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Iulia Nicolaie for Catawiki

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Meet the Catawikians: Bozhidar

Hi, I’m Iulia. I’m part of Catawiki’s recruiting team. We’re responsible for bringing high-quality humans to Catawiki across our offices.

During my time here, I’ve talked to a lot of developers who are curious about working for Catawiki. So I thought that it would be nice to start sharing what it’s like to work here by having some quick coffee chats with our engineers.

Today, I would like to introduce you to Bozhidar, our software engineer from the payments team.

Hi Bozhidar! Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

Hello! I am Bozhidar and I’ve worked as a software engineer for about 4 years already. I’ve been working full time at Catawiki as a software engineer while also pursuing a part-time International Business bachelor. My interests gravitate towards tech, leadership, and psychology, wildlife, and sustainability.

What attracted you to Catawiki in the first place?

I think the first thing is the marketplace approach. Coming from Uber and looking at other companies like Amazon, Google, Valve, etc. I strongly believe the marketplace model is a strong one in this digital world. During my interview process, I was impressed both by the technology that Catawiki is using as well as the kind of people that work here.

It’s wonderful to have you here. Since a lot of our audience probably isn’t familiar with Catawiki, could you talk about the company and the work that you do there?

Catawiki is not the place you go to in order to satisfy your “musts” and “needs”. It’s the place you go to when you want to satisfy your “wants”. Or as I like to say, it’s the place you visit when you want to treat yourself to something special. It is a curated marketplace for all kinds of special objects you can’t find elsewhere. Whether that’s an ancient gold coin, another post stamp for your stamp collection, or a Porsche 911 from the 70s, Catawiki is where you will be able to find these special items and many more.

Could you tell us a little bit about your role and a little bit about what this Payments team is at Catawiki?

My role as a software engineer in the Payments domain and the team’s role, in general, is to keep the quality bar for money movements as high as possible. There are three main pillars that play a role here - reliability, speed, and safety/security. There are teams inside Catawiki that work solely on the supply side or on the demand side, but in payments, we are at the cross-section of the two.
On the demand side, we are responsible for processing payments from our buyers while offering as many options of payment types as possible. On the supply side, we are responsible for verifying that our sellers are compliant (to prevent fraudsters) and also for making sure the ones that are verified and sell objects receive their money.

What is special and particular about software engineering at Catawiki?

I would say the special and surprising part for me was to see how much infrastructure and tooling exists behind the scenes that are ready to serve the developer. There is an entire platform engineering team whose sole job is to optimise, automate and provide tooling so that their client (the other engineers) can focus on what’s really important, which in most cases would be the end-user business logic.

Could you share any advice for software engineers who would like to join Catawiki?

I think whether you’re a senior engineer or not, one thing that is very important in this ever-changing world is to stay open-minded. Being in an organisation with people from more than 50 nationalities plays a huge role in collaboration. At the end of the day, no matter how senior someone is, a person can move very fast alone, but they can go further together as a team.

Finally, are there any books or blogs or other resources that you’ve found helpful recently?

Well, there is one book, which I actually read quite some time ago, but I often think about it especially as a software engineer. It’s by Cal Newport (who is actually a computer science professor at Georgetown University) and the book is Deep Work.

So inspiring. Thank you for your time Bozhidar!

Thank you as well Iulia, looking forward to the next coffee chat.

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