One of our most prized developers Prameet Chakraborty exits the community to focus fully on his new Master Program in Computer Science from the University at Buffalo, New York. The GitStart employee engagement team sat down with a Prameet for a candid 1 on 1 interview in which he shared his unique perspective of the company and gave an inside glimpse into what the work culture is like and how the GitStart experience has shaped him.
When did you join GitStart?
I joined GitStart part time in September 2018 and switched to full time in January 2019
What initially attracted you to the company?
I came across Murcul (as it was known at that time) multiple times when surfing through AngelList, I was looking for specific roles which involved React Native and app development in general and Murcul was providing exactly that along with a remote only setting which was extremely convenient to me. At that point of time my main goal was to upskill myself in RN and eventually widen my tech stack.
In what capacity did you work at GitStart? What was your major stack?
My major tech stack was React Native (Mobile Development Framework). Then expanded to web development, backend and client management.
What has the work experience been like?
Everyday has been a learning experience in terms of work, from start to finish. GitStart truly pushes and motivates you to learn something new everyday. After some time you become a part of the intense learning environment within the community.
What are the types of projects you worked on during your tenure at GitStart?
I mainly worked on projects that involved cross-platform app development. Apart from that, a few projects involved web development and backend work.
What has been most challenging?
The most challenging project was an e learning platform for kids which was in its early pages, even though I only managed it for a month. A lot of iterations had to be done and there was a lot of back and forth with respect to features. I am happy that they were able to release successfully at the end.
What has been most exciting?
The most exciting project has been a mobile app for a fast growing Bay Area startup. The team members were very dedicated, the client was super quick with reviews and feedback and overall the idea behind the app was remarkable. Also the fact that I wasn’t managing this project allowed me to contribute a lot of development hours to it.
How have you grown as a developer since joining GitStart?
The growth curve to be specific has been immense, from starting out as a developer on the sidelines of a project to managing a team with people from different time zones and interacting with the client.
Can you elaborate a bit on the work culture and organizational atmosphere?
The work culture is at the absolute highest level. The remote only work culture also demands a lot of responsibility on everyone’s shoulders and that makes everyone very aware of what needs to be done and what their role is. The organizational atmosphere is great and everyone is treated equally, right from the CEO till the new joinee.
The only major suggestion that I can have here is to probably award more responsibility for the product to some of the tech leads and senior developers while working as a team. Right now, most of it rests with the client success manager. It sometimes does happen that the developer working on the task has absolutely no clue of what the overall product is or needs. Right now task acceptance criterias are just limited to that particular task and don't explain the whole product in general. Sometimes the reviewer is doing a great code review but fails to understand the product requirement correctly. This can adversely affect client expectations and is probably one of the areas where the company can improve.
How has the mentoring and training program at GitStart helped you evolve?
The management team at GitStart is your friend and treats everyone in the community as a friend. There is literally no hierarchy and red tape in the whole system which makes the whole organization extremely open and reachable. It’s the same reason you see Alumni coming back to GitStart all the time. The fact that the leadership team didn’t hesitate at once to allow me to work part time while I started my masters and also encouraged me to pause as and when required just goes to show the amount of support and flexibility that is given here. 99.99% of other companies would have most likely slapped a notice period.
What has remote work been like?
After I joined full time, I used to work out of a co-working space in the city, and therefore interacted with a lot of people on a daily basis and at the same time also enjoyed the conveniences and perks of remote work. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I largely worked from home and that was a very different experience altogether. You don’t get to meet anyone in-person which is a shame but at the same time it is technology that has made the whole setup of remote work so seamless and smooth. Other than face-to-face interactions and the occasional coffee breaks, nothing else is really missed. I think as developers we are truly blessed to have the luxury of literally working from anywhere which a lot of other professions/fields can’t afford to have. I think we have to be grateful for that. You can literally be sitting on the beach with a laptop and get all your work done. That’s just amazing!
How has the experience of interacting with other talented developers from different countries and time zones been?
Very humbling and fascinating at the same time. You not only get to know people from different cultures but also appreciate that the world is quite big and there is a lot of talent out there even in the remotest corners of the globe. You also get to leave your comfort zone of interacting just with people you know or belonging to the same city/region as you are!
Have you ever been frustrated during your time here? When?
As with any job, there were a fair share of frustrating moments especially as a manager. I feel these bits are quite expected when you are managing people and deadlines are tight. Sometimes it’s your fault and sometimes it’s not. But at the end of day you surely learn from your mistakes and that makes the next day better.
Would you recommend GitStart to other developers? Why?
Absolutely, hell yeah! The reasons are stated in the above paragraphs.
What have been some of the more hilarious, funny moments that you remember?
I’m going to be very honest here. There have been quite a few, most of them which I can recall are from Zoom meetings as we are all interacting virtually and most of them are involving clients.
Let me list them here
- Client turns up in a suit but has pajamas below - quite common in quarantine :)
- Client with his video turned on is swarmed by a group of women in the middle of a meeting. (We literally have a recording of this)
- Team member is swearing in the background but doesn’t realize the mic is switched on.
- Me and my team mate are speaking in local language and we fail to realize that another guy (who obviously doesn’t understand what we are speaking) is on the call for a good 10 minutes
- Apart from that the weekly game nights were a lot of fun!
- … and many more
What’s next for you in your career?
I start off my masters degree online due to the crazy current situation, and then move to a different country on the other side of the planet hopefully by spring! I am majoring in Computer Science, something that I have always loved and is a part of my life! Hope to meet new people, experience new cultures and keep learning, learning and learning!
Where do you see the company heading in 3-5 years time?
I plan to see GitStart as the top remote tech company in the world and trust me you will!