This post is the second in a series in which we highlight our office in Prague and the excellent people who work there. Enjoy!
Václav Vávra is a senior software developer originally from Prague. He attended the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering and received a master’s degree in Computer Science. His duties at Jumpshot include developing backend applications and leading interviews. When he is not hard at work on Jumpshot’s backend team, he enjoys spending time with his family, running, biking, and playing soccer.
What is your technical background, and how did you end up working in the field of backend development?
I graduated from the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, where I studied Computer Science. The college was very focused on theory (in many fields by the way, theoretical physics included), so my professional career in software development was rather gradual, but I have always been lucky to pick the right company and people to work with. I started with HP, in an R&D branch in Prague, where there was still the ambience of a former Czech startup later acquired by a giant firm; there were many great people to learn from there. After HP, I joined a team working on a low-latency trading platform within Barclays Capital. The working experience was completely different, but again I met fantastic people and was part of a very unique team. Unfortunately the team gradually broke up so I thought it was time for a change and I joined Jumpshot just about a year ago.
As to the backend experience: I have always been working on the backend side, even though the projects I have worked on differed very much in nature.
What aspects of backend development interest you the most? What sorts of projects do you most enjoy?
There are many facets that interest me. One is the mental challenge and joy I get when thinking about the problem in abstract terms and then trying to come up with the best solution. Another aspect I enjoy is what I call the real engineering, that is, the task of translating the abstract solution into something that works in the real world. There are many trade-offs or far-reaching implications of even the slightest decision that need to be thought through.
As for the projects I like, again, there are many aspects that I look for in a project. For example, working on a project from the very start makes it attractive to me. I also like working autonomously on isolated pieces of work or even on whole projects. I enjoy projects that are interesting from the technical point of view, be it the technologies used, the integrations, special requirements, etc. I am happy to report that the projects I’ve been working on at Jumpshot so far fulfill these criteria.
What attracted you to Jumpshot as a company and specifically to the Prague office?
There were many things. Jumpshot is an ambitious company in the attractive field of Big Data, and they have awesome offices with Google-like perks and benefits. It’s still a fairly young and small startup-like company, yet with an international team spread across the globe. I would also stress the common mindset among everyone here, which has very little tolerance for corporate nonsense and cliches.
The offices are simply great. It might be considered somewhat standard in Silicon Valley, but it’s definitely very unique in the Czech Republic. You are free to do almost anything here you feel like. At the beginning I almost felt overwhelmed by all these perks and possibilities, but I quickly found things I specifically enjoy, from going to the gym or the library, to taking excellent meals in our awesome canteen, to meeting friends and making new ones and having lunch on the terrace.
What sorts of things do you look for in a working environment? What aspects of a workplace are most important to you?
Working in a pleasant workplace means a lot, too. Again, the Jumpshot Prague offices are the best. I also like the freedom you have to attain your goals in a way you choose and to simply focus on your job. Coincidentally, this relates to all three things I mentioned above – projects, people and workplace.
What do you like most about working for Jumpshot? What aspects of Jumpshot’s company culture do you most appreciate?
I would repeat that I like the shared mindset – openness to new things or other opinions and a general eagerness to do the best job. It’s important to note that the environment here enables us all to do the best job, thanks to the offices, the IT infrastructure, the co-workers, and everything else.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside the office?
I’ve always been into all sorts of sports and outdoor activities, especially biking, running, and playing soccer. Playing chess, too. Nowadays, family time comes first. We have a one-year-old daughter, and we are active with her, too. We love taking biking trips with her sitting on an attached seat, riding along.