Budapest, Hungary | Software Engineering Manager, Optiva
My father passed away 1.5 years ago, and now my mother lives alone, about 250 km away from Budapest, where I live. Her pension alone is just not enough to keep her afloat. Furthermore, she was visibly shrinking every week because of her loss, and the real situation of being alone, away from her sons. I knew that visiting her often is good, but it's not a real solution to help her get over her grief, and to give her a purpose in everyday life. She lives in Hajduszoboszlo, a tourist city in Hungary. It's very rich in thermal water, and there is a huge spa complex built on it. The city is very busy during summer, you can imagine! :) With the money I've started to earn at Crossover, I did something I wouldn't have been able to do for a long time still. I bought her an apartment, and made her the manager of it. We put it up on booking.com, and suddenly, she was very busy taking care of guests arriving every week. All the income is hers of course, and now she is financially stable, and improved a lot emotionally as well. Just to be on the safe side, I'm going to buy another apartment for her next year too, so she won't have to worry about money anymore. :)
When I arrived at Crossover and joined Optiva, my task was to create a new team from nothing, with a specialized task. Telecom is a quite complex domain, and this new team's sole purpose was to replicate issues that have been reported by the customer, but nobody else was successful in it so far. I had one IC to begin with, who in my opinion is outstandingly smart, but she was also only a couple of months "old" at Optiva. The first replications took weeks to somehow manage, we had different blockers every day, and I had to hire 7 more people from the marketplace. Needless to say, almost none of them had previous experience with RedKnee/Optiva... The goal was to have the team replicate at least 1 issue per person per week by the end of Q3. I think it was one of the toughest challenges in my life so far, but the very last week, the team as a group was successful in passing the metric criteria. I have a ton of work still with this team, but I'm very proud of them. 8 started, 4 remained, all 4 of them very smart, very dependable and driven. Even if I had to quit tomorrow, I would still say it was totally worth it!
I have a mentor, Michal Grochowski, from the beginning. He showed me around, introduced to other people, and pointed me in the right direction to learn both the domain and the products. Once I got settled in and started working on my tasks, I really cannot recall anything special in terms of how either my teammates or direct reports supported me. We support each other every single day, no matter what the actual issue is! This was the other thing that was a very pleasant surprise at Crossover. I had some doubts about how I will be able to function here being cut off from almost all my direct colleagues physically. But this is a community, and these people respect each other, work together and share both the pain and success. I'm proud of being one of them.