In Learning and Development topics, the employee has a great role to play for his/her development – to think through what interests him/her, be curious and learn from others, take courses, etc.
Our Senior Product Manager Karpo has worked in Playtech for more than 16 years. He joined us as a Software Tester and after four years of working, he was promoted to a Team Leader role. Since then, he has also been a people leader. Karpo shares his perspective on how he has been developing himself to get where he is today.
Taking into account your journey so far, what do you think is important to succeed in Playtech?
As with many things, to be successful requires hard work and dedication, but also having a curious mind to constantly learn and develop.
I have been with Playtech for almost 17 years and held positions in QA, and Project and Product management. What I have noticed in all of these teams was that people who are proactive and are willing to ‘roll up their sleeves’ to complete a task or improve the product/processes will generally be the ones also to be rewarded or promoted within the ranks. Having a can-do attitude gets noticed around here.
Whenever there is an opening on a team, the first step is always to look for a replacement from inside the company. There are many examples (including myself) where employees have been able to take on the new challenges and responsibilities of a new role because of that. In addition, there are many tools and trainings provided for continuous improvement on professional and personal skills.
For the above reasons, I believe Playtech provides all the possibilities for being successful and for creating a career path to grow within the company, though you have to be willing to invest in it yourself.
What has most impacted your career in Playtech?
Mainly the people I have been surrounded with, great colleagues and managers, the opportunity to constantly develop, and also the stable working environment offered by the company for all of its employees, even during tough times. This has become especially evident by the handling of the recent COVID crisis and the war in Ukraine, where I think Playtech has shown that its people actually do come first. This sentiment is also emphasised constantly by our management, and this type of care is not common.
How have you been developing yourself during your career?
I have always been a hands-on person and try to figure out things on my own. For example, if I don’t understand or I do need more information on something, I try to find the relevant person within the company who could explain the details and also answer any of the questions that I might have. I used this approach a lot during my time in QA when trying to understand certain product behaviours from developers or analysts while investigating issues. I also now use it when asking customers to provide relevant details, for example, when gathering requirements for new product features.
Aside from being able to learn new information and skills during this process, it is also a great way to connect with fellow colleagues and develop cross-team relations.
There have been several trainings over the years as well, of course, but most of the development has been internal and come from simply doing the work.
Who inspires you professionally and why?
I would have to say my manager Marc due to his incredible knowledge of the gaming industry and inventiveness when resolving issues. We have been working together for around 15 years already and during this time, he has helped me through various challenges with ongoing projects or difficult situations with customers from which I have been able to learn and improve myself a lot.
What are your suggestions to the people who are interested in different career opportunities in Playtech?
I would suggest starting by talking to your direct manager to explore your options. During these discussions, it should be possible to build up a logical path and define associated goals to achieve the desired career plan.
Important here is to be patient and not expect big changes overnight since a career is a long-term investment that requires lots of commitment and dedication. As already mentioned though, people who are willing to turn up when it matters will generally get the chance to grow within the company. So, in my view, the most obvious route to a successful career is always to work hard and show initiative.
Are there any apps/programs/websites you regularly use to stay current on industry knowledge/skills?
The best way to stay up to date is having frequent discussions with customers, whether existing or new. As part of my role, I get to have regular calls with our licensees and also participate in pre-sales meetings where a lot of the information is received so, in a way, most of the updates are coming through everyday work.
In addition to this, I also try to keep an eye on industry-specific news sites as much as I can. Here are links to some of the sites:
How do you keep yourself out of your comfort zone to constantly develop?
Speaking to customers and paying attention to how well experienced people are performing their tasks is always a good motivator to keep improving. Also, if there are some areas that I feel I need to improve on, I sometimes try to make a commitment in front of my team members; this then keeps the pressure on to deliver what was promised, which also helps with development.