Always wanted to get a sneak peek into a thriving digital health tech company? Meet samedi!
We had the opportunity to meet Konstantinos Rousis from samedi in their office in Friedrichshain. After a warm welcome and a quick insight into the modern and spacious workspace, we talked about motivation, secret superpowers and how samedi wants to change the healthcare sector...
Wantedly: Hi Kostas, thank you so much for giving us a sneak peak into your team culture here at samedi. Can you perhaps start with quickly explaining what your role is?
Kostas: I’m currently the CIO of samedi, chief information officer, and I’m leading our engineering efforts along with our CTO, Michael Siebert. This means that I am mostly ensuring that we’re on plan with our projects and that the engineering team can reach their full potential. For me, this means both that they are productive but also that all 15 people in the team are enjoying their work.
Wantedly: Sounds great. Can you tell us more about your team? What do you do, and what do you hope to achieve with it?
Kostas: samedi offers a software which helps to connect patients and healthcare providers to easily schedule appointments and manage resources. We’re mainly a B2B service, because our clients are clinics, hospitals, and practices of all sizes, from one person practices to hospitals with thousands of employees. Patients can book appointments through our service, but they are the end users and not directly our customers. This means, that we mainly work together with the actual providers of healthcare, but want to make everyone's’ lives easier in the end.
Wantedly: That sounds like your team is working on a very important mission. What did you do before you joined samedi?
Kostas: I actually stayed in academia for some time. After my studies at the University of Sheffield, I worked as a research associate and teaching assistant. I then joined a startup in Greece that worked with a speech technology software, before I came to Germany and became part of the samedi-team! I’ve been here for quite some time, so I did different things at samedi. In 2012, I started as software engineer and after that became the director of R&D.
Wantedly: How did you hear about samedi? Was this the reason why you came to Berlin?
Kostas: I was looking online for some opportunities and at that time they were looking for some software engineers and we had an online interview. I really liked what I heard, so I came here in 2012 and never left … (laughs)
Wantedly: Wow! That’s great - 6 years is a long time…
Kostas: Yes, it is! This is something we’re actually quite proud of. We’re growing and new colleagues are part of this development, but we’re very happy about the high retention rate of our current employees - people are working here for 6, 7 or even 10 years, which is really amazing and hopefully shows that everyone really enjoys working here.
Wantedly: That’s awesome! Have you seen a lot of difference in team dynamics or would you say the core idea of samedi is still the same even as you’re growing?
Kostas: I think it’s still the same spirit, of course we’re always expanding our ideas and we’re also more empowered and have more resources, as we have more clients and people that are using our product. I’d say the idea is the same, but we have a greater impact.
Wantedly: What are you and your team working on at the moment?
Kostas: We have many teams working on multiple features at the same time. Something we’re quite excited about is a UI/UX revamp we’ve been working on. Of course we have a large product and have to do it step by step, but we’re very excited. We already have the designs and it will look much nicer and make everything much more intuitive to use. Eventually, it will make the life of our customers easier which is really motivating.
As we have thousands of customers, we learnt that it is better to take it slow and help people to get used to the new look and feel of the software as we want to avoid disturbing processes. Getting feedback to always improve and adapt is also extremely important for us.
Wantedly: Cool, a really good project indeed. Let’s talk little bit more about your team. How would you describe these 15 people in 1-2 sentences?
Kostas: I think that we are a very diverse team and this is something we are very proud of. Diversity in the team leads to a diverse product, which in the end will suit our customers’ needs much better. It’s a highly skilled team with people that have vast experience and different types of skill sets in fields such as software architecture, backend and frontend development, UX etc., so I think it is a very good match of skills.
In general, I think that we can rely on each other and on a personal level also really care for one another! We actually enjoy spending time outside of work together - which, I think, says a lot about the team culture..
Wantedly: What makes working at samedi so special?
Kostas: We still have a family vibe even ten years after the company has been founded. I personally think it’s really easy to identify with the product and it has an actual positive impact on the healthcare sector. And another really important point is that here at samedi you have a lot of talented colleagues you respect and can learn from, every single day.
Wantedly: What has been your recent highlight at samedi?
Kostas: That was the EuRuKo in Vienna. It’s the annual European Ruby conference, which takes place in a different city every year with about 600 participants. Yukihiro Matsumoto, the creator of Ruby language himself, was there and gave the keynote speech. I was part of the organizing team and samedi sponsored 6 other engineers to attend. We stayed in Vienna for four days and it was definitely a highlight I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.
Wantedly: Wonderful, thank you so much for sharing this with us. There is one last question I have for you: if you could pick one secret superpower - which one would it be and why?
Kostas: (laughs) Okay, I was definitely not prepared for that one. I think I would go for the superpower of writing code without bugs because it would make our customer success team, product and quality management, developers and customers much happier. Of course, even without this superpower, our product is already awesome (laughs).
Would you like to learn more about samedi and their team? Check out their profile on Wantedly or apply for a visit to meet the team in person!
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