "better" people. And this is how it looks at Merix – you have the opportunity to work with people with great knowledge, experience, and above all, these people are happy to share their knowledge and experience with others. If we add interesting and diverse projects to it, we have perfect conditions to face new challenges every day, deal with them together, and learn valuable lessons.
PMs are also very active and full of ideas referring not only to projects they run but Merixstudio as well. And their attitude is contagious!
They motivate and inspire each other with their development-driven approach and successes.
Everyday challenges make it necessary to look for new solutions and improve yourself. The IT industry is moving forward and so are we. I appreciate the opportunity to improve processes in the company. Our opinion matters and management openly asks about it.
How to make such a diversified group of ambitious and busy people a team? Well, that might be challenging but remember that they are team building experts! Above all – our PMs are just wonderful people. Always willing to help, engaged in the company’s life, full of passion for their job as well as for their after-work activities.
You can always ask them for their precious insights about projects or just talk about the greatest cycling places around Poznan (Kamil), GoPro cameras (Maciej S.), or best wines and restaurants (Piotr B.). They are first to get involved in integration meetings, our charity events (sandwiches made by Piotr N. offered on our charity auctions break the bank every year!), and other kinds of Merixstudio social initiatives.
Everyone is willing to contribute, everyone is involved, everyone honestly talks with each other and makes life easier. Here is no corporate policy and game around but development and knowledge sharing are what you can find. Although Merix is not a small company, people are put first. The management team listens to our opinions, they care about our comfort at work, they appreciate commitment, reliable approach to duties and most importantly – they trust us.
Our Project Managers definitely boost Merixstudio teamwork spirit – they highly appreciate this value and care about putting it into practice every day. That concerns the project teams they manage as well as PMs themselves and the company as a whole. Real team builders & team players!
How to become a PM in Merixstudio?
So now that you met Merixstudio’s PM team and you know what their work looks like, you might wonder if you’re the right person for the job. Interested in applying? Take a look at the requirements and recruitment process in Merixstudio.
PM skillset in Merixstudio
Besides the very special ingredients of our PMs’ success, there are, of course, other skills required or "nice to have" in this job or just desirable by Project Managers themselves not only by the company. What are they exactly?
First of all, three words: communication, communication, communication. Project Managers talk all-day and not only because they are so sociable. They’re the ones who need to make sure that everyone is on the same page on both sides of the deal and that the work is moving in the right direction. PMs are like the links between our teams and clients. They play a significant role in exchanging information and gathering feedback, running the meetings and keeping their eye on the ball to provide the right responses for any changes. As almost all companies we work with are from abroad, to provide smooth and effective communication Project Manager should be proficient in English (the command of other languages is very welcome).
Secondly, the thing every PM – especially in IT – loves (or at least should enjoy): Agile. The high quality and effectiveness of Merixstudio Project Management are driven by the mastery of different frameworks like Scrum, Scrumban, Kanban, the proper way of mixing them, and adjusting to the project specifics. Although you don’t need to be literally a Scrum Master, the development in this field is a must.
And last but least, experience. As we’ve already mentioned, we bet on experts to provide our clients with the finest project management they can get. We’re deeply aware of the significance of the PM’s role in software development and that’s why we require a few years of experience from our candidates. It should encompass the main areas of project management like managing priorities, risks, change control, and defining the scope of work. The experience doesn’t have to be limited to the IT industry – but it constitutes an added value. A great part of our PMs joined our team after working in many different companies – just check their stories about how they got to Merix.
I studied project management in IT at the Poznań University of Technology. In previous companies, I worked as an Account Manager doing everything from sales to project management. I still remember the recruitment process for Merix. I sent a spontaneous application and Kamil Kaniuk, today’s Head of Business Development Department, invited me to a meeting. So I took a chance and I proposed that I present my projects and show how I managed them. We’ve talked for hours. And so I’ve been a part of the company since 2015.
Before Merix, I worked in a marketing agency as an Account and Project Manager. I graduated from the Poznan University of Economics. Once upon a time, Kamil Kaniuk wrote to me that Merixstudio is looking for developers (Why me, though? I didn't know what to do with this information? 😉) so I checked the career website and saw that they are also looking for a Project Manager. I was invited to the meeting and they quickly checked out that I didn't know so much about the technologies used in software development but graduated from a good university and had a very good command of English. That’s what’s helped me.
I studied at the Maritime University of Gdynia. I have been involved in project management for many years. Earlier I worked in an EU fundraising company. Then in a similar company but implementing IT projects. After that, I left the public funds industry and settled in Merixstudio. And yes, I came to the job interview the day before I should. And yes, I applied for a sales position because there was no vacancy for a PM. But Kami Kaniuk recommended me to Piotr. I participated in an Axure workshop within which I talked to Piotr and this is how my adventure in Merix began.
We respect the time and effort the candidates devote to take part in our recruitment process. That’s why we try to make it short, simple, and transparent. That also concerns the recruitment of our Project Management teams.
The first step is to apply for a job within our website. If you are qualified for the next stage of the process, our HR Manager will contact you to arrange the meeting. The interview can be conducted remotely within Google Hangouts – just take care of a reliable internet connection so you won’t stress about disturbances in the video stream. And by the way – there’s nothing to stress about! We put emphasis on making our candidates feel comfortable during the interview so there’s no need to jump into a suit and a white shirt. In addition to one of our HR Managers, you’ll meet a PM Team Leader so you can ask about any work details you want.
In two weeks maximum, you’ll receive feedback. Regardless of the final result, we will explain to you why we made such a decision. If you are offered a job and the conditions we present meet your expectations, then all you’ll have to comply with some formalities. And that’s it! Easy, isn’t it? So why not give it a try?
Would you like to be a part of our PM Team and run excellent software projects? Take a look at job offers in Merixstudio!