Welcome Warsaw!

Site Lead, Michal Modras, gives the lowdown on the recent opening of Privitar’s second Engineering hub – in Warsaw, Poland

OpportunitiesPrivitar Engineers

An interview with our Warsaw Site Lead

How long have you been working in Privitar? What did you do before?
I joined Privitar in December 2017 in London. It seemed like an exciting opportunity, and it has turned out to be exactly that. I started as a Software Engineer and later became a Tech Lead. In March 2020 we started the Warsaw office and I was promoted to Site Lead. Before Privitar I worked as a Software Engineer in the energy industry and completed an internship in Google’s New York Office. I’m a University of Warsaw (MiMUW) Alumnus.

Where did the idea of creating the Warsaw site come from?
Privitar almost doubles its engineering team every year. We decided to take advantage of Warsaw’s deep talent pool and vibrant engineering environment in order to support that growth.

What is the size and composition of the team right now and what are the longer term plans?
At the beginning of 2020 it was just myself working remotely. We now have 7 devs in Warsaw and we are on target to have 10, in two different teams, by the end of the year. We’ll continue to hire next year as well.

What were the main challenges in establishing a new engineering hub?
To replicate the healthy engineering culture of our London headquarters in a new location and forge strong connections between both, whilst maintaining a level of autonomy. We’ve also had to make sure we attract the best local talent against stiff competition with bigger brand names.
We have done this by ensuring that Engineering at Privitar is seen as one team, and that the work undertaken in Warsaw is at the forefront of privacy enhancing technologies and integral to the Privitar Platform. We own delivery of what we do, but are regularly in touch with the London teams to receive feedback, provide context and maintain alignment.
What is the Warsaw team responsible for?
Automated Safe Data Provisioning, or, in short, Automation. Configuring various privacy enhancing technologies that Privitar Platform offers might be a complex or cumbersome task, especially at scale of hundreds or thousands of datasets. The team’s mission is to make this process as frictionless and automatic as possible to enable massive scale deployments.
We work on full feature verticals, but most of the work is backend.

How did the pandemic influenced plans for Warsaw hub?
It didn’t change the decision – Privitar closed a series C funding of over $80 million just before pandemic and used that to continue growth according to the pre-pandemic engineering plan.
To seed the engineering culture, ease collaboration and onboarding, we hoped for the office to be a physical one and not just remote, and for teams from both sites to visit regularly. But we seem to be successfully growing even in full remote mode, and London/Warsaw still feels like one office, which is great. So, if you’re interested in finding out more, please do get in touch!

What We Build

Our customers are businesses that have highly valuable data from which they want to derive patterns, while respecting and preserving the privacy of their users. We create software products that transform data at scale and enable safe, privacy-preserving access.

At Privitar we collaborate in small teams in pursuit of ambitious common goals. People here care about each other intensely, share information openly and are incredibly candid with each other. Almost all documents are fully open for anyone internally to read and comment on. You will learn rapidly and be eagerly fueled by the most extraordinary snack cupboard I've ever seen.

Samira Raj

Product Manager

"Data can be used for improving lives, whether it’s through medical research, detecting fraud, or improving decision-making. However, that data can contain private information about people, so it’s important to ensure that the privacy of users and customers is preserved."

Ana Jalba

Software Engineer

Our Technology

We take guidance from academic researchers and work with an in-house research team to develop fresh privacy preserving algorithms.
We work on big data engineering. We write Spark applications to transform data in batch jobs and we integrate with multiple streaming architectures.
Our software is applied to massive data sets. We need to write code that scales and is performant.
Our software runs on the major cloud platforms and in various enterprise data center environments.
We have to integrate with many third party services and technologies. We need to execute and test against all those platforms.
Management of data has lots of UI complexity. Our front end is built using React.
Most of our code is Java.
"As a developer at Privitar, you’re entrusted to build quality software, and there’s an incredible sense of autonomy, respect and collaboration. We’re all here for the long term, and get a buzz from working towards a cause we all believe in."

Henry Jones

Software Engineer

"Writing a system that can handle large amounts of data, and having it work just as well whether the client uses Spark, Kafka or Nifi, isn't easy. But that's why it's fun."

Joe Collins

Software Engineer

Our Culture

Commitment to Quality
We care about the quality of our software. We strive to have the best codebase.
Our most important value is team collaboration.
Everyone Codes
We minimise managerial overhead and keep a flat structure. Everyone codes.
Work / Life Balance
We are here for the long term. We aren’t going to burn out. We eat and socialise and sleep.
We work together in small teams and are transparent in what we do and respectful of each other.
Iterative Process
We code and release iteratively.
We hire the best developers and give them as much autonomy as possible, trusting them to make good judgments about what they do and how they do it.
Continued Education
We want to keep learning. Devs move around teams. Every dev goes to a conference every year. We learn from each other.
Persistent Review Cycles
We are growing fast and continually review our org structure and work methods to make the best trade-offs between autonomy and cohesion.

Our Interviews – What We Look for and Why:

We think hard about how we interview, and iterate on the process to ensure a smooth and fair experience. We try to ask interesting technical questions and many candidates remark that they enjoy them. Interviewing is a two way thing – we like candidates to meet quite a few team members, enabling candidates to get a good sense of the team and culture and if it is a place they want to be a part of. For developers, we don’t test specific tool experience, or filter for a highly specific background – instead we look for great problem solving skills and a good ability to articulate this in code. Wanting to be part of a hugely collaborative team environment is also an important culture aspect.

Hiring during COVID-19

The Privitar team is working from home at this time, and our interviews across all roles have been adapted to operate fully remotely. As a result we’ve hired and onboarded more than 40 people virtually since the pandemic began. We have developed our ways of working to make sure new joiners feel part of our team straight away. No matter which office location, this includes virtual socials, monthly virtual company all hands, bi-weekly virtual lunches and cooking clubs. We’d love to hear from you to tell you more.

Ready to learn more about Privitar?

Our team of data privacy experts is here to answer your questions and discuss how data privacy can fuel your business.

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