Rares Hutanu is the backend team lead for the Bitpanda broker. He manages a team of 12 and works closely with our C-level management to bring the best user experience to the Bitpanda platform. Today, we’re going to ask him some questions on what a day in the life of a developer looks like and what it takes to be a good team leader.
“One of the best things at Bitpanda is that there are many mentors available to you.”
Could you tell us a bit about your job?
Rares Hutanu: I am the backend team lead of the Bitpanda platform. I moved to Vienna 7 years ago to continue my Master’s degree and started working for Bitpanda in 2017. I first applied as a backend developer and then I grew in the team lead role.
What qualities do you as a team lead have?
During my period as a developer, I decided I wanted to become the team leader that I always wanted. I believe that if everyone in our team is supported, mentored and given resources it will allow us to fulfill our individual and group targets. I try to lead based on that and I try to always be there for my team when they need me and to maintain a good, positive and productive environment.
Why do you like working at Bitpanda?
Bitpanda provides an environment where you can learn and grow with your team and as an individual. Web development is my passion and with my job, I am able to get in contact with over a million users (and this will grow) so I can see that our code has an impact immediately.
Another great perk is communication. I like how you can speak with everyone no matter which department they’re in. Everyone is super nice. We also have a lot of team events and outings, so something is always happening whether it’s summer parties, Christmas parties or team events. The company atmosphere is very important here.
There are also a lot of people within the company that you can learn from. I was lucky enough that I worked closely with Bitpanda co-founder and CTO Christian Trummer and I learned a lot from him. He is a good mentor. One of the best things at Bitpanda is that there are many mentors available and it provides you a better view and understanding of the company’s values, vision and mission.
What kind of challenges do you face? How do you deal with stress?
Just like any job, it's a stressful environment sometimes. One of the roots of Bitpanda's environment is a good work-life balance so in my case I try to keep being organised and fill my free time with diverse activities. Bitpanda supports activities like football or gym which offers us a chance to spend time with other colleagues. A challenge I face in being a team leader is that you have to learn how to switch off and not be thinking about work while you are not at work!
What, in your opinion, makes a good team leader?
Communication is the key in being a good team leader. You must always be in contact with your team and they should know that you are reliable. Your team has to deliver and it has to deliver well. Most of the time that falls on you. You need a combination of leadership and time management skills. On the technical side, you have to take care of the product and do your best in providing efficient, scalable and bulletproof technical solutions. The most important work of a lead is determined by your team’s performance, so now I’d like to show my appreciation for each of my team members.
What advice would you give to people who are hoping to have a leadership role at Bitpanda?
First of all, you have to be a team player because collaboration is key. Beside that, be yourself, stay motivated and work with passion. We are always looking for good people with skills such as leadership, communication, and for some positions, coding and software skills. Bitpanda is trying to build a team that will want to spend time together not necessarily at work, but also go out for a beer!
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