Why Working for Kiwi.com Is More Fulfilling Than Corporate IT
I am Artem Kutafin, a Software Engineer at Kiwi.com and after working for a large corporate IT company for about four years, I can say that I had everything I needed to continue comfortable career growth. To better explain, I spoke directly to the head architect of the whole IoT data visualization solution that we had developed. We had been running a pretty up-to-date technology stack at that time that included containerization, microservices, web components, Kubernetes/Istio, and Terraform.
Together with my colleagues from the other 5 teams, we had planned discussions on application security and quality assurance for the SaaS, which had dozens of repos and a few additional platform teams. I’ve had experience with some of the product’s more complicated parts, like managed IAM service and infrastructure around it. Sometimes I’ve had a chance to learn from much more experienced colleagues who have been in the industry for 10-20 years. According to my peers’ feedback, I had their respect, as a lot of times I could help to explain to them parts of the system that we were building.
Despite everything I have mentioned, a sense of incompleteness lingered in my mind, like a missing piece of a puzzle that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. It struck me only after I joined Kiwi.com that a tech company’s experience involves more than just the technologies it employs and the comfortable employment it provides. As I reflect on my first year at Kiwi.com, I am struck by the myriad of aspects that have made me never regret my decision, and that establish Kiwi.com as an irresistible destination for ambitious and enterprising developers. So, what are the missing puzzle pieces that make me think Kiwi.com is a company you should work for? Let’s explore.
During my induction day at Kiwi.com, I heard a surprising statistic: the average age of employees here is 30. While your initial focus may be exclusively on technology, over time you’ll come to realize that the key to successful development lies in the people behind it. A company’s DNA is encoded by the attitudes, mindsets, and values of its employees, which in turn drives business decisions, communication, and code standards.
At Kiwi.com, the people are what make the company truly exceptional. Every day a young, motivated developer spends working for a big corporation, they’re missing out on the chance to interact with like-minded, professional, energetic, and creative people who are disrupting the industry.
I can vouch for this firsthand, having visited various Kiwi.com locations across Europe and being struck by the stories of dedication, creativity, and open-mindedness that I encountered. I’ve spoken with people who have moved across continents to “try something new”, opened themselves up to new cultures and languages, and put in countless hours to master the craft of software development. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from various backgrounds who have dedicated themselves to becoming experts in their field. Some of these individuals were previously professors, solution architects, or AI-enthusiasts who sought a new challenge to push their limits and collaborate with a team of like-minded individuals.
I was looking for a vibrant and supportive community of tech professionals. Kiwi.com was the perfect place to find it.
When I joined Kiwi.com, I had the unique opportunity to gain a deep understanding of how the company operates and the reasoning behind its business decisions – a rare occurrence in larger corporations. One might be familiar with the quarterly product presentations that offer a glimpse into a company’s plans and vision, but often fail to provide meaningful data insights into why you’re developing the current quarter’s features. At Kiwi.com, you won’t miss out on anything.
Every other week, I have the chance to participate in open, company-wide business updates driven by the visionaries behind the scenes. I gained a holistic understanding of why my work is crucial to the thousands of people using the service right now. And when it comes to communication, transparency is the name of the game.
We use Slack to foster a culture of open communication, where silos are non-existent and you’re free to join, read, or even create communication channels on a range of product features, topics of interest, or even complaints. Once you experience this level of collaboration and transparency, you’ll forget what email is.
Asking questions and providing feedback is highly encouraged at Kiwi.com. One way this is facilitated is through regular Q&A sessions where employees can ask the C-level executives anything they want. What’s more, it’s not uncommon to run into one of the visionaries at the kitchen table in some of the Kiwi.com locations, making it easy to have a casual chat with them. This level of accessibility and transparency is rare in the corporate world, and it creates a sense of openness and trust that is highly valued at Kiwi.com. By fostering an environment where employees feel comfortable asking questions and providing feedback, Kiwi.com is able to continuously improve and innovate, and everyone benefits from this collaborative approach.
I wanted to be part of a vibrant, open community where transparency was an advantage, I had to look no further than Kiwi.com.
Being Data Driven
As I reflect on my previous job at a corporation where IoT played a prominent role, I recall a lot of data points from numerous sensors that our app aimed to visualize. Although some might argue that the business was data-driven, I now realize that was only partially true. In my experience, I usually felt uncertain about the product roadmap and questioned whether the development efforts were being properly directed.
However, after joining Kiwi.com, I was pleasantly surprised by the company’s data-driven approach to decision making. Kiwi.com’s Product Managers always present data to back up their decisions. There are product change rationales for every substantial feature, that provide compelling insights into user behavior and the underlying business metrics. This instills a deep sense of confidence in the company’s product direction, which positively impacts motivation and engagement.
Moreover, at Kiwi.com, every design decision is backed by data from extensive user experience (UX) research. Unlike my previous job, where UX research was not a priority, Kiwi.com takes a user-centric approach to design, constantly striving to make the app as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Designers don’t create things without first taking a deep dive into the research data. This ensures that the features being developed are based on the needs and wants of the users, and not just the designers’ personal preferences.
As a developer at Kiwi.com, it’s a pleasure to work on a product that is well thought out and designed with the users in mind.
As someone who has worked in the tech industry for years, I’ve seen firsthand how frustrating it can be to pour your talents into projects that never see the light of day, or, worse, products that have no customers. Here, every feature and product is built with the customer in mind. Kiwi.com has a real product with a steadily growing customer base. One can be confident that the work will have an actual impact on millions of customers worldwide. People are not wasting their talents here.
Unlike many other corporations, promotions and career advancement aren’t just handed out based on seniority or politics. Promotions are not something you wait for but rather something you earn. You’ll be able to earn recognition and rewards through Skill Matrixes, Performance Reviews, and Promotion Committees. It ensures that you are recognized and rewarded for your achievements in a transparent and structured way and will result in a direct impact on your remuneration.
In my opinion, everything that has been mentioned above is the missing puzzle for many tech professionals looking for an organization that values their contributions, provides a supportive work environment, and offers real opportunities for professional growth. My personal experience at Kiwi.com has been nothing short of fulfilling, and I have seen firsthand how dedicated and creative the team is in building products that genuinely make a difference for millions of customers worldwide.
I encourage you to explore the opportunities that await at Kiwi.com, to experience for yourself the vibrant community of tech professionals, the exciting projects, and the clear path for professional growth. I want to make it clear, my personal experience is just that – personal – and that you must decide for yourself whether Kiwi.com is the right fit for you. But if you’re looking for a place where you can make a real impact, grow your skills, and feel fulfilled, then I believe Kiwi.com is the perfect place to find it.
Do you want to join our Kiwi.com? We’re hiring! If you want to explore our culture, upskill your knowledge and grow with Kiwi.com, take a look at our open positions.