Eskimi CTO Aivaras Voveris: “Besides knowledge, you must have inner curiosity”

September 14, 2020
Eskimi CTO Aivaras Voveris: “Besides knowledge, you must have inner curiosity”

Ten years ago, Eskimi CTO Aivaras Voveris came to the company to get the needed experience for his further plans. Back then, he combined working and studying. Aivaras joined the company as a developer: “I wanted to learn how to work with large systems that contain a huge amount of information,” he says, “and Eskimi seemed like the place to get the valuable experience I needed.”

After ten years, the journey continues. “I’m so happy with the prevailing freedom here. In previous jobs, I faced boundaries. At Eskimi, it’s easy: you say—we need a new programming language, and you get the answer: perfect, let’s do it. If I come up with something new, I know I’ll be able to do it. I feel the joy of being able to do what is interesting,” Aivaras underlines the importance of self-realization. “Another thing that makes me want to go to work every day is our team of great people. Here, I feel a close connection and a sense of security,” he appreciates the atmosphere and company culture. But what was Aivaras’ path at Eskimi during all these years?

From junior to Eskimi DSP main developer

The current Eskimi CTO remembers his start here as a tough one—it took time to get used to a large codebase. Step by step, Aivaras’ responsibilities were growing, from changing the graphical user interface to the product itself. “I was observing: how do my colleagues deal with various tasks? What does the code look like before launching the product for millions of users? Finally, I picked up the speed, and then—after several years—another problem came in. In programming—and elsewhere, I guess—it often happens that when the tasks get pretty easy to accomplish, the job becomes less challenging,” Aivaras shares about the environment in both stages of being a newbie and an expert.

He discloses that one of his primary goals is constant learning: it provides him with both the willingness and meaning of work. And when Aivaras felt that he stopped learning, he started to question what to do next. As if on purpose, he met an exclusive challenge—Aivaras was entrusted with a super complex task. The case exploited his potential even further. He asserted that a new programming language is needed to accomplish the task, and after two months of hard work, Eskimi launched the product. That was Eskimi DSP—the full stack programmatic platform with global reach, local data, and engaging creatives.

“In Eskimi, we have two main projects—SSP (Supply-Side Platform) and DSP (Demand-Side Platform). It probably won’t be surprising that Eskimi DSP is more exciting to me, as I created it. Still, it’s thrilling to work with both of them. Every code change works with real money. Thousands of auctions are taking place every second, and there’s a risk that you can spend too much or too little money. It’s like gambling in a casino—you feel the thud of the heartbeat when spending money,” Eskimi CTO talks about the surges of adrenaline in his daily routine.

Eskimi tech team: Connecting Vilnius and Dhaka

Working with Eskimi DSP eliminated the moments of dullness on the job for Aivaras. “I don’t believe they will ever come back,” he smiles. The major project revealed the endless potential of the Eskimi developers’ team—to manage ever-larger projects, cope with more and more tasks, adapt to changing needs. Naturally, as the company ambitions were growing, there was a need for more helping hands. “Our team has considerably grown since then—and not only in Lithuania. We decided to assemble a remote team of both front-end and back-end developers in Bangladesh. For now, there are fourteen of us, six in Vilnius and eight in Dhaka,” Aivaras introduces the changes in the Eskimi tech team.

When located in two distant cities, how does his team divide the work? Aivaras tells that his colleagues in Bangladesh work more with front-end and back-end development, and the Lithuanian team is responsible for the core back-end development, as the products were born and created here. “And in general, everyone has his expertise areas and gets the tasks accordingly. Product managers assign them, but sometimes we talk over for which team—Lithuania or Bangladesh—to delegate them,” Eskimi CTO talks about the principles of task division.

Providing solutions for the best functionality

Besides the proper workload division and engaging tasks, keeping the team connected is also important. And not only in the context of pandemics and work-from-home times. “With the Lithuanian team, we have a stand-up every morning where we share the obstacles and other challenges and plans of the day. And, similarly, we have such stand-ups worldwide every week. Sometimes, we organize tech talks when any willing person on the tech team presents a paper on a certain topic. It may be technology or education – for example, what are the tests and why do we need to test the codes?”, Aivaras emphasizes the importance of continuous learning.

Eskimi tech team is responsible for the technical implementation of the product. Also, they notice opportunities for improvements and offer their ideas. “Sometimes, we offer a different solution and explain how it would provide additional functionality. For example, there was an idea to provide statistics on certain aspects. We noticed that we could use a particular structure of data so that those aspects could be added easily, without extra intervention,” Aivaras provides an example of how his team contributes to product development.

Being a CTO: Constant learning and effective communication

Although Aivaras is an executive, he considers himself equal to his team. “Every day, I write and check the codes of my colleagues, and ensure smooth operation. My experience has helped gather knowledge, and I’ve got a lot to share. But in general, I’m just the same as the other members of the team,” he says.

Still, being a CTO requires other skills besides technical knowledge. Aivaras emphasizes the drive for continuous improvement and communication skills. “Besides strong knowledge, there must be inner curiosity and desire to learn constantly. Daily, you should feel that you don’t know something yet—and you would like to find out. I am prone to asking why we need this, and to deepen my knowledge. Also, you must learn to accept a different opinion and listen to all sides, as well as to have strong communication skills,” he shares the qualities needed for being a good CTO.

When talking about the future, Aivaras tells that he would like to continue programming for some time. “And later—when the product is steady and fully refined—I’d like to be responsible for assigning and planning tasks and dedicate my help to development,” he adds.

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