Interview with Samuel Picek
Sam lives in Zurich and joined the emonitor team in October 2021. He got his Master’s degree in Computer Science at University of Zagreb. He then worked in different areas of software development for more than 10 years and was significantly involved in the success of Jodel, Dubsmash and ImbaFactory.
Find out what he likes about his job as VP of Engineering at emonitor and which areas are among his responsibilities in his interview.
emonitor team, 22. February 2022
Sam, you started working for emonitor in October 2021. Please describe briefly your responsibilities as VP of Engineering.
My role at emonitor currently mainly involves the setting up engineering processes as well as establishing healthy development practices which with time should lead to higher quality of the products we currently offer. Some of my responsibilities from day to day involve organization and leadership of the teams through management and mentorship, challenging engineers to solve puzzles in a way which enables us to scale up quickly without sacrificing quality to gain speed, orchestrating our engineering recruitment activities, and ensuring timeliness and quality of our releases.
What do you like most about your job as VP of Engineering?
Mostly people I work with, but also day to day leadership challenges where every day is unique. Recently, I mostly worked on engineering quality, which is generally a hard problem, and establishing processes which is sometimes tricky to setup. However, they are incredibly important – especially when transitioning company from an early-stage startup to an entry level scaleup stage.
How did you end up in the real estate industry?
From engineering perspective, we are a building a SaaS application and from the IT industry perspective same ruleset applies no matter which industry segment we serve. So, in a way I haven’t changed the industry, I’m just serving a different segment and a lot of learning from my previous experiences can be applied for the real-estate industry.
However, putting technical view point a side – it was a pure chance and really a question being at the righ place at the right time.
What do you like about the real estate industry?
I like that Switzerland real-estate industry is very approachable and forgiving when we make a mistake. This really gives us an ability to iterate quickly and learn a lot as we go. Also, it is very diverse in its requirements and feedback we are receiving, which is very helpful, especially when we have to generalize certain features during design phase.
Where do you see the biggest challenges regarding the real estate industry and digitalization?
Analytics. I believe, we are solving the problem of digitalization of real-estate processes really well. However, building the set of eyes which will enable us to see and better understand the impact of digitalized processes will be the next big chapter for emonitor (and industry as a whole).
This involves answering questions such as, how we measure efficiency of digitalized process, how much time and money we save for our clients and where they can optimize their processes to remove even more pain points or make their processes smoother and faster. We have to define what does success mean for those digitalized processes, and how we go about optimizing it.
What do you think are the greatest added values that emonitor’s software offers its customers?
Amazing customer success team which is really doing a great job at channeling their feedback to the development team. Amazing product team which is really willing to go extra mile to listen to their needs and translate them into deliverables.
At emonitor, everything is about real estate – what is important to you in an apartment?
A sauna and/or a pool would not be bad!
What’s more of your taste: new construction or old buildings?
I have to go with a middle ground here. I really don’t like squeaky floor in very old buildings or thin walls in new ones. Everything else is good.