Meet Mirek Zajdel I Software Development Manager
We caught up with Mirek Zajdel, Software Development Manager in Sportsbook, working in our Krakow tech hub.
Hear about the projects he’s most proud of and his journey of building a team from scratch.
Tell us about your role and what it involves:
The role of Software Development Manager involves much responsibility regarding people development and performance as well as processes and organization of work in my channel.
I take care of many staffing issues from managing recruitment flows, through empowering people, motivating them, improving accountability ending with setting objectives, monitoring and control. My daily duties are also related to processes and contain collaboration between Krakow teams and with Gibraltar, applying DevOps culture, sharing knowledge between channels, common contributing to delivery, improving visibility, managing trainings and budget and many more organizational liabilities.
Generally, you need to keep a broad overview of what’s going on in the channel, what’s the status of ongoing work and what are dependencies to have it all under control.
What excites you about tech at William Hill?
William Hill is definitely a company which is constantly improving in general and that is related to tech as well. We’ve been applying innovative solutions and technical updates and we’re going to keep on doing that, what creates for each individual perfect opportunities to develop continuously. What’s important, people in William Hill are given plenty of opportunities when it comes to achieving their objectives, so we can implement our own ideas how to meet them and we receive plenty of support regarding that, what for me personally is pretty motivating.
Tech aspects and processes are being strengthened by an extraordinary atmosphere created by open-minded people from the international community and fantastic positive work culture.
Which projects are you most proud of that you’ve worked on here?
Achievements are smaller and greater but there’re always people hiding behind these and because of that I’m most proud of my team.
When you’re moving forward with recruitment to build a team, then you’re working with people to help them grow and motivating them, it’s always a bunch of hard work. But after some time other people are coming and telling you “That guy from your team, he did great job, he’s absolutely brilliant!” or “Your team is performing so well!” and these are moments you know it was worth giving a damn.
I’m most proud of achieved goals which were absolutely unknown when they were set. That kind of objectives which you’d badly like to meet but you totally don’t even know how to start with work. And after working it out for a long time and a massive engagement of people you can say “Wow! Another milestone has just been reached!”.
Among these I can point out:
- Applying Testing ROTA maintenance for E2E Sportsbook automation test suite,
- Setting up centralized Allure reports for all the channels aligned to testing pyramid paradigm,
- Setting up TDD through Zephyr test plans integrated into JIRA,
- Organizing a series of ISTQB pieces of training which lead to cross-channel upskilling of testers and passing Foundation Exams with certificates granted,
- Bringing on BrowserStack as a cloud-based testing tool for the whole William Hill.
I’d like to emphasise that all of the above are not an individual achievement but results of working together of testers, developers and other people involved.
How do you go one better every day?
One of the best aspects about William Hill is that you only need to perform your daily duties the best you can and dynamic open and interesting environment which we’re working in is just enough to learn many things every day and be better.
What’s more, I’m trying to upskill myself through many ways like attending training, reading books or articles. But in my opinion, the most important in going one better as a manager every day is listening to people. To improve, one can just listen to what people are saying, listen to their needs and their ideas and support them in implementation.
Can you tell us a bit about your career story?
I started my professional career at universities since I love to teach and invent the new, concurrently giving private lessons on software development. Soon I decided to go fully to the software development industry, where I was initially Software Developer then Tester and Test Lead, developing more and more my leadership skills. That was the time when William Hill came to me with an offer, I decided to accept and that decision definitely made my development speed up.
Building QA team from scratch and managing their work in a few Scrum teams was challenging for me as QA Lead and required plenty of hard work but you know it was worth it when you see the team after 1,5 year as a highly performing group of engaged people collaborating pretty well with one another.
Recently I’ve been promoted to Software Development Manager what’s even more challenging and draws more responsibility. I’m personally delighted because I already feel I can do more good things to developing Sportsbook product, I can manage implementing more improvements and foremost I’m able to influence more and make daily work of Sportsbook team members better.
I’m absolutely excited about my new role and I’m going to do my best! J
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