I was born in 1977 in Głogów, Poland.

Since 1998 I started my adventure with Oracle databases.

In the very beginning I was working on an OLTP system build on Oracle 8i. That was the time when I first started using Oracle Reports made my first complex SQL queries, started using Explain Plan and began to learn PL/SQL programming.

After less than 2 years, I moved to Warsaw (Polish capitol), where I got a job as an Junior Oracle Developer. I spent over 7 years working on development of Data Warehouse for a Era (currently T-mobile) telecom company. Thanks to many great people that I have met, I kept on improving my skills. They encouraged me and challenged me to implement effective code for processing large data volumes.

During that time I learned that sometimes, you really need to dig deep to learn the root cause of performance issues and that a sometimes you need to use some design tricks to get the job done.

My PL/SQL adventure continued, when I changed project and started working on a Data Warehouse for Polish branch of AEGON insurance group. This time, it was not only the ETL processing that I was dealing with. I learned to work closely with business users and use Business Objects (a Business Intelligence reporting solution by SAP), and within two years I nearly mastered creating complex data-models for fancy reporting requirements. I learned how to effectively communicate with customer and drive the solution from user requirements. That was somehow a natural evolution towards agility, that at that time was a concept totally unknown to me.

Working closely with end users allowed me to gain a broader look on users expectations and why they really need a Data Warehouse for daily reporting. I learned, that no matter how wonderful, fancy and well-performing your ETL code is, user’s simply expect to have their reports done on-time and as easily as possible.

Those experiences dramatically changed the way I look at the software development process. Before that I was often focusing on the technical requirements and solution performance. The interactions with end users made me aware that the satisfaction of end users lies in the software that meets their requirements and that the really hard part is to extract those requirements from end users.

While working on AEGON data warehouse, Pentacomp (my employer company) made a turn to start using Agile development process and therefore I learned SCRUM methodology and was willing to start practising it in my daily work.

In 2011, tired and bored with maintenance projects in Pentacomp and unsatisfied with company’s policy towards employees I’ve made a big step and after 11 years of employment I quit my job and got a contract at Pragmatists.

I started to work in a truly agile team, that was focused on delivery, continuous integration, test automation, short feedback loops and continuously improving the way we work. Paweł Lipiński and many others made the company a unique experience.
Working with Pragmatists was a wonderful experience that changed the way I perceive software development.
It was the place where I learned to be courageous, honest and open-mined even more than before.
I learned that it’s better to speak up and say something stupid, than be quiet and dishonest, keeping my opinions for myself.
I learned that it’s OK to disagree and it’s OK when others disagree with me.
I learned that by discussing different point of views I come to better understand others and extend my knowledge.
I learned that the key to a successful agility are people that communicate and educate one another.
I learned to understand the meaning of Agile manifesto. And that agility is much further away from chaos than waterfall.
I learned that being a Team is not just bunch of individuals sitting in one space and working on the same project.
I learned the power of Test Driven Development and ported it into database development using RSpec and ruby-plsql.
I learned Gherkin and Cucumber and implemented Automated Acceptance Tests on database layer.

I do my best to test-drive the database development process and have the PL/SQL code covered with Unit Tests.

I take the effort to improve my daily work by reducing the amount of repeatable tasks and letting continuous integration server to do the job for me.

I keep cooperating with customers, to help them improve their corporate processes, so that they can reduce the time and money waste by simplifying and automating some of costly processes like testing, deployment, release acceptance.

I continuously learn how to approach database design development and delivery to minimise costs and risks related to refactoring and changes done to existing structures and data.

I do my best to build trust by being transparent and honest in my daily work.

Since April 2015 I moved to Ireland and started to work for Fidelity Investments. Looking for new challenges and new experiences.

View Jacek Gebal's profile on LinkedIn

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