Product Owner, Ottawa, Canada.
When it comes to disrupting entire industries and building transformative customer experiences, you have to have an exceptional team that can build these products at pace.
Our team at gravity9 is just that; highly skilled, driven, passionate, and fun to work with.
We continue our Meet the gravity9’ers series with the introduction of: Bartek Wasielak!
What is your role at gravity9 (and what is your expertise)?
I am a Product Owner, working for one of gravity9’s largest clients to date! Being a Product Owner isn’t always easy: although my title says ‘owner’, I don’t own the product, the client does. It is the client who provides their vision for their business. My role is to be a trusted advisor and help them refine that vision, translate it into specific requirements, and work with technical teams to have it built.
I have a technical background, graduated with a computer science degree, and worked as both a software developer and consultant. While in these roles I realized I wanted to step back from development and utilise my strongest assets: a deep technical knowledge, business understanding, client collaboration and Agile working experience.
What advice would you give to someone looking to excel in your line of work?
Being a Product Owner means that you bridge the gap between business and development. While the business may understand their domain better than you and development teams may understand their technical skills better than you, you’re a vital link between the two – a great communicator and a great facilitator!
The people you work with may work in silos, with deep knowledge in their field, but your goal is to be the vital catalyst that allows them work together effectively and build great projects.
What do you enjoy most about working at gravity9?
We have each other’s back. Consulting can be hard, but having a tight relationship with your colleagues is priceless. I’ve been in tough situations and knowing that my co-workers can chime in during a meeting, that I can consult any ideas or issues with them, or that we can have a relaxing coffee chat… that helps a lot. It’s hard to build that atmosphere and that solidarity; I appreciate that I can feel it, even working fully remotely.
Tell us about your hobbies and interests. What do you do in your spare time?
I’m an outdoor person, and I’m even writing the answers to these questions in my back yard!
Canada, where I live, encourages everyone to go out. In the summer I go camping with my wife and kids. This year we drove to Quebec and went whale-watching – it was spectacular! Last winter I picked up cross country skiing. I live in a place where I can drive a few minutes to skiing trailheads – it’s a great workout and time for clear my mind.
What would be your dream vacation?
If it was just my wife and I, I’d go sailing on the North Sea or cross the Atlantic, enjoying the open sea by night. I really miss the days when we sailed together and couldn’t even see the shore.
Perhaps more realistically with kids, I’d love to take a road trip through western parts of Canada and the US – from Alberta to California –visiting provincial and national parks there.
What really grinds your gears (your pet peeve)?
I come from Poland, live in Canada, and work with people in the United States. The fact that the world cannot agree on one date format really drives me mad!
Some time ago I almost lost my vacation because my time-off request was misunderstood (“7/9” – is it July or September?!).
What’s your favourite Quote?
It used to be a quote from Gene Kranz, NASA’s Chief Flight Director, who directed Apollo 11’s landing and was there to manage Apollo 13’s issues: “Failure is not an option”. It took me some time to realize that this might be valid in life threatening situations, for example absolutely critical software… but in most cases, it’s less applicable.
Today I’d rather go with “Do, or do not, there is no ‘try’”.
You all know who said that!
What’s your favourite book, movie, or TV series (and why do you love it)?
In the everlasting battle between Star Wars and Star Trek, I choose Battlestar Galactica! Although set in space and full of adventure, it talks about deep, thought provoking themes like society, politics, and people’s identity, which are never outdated.
I enjoy reading books and novels written by Polish author Jacek Dukaj. He has this rare scientific approach that builds credibility. The varied settings of his stories make reading each of them a very unique adventure. His works have not been widely translated to English, but one of his novels is available in the set A Polish Book of Monsters.
Visit our Careers page to find out about current vacancies at gravity9 and the opportunities for joining our global team and check out our Insights page for more “Meet the gravity9’ers” plus lots more team and tech discussion!
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