In the dynamic realm of technology and innovation, success stories often emerge from unexpected beginnings. Today, we bring you the inspiring journey of two individuals who started as Junior Front-End Developers and ascended the ladder of career growth at GoHealth Slovakia. Their story is a testament to dedication, continuous learning, and the vibrant culture that defines our company. Please, meet Stano and Martin.
Could you briefly introduce yourselves and describe your roles at GoHealth Slovakia?
Stano: My name is Stano and I am a Senior Software Engineer. Currently, I am part of the Web Standards and Performance team at GoHealth Slovakia, where we work on tasks related to web technologies, their performance, standards, monitoring, and everything related to the web.
Martin: I am Martin and I am a Software Engineer. I am a member of the Connect team, tasked with the development and management of applications tailored to the needs of our customers seeking insurance. Furthermore, we focus on providing essential tools to support our agents throughout this intricate process.
Starting as Junior Front-End Developers at GoHealth Slovakia (Creatix at that time) during your university studies, how did you first discover this company, and what motivated you to join?
Stano: I got to know the company through my classmates, who joined the company about half a year before me. Initially, there were four of us classmates, and now three of us are still together: Martin, Daniel, and myself.
Martin: The company has been popping up on my social networks for a long time. My classmate joined at the time, and he was able to provide me with first-hand information. I was also considering a change in the work sphere during that time, so I decided to send my CV and went for an interview.
Can you share some of your early experiences and challenges as junior engineers?
Stano: In Creatix, there wasn’t a formal buddy system like there is now at GoHealth. However, I must say that everyone was very helpful and kind. Everyone took the time to explain how our systems and processes worked, and much more. I never felt like I was bothering anyone. I would liken it more to a family culture than a corporate one.
Martin: When I joined the company, GoHealth was still Creatix, therefore we all had to face slightly different challenges. I started as a Junior Software Engineer focusing on development for iOS mobile phones. The very first project was very challenging for me, but a more senior colleague was always willing to help me and guide me. I remember working late into the evening for the first time because the clients expected a functional version of the application that day, and some features were still not working. These are the moments I always like to remember even nowadays.
Over the years, you both have been promoted multiple times within the company. What do you think were the key factors that contributed to your career growth?
Stano: One of the key factors that contributed to my career growth was the opportunity to continuously gain new knowledge. I was given more challenging tasks and had enough time to study things that helped me complete them. Nobody ever held my junior status against me, and my superiors trusted me which helped me to move forward.
Martin: Perseverance, as well as the trust of my superiors in my ability to handle more important and demanding tasks. I always had enough space to study technologies and approaches unknown to me and thus improve my professionalism.
How has GoHealth Slovakia supported your professional development and encouraged your progression within the organization?
Stano: In terms of professional development, it was my competencies and the trust my superiors had in me that played a significant role. I had the opportunity to voice my opinion, and if it was reasonable, it was reflected in the results. If my opinion proved to be incorrect, and an alternative approach presented itself, my colleagues would readily provide guidance on how to rectify, enhance, and more. If you can accept constructive criticism, that’s what will drive you forward, and it certainly pushed me a lot.
Martin: As I mentioned, there was always enough time for personal improvement, studying new technologies, etc. Also, if I was stuck, more senior colleagues were always willing to give me advice, that’s something I could always have learned a lot from. Many times I also had the opportunity to participate in contributing to strategic technology decisions on the project, which helps in self-realization to a great extent.
In the rapidly evolving health tech field, how has GoHealth Slovakia stayed at the forefront of innovation (how have you contributed to this innovation)?
Stano: I’ll emphasize it again; it’s all about continuous learning. In my opinion, that’s crucial for maintaining peak performance, both as an individual and as a company. I am constantly learning because there’s always something new in the tech world. I have also contributed by helping maintain our web applications in optimal condition within my team. We aim to minimize vulnerabilities and ideally achieve the best performance. Recently, we’ve eliminated certain technologies, reducing development friction and enabling our colleagues to achieve similar results with fewer tools.
Martin: Introducing new technologies and allowing adequate time for their adoption among developers. I have never felt that I have to master any new technology in one day and perform 100% results the next day. We also have the opportunity to participate in any conferences of our choice and thus gain experience and information from people from other companies, or directly from the creators of the technologies used.
Can you share a particularly memorable project or achievement during your time at GoHealth Slovakia that you are proud of?
Stano: I’ve been working in the Development Tooling and Standards (DTS) team for a long time. We developed a bunch of libraries that allowed us to get rid of a lot of repetitive code. We also improved the deployment experience and often reduced deployment times. I’d like to thank my teammates as well. It was the best opportunity to see how GoHealth really operates, digging into both infrastructure and developer tools. Even though our work was mostly invisible to the client, we definitely helped improve the work of our colleagues.
Martin: I have a very interesting example from the recent past – we worked on a project that helped our agents in the USA a lot. After submitting this project, they no longer had to use a third-party application for their work, we integrated it directly into our system, saving them time and significantly improving their efficiency. During this project, everyone in the team had the opportunity to express their opinion. We collaborated on the architectural aspects of the project and were also granted the opportunity to modify the requirements, resulting in a project with improved and more suitable utility.
The journey from being university students to senior professionals at the same company is impressive. How have your goals and aspirations evolved throughout your careers, and how has GoHealth Slovakia aligned with your ambitions?
Stano: After school, I was trying to find myself. I previously worked as a system administrator, then briefly held a DevOps position, and eventually, I joined Creatix as a front-end developer. At GoHealth, I was finally able to realize my full potential, so my ambitions gradually increased, and I’m looking forward to where they will take me next. I became a true software engineer, and that’s the path I’m continuing on.
Martin: My ambitions have changed a lot. During my university studies, I wasn’t certain about what I would enjoy, but I was definite about my desire to work as a developer. I started working as a developer for cross-platform development. Later on, I joined Creatix and started working as an iOS developer. After a few projects, there was an opportunity to work as a front-end developer. After the transformation to GoHealth, I got the opportunity to work as a full-stack developer, which is actually my current position, and I have to say that I really like it. Whenever I become fatigued with a particular aspect of development and seek a change, my Tech Lead assigns me tasks from a completely different scope. This approach ensures that I never reach a point where I don’t enjoy my work.
What advice would you give to aspiring Software Engineers who want to embark on a similar journey of career progression and success within the tech industry?
Stano: I would definitely recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes a day for learning. It’s the key to improving your skills. Above all, don’t be afraid of challenges and asking questions. Questions are very crucial for solving any problem. Don’t dwell on problems; keep asking until something is clear to you.
Martin: Don’t be afraid to ask, as there are no wrong questions. Be persistent and set goals that progressively become more challenging; they will keep propelling you forward.
GoHealth Slovakia is known for its vibrant and collaborative work culture. How has the company’s culture played a role in your personal and professional development?
Stano: The company culture helped me to connect with more experienced colleagues. I sought out their guidance, and thanks to that, I was able to learn from them. I felt comfortable asking questions and discussing tasks or various problems. Everyone was willing to help me, even if the issue was not in their scope of responsibilities.
Martin: Definitely, because I learned not to be afraid to ask any questions. Every single colleague was always not only willing to assist me, but also explain the solution.
As experienced professionals, what do you believe sets GoHealth Slovakia apart from other tech companies in terms of fostering career growth and job satisfaction?
Stano: The company culture, the family atmosphere, and, once again, I’ll emphasize it, the time and resources for education significantly contribute to it.
Martin: Company culture, time and resources for education, and colleagues who are professionals in their field, as well as friends for enjoying beer outside of work.
The journey of Stano and Martin at GoHealth Slovakia serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring software engineers, illustrating that the path to success in the tech industry is not just about reaching the destination but also about embracing the challenges and learning along the way. We hope that we have not only shed light on their path to success but have also kindled a flame of inspiration in everyone who aspires to excel in their chosen fields. So remember, your journey may start anywhere, but it’s the unwavering pursuit of your goals that will lead you to remarkable heights.
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