We’d like to introduce you to some of the people from around the world who make us who we are at Progress. In this post, meet Pavel Minarik, VP of Technology at Progress.
For Pavel Minarik, a career in IT was a no-brainer—and probably inevitable. After writing his first code at the ripe old age of 10, Pavel started down the challenging, but ever-interesting, path of informatics and technology.
Hailing from Czechia, Pavel is one of the newest Progressers to join the team after the Kemp acquisition. With a passion for all things tech—and a love of cycling—Pavel is bringing his expertise, unique experiences and enthusiasm to Progress. Learn more about Pavel in the interview below.
I made that decision almost by default. My father was a university teacher with early access to computers and the internet, so I was exposed to this interesting area through him. I wrote my first code when I was 10 years old. I was not entirely sure what I did at that time, but it determined my future.
Before I studied at the Faculty of Informatics (Masaryk University in Brno), I had to learn all the IT-specific knowledge by myself. Even before university, I was building applications for various customers. Some of those applications were retired just recently and served customers for almost 20 years. During my university study, I took an IT manager job in a large non-government, nonprofit organization that gave me the opportunity to learn enterprise IT and build my own infrastructure. After graduation, I took an interesting job offer that brought me to where I am today.
Throughout my whole career, we have always been on the edge pushing the technology above and beyond limits and expectations. There are two key aspects of my work that I love most: first, the impact we have on our customers and the footprint we create in the digital environment. And second, the level of autonomy we’ve always had when building our products and deciding on our future.
I find sharing my experiences with a trusted person who has had similar experiences useful. When I joined the startup company Mycroft Mind, I met an IT industry veteran named Zdenko Stanicek. We knew each other from the university, as Zdenko was leading a course of data modelling using a method he created to facilitate understanding between subject matter experts and IT professionals building applications for them. We started to work with network telemetry data and pretty quicky realized that there was a gap in the market and potential to create a completely new product.
Back in 2008, we created the foundation of Flowmon ADS and started a new company called “AdvaICT.” By the end of 2012, it was acquired by INVEA-TECH (now Flowmon Networks after the company name was changed).
Zdenko encouraged me to continue at the university as a PhD student and was my supervisor. I remember a moment when I really wanted to give up, as I had no clue how to create a strong PhD thesis that would not disclose our confidential intellectual property. We met in a pub, and before I left, I was crystal clear on how to do it and fully motivated to finish my PhD study. Anyone interested can read “Building a System for Network Security Monitoring”.
Outside of work, my primary activity is cycling. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was looking for an activity that wouldn’t be impacted by restrictions. Cycling is a great activity to clear my head and help shape my thinking.
I’m very proud of Flowmon Networks and what the team here has been able to achieve. From university research and without any investment or external funding, our products were recognized by Gartner in both NPMD & NDR market guides. Only two other competitors were able to achieve the same. The Kemp acquisition and subsequent Progress acquisition enables us to significantly extend our market reach, and that was always our goal—bring Flowmon to as many customers as possible and help them to control their digital environment.
I’ve been talking about Flowmon, but Kemp’s story is not that much different. Kemp Loadmaster is a genius product originally build by three excellent engineers 20 years back, and since then it’s been adopted by tens of thousands of customers.
I always liked the spring season, from April till June, as it was a time for conferences and meeting our partners and customers. Everyone was already set up for the new year and not consumed by the stress that can come along with the end of the year and Christmas. Unfortunately, COVID changed that, so now I appreciate it even more if I can meet our partners and customers in person.
Get the proper education and foundation. Understand the required concepts and underlying technology—it will pay off a thousand times over. And before you begin working on a particular task, make sure you can answer both WHAT you need to do and WHY.
Learn from your more senior colleagues. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, take them as a natural part of the process and focus on how to learn from them. Don’t get trapped in your domain of expertise. Look at the broader context and other business perspectives. Deliver in the required quality, and on time. And last but not least, presentation and communication skills matter for people in IT as well.
To get to know other Progressers like Pavel, read more of our employee interviews here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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