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#3 Tech Bytes: Leaders don’t always wear capes

Event type:
21.09.2023 (thursday)
Ocado Technology Wroclaw
Szewska 8

[in-person event]

Welcome back! With great pleasure, we would like to invite you to the post-holiday season of Tech Bytes meetups @Ocado Technology. This time we'll talk about leadership - whether technical or not - and how it helps to grow highly collaborative teams that can handle any challenge together. This event is a must for tech enthusiasts, leaders, and anyone passionate about fostering strong teams.

Main organisational information:

  • We’ll start at 18:00 (6:00 P.M.) at our office, located on Szewska 8 Street (Wrocław Old Town). The entrance to the building is next to Green Caffè Nero.
  • Our Ocado team will welcome you at the ground level and help you with the registration before the event.
  • After the talks, we invite you to the networking part over beers and pizza :)


18:00 - Grab a drink and take a seat

18:10 - Intro

18:15 - 18:45

Speaker: Rafał Trójniak, Staff Cloud Engineer at Ocado Technology

Topic: Juggling hot potatoes, or what to do when you got a malicious gift


Taking over a new system is like embarking on a fresh adventure. Sometimes, it’s a lot of fun, while other times, it’s quite a demanding task. Does anyone give away systems in good shape after all?

In our case, luck wasn’t on our side, and we got a new system with significant challenges. And yet, two years and countless hours of collective effort later, we managed to avoid a major disaster at the largest Ocado warehouse.

I am here to tell you what we went through, what problems we have overcome and what helped us. Join me to delve into a story of a hardware change at a massive scale, in a live data centre and with a doom looming upon us. A change that wasn’t easy to make, but once again it showed that you can move mountains if you have a great and collaborating team.

18:45 - 19:15

Speakers: Adrian Popiel, Engineering Team Leader at Ocado Technology

Topic: Resilience amidst adversity: creating a values-driven team during the pandemic and war in Ukraine


A team is a group of people working together, and the organisation's values and culture are far from being mere empty slogans. Well, hold on! I strongly disagree with that notion! If you share this perspective, my topic will undoubtedly pique your interest.

The pandemic era threw a bunch of new challenges in the realm of team building - specifically, the construction of remote teams. This process has become one of the most formidable tasks for organisations, as it demands innovative solutions to existing processes and challenges, such as recruitment, onboarding, and cultural differences. And just to make things even harder, we’ve got global economic and political stuff adding to the mix.

As a Team Leader at Ocado Technology, I had the privilege of forming a distributed mobile team, whose members were affected not only by the pandemic but also by something much harder - an ongoing war. In my presentation, I will break down how a company’s culture can actually be your secret source for tackling the biggest hurdles. I will spill the beans on all the challenges I faced right from the start: recruitment, onboarding, establishing collaboration norms, grappling with native technologies, cross-functional team dynamics, and how to find time within all of this for learning and development.

19:15 - 20:00

Speaker: Maciej Żywioł, Engineering Team Leader at Ocado Technology and Tomasz Manugiewicz, General Manager at Grande Parade

Topic: "You Must Gather Your Party Before Venturing Forth" - what a Team Leader can learn from a Game Master?


Ever heard of Role-Playing Games? Sure you have - that hobby which used to be linked to nerdy kids in basements, with thick manuals, figurines and weird-shaped dice, has recently blown up into one of the most popular forms of entertainment among groups of friends. Odd, right? But in this talk, we - a pair of IT leaders, one of whom is also a Game Master running games for over two decades - will explore how the skills and experiences from the gaming table can be used when it comes to building and steering a development team.

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