Q: How serious are you about badminton? Do you take part in any competitions or is it purely recreational?
TI: It is my current way to stay fit, so I am a rather amateur player, but I take part in competitions with people of a comparable skill level. In one of them I even achieved third place in doubles at the end of the whole last season (mostly for attendance, though). I think the social perception of badminton is not very accurate: people think it is an easy and effortless sport. However, the truth is that it is really demanding, both physically and technically. Otherwise it wouldn't be an Olympic sport, would it?
Q: And you play the piano. What is the best piece you can play?
TI: I like to play film music, and my favorite song that I can play is “Conquest for Paradise” by the Greek composer Vangelis.
Q: Out of all potential employers, why did you choose Codility?
TI: I was referred by Marcin (our Chief Science Officer), with whom I work at the Polish Olympiad of Informatics. What was most important for me was the fact that Codility allows me to continue being a part of the programming competitions community (Codility was in fact established by people from this community). I like the fact that my day-to-day job and what I do outside of the office are connected. I also like it that we can share our knowledge through challenges, tasks and programming lessons at Codility.
Q: What is the killer feature of Codility in your opinion?
TI: I’ll be fairly unoriginal and say that it is our team. We are a group of quite smart people who get along very well.
Q: Why do you enjoy cooperating with Olympiads and competitions? What is the most interesting part?
TI: For me, the most interesting part is preparing tasks. Polish contests are known world-wide for their original and high quality tasks. Teams from various countries use these tasks during training, even the ones that are available only in Polish. And preparing a good task can be a very challenging process. The task I am most proud of (published in the “Looking for a Challenge?” book) took me five years from coming up with a problem to the moment when I figured out a solution. You can easily get frustrated when you work for so long and cannot come up with anything satisfying, but it is very rewarding when you finally nail it. The whole process is very similar to doing research. When I was at the beginning of my professional career I thought I would stay at the university and become a researcher, but my life turned out to be different from my initial plans.
Q: What is your growth plan? What do you want to achieve in your career?
TI: I have just recently finished my PhD in computer science, and I will take this opportunity to stop for a while and think properly about this question. For one thing, I would definitely like to learn a new foreign language.
Q: You have a final 60 seconds. Brag about something.
TI: In primary school I won a national recitation competition whose final was organized in the Royal Castle in Warsaw. During my studies at the University of Warsaw, I participated in various programming competitions. My biggest achievement was winning first place at the Central European Programming Competition in 2004, which gave my team the chance to represent our university at the World Finals in Shanghai. This was the first time I met Greg: as we were in China we took the opportunity to visit Beijing, and Greg was our tour guide. He showed us the Great Wall of China and took to a cool restaurant, where we had Peking Duck!
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