Working for 8 years in the same IT company is not a joke, especially not for a stand-up comedy enthusiast, who loves coding, leads a multidisciplinary team and whose mantra is ‘stop complaining and start doing’. Find out Grigori’s story.
What can you tell us about your career path within Endava?
My career path at Endava started 8 years ago as a Java Developer.
Since then I embarked on several roles and tried out different frontend and backend development technologies, like Spring, Hibernate, Wicket, Apache Camel, Angular and React.
I have been doing line management of an UI team, coaching team members on their career development options; holding positions as scrum master, development lead and design lead, up to a consultant role. What helped me to have a constant uplift in my career, was maintaining a positive attitude at all times and keeping my hand up when volunteers were needed.
Each role had its own challenges: The Development Lead role required far more technical and analytical skills. I was often on the lookout for the best optimal solution, which, as it often happens, doesn’t just lie on the surface.
Another career shift came with the Design Lead role. In this capacity I was the bridge between the team and business analysts of the project with whom I communicated a lot to clarify all possible cases, agreed on action points and then managed to transform this knowledge into technical terms explaining to the team where, what and how these requirements have to be implemented.
Tell us more about your work at the moment
More than one year ago, I joined the biggest project of Endava in Moldova, which involves more than 100 people who work on innovative solutions for a major UK Payment Provider. The team had to design and build a system that revolutionized an entire industry in the UK. We worked in a complex, but at the same time lean and streamlined Agile framework.
Initially, I was leading a team responsible for the visual part of the system. Later on, once we got bigger, I switched to the Design Lead role. It implied more client communication and less coding responsibilities. The key thing about this project is that it was the most “Agile” project I’ve ever worked on, with no chance to succeed otherwise within the same time limits.
Leading the team who was responsible for the UI part of the project, we worked with some new technologies like Apache Camel for messaging and Thymeleaf for UI components. This project pushed the boundaries of our understanding of teamwork. At some point, there were 10 teams in the project and we faced the challenges of how to work effectively on the same area along with other teams, how to deliver our code, how to share issues and findings, how to reflect all this in Jira, etc. Scrum masters were of great help in sorting things out.
What made you be part of Endava all these years?
The answer is easy, I haven’t come across any other more rewarding opportunity, in terms of people, attitude, salary and opportunities.
I was not afraid to get out of my comfort zone, and whenever I did it, the company was always there, offering me its vote of confidence.
A strong motivating point for me is the commitment of my manager, our Head of Development, who sets an example for the team, in terms of his work ethics and involvement in all he does.
I strongly believe that the leaders’ behaviors have a huge impact on the team. I can honestly say that I look up to Endava leaders - the way they take decisions and manage their teams. Whenever I asked for the next challenge, or was looking for support, or just wanted to be heard, it always happened.
In your opinion, what propels you to move up the ladder?
Definitely my communication abilities and not being afraid to open up and speak up when everyone else is silent (although, sometimes it was better to listen than speak). Delivering a message that is not only heard, but also understood at its true value by the others is a true challenge. Another thing I really believe in is that communication is a much-underestimated skill, but becomes essential in an environment with distributed teams. Endava is a place that offers plenty of occasions to improve and apply this skill. At the end of the day, we all look for that place, where our best skills are put to work and rewarded. Looks like I found this place for myself.
Tell us more about yourself outside of work.
Though not entirely devoted to any hobby, I tried several of them, like triathlon, stand-up comedy, swimming, blogging, running marathons. They all had something in common at their core: building inner strength.
One of my passions - marathon running - had an enormous contribution to all dimensions of my life. Any big achievement could be related to it: with the euphoria of hope at the beginning, monotonous hard work in the middle, the need to speed up near the finish line and sheer happiness despite the pain in the muscles at the end. If you can run a marathon, you can achieve anything you really want. It makes you stop complaining and start moving forward.
Another passion that has a big impact on me is doing stand-up comedy. It gives you the understanding of how hard it is to shape and deliver a short, precise and digestible message to the audience. It is the best communication training you can get, in fact the only training where you have immediate feedback on the way you share your thoughts. Life gets funnier after some practice.