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Connector Spotlight: Paul Sobocinski



September 3, 2020

Q. Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on.

I’m working on an enterprise B2B app for a rapidly-scaling technology product company—NDAs prevent further context unfortunately! 

I am also working on a long-running initiative to help support the adoption and evolution of Software Engineering best practices, both internally and externally.

Q. What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?

In regards to my current client engagement, the company and app has grown very rapidly. As a result, it supports a number of bespoke use cases for small subsets of end users. The most interesting challenge is to evolve the application design so it better models the current understanding of the product business domain. What this means specifically is an iterative, continually-validated redesign that spans from the front end UX to backend DB schema design and everything in between—including infrastructure changes, such as a migration to a microservices architecture.

Q. Where did you work prior to Connected?

At Humi HR. I led a project to integrate a payroll application that the company had just acquired into their existing HR application by building out a RESTful JSON API. This also involved hiring and leading a small team.

Q. What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?

Early on in my career, I was the first hire at a small startup as the Lead Software Developer. In that role I helped build and scale a number of B2C web applications, one of which reached a million active users. In addition to scaling software, I also scaled the software development team across multiple web applications, at one point wearing the hat of CTO. Strangely, I am most proud of my failures, not my accomplishments from that time. I learned pretty much everything there is to know about what not to do when scaling both software and engineering teams.

Q. Do you have a mantra you live by?

Always watch for opportunities to empower those around you to do their best work. When they arise, seize them immediately—however small and insignificant they might seem.

Q. What do you love to do outside of work?

Spending time with my family. Capturing moments in photos. Traveling (outside of pandemic times).

As a family, we’ve recently started taking cycling trips to nearby parks and other outdoor attractions where social distancing is easy. We’re very fortunate to have plenty to discover in our neighbourhood.

Q. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?

To a desert island? Are you kidding? What an opportunity. I’d take none of those. Wisdom is found in the present moment. Nothing else is needed. 

Q. Describe yourself in three words. 

Dreamer, obsessive, over-thinker.

Q. And finally, what’s your favourite product and why? 

Trello. Simplifies my life (both personal and professional).

Though I’ve been using it more heavily on the personal side recently. The brilliance of Trello is that it can be used in whichever way best suits your specific needs. Are you planning a trip? Use it to ensure your hotel, car, and tour bookings are all in order. Planning a home renovation? Track tasks as they get completed. Even for simple recurring chores like groceries, it’s great for making sure nothing is overlooked. Such mundane complexities of life can actually get in the way of the time spent with loved ones, so it nets out to having a pretty positive and meaningful impact on my and my family’s life.

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