Employee Story

VP of Engineering
— Hunger to learn new things

Name
Thomas Friedl
Nationality
Austria
Favourite Colour
#2c7d80

We always try to match our projects with what our developers and designers want to do. And since we all share a hunger to learn new things that’s been working out great so far.

While attending the HTBLA in Kaindorf (where I specialized in automation), I always also worked on personal software projects on the side – nothing major, but a website and other things here and there. That led me to switching directions and studying software engineering at the technical university in Graz. While at university, I got my first real job in the field of 3D animation – a longtime hobby of mine. However, after some time I wanted to work more in my own field so I looked for job posts on the TU newsgroups. Luckily I found one from a company that was then called Solutions.at.

Doing all those side projects was helpful since that gave me most of the skills needed for this new job. When I started at Solutions.at there were only around five people in the office – four of them are now the partners at Parkside. In the 10+ years I worked at Parkside, we have grown in number to almost 50 people. What I really like is that we didn’t lose that small company flair – no strict hierarchies and everybody takes on responsibilities. In my current position as VP of Engineering, I manage a few projects – some of them are based in Austria, Germany or Switzerland, but my main focus is our US-based clients.

In my role I handle communication with clients and among our internal teams. I also make a lot of product decisions in terms of how the product should work and what it should look like, as well as what technologies we should use and how to use them. That also includes making decisions about the software architecture and prioritizing features. While doing all of this, I also keep a close eye on the budget and listen to any requests that our clients might have. A must in my job is always being up-to-date with all the latest technologies, and since our clients often rely on our expertise I should have at least a basic understanding of what is out there. Later I can always refer to our internal experts to gain a deeper understanding.

👋 You won’t find me at my desk.

There are many reasons why I like working at Parkside; the variety of work is definitely one of them. Every project is different and a lot of them use different technologies. It’s always challenging to work with new clients and to try to understand their needs. That’s why it just never gets boring, which would be the worst for me.

I have handled projects with all kinds of server side technologies as well as all kinds of mobile technologies, also including projects for smart TVs. Now JavaScript is booming again, which brings with it new challenges. One more bonus is that working with US clients also allows me to visit some places in the US from time to time. I also always have the option to add a vacation afterwards and that has allowed for some great trips to Hawaii and road trips around the west coast. I think that‘s another thing that distinguishes Parkside from other companies.

You can start at Parkside as a PHP developer but end up making iOS or Android apps, or maybe Angular or React.js apps. We always try to match our projects with what our developers and designers want to do. And since we all share a hunger to learn new things, that’s been working out great so far.

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It's Parkside, not a walk in the park. Even when the task is difficult, positivity is an essential part of our culture. The outcome can only be good if people are happy.