Sonny, a talented, young Analytics Engineer was walking straight into a trap. One that 99% of young and hungry IT professionals fall for. Sonny entered the long distance race of data projects like a 400 meter dash.
After the first part of our interview with him, Sonny now talks about how his project leader stood up for his mental and physical well-being, about his drive and how he raises his game. If you're looking to get into the data side of IT, this will be an inspiring conversation.
What does our mentoring system give you?
Fortunately, I got assigned a mentor, who is always there when I have any questions and who supports me. I did expect some professional guidance as well, but honestly, the amount I received was a huge surprise. In the beginning, I was thinking that “oh, it will be good that I can ask questions from someone” as I was sure that I will make mistakes. In contrast, I got so much empathy and professional knowledge, help and support from my mentor. We talk outside of work as well and I can share anything with him. He does not only help to solve work-related problems, but also he is there for me as a friend.
What is your favorite Hiflylabs story?
I have one, it’s in connection with empathy and leadership. There was a phase when I worked a lot, around 10 hours a day. One time, around 9-10 in the evening András, our CTO called, and we chatted for about half an hour. This half hour meant a lot to me. The mere fact that my colleague, my boss called me, only to make sure that he tells me why it is not good for me to work 10 hours a day… It is very unusual for a company to dedicate this much attention to people. He told me “Sonny, you must not sprint the marathon”. This message made me realize that this data company has plans with me on the long run.
What motivates you on a day-to-day basis as an Analytics Engineer?
I want to do well in this role. Also, I want people to see how great it is to work at Hiflylabs so that more people will apply, and I can work with exceptional people strengthening our culture. Next to company successes, building my career is also important to me. Every time I meet with a problem, device, or task, I see it as an opportunity for me to improve. This is the motivation for me to sit down and do my job every day; I know that I will be able to learn something and help the company get better, that will lead to more opportunities of professional growth for me. This is what I call a win-win.
How do you measure your performance on a given project?
I never feel like I did 100% well on a project. So, for me, measuring performance comes down to feedback from clients. Like when they introduce me to a third person saying something like “He is Sonny, a talented Analytics Engineer from Hiflylabs.” I also felt very honored when I was asked to co-present on a dbt meetup by a foreign lecturer, Mark Rittman. And not to mention invitations from CEOs of other companies. Even if I’m not always satisfied with myself, it feels good to know that I can create real value for clients.
What does success mean to you?
Besides the above-mentioned instances, the one that I’d like to highlight is that I joined Hiflylabs as a total newbie to the world of data and by now I can safely say that I have achieved something. For example, there was a conference where my name was mentioned by someone from dbt Labs with regards to a blog post I wrote previously. Then again, having the opportunity to participate in this interview or to write blog posts are also valuable for me.
Is sharing knowledge a well-working system in the team?
Of course! Tech workshops are held regularly where we can discuss weekly and monthly developments, as it is highly important to see where the market is moving. I couldn’t do this on my own, so having a team helps a lot. By now the team is made up of 12 people who usually dig out new technologies on these forums. When I joined the company, there were only 4 of us. Fortunately, the dynamics of the team didn’t change as we grew.
How does a regular day of yours look like?
I work part-time as I haven’t finished my studies yet. Usually, my days are following a scheme but there are some irregularities that need to be taken care of. I like changes to my days because it usually means new challenges.
We start everyday with a standup meeting, catching up on who did what and what is the scope for the given day and how we should prioritize to be able to finish everything by the end of the day. I like these meetings as they are great for setting a daily goal and to discuss current issues.
Why do you like working with dbt?
It’s the community, modularity, tidiness and the readability that makes me really enjoy the experience. It’s amazing to use a tool that has an easy construction like dbt and works perfectly out of the box. dbt bringing the countless best practices that it already has from software to data world is just the cherry on top. For me, its definition also involves the slack community which enhances the experience - always having someone to turn to, network with and just to share memes with etc. It’s awesome how it can bring together people from all around the world.
How much do you think people are defined by their role? Do you feel defined by being an Analytics Engineer?
A lot unfortunately. It is because of society. When you tell others about your occupation, they instantly start coming up with stereotypes about you. I believe that my personality and its improvement is not characterized by my occupation, but by the community behind it and the people who surround me. As a matter of fact, I have an employee personality and a general, private one. My employee personality reflects the professional identity of Hiflylabs and the values that my private personality also regards highly.
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