With our aspiration to be a transparent and trustful company, we performed a series of interviews with our core team members for ROKKEX community to learn more about who is leading the company. This time we talked with Laurynas, ROKKEX Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Laurynas is a passionate full stack developer with almost 10 years of experience in both the client and server side technologies. The passion for newest technologies led him to discover the world of crypto exchanges. We talked with Laurynas about his professional achievements and the role of CTO in the project.

  • How did you start your career in tech?

Like most of the guys in the IT world, it all started with computer games at a young age and at some point, I started wondering what else I could do with my computer. There were after-school clubs in my school where teachers were teaching students programming and I got interested. Soon I realized that people were willing to pay me for doing things that I always considered a hobby. Then in university, I got my first job as a software developer while still being a freshman.

  • What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Releasing a bug-free feature while not missing the deadlines are the biggest accomplishments for most developers. No one really salutes you when you do that, but if you miss a deadline or release a feature with bugs you are in trouble 🙂

So following that I remember working on a very complex data migration script in one of my previous companies. The importance of the scripts arose from the fact that it was taking around 1 hour to finish the migration on production database meaning that application will be put into maintenance mode and if the migration fails, we would have to do a rollback and retry again (another 1 hour of downtime).

So I did my best to ensure that it will not fail: although the migration is usually run by system administrators, not the developers, I put a lot of effort into documenting the flow and how to deal with any possible outcome.

Thankfully the release was smooth, it all went well with no extra downtime. Later the system administrator who was in charge of running this migration reached out to me personally and thanked for providing a well-documented script; he added that he hadn’t had any doubts in the script.

That personal touch from a colleague issued by my work is something that I am proud of the most.

  • Would you put more time into ensuring all current systems run efficiently or researching new, innovative technologies?

It really depends on the issue itself. Sometimes the only way of ensuring that the system is stable and runs efficiently is to research a new technology (not necessary innovative) and replace the old/problematic one.

  • How did your role change from being a developer to becoming the CTO?

I joined ROKKEX as a senior full stack developer. Being a part of the startup team meant that we, as the developers, would face a lot of management related challenges that you normally don’t encounter in a big company. I looked at it as an opportunity to improve myself in a rather new field so I decided to be more proactive and walk that extra mile taking care of things that developers normally would not care about and that is probably how I got noticed. So when the CTO role became available I was offered to become a CTO.

  • What are your responsibilities at ROKKEX?

I am spending a lot of time programming/developing the system by myself even though the non-existing “Book of CTO” says that CTOs should not work on developing new features; however, having a small development team and tight deadlines mean that I have no other choice. Currently, I am responsible for ensuring that developers have tasks to work on and have no blockers. I am responsible for ensuring the collaboration between developers and DevOps team. If we face some technical challenges or other technical issues or limitations that are blocking the development it is my responsibility to research and provide a solution for that or find an additional team member that could help us. The biggest responsibility probably is not to miss the deadline for going live.

  • What you love most about your job?

The technical challenges and the domain itself. It enforces you to learn new things every day and most importantly — step out of the comfort zone on a daily basis 🙂

For instance, we re-designed and re-wrote the initial architecture of microservices and use of DB (database) to gain more stability and performance allowing to reach tens of thousands of transactions per second during stress testing. Also, it was interesting to research Apache Kafka configuration options and implement functionality addons to make sure that it is suitable for our use-case.

If anyone feels that they are stagnating in their current job or not being able to show the best they can — come to join us at ROKKEX 🙂

  • What resources do you use to learn about technology trends?

I am a subscriber of a bunch of weekly newsletters for a wide range of topics/technologies. The list started with the web development-specific weeklies (front-end, node.js, ruby, javascript) but now I am experiencing a “shift” from specific languages and domains towards more generic and broader topics (DevOps, security, databases). I don’t always find the time to read it all, but I try to at least skim the headlines to have some sort of feel about the trends and where the technology world is heading to. When I need to get insights on some specific technology or do the research, most of the time I chose a book on a given topic/technology rather than reading blog posts.

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Interview with ROKKEX CEO: Unblock the Barrier between Crypto and Traditional Finance

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