#meetthegravity9ers Nine Questions with Michal Szkudlarek

January 22, 2021

When it comes to disrupting entire industries and building transformative customer experiences you have to have an exceptional team who can envisage design and build these products at pace. Our team at gravity9 are just that, highly skilled, driven, passionate and fun to work with. This month we continue our Meet the gravity9'ers series with the introduction of Solutions Architect, Michal Szkudlarek. Here is what Michal had to say when posed with his nine questions.

1. What is your role at gravity9?

I’m a Solutions Architect. Currently I am completing a lot of pre-sales client engagement work, understanding the needs of the client, assessing expectations and technology choices then eventually going on to work with our awesome team to deliver these projects.  

2. What do you enjoy most about working at gravity9?

I’m torn between two things. One would be the personal challenges I face. Coming from a big corporation background there are usually sets of rules in place that you just follow, everything is there already and you just chip into whatever you can. Here, at gravity9, I am working with a wide range of clients and utilising numerous technologies and I’m always learning something new and being challenged.  

The other one would be that I’m not an expert in any one single technology (OK, maybe Java) but, I have a team around me that I can ask anything of and I know I will get a full answer without any prejudice or questioning of my capabilities. The team here always work with you and if I ask a question, I always get an answer, regardless of how busy everyone is.  

3. What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in your line of work?

Ask. Just ask, because there are no stupid questions. I always ask a lot of questions. It shouldn’t matter what the question is, if you don’t know - ask and you will always get an answer.  That is how you get your head around things and get started.  

4. What can’t you start your day without?

Exercise. I wake up and I do my morning routine then, usually, I have some sort of squash training. My morning routine consists of stretching and preparing for the day. In normal times I would go to the squash court but now I usually jog.  I can't start my day without exercise, it's an addiction for me.

5. What do you do in your spare time?

Play squash. It’s like stepping into a different world for me each time I enter the squash court.  That or hiking – but for hiking I need at least a day, for squash just few hours!

6. What is the last movie you watched?

I bet no one has heard of it; The Marksman. It's about the career of professional squash player, James Willstrop. His nickname comes from his accuracy on the court and the movie details his life and rise to becoming world number 1. I wanted to learn something from it and to see how he trains.  

7. What special skill / talent do you have (other than what you do for a living)?

Well, everyone knows now surely.... I like to play squash!  I'm quite competitive, I’m a county level player with some regional titles and, if I had started when I was 10yrs old, then maybe I could be a pro. But I didn’t discover squash until I was about 26!

8. What would be your dream vacation?

A never ending one! It doesn’t matter the location really but the Bermuda Islands would be on the list. Not because of the location but because every April there is a squash tournament for retired legends, I would love to be part of it, to see them and have a drink with them and meet the people who have achieved everything in that sport. If that doesn’t work, then my I would choose hiking in the Andes.

9. What is the last song you had stuck in your head?

I don’t have those things; my mind works differently. I have a set of songs that when I put them on my mind gets into that mood. When I’m coding, I like to listen to Hans Zimmer, the composer from Pirates of the Caribbean as his music puts me in a problem-solving mindset. You won’t hear me walking around the house singing, I promised my teacher in grade seven that I would never sing again!!!

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