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The Digital Engineers of Nitor: Mateusz combines coding with art: “I always want to expand my knowledge bank”

Published in People, Sweden

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January 19, 2023 · 4 min read time

An artist whose work includes new media art blurring the boundaries between art and computers, Mateusz Herczka has also collaborated with Swedish choreographers to produce various dance projects. But how did he become a Senior Software Developer at Nitor? Mateusz Herczka discusses his passion for coding, which he has pursued since age 12.

Can code be art? Mateusz, who began coding as a kid, certainly thinks so. Born in Poland, Mateusz moved to Sweden as a child, and has been programming in one form or another his whole life. Despite success as an artist, he sought a career that was more financially sustainable in the long run. That was why he chose to study mathematics at KTH in Stockholm.

Mateusz, please describe what happened after your studies.

After my studies, I started working with things like robotics, data science, backend development and streaming at different companies. After a few years, it felt natural to take a new step and become a consultant. That was when I encountered Nitor.

We’re so happy you did! What have you been working with since you started at Nitor? 

Well, I started in December 2021, and during my first year here I’ve had a Swedish multinational telecommunications company as a customer. I had previously only worked with smaller companies. Working with a large concern has been very educational. I have learned new technologies, but also how to work within a large company, which has been very rewarding.

How is your experience with Nitor so far?

At Nitor, all my colleagues are friendly and experienced. You can discuss anything with anyone, and swap experiences. In Stockholm, we are in start-up mode, and it's a lot of fun to be involved in building something from scratch. The company offers a transparent, flexible work culture, where everyone is open for dialogue. Everyone can talk to everyone, and if you want something, you just have to push for it to happen.

And you’ve been pushing for an art project, right? 

Exactly! Unlike many other workplaces, I don’t have to hide my background as an artist here. I’ve been met with enthusiasm and interest, and lots of people have been very curious to know more. This summer, we visited the Ars Electronica Center in Austria, where they organize technology-based exhibitions and an important new-media art festival. 

We are planning a core project within new media art at Nitor. Several ideas are circulating. Core projects, according to Nitor's own definition, means that we can spend 10 percent of our work time creating something new together, trying new techniques and sharing what we have learned with our colleagues.

How has it been to combine your passion with your work?

I am very happy that Nitor has shown interest, and that they have sponsored our trip together. Contemporary art uses modern technology to an increasing extent, and engineers can become involved in the creation process. In addition, art can be an important part of life, as it involves meeting new people and launching projects together.

Mateusz is an excellent listener, always able to come up with perspectives you might not have thought of yourself. His interest in art also lets him think outside the box and come up with creative solutions.

- Stefan Thyberg, Senior Software Developer

What are your thoughts about work in the future? What will be your next consulting assignment?

Right now I'm working with data engineering, but for my next project I'm looking at expanding my skills in fullstack and frontend. In the future, I would like to focus more on leadership, as I already have lots of experience in entrepreneurship and running projects.

What are your strengths as a Digital Engineer? 

It is incredibly important to clearly communicate what you are doing and why, and that is something many people have difficulty with. Another important quality for which I often receive positive feedback is my problem-solving ability: that I know how to manage projects and help less-experienced colleagues.

Why is that? 

I think it comes naturally for me. I like being a mentor, and I often seek out those types of situations. When I choose new projects, I seek out some aspect that I don’t know, and then the project will always give something back. And the best solutions are often found by facing new situations like a ‘tabula rasa’ – a clean slate. 

How does Nitor help you learn more and develop as a professional?

At Nitor, I can always seek support. If I end up consulting for a client who works according to outmoded structures, I can always lean on Nitor and the knowledge of agile working. That makes it so much easier to argue for potential changes. You also don't need to reinvent the wheel, since I can take advantage of the expertise available at Nitor.

Sounds great! What challenges do you see ahead in the industry?

The world around us changes very quickly, requiring you not only to keep up, but also to understand that change itself is part of our job. You can’t get too stuck in outmoded working methods. I think Nitor does a great job representing agile transformation, where you can act quickly in a changing world. It's a challenge for many companies, but not for us!

A pleasure speaking with you, Mateusz. Best of luck with your next project!

In this campaign, we’ll introduce Nitoreans in different roles. Every Nitorean is a Digital Engineer: a pragmatic and solution-oriented helper who doesn’t settle for assumptions. Instead, they take one step further to seek the right questions and even better answers.

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