For February’s ‘Meet the Kognite’ we sat down with our Chief Technology Officer, Marcus to chat with him about his experience of working at Kognity and what it is like heading up the Kognity Tech team.
To start off with, where are you from/grow up and how did you like it?
Born and raised in south east of Sweden, little bit on the country-side. Besides the fact that you needed a driver’s license to get anywhere when the buses stopped going, I liked it a lot. I spent a lot of time with my computer(s) brought by my dad. I guess a lot of my interest in computers came from there, creating my first web pages, programs etc.
When you were at school what was your favourite Subject?
I think I must say Math, besides Gym class. I really liked how you could possess tools and apply them to problems, being creative.
What did you study at University and where did you study?
Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering at Linköping University.
So, how to you start working for Kognity?
I got to know the founders through one of their previous companies, and then when they were about to do something digital within education (Kognity), it felt like a great opportunity to be part of that. Working with technology is what I love, and to also provide value to people learning was a win-win for me to get involved in.
How has your role changed from when you first started to now?
Well, we were basically 2 people working full-time on everything when we started. So a lot has changed. Since we grow constantly, we also must change constantly. My role has changed a lot from “getting something out there” to ensure quality, stability & speed within the technical development. With more people on board I need to make sure we are being efficient, focus on the right things and provide clear goals & responsibilities so everyone can contribute to our vision.
As the Chief Technology Officer what does your average day look like?
A typical day might look something like this. I usually check in with the team, do a code review or two & discuss technical problems, maybe host a retrospective session to see how we can improve ourselves the coming weeks.
Then I coordinate with our Product owner on upcoming development initiatives and the overall roadmap. There might be a short interview with a software engineer interested in joining Kognity, and some follow-up & actions on our long-term strategy & architecture, looking at new technologies & trends within the industry.
What is the best thing about your role at Kognity and why?
First, I get the chance to solve real problems for people in a domain that matters for me. Education and school is something all of us can relate to, and to not be yet another troublesome web-system teachers & students have to log in to, but instead provide a simple, learning-powered tool that gives results in schools, right now.
Second, there are always interesting challenges to be solved, it is never boring. Since the company grows so fast, it not only gives everyone the chance to develop, but you have to develop and improve to make things work. This is challenging, but with all the wonderful people it’s a bless to be on the Kognity ship.
What are the main challenges you face?
Staying focused is one. There are so many (great) opportunities on the road that could be pursued. You need to be very clear with priorities to make sure you always get closer to our vision and milestones we’ve set out, and be deliberate when, and if, you choose to go astray.
Deliver significant improvements to our end-users, fast enough, and make sure we’re solving a the right problem for them with each solution.
Thank you Marcus for that insight into the Kognity Tech team!
Tune in next month to meet another Kognite!
Author: Abigail Bryant
Abi is Head of Support at Kognity, where she works closely with teachers and students getting them set up and ensuring their experience with Kognity is a great one. Previously she worked as an English teacher working with International Schools in South East Asia.