We talk about career paths, collaboration, everyday challenges and opportunities with Tomasz Jankowski, Software Validation Engineer, and Lukasz Matuszewski, Software Engineer, employees of Ethernet Firmware Engineering at Intel Poland in Gdansk.
What does your team/business group do?
We develop network products. Lukasz is responsible for programming tasks, while I do testing and validation, though we don’t have a strict division into specialized teams that take care of just one part of the process. Our teams include employees with various skills and diverse experience so they can deal effectively with any issues they encounter. When people work together it’s easier to collaborate.
What are some of the projects you’re working on now?
Broadly speaking, we work on projects related to network interface cards. They are intended for large companies that use data centers. It is an extensive area comprising card management, server management and the automation of all processes.
What we do covers a fairly large scope of activities, from the software design through to the hardware design. We administer entire environments in our testing data centers, we prepare documentation, we perform investigations and we do security testing.
This segment of the market is developing rapidly. Today, life would be much more difficult if we didn’t have data centers. We provide our customers with network interface cards which allow them to create better services and consolidate existing ones. This means such services not only become cheaper, but also offer increased availability and reliability. This, in turn, translates into greater comfort for end users.
What makes your team successful?
It is a unique combination of skills, talent and the general drive for improvement.
The key foundation of success is constantly looking for improvements and development. And I mean both self-development and the collaboration between teams. The point is to know the profile of each player in our team so that we can communicate effectively.
You also work with teams from other countries. Can you tell us about that?
We work primarily with our Connectivity Group colleagues in the United States, Israel and Gdansk, as well as with teams in India. We are all part of one work group. We share information, we support and help each other, we suggest solutions. It is simply the best you can get in terms of engineering work. There are challenges, and there are opportunities to learn how to communicate with people of other cultures, how to find solutions together, how people with different mentalities perceive things, how they deal with similar problems. You just can’t learn this in a typical local company.
What excites you most about your work?
I really enjoy the challenges. On the one hand, we work on products which still have a long way before they debut on the market, so we get the valuable insight into the future. We feel proud that things deemed impossible yesterday become possible today, and of our contribution to making them a reality. Aside from introducing new products, we also enhance existing ones, enabling them to better meet the needs of our customers.
The gaps in the software production process – that's my personal hobby horse. I identify such gaps and deal with them through the relevant process automation. In other words, I improve the ergonomics of work, so that we can be oriented towards innovation and be the first to deliver new technologies and new solutions.
Why did you decide to become a software engineer/software validation engineer? Can you tell us more about your career path?
When I graduated from the technical high school, it seemed that I needed to get the right education before I could even start thinking about a job at Intel. It turned out I was wrong. It is all about never giving up, making your dreams come true and being brave in your decisions. I was recommended by a friend who knew about my skills. Intel gave me the opportunity to develop them further. I started my current role after four years in the embedded area.
My career path was a bit different. Before Intel, I did tests and industrial verification of hardware for companies which were strictly hardware producers, but I was slowly moving towards software for the simple reason that software was becoming almost ubiquitous. It was then that Intel offered me a job and I decided to use this opportunity to learn and develop. Right now, I do not think of myself as a ‘programmer’. What I do here is certainly much more than just coding or ‘writing something on the keyboard’, as people often perceive this job. The scope of what we do is enormous and the longer I work here, the more I see and explore.
What would you say to people considering a role at Intel Poland?
This is really a place with fantastic potential for self-development, particularly because of the people who work here. We don’t only rely on our own work; we draw on the extensive experience of others. Our engineers are qualified and have impressive knowledge in their respective fields, but you can also learn a lot from them about other topics.
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that Intel is such a large and famous company. Not only professors work here. Intel really appreciates self-sufficiency and creativity. It offers great opportunities for people who are not afraid to challenge themselves, even if they don’t have traditional certificates confirming their education or experience. You should never feel discouraged in striving to make your dreams come true. As Thomas Edison said: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” In other words, success consists mostly of hard work and perseverance. The difficulties we come across can always be overcome, especially when you work in effective teams with people you can rely on, no matter what.
Interested in opportunities at Intel? Check out available openings in Poland or explore all of Intel’s available jobs.
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