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At Reward Gateway, our Engineering team are responsible for developing and shipping huge, feature-rich products and tools for our platform; scalable technical solutions enabling thousands of companies to engage over five million employees daily. In this series, we sit down with a few of our superstar Engineers - from RG Newbies to Developers who have been with us for over a decade - to find out what it's like to work at Reward Gateway, what inspires them as Engineers and what up-and-coming Engineers need to know to score a fantastic career and make their own world a better place to work.

In this short interview, Aleksander shares how he went from entry-level Programmer to managing his own team and how Reward Gateway makes his world a better place to work.

Hi Alexandar, tell us about your career journey and role at Reward Gateway?

I’ve been at RG for almost seven years now. I started my career at Reward Gateway as a Junior Developer, my first-ever job as a Programmer. Slowly I’ve made it to a Senior Development position, and now I’m managing my first team.

Sounds like you’ve grown a lot. How has your role changed, and what are you working on day-to-day?

When I started out, I was focused on fixing small issues - the ‘code monkey’ stuff we call it, which gave me a good insight and overview of RG’s systems and processes. After that, I started working on new features that would help our projects and company. Finally, I’m managing a team of people now, so I get to mentor a new generation of people and help them become good programmers.

How have you found that? Had you always wanted the opportunity to lead people?

From the very start, my plan was to A) become really good at my job and B) slowly learn how to manage people. So I expected it to happen, but didn’t expect it to happen at Reward Gateway and so quickly. 

Do you still manage to get a good mix of learning new tech whilst working on the business? What’s your passion project?

Because we have systems that always need renewing, and when we onboard new clients, we always want them to be using the newest and most exciting technology, we’ve had a good chance to get hands-on experience to learn new technology as we grow.

We’re currently working on splitting out our databases to make our systems scale and run faster. It is complicated but one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever worked on. It’s been a multi-year project, but I’m not bored.

It sounds like you’re quite collaborative; you said that went from a passion project to a company-wide effort. Do you often get the chance to take advantage of RG’s book benefits, learning platforms etc?

First of all, I love to help my team. If they have questions, I try to answer them to the best of my knowledge. Never saying no to things like that has helped me grow as a manager, and I like helping my team figure things out together or giving them pointers when they’re stuck. The engineering team all have access to Pluralsight, and I encourage them to take a break from work to check out the platform and learn something completely new or something they’re interested in. Or I’ll share videos with the team I know might help them.

What’s important to you in a new starter? What are you looking for when you interview someone to join your team?

Whenever someone wants to join us, regardless of whether they’re an engineer, programmer, or senior, I always ask for one thing: show me when they used critical thinking on a project or how they’d approach a problem when presented with something they weren’t expecting. That’s the most important thing before we learn about your skills and experience with specific technologies.

Inspired? We’re always looking to grow our Engineering teams to work with more great people like Alexander to help us in our mission of making the world a better place to work. If you’re ready for a new challenge in your engineering career, regardless of what stage you’re at, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our open roles here. Or, find more inspiration and follow what we’re up at rg.co/lifeatrg

Catrin Lewis

As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.

Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications