Employee Spotlight – Jakub Stefaniak

If you’ve worked with Aquiva Labs recently, chances are you’ve met Jakub Stefaniak at some point during your customer experience. Jakub is the Director of Engineering EU and has been with Aquiva Labs since the beginning of 2021.

As this month’s employee spotlight, we get to highlight his role and career journey over the years that lead him to Aquiva Labs.

Starting from the beginning

Jakub started his career as a software developer at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Informatics, Polish Academy of Sciences, later he developed software for Simulation and Training Systems for the Polish Army. Jakub realized he wanted to prioritize a remote opportunity to better fit his lifestyle which is how he got started working within the Salesforce ecosystem over seven years ago which eventually led him to Aquiva Labs.

Jakub is a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) – which is something like a ‘black belt of Salesforce’, there are approximately 400 people with this title all over the world. Does that make him a superhero? We think so!

Growing with Aquiva Labs

Jakub is one to prioritize personal growth and feels as if he’s found a positive atmosphere at Aquiva Labs to support his goals. Jakub said, “I love how important the growth atmosphere is: we have certification bonuses, In-house CTA academy and two people (including myself) studying at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. I can only quote here Ray Stata (for many years, the CEO of Analog Devices): ‘the rate at which individuals and organizations learn may become the only sustainable competitive advantage.’ – and we are really crushing this!”

Aquiva Labs mainly focuses on product companies, where success or failure depends on the quality of the product. If you’re only using the software internally to support your operations, you probably only need software to be good enough…. It means that internal, in-house software is rarely important enough to justify hiring rock stars. 

“That’s why the most satisfying careers, if you’re a software developer, are at actual software companies like Aquiva Labs. Not doing IT for some bank. My favorite thing is that we are not only hiring rock stars, but additionally, we are building an environment where they can really excel,” stated Jakub.

It’s a busy job being the Director of Engineering

As the Director of Engineering for the EU, Jakub is always keeping busy. He typically starts his day with a 2 hour block dedicated for individual task work and strategic actions. He prioritizes not starting his day with too many meetings so he’s able to stay ahead of any pending tasks that need his attention.

Later in the day, his calendar is typically full of meetings: 1:1s with developers, architects and Practice Leads, Internal Sprint Reviews, mentoring sessions as part of our internal CTA In-house Academy, and so on.

Jakub noted that balancing time for tactical and strategic actions is the most challenging part of the role. Given his position, the most rewarding part is seeing new employees, who he hired, succeeding in their roles. 

Advice that works

An effective manager transfers responsibility for an activity—often described as delegation—while retaining accountability for the ultimate outcome. They must therefore take steps to make sure the subordinates are successful. These steps include deciding what to delegate and to whom, establishing a timeline, providing essential support, checking in, providing oversight and feedback, and more. Remember, the manager’s job is not done until the job is done. As the Director of Engineering, Jakub keeps this concept top of mind when approaching projects.

If you’re looking to join the Aquiva Labs team, Jakub says, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Aquiva Labs is an extraordinary company, it’s not easy to get here, but it’s definitely worth trying.”

If you’re interested in joining our team, check out our open positions and apply today!

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