Medworld interview with Jakub Jurkiewicz, Head of Engineering at Medworld.
Tell me a bit about you and why you wanted to become a software engineer/product manager?
I decided to study computer science simply because it seemed like a smart thing to do when I was still in high school. I was good at math and I liked challenging my mind, and programming sounded like a good fit for me. After a few months of studies, I realised the true power of software development - I could create amazing things with just my brain. And this triggered a lot of curiosity and motivation to keep learning and growing as a software engineer. And the more I learned the more possibilities for making a true impact on the world I could see.
Tell me about what constitutes a 'virtuous product?'
Virtuous products focus on the moral side of the design. They include thinking about diversity, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, and any possible harmful side effects of the product itself.
What has inspired you to start on this journey to create a 'virtuous product?'
I love the discipline of system thinking. And one of the principles from system thinking states "Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions." It is very easy to create products that solve one problem and create another. Keeping in mind the tangible and possible impacts of our products add to the challenge of creating solutions that can truly improve the world.
Can you give me some examples of a product that is not virtuous?
I am a victim of social media platforms. And while I was able to break my harmful habit of checking Facebook constantly, I feel like I simply replaced it with a habit of checking LinkedIn every few minutes. And this feeling of FOMO makes me lose a lot of time on purposeless scrolling, looking for validation through the number of reactions under my posts, and a sort of anxiety when I try to spend time away from technology. So while LinkedIn is a great product to connect with like-minded people and to exchange ideas, it also has had a negative impact on my wellbeing.
In what ways are you planning to differentiate the Medworld product you are working on now so that it is virtuous?
We need to keep our mission of improving doctors' wellbeing in mind all the time and take a more holistic point of view when designing Medworld. This means a lot of customer research, learning about psychology and neurology, testing our solutions, and being ready to change, or even remove, the features that end up being harmful to doctors.
What would you be looking for in an engineer to join you on this project?
We mainly look for 3 attributes in our candidates: 1) Do they have a growth mindset? Are they willing to learn with us? Are they willing to try new skills and a new tech stack? 2) Are they aligned with our engineering principles? While we can prefer different tools and frameworks, we want to be aligned on the high-level principles of modern software engineering. This includes focusing on quick feedback loops, collaboration, and continuous improvement. 3) What can they add to our culture? Culture fit is important for us, however, more importantly, we try to see how the candidate can add to our culture and change it in the direction we want it to change. We acknowledge that culture changes constantly and we want to hire people who can help us change the culture in a positive way.
What inspires you about the work that you do?
I love solving important problems with great people. Medworld provides both - solving the crucial problem of doctors' wellbeing, and a group of motivated people who are willing to collaborate and learn together. It is really hard to beat that.