What does it mean to be a CTO for over 10 years? Finding an answer with Bart Hugo Trzciński
Untitled Kingdom’s three core values are transparency, quality, and family. So, we’re proud to introduce our family members. Meet Untitled Kingdom’s CTO - Bartek Hugo Trzciński! Read about the biggest challenges he faced while co-managing Untitled Kingdom. Find out how he defines true success in life. Learn how many bones he already broke in his body and what he would pack if he was trapped on a deserted island.
Why did you join Untitled Kingdom, and what has kept you here?
I joined Untitled Kingdom way back when the company had an entirely different name.
Fun fact: The name was “Chwilami” which is Polish for Moments. That was over 13 years ago...
At the time, I was studying at the University of Science and Technology in Cracow. Just when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone into the world. Just when I fell in love with the concept of a smartphone with all its possibilities.
I’ve learned about Untitled Kingdom as one of the first (if not the first) software development companies developing iOS apps in Poland. And it was a match made in heaven.
I started with a test project - building a (back then non-existing) Game Center-like platform. Then another cool opportunity came in with an interactive children’s book-reader with a game physics engine. Right away, I recognized that these projects were tremendous fun and brought me pure joy… mostly because of all the teammates.
Untitled Kingdom was always a people-centric company. Even now, having grown by a factor of more than 10. UK’s citizens continue to be my favorite part of my job.
Every company says that these days, but hardly any company practices it - our main company value is our work culture. We are all friends that just... happen to work together. What’s more, we constantly push ourselves to improve our work.
Seriously, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.
How do you balance your career at Untitled Kingdom and friends & family?
Well… co-managing a company is not a 9-5 job. 😅So theoretically, it’s a tricky question.
But in reality, the answer is easy. I’m working with people I get to call friends. I’m based in my hometown, close to my family and people I’ve known my whole life. So it’s not that difficult.
It used to be more challenging. I remember months full of travels - flying back and forth from the USA ✈️ to the UK ✈️ and then back to Poland.
At the same time… every 2 weeks, I was going from one event’s wrap-up party to a welcome party for the next event.
What’s not to like? 😉
Many faces of Untitled Kingdom’s CTO. Which one are you today?
Top three life highlights?
First time racing on my motorcycle. It was a blast!Going to the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for the very first time. I ended up traveling the whole West Coast of the US all by myself.
Working on / releasing my first mobile app at Untitled Kingdom - ReadKid. That was pure development fun!
Top 3 life moments? 3 photos to prove that it all happened.😉
Describe what you were like at age 10.
Joyful. Incredibly active - I was into all sorts of sports! A constant visitor at the hospital. I have broken plenty of bones (as of 2020, I’ve broken over 20), so my parents needed to take me to the Emergency Room at least once a year!
If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?
Would I know that I’ll be stuck in advance? 🤔 How much time would I spend there?
Regardless, I would probably bring something practical like a 6-pack of beer, a hammock, and a good book.
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
I still haven’t seen a rocket launch, so... Falcon Heavy boosters landing procedure. Or an Apollo 11 mission launch! 🚀
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
I don’t like writing or talking about myself (writing these answers is NOT easy!).So I guess that’s the one problem I don’t have to worry about. 🙃
But I guess a potential title could be - If You’re Reading This, You Need Help. I’m Glad You Found It.
How do you define success in life?
I like the idea of an infinite game concept, so it’s hard for me to define success in life as one specific moment. After “achieving” it, life would have to be extremely boring. 🙂
For me, success is the possibility to do all the things you like to do at any given moment. So in a way, it’s committing to my hobbies. It just so happened that for the past 13 years, my hobby has been working with truly amazing people on things that I’m actually proud of.
I was genuinely afraid that if the company started to grow, I would grow to dislike it. But now, I’m only more and more proud of what Untitled Kingdom has achieved. And I’m still having fun making it all happen!
As long as I get to do the things that make me happy, I can call myself successful.
What was your most challenging yet rewarding project at Untitled Kingdom? Did you use any specific tools to overcome the challenge?
I could choose any project from our portfolio, and I mean it, I had an opportunity to work on most of them. They have always been and continue to be challenging in one way or another.
But personally, my biggest challenge in the company continues to be the “CTO project.”
At some point in Untitled Kingdom’s history, I had to step away from everyday coding and enter the business/management world. Spending the whole day at the meetings took some getting used to, but I recognized the impact these meetings had on the entire company.
There are plenty of books about management, but they’re not as straightforward as technical coding guides—there are no accessible solutions. With management, it’s... a bit different.
After all, you need to be mindful of other people and their approaches to running a company.
Not to mention that CTO’s role can carry different meanings depending on the company’s profile. So now, at every onboarding meeting, I always ask my team members:
What do you expect from a CTO?
Their answers vary. Of course, it’s about taking care of the people and the technology, managing the company’s internal processes, and perhaps… being the face of Untitled Kingdom’s technical side.
It’s all hard to describe in one sentence, but I’ll try:
It’s the “glue work” that allows the company to run with no hiccups and grow in line with the long-term strategy.
What do you expect from being a CTO?
The best part about this role is that it evolves as long as the company is growing. And I hope it will never stop.
Get to know us (even) better!
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