15 years of experience in building customer trust and employee competence – an interview with Anna Wieczorek and Adam Siwek from Britenet

In 2006 in the attic of a small flat in the Ursynów district in Warsaw, a few friends were taking their first steps in business. Today, 15 years later, we are celebrating this special anniversary, still providing our customers with high quality technological solutions, which has been our goal from the beginning. We develop software as part of our outsourcing services, and our portfolio now includes over 100 companies.

The best showcase of any company are its employees. So we decided to delegate the voice to two of our specialists – Anna Wieczorek, Recruitment Manager, and Adam Siwek, Salesforce Technology Manager, who will tell you about the history of Britenet, our activities aimed at development in the industry and explain what a “good climate for development” actually means.

What were the beginnings of the company? What has changed over the years?
Anna Wieczorek: In the initial phase of its activity, Britenet created a passionate team of 10 to gradually grow their own business and succeed on the IT market. 2017 was a breakthrough year, in which we hired 200 specialists. Since that event, we have doubled the number of employees, and after more than 10 years of strengthening our position on the market, the company has gained momentum. Today, we have over 800 employees and each of our branches is growing in strength starting from Warsaw, through Lublin, Poznań, Kielce and Białystok. Our current and future successes would not be possible without market recognition, which we earn every day by providing the highest quality services. It is easier to convince a potential candidate to work for a company with qualified specialists, and we can sign another contract quicker if the ten previous clients have a good opinion of our company.

You mention successes. Which ones do you consider to be the biggest achievements?
Anna Wieczorek: We have won the title of “Best IT Workplace in Poland” five times, as part of the AudIT competition, which showed that our efforts have been noticed by our employees. Thanks to the fact that they share their opinions within this survey with such openness, we can effectively plan activities aimed at improving job satisfaction at Britenet. The survey reports indicate that our employees give very high marks for effective cooperation in teams and between departments, as well as the availability of superiors. Job security and appropriate workload are also appreciated, and the ability to maintain work-life balance is considered a great value.

Adam Siwek: This award is definitely a nice culmination of the work of the whole company. I have been here for 12 years and ever since I can remember, Britenet has always tried to create an unconventional, very friendly, trusting and open work environment. A place where every person with good ideas can have an impact on the shape of the company.

What is the average seniority in Britenet and how does the number of experienced employees compare to juniors?
Anna Wieczorek: The average seniority of a specialist at Britenet is 5 years. More than half of the respondents have been working here for more than 2 years, while 15% of the employees have more than 10 years of experience. One of the members of this great group who had the opportunity to observe the powerful growth of the company is me – in May I will be celebrating my tenth anniversary! We try to provide young employees with someone to learn from. Project teams usually consist of 40% of seniors, 40% of professionals and 20% of juniors.

Development and constant raising of competences are inherent in the IT industry. How do you pursue your goals in these areas?
Anna Wieczorek: We want the quality of our specialists’ work and services provided by Britenet to be unrivalled, so we invest in people. Well educated staff is a guarantee of trust and long-term relationships with clients. For young people who are thinking about their future in the IT industry, we have two programs which help to enter the world of new technologies – “Force Academy” and “Step One”. Depending on the speed of learning, after just a few months the trainees gain the necessary experience and are promoted to the position of junior specialist. They also have the opportunity to work on commercial projects for our clients. During the training, participants receive full remuneration, we also finance their certification. Thanks to such projects, we have a real contribution to the formation of new groups of specialists and the improvement of employees’ qualifications not only within our organisation, but also in the IT industry.

Adam Siwek: The IT industry is very dynamic. We hear about new functionalities, tools, libraries almost every day… Unfortunately, most of these new solutions die very quickly and become a dead end for development. With a very large customer base and analysis of their demand, Britenet is capable of diversifying technologies that are really worth investing time in. A huge emphasis is also placed on an individual approach to each person’s development to better tailor the path to our preferences. Employees can increase their competences through internal as well as external training, certification paths and access to specialists’ knowledge.

Representatives of which technologies lead the way among your employees?

Anna Wieczorek: Java technology has been at the forefront of global rankings for more than a dozen years. No wonder that these statistics are also reflected in the structures of our company, creating the largest technical department in Britenet. On our company blog, we published an interview with Marcin Dziadoń, our Java Technical Leader, who presented the background of work in this department and talked about the challenges faced by specialists in this technology. Another rapidly developing multitechnology department is Frontend. The variety of tools we use allows everyone to find their niche. From server-side projects in Node.js, through multiplatform mobile applications in React Native, to Enterprise-class systems built on the Single-Page Application (SPA) model. We work primarily with two technologies: Angular and React. We try to maintain the latest versions of these frameworks and libraries for our clients.

As one of only a few companies in Poland, we deal with the implementation of Business Intelligence not only in the area of data integration between systems. We implement BI end-to-end, i.e., from source systems through data lake, data warehouses, data marts to reporting tools, machine learning and building data-driven applications for companies. Over the last 8 years, we have developed our own know-how in this sector and we build Business Intelligence systems in accordance with our standards.

What elements of your offer make candidates interested in working with you?
Anna Wieczorek: The pandemic has significantly affected the non-wage benefits we have offered so far. However, we have adapted them to the current situation. Language meetings with a teacher, which previously took place in our offices, have been replaced by classes on an e-learning platform, where in groups of 3 or 4 we can continue learning English and German. Looking at the development opportunities offered by the company, an important aspect is the budget allocated for conferences and training. The pandemic limits possibilities of integration, therefore our leaders take care of internal meetings combined with exchange of knowledge during videoconferences. Additional promotions to leadership positions allow new employees to improve onboarding and familiarise themselves with the company. They also facilitate contact with the mentor regardless of the situation – not only during periodic conversations, when development goals are set. Health is also a very important aspect and medical care is an irreplaceable benefit. Our employees often emphasise the company’s strengths, especially its atmosphere. This year we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of Britenet and we hope that the situation in the country will allow us to celebrate this special anniversary with a big party!

What do you consider to be the most important benefit of your work at Britenet?
Adam Siwek: I think Britenet offers very good opportunities for development. Taking into account my career, for the last 12 years I’ve had the opportunity to work on dozens of projects in different positions (developer, analyst, team leader, architect and PO) and in different technologies (Salesforce, AWS, Java, Java Script). Britenet has great know-how because every time I need knowledge beyond my current competence, I always manage to find someone helpful who is a specialist in the field. All this combined with a friendly atmosphere and an emphasis on development.

Adam Siwek, Salesforce Technology Manager
Salesforce Technology Manager, he has been with Britenet for over 12 years. During his career he has held various roles in IT projects and worked as a Developer, Team Leader, Analyst, Architect, Consultant and Manager. He feels very comfortable working on the border between IT and business. He has worked for clients representing such industries as energy, banking, lottery, sales, manufacturing, health, administration, logistics, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.

Anna Wieczorek, Recruitment Manager
HR Specialist by passion. She started her adventure with HR at Britenet in 2011. Previously, she gained experience as a headhunter, Recruitment & Delivery Specialist and is currently HR Manager at Britenet. She is responsible for strategy in the area of recruitment and Employer Branding in contact with universities. She works closely with the PR department to build the company’s brand by participating in job fairs and conferences, and organising themed lectures and competitions to attract talented employees and help them grow.

About Britenet
Britenet has been associated with the City of Lublin for 13 years. It has been operating on the market since 2006 and currently employs over 800 experienced IT specialists and experts.
Projects are implemented in state-of-the-art competence centres in Lublin, Warsaw, Kielce, Poznań and Białystok, as well as at the Partners’ premises. In Lublin there are 2 Britenet branches employing over 250 people. Moreover, the administrative and HR departments servicing offices all over Poland are located in the voivodeship capital.