Allow us to introduce Anežka: we call her our “Queen of Connectors” for her stellar work in developing new data source connectors for our customers. But more than that, Anežka (pronounced ah•NEZH•kah) is our original Support Engineer, the one who helped make the Dataddo Solutions Team what it is today. And what’s even more impressive: this is her first job in Data Science. Period.
Recently, we sat down with Anežka to get a little more insight into her history and to hear how she ascended from Junior Support Engineer to Solutions Team Leader in less than a year.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
First, tell us a little bit about your background—where you grew up, went to school, etc.
Anežka: I’m from a small town called Tabor in the Czech Republic. I started grammar school there before I decided to move to Prague on my own at 16, and started high school.
After graduating high school in Prague, I went to London for a connected master’s (bachelors + masters in a 4-year track) at Imperial College London, studying Mathematics—I also got to study abroad in Grenoble for a year while I was there.
When the pandemic hit, I moved back to the Czech Republic in April 2020 and finished my degree here, graduating in June.
What was your work experience before Dataddo?
Not much, some cafe and waitressing jobs, and I did maths tutoring at university. But my parents are marketers and I remember helping them with Google Ad Campaigns when I was a teenager [laughs]. Oh and also when I was a teenager, I worked for a “horror tour” in Prague, and my job was to dress up as scary creatures and frighten the tourists who paid to come along. That was fun.
What led you to work at Dataddo in the first place?
Well, I didn’t want a big corporate job. I don’t like the clothes, I don’t like the vibe, and it also has a feeling of being very competitive. I’m not that kind of person.
For my first job out of university, I obviously wanted something connected to my field, and I found an advertisement for Dataddo on startupjobs.cz. My interview was nice, and they seemed like cool people.
Did you have any previous experience in data science?
Not so much—I had done some work with programming in a couple of different languages, but I only knew the basics. It at least let me begin in Dataddo as a Support Engineer.
And what does a “Support Engineer” mean, exactly?
Well, nowadays we are calling our support team “Solutions,” but a support engineer uses programming and coding to provide support to customers.
So what was it like at Dataddo, at the beginning?
Those first months were very good — really fun, especially considering that I was a little scared in the interview. The job description matched what I was doing at the beginning, but of course, it kept changing, and soon I was doing tasks that weren’t in the description at all.
And how did you feel about that?
I really didn’t mind, the description was intentionally broad because they were still growing and needed to see what would happen.
But the guys were really nice and trying to keep the environment really open—especially since at the time we were such a small team, and I was the only woman working here then, they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable.
Anezka presenting at an annual Dataddo team-building event, June 2021.
You started as the only person in your department; how did the team grow?
Well, I started in September, and then we hired Ramzi (another support person) in December. Then it was me and Ramzi together for 3 months before we hired two more engineers. We knew we needed to build a team because Ramzi and I weren’t quite a “team,” we were just….two people [laughs]. It wasn’t enough for the volume of work.
Once we hired the other two, it was obvious that someone needed to be “in charge,” and that responsibility just kind of fell to me because of the seniority. I ended up doing most of the teaching and training.
The role just shifted very naturally, and it was an awakening to realize that I had responsibility for this new team. But I really want the whole team to feel equal—titles aren’t important to me.
And what is it like for you, leading this new team?
It’s good, I’m glad that I felt so comfortable taking that on because we really needed someone in the role to organize weekly meetings, keep the team on track, etc. I’m definitely supported, as well—my manager does his best to help in any way he can.
Anezka bringing her usual joy to a weekly strategy meeting.
What are the biggest challenges and rewards in this role?
The biggest challenge was definitely learning not to over-promise, and to learn my limits. To realize I can’t do everything myself (and now I don’t have to). Later there would be the challenges of big projects and managing people, but luckily that came after an early period of pure learning, which was great.
The biggest rewards are the massive opportunities for growth and learning. I’ve advanced so much since I first started, and I’m very happy to have this opportunity and to have such a great team. It makes me happy again that I chose this type of work—going into a corporate job would be limiting.
What’s next for the Solutions Team, and for you, personally?
For the team, the next thing is growing. We need more people, and to think more about how we can best support our customers and concentrate on the bigger projects. We need a big enough team that we can truly delegate and specialize. I want the team to feel as non-hierarchical as possible, and for people to choose what they want to do if they have a particular interest.
For me, I’m not sure yet. There’s always a lot to learn, and I don’t want to hide from the fact that I’m a manager now. I’m responsible for this team, but I also don’t want to lose touch with the original work of programming and such. I really enjoy that work and will continue, even as the team and the tasks grow. Maybe I will move into something less managerial and more technical later on, but that’s another day.
Looking for a company to grow with?
Explore open opportunities at Dataddo today.