Programming is like doing DIY in your garage – interview with Krzysztof Górnowicz

He joined the team for an internship. He stayed for quite a while. He wanted to develop mobile apps. He is a C# programmer instead. Like many fellow developers he loves playing board games. He has one more, rather unusual hobby. This time it’s Krzysztof Górnowicz, our .NET developer, I’m talking to, asking about work and passion.

Krzysiek, how did it happen that you joined Goyello and why was it Goyello in particular?

I heard about the company when I was a secondary school student. But it was too early for me to join the team then. My own story at Goyello started at the university.

I had to do an internship. I also wanted to start earning my living. In 2014 I came across Goyello at a job fair. Daniel Dekański, head of mobile at that time, was at the booth. I was very much into mobile then and I wanted to develop apps myself. So I filled in a questionnaire they gave me at the booth and I was invited to an Agile training. What’s really interesting is that as part of the questionnaire I was supposed to finish a sentence about Agile or invent a slogan, I can’t remember now what it was. Anyway, what I want to say is that I didn’t have a scooby what Agile was so I had to make use of Google to do the task.        

Krzysiek_GornowiczHow did you like the training?

I was very positive about it, indeed. I liked the atmosphere here at Goyello. The people were nice, too. Everything was great so I decided to provide them with my CV. Soon after that I was invited to a job interview.

… but it wasn’t for a position in the mobile team, was it?

You’re right. It wasn’t. A few weeks before I was invited our university C# course had started. I found out I really liked the language, much more than Java you use to develop Android apps. C# is also similar to C++ I already knew back then. So, I decided to give it a go and to make C# programming my ultimate goal. Before the interview I took a test and I did it well. So that’s basically how it all began.

Have you always known you want to be a developer?

Actually, I used to dream of becoming a paleontologist. 😉 I gave it up, though, when I realised I would have to pass a history exam to be admitted to the faculty. And I really hate history!

History is definitely a key discipline for a paleontologist. So why did you take up programming?

I have been programming since I was a primary school student. My cousin used to do Pascal programming and it was him that I learned what coding was all about from. I quickly realised programming was awesome. You could develop things for yourself and on your own. You could find a solution to your current problem or invent something you needed, for instance a backward reading app we developed together. 😉

Programming is similar to doing some DIY in your garage. The only difference is that both the garage and the tools you use look a bit different. You can also move back to change things or do everything once again, from scratch.

When I was in the sixth grade I took part in the so called IT Olympics for middle school students. I took fifth position then and I already knew programming was something I liked and wanted to deal with in my professional life.

Is there anything you like about programming in particular?

I’m very much into algorithmic programming, which means plenty of maths and inventing exercises. I used to do it in the Talent association, an organisation that looks for talented people interested in the topic. I was responsible for writing maths exercises for young folks there. I was also a member of the technical staff at the IT Olympics for students. I still prepare young people for the competition today, despite the fact that I’m not the Talent member any more. I give private tuition.

You know what’s interesting about algorithmic exercises? That they are sometimes related to quite unexpected topics. For instance, one of my exercises is about the main female protagonists of Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki. I used the motif of raspberry picking you can find in the work. 😉 Unfortunately, if I were to deal with algorithms professionally, I would have to work at the university. And that’s not the career path I would like to follow. That’s why I develop business apps in C#.

What are you working on at the moment?

In fact, since I came to Goyello I’ve been a member of one team. Our client is an insurance company. In this project, I’m responsible for counter fraud services, which means security issues that prevent fraud and extortion. The portal we develop enables the client to detect instances of a stolen card usage or other forbidden operations. Every such instance is immediately reported.

What skills that you possess are helpful in this project?

I don’t use my knowledge of algorithms here but I really need to be creative. When a problem appears I have to analyse it thoroughly, consider different possible solutions and check what I can and what I cannot do about it. Besides, in this project I have an opportunity to learn new things – patterns and technologies – from various fields. Due to the fact that I’ve been working in it from the very beginning, I‘ve learned much and I can share with others now.

Do you like doing projects in Agile? Do you like the method itself?

What I really like about Agile is the fact that you are constantly in touch with the client, which lets you immediately clear all your doubts, ask about details and check whether or not you understand what they actually expect from you.

I also like it that someone else gathers all tasks in the backlog of the project and I can simply pick them one by one and do them in an order I prefer.

I heard you often recommend Goyello to your colleagues. Why do you think it’s a good place to work?

That’s right, I always tell my colleagues Goyello is a place worth considering when looking for a job. I also take part in job fairs. I’m busy at the booth, talking to people and telling them what it is like at Goyello.

And why do I think it is a good place to work? Well, the company is students-friendly, which means you can have a flexible work schedule. You should be present at the office between 9.30 and 15.30 but, if you need, you can make individual arrangements with your team leader. The project I work in is an exception here because we work together with the client’s team. But in most projects at Goyello you can easily work and study at the same time.

Besides, great people work at Goyello. We often have team hangouts, organised by the company and the atmosphere is very nice, in general.

You have just got your engineer’s degree? What’s next?

Well, what I want to do now is to return to the Faculty of Informatics, Gdańsk University of Technology to do my master’s degree. It will take me a year and a half to complete so I hope it will be possible to work full time and study at the same time.

And what do you do when you neither work nor study?


I won’t be original if I tell you that I play board games. I don’t play typical board games, though. I like co-op games, in which you don’t play against other players. Instead, you play against the game itself. Like in Arkham Horror for instance. It’s a game you can play 2-7 hours or, if you have certain expansions, you can even play longer than that.

And apart from playing games I make 3D origami.

Isn’t origami 3D by definition?

Not really. Not every origami is a 3D origami. To make origami 3D you need plenty of small triangles made from specially folded pieces of paper. You attach one triangle to another and create 3D models. You can make loads of shapes this way, for instance birds and dragons. Swans and cobras are also very popular. In the picture (below) you can see a cobra I made myself.

kobra1… How long does it take to make a cobra like that?

Sometimes you need a dozen and sometimes several dozen episodes of your favourite TV series. 😉 My quickest 3D origami project took me 5 hours.

Do you have any dreams, related to your hobbies or other issues, that you would like to come true and can share with us?

I would like to go to the States for a while, to do some algorithmic programming at a large company like Google and bring some new ideas to Goyello.

I would also like to finish decorating the flat I’ve bought. And finally, I would like to go to France to see a real lavender field.

I keep my fingers crossed for all the three dream. And for your master’s degree!


Aspire Blog Team

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