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EL Passion's 10th Birthday - What's Changed?

22 July 2021 by EL Passion

We asked three EL Passioners about their memories, first impressions, and how EL Passion changed throughout the years. 

Your first day at EL Passion was...

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Ula Kowalska, Team Leader

It was the 21st of October, 2015, and I remember it like it was yesterday, when I walked into the EL Passion’s office for the first day of my internship. I was stressed out and full of doubt about what it is going to be like. It was supposed to be my first-ever “serious” job, so the stress seemed to be the right feeling; we’ve all been there, right? But it went away after the first 10 minutes in the office, where all interns were greeted and taken care of like a couple of old friends.

There is really something about the atmosphere here - you can’t make it up, and no matter how hard you try to describe it, it will come off a bit cliché in writing.

It may come off a bit shallow, but I remember one other thing. During my lunch break, I had a peek at one of the designers’ computers and saw the Spotify app. At that moment, I thought that this is what my life’s going to be like in the future: working with the music in the background and a lot of freedom. This seemed like a dream come true for a 24-year old me, and it still is. I can really say that I found my way here.

My role at the company has evolved quite a bit since the beginning - I used to be an intern, then a developer, now I am a Team Leader, and with that, my tasks and challenges have changed. But my overall impression is still the same - we’re a happy and open-minded bunch of totally contrasting personalities who, despite all their differences, can still somehow maintain to be a whole.

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Grzegorz Kemski, Chief Operating Officer

I’ve been working at EL Passion for more than 8 years now, but I didn’t technically join EL Passion per se. It’s a funny story. The company I worked at merged with EL Passion, and this is how I ended up here. Maybe not the most romantic scenario, but considering the length of our relationship, I’m not complaining.

I remember my first day after the merger. Everything seemed usual on the surface; I came into work, I had the first daily stand up for my new project. But there was one thing that surprised me. Usually, the new guy on the project just stands back and observes what’s going on and listens to what others have to say. But that was not the case there. Everyone was asking me questions; they were curious about me. They even asked me, jokingly, of course, the usual question: “what were you able to deliver since yesterday?”, even though they knew I appeared at the office just an hour ago. It seemed weird at the time, but later I realized that it’s a company where a team is really a team, open and welcoming, and not only on paper.

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Michał Warda, Chief Technology Officer

Honestly, it was amazing. When I started as an intern I was fascinated with how the company works. Everyone was so welcoming and guided me through the development process and the company culture.

I still remember the photo of all the company members that was right at the entrance of our old office, and my thoughts at the time: wow, how can they be such professionals and be so friendly and cool at the same time? Before joining EL Passion, I really couldn't imagine a team that works like that.

elpassion-top-qualityOur photoshoot's blooper that our UX Designer, Michał dared us not to use (ever) fits this post perfectly.

How has EL Passion changed throughout the years?

Ula Kowalska, Team Leader

I’m not going to write, it was always unicorns and rainbows because it was not. In the last couple of years, we’ve been through some groundbreaking changes; our work setup and project management processes have very much evolved. I would compare it to puberty. When I joined, we were like a teenager discovering the world, trying new things, sometimes going upstream. Now, we’ve grown and matured. Maybe we have some emotional baggage, but we’re wiser, stronger, and constantly learn and adapt to the changing circumstances.

Grzegorz Kemski, Chief Operating Officer

It’s interesting because I witnessed this company evolve and have like four big transformations up to now. So it’s the same company, but also a very different one altogether.

At the very beginning, we were really starting from scratch - we were just a couple of colleagues excited about Agile, that is really all it was. Looking at it now, I see a process, year by year.

A lot of hard work was put into making EL Passion the professional and working machine it is now. Everything has evolved: the approach to our employees, the approach to our clients, our project management processes, and even tutoring.

What hasn’t changed? The openness and willingness to try new things. If someone, no matter their position at the company, has an idea and wants to do something, there is always space for it and people who will support it. It’s not like there’s this glass ceiling you can encounter in some other places; like when you go to your manager, say that something needs to be improved, and they go, “hey, let us look into it”, but you never hear back from them.

Things happen here, and you have a tangible impact on how the company grows and evolves.

Michał Warda, Chief Technology Officer

Many new faces have joined since my day one, but I still feel the same atmosphere, just in a different office. I am still surrounded with clever and ambitious people and I still start each day at work with a smile because of what I'm doing. The only change I can think of is that things have got more serious. The scale of things we are doing is much bigger now. 

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What do you value the most about working here?

Ula Kowalska, Team Leader

It’s the trust and space we give and receive back to explore while doing the things we were hired to do. Over the years, we’ve put a lot of hard work into making the EL Passion culture what it is today. It is an amazing feeling to see how all the new team members can take advantage of it - give and receive honest feedback without holding grudges, share knowledge, and learn. I am really happy with how much freedom we have at EL Passion; from the basics like working hours, up to tools we use in our everyday work. I am grateful to EL Passion for how it helped me shape my current life. Every now and then, while working from various places, I think about how great it is that we stumbled upon one another that one day.

Grzegorz Kemski, Chief Operating Officer

My first thought was: people, but I mentioned I witnessed this company evolve and completely transform four times, so I guess there has to be something more to it. But maybe not.

I think we do attract open and professional people who want to do some good in this world, and have some fun while they’re at it.

EL Passion was, and it still is, a pack of cool people you just want to work with, but year after year, they become more experienced professionals.

Michał Warda, Chief Technology Officer

People working with me. I feel like EL Passion brings the best in everyone who joins the team. The second best thing is definitely having a sense of purpose. Throughout 7 years of my working here I've created stuff that is used by many people all around the world. It makes their lives easier and helps businesses grow. Focusing daily on delivering user value has always been and still is our main goal here which is what I find very inspiring.

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