Oct 16, 2020

Covid-19 and its impact on Engineering work at Kiwi.com

For us at Kiwi.com, the global pandemic has shown the importance of having accurate data in the most significant way. We have huge traffic volumes, and when you are processing huge amounts of data there is more room for error. We chatted with our VP of Engineering, Stanislav Komanec to learn more about the tricks used in Engineering to fight-back against the situation.

How has the Coronavirus crisis impacted your work, if at all? How has it affected the way you process data?

Currently, we are trying to focus on smaller chunks of data. We have been working hard with all other departments at Kiwi.com and across the airline industry in order to ensure our customers receive their refunds as quickly and smoothly as possible and to provide them with the best possible assistance during these unprecedented times. We need to focus more on data and gain better observability on what is going on, not only within Kiwi.com and our own processes, but also outside: in other companies, on the market, within airlines and partners, and so on.

How would you describe the cooperation between Engineering and the rest of the company during these times?

Covid-19 has definitely encouraged more efficient inter-departmental cooperation, as we were all forced to work remotely for a while. As a result, we have had to solve problems faster than ever. It was great to see how everyone, not just Engineering, joined in the efforts to try and fix the problems that arose. Our amazing and dedicated staff were there to help the company at a decisive moment.

The engineers have been doing an incredible job in the past few months, and that also enriches the culture of cooperation tenfold. You can feel the connection, the ‘we’re all in this together’ spirit. We’re all experiencing the same difficulties, after all. However, it also makes you feel quite uplifted and proud to be part of such a great team. It’s truly humbling really.

Your job must keep you very busy, especially lately. Do you manage to strike a balance between the ‘Kiwi.com’ life and your life outside the company?

Stress management is very tough! [Laughs] I don’t know how popular this answer might sound, but personally, I don’t really distinguish between my ‘off time’ and my ‘Kiwi.com time’. I try to be available as much as possible, bizarrely this has a recharging effect on me, in fact!

That said, obviously, not everything is always black and white. Since I have a family with two kids, it can be tricky to spend some quality ‘alone time’ with them, what with my hectic schedule, and so on. So yes, it can be demanding, I do try to strike a balance to some extent, but really, Kiwi.com is a lifestyle, it’s about the decisions you want to make, in terms of career, product, and ultimately being there for our customers.

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