5 + 2 questions for Catalin, Senior Android Developer at MotionTools.
Gain insights into our engineering culture as Catalin reflects on his first three years of building up the mobile side of MotionTools.
Hey Catalin, you have been with MotionTools for three years. How have you grown at MotionTools?
Honestly, I could answer this in so many ways. Two areas stand out, however, in terms of my technical skills and the collaboration with my colleagues. Working on our product provided me with the right amount of challenge needed to improve. Broadly speaking, MotionTools on the mobile side represents a highly configurable, white-labelled set of libraries, with support for both compile-time & run-time feature switches - and of course, there's a lot of complexity that can't be captured in the high-level description.
However, there's no readily available recipe on how to get from an empty project to what MotionTools represents today. We had to innovate a lot, learn on the go, but also tap into the experience we had as a team until that point. Being exposed to this kind of work unavoidably leaves a positive mark on anyone's technical skills.
Secondly, I used "we" a lot in the previous paragraph because we're quite the team! Perhaps one of my favorite things working here is the fact that daily interactions happen across multiple departments on a daily basis.
What advice do you have for prospective MotionTools candidates?
I would say that this is definitely the place to be if you want to sharpen your skills fast, in an environment where, without exaggeration, you truly feel empowered to do your best work. No internal bureaucracy to slow things down & you get the chance to work with some of the brightest professionals that I am glad to call colleagues.
What is a typical workday for you?
MotionTools is a remote-first company, so a lot of us work outside of Hamburg, and I'm no exception - I work from Romania.
My typical day starts with me having a coffee in my home-office & checking Slack messages, Notion notifications, etc. Once I'm up to date, I usually start coding. Depending on how the calendar looks, I might code until the end of day, if there are no meetings (every developer's dream!).
Having no meetings in a day is actually rather common here, as most of our internal communication happens asynchronously. Of course, sometimes it's easier to jump in a quick call to align on some topic - and we do this a lot on the Android team.
In which moments did you feel proud about your work at MotionTools?
Everything boils down to impact for me: Am I working on something important? Is the thing that I'm working on going to improve a particular feature in a meaningful, clearly noticeable way? If yes, then I usually feel proud as soon as I see it launched to production.
And of course there are moments I'm proud of that don't necessarily follow me coding something. Could be an idea I provided, or a problem that I pointed out, which turned out to be important in the end.
Either way, what's most important to me is that I have plenty to be proud about my time spend so far at MotionTools - I don't feel the need to pinpoint to singular moments at all, but of course we've achieved some amazing milestones.
What excites you about our mission?
First of all, the net positive in the world: we help people to get from A to B faster & safer, help goods to be delivered faster from sender to recipient, help entrepreneurs around the globe to bring their idea to market super fast.
Secondly, when it comes to delivery, mobility & transportation: a digitalization revolution is taking place, and we're in the centre of it. Since it's a hot industry, things are moving super fast which is super exciting. At the same time there's room for a lot of innovation in the scene, which is again exciting for us.
If you could switch your job with anyone else within MotionTools, whose job would you want?
I would switch with anyone from our Design/Marketing team, just to understand the creative process behind coming up with a website as cool as ours! Check it out: https://www.motiontools.com
Where would we find you on a regular Saturday?
Either in Cluj-Napoca, at a terrace with my wife & friends 🍻 , on a city break with my wife exploring the historical library 📚 of any of those places we're visiting or on some mountain, hiking 🏔️
Either way, hopefully not at home.