Jakub Wolf, site lead in Prague: “I learned how to dream big, learn from failures, but also to stay humble”

Posted on 06/10/2021, Teodora Stojšin

It was 2016 when the Site lead of our Prague office, Jakub Wolf, wrote his first lines of code as a Python engineer for Kiwi.com.

At that time, it was a company of no more than 30 engineers; a lot has changed since then. We talked with Jakub Wolf, Engineering Manager and Prague site lead about the main focus of the Prague office, development opportunities, the biggest challenges, culture and more.

What inspired you to join Kiwi.com?

I remember that the most appealing aspect to me was the attitude of the people, the focus was and still is to solve complex problems of travel in a way that no one has ever attempted before. This is part of our culture and part of my job is to promote it throughout the Ancillaries organization and the Prague office.

What is the main focus of the Prague office in terms of projects and technology?

The focus of the Kiwi.com Prague office is to build a Virtual Global Supercarrier. The Prague office is valued for its diversity of roles – from Product designers and Senior project managers to Go, Python, JS, and infrastructure software engineers. Recently, we migrated all our services to Kubernetes. With our skilled infrastructure engineers in Prague, our product engineering teams work closely together. Kiwis in Prague are involved in all major projects from the Search page to our internal Customer Relation Management tool.


How has Kiwi.com helped you grow and mature on both a personal and professional level?

Our company is building a Virtual Global Supercarrier which brings with it its own challenges but creates a huge opportunity to grow. Because of all the smart people around you, there are plenty of options for growth and plenty of support to do so. The company gave me the best playground to test different technologies in real cases, and later I had the opportunity to build engineering teams. I am very grateful because I have learned to dream big, learn from the failures, and how to stay humble.


How do you organize people and what does the cooperation in the Prague office look like?

Kiwi.com has locations across Europe, but the location doesn’t play a major role in the day-to-day business. We collaborate seamlessly between locations, although this wasn’t always the case. Because the company’s HQ is located in Brno, previously important communication happened face-to-face in the meeting rooms there and that created a problem for people on remote sites. When COVID forced everyone to stay home, suddenly everyone was in the position of being remote. That taught us that we all have to change our behaviour and since then, we have learned and have taken the necessary steps to keep everyone, no matter the location, in the loop.

How would you describe the culture of your site?

Prague is a relatively small office and has a very friendly atmosphere and I know everyone by name. The mix of smart professionals creates a special environment where we learn from each other. We organize Prague office talks where engineers, designers, and product managers present the recent failures and success of their teams, which is also a great way to practice your public speaking skills.


Are you interested in open positions in Prague office? Check our Prague office page for more details!