Looking back: How we established the company’s first codes
To look back from time to time is also permitted. For example, when you move on to another important milestone. Most of the time you approach it making small, inconspicuous steps. And when you are finally there, it is cool to look back and realize the sizeable distance travelled. In this spirit, then, we welcome you to the beginning of the millennium, when David Máj started to write the history of his company, TechOne CZ.
The year was 2001 and state-of-the-art technology had only just begun to enter our lives. The internet was still choppy, no one had heard of apps, and phones were mainly used for calls or sending texts. But visionaries already saw the world in its current technological contours. And David Máj was among them. Even back then he liked the sparkling energy that accompanied the emergence of future software and apps. He decided to turn these visions into reality. Technology captured his imagination and his passion for them continues to this day.
Without much knowledge, but with plenty of enthusiasm
The path towards the superlatives we can use here today has not been straightforward or easy. But awesome and amazing things are usually not simple. “In 2001, I got a trade license, and without much knowledge, but with plenty of enthusiasm, I delved into areas that were new and interesting for everyone at the time. There was not much information – my main source of learning was literature and conferences,” says David Máj today.
Let us pause here for a while. Nineteen years have passed and the world is entirely different. You can easily attend an online workshop taking place on the other side of the world. Or download a course to your mobile phone that promises to make you an IT specialist in just a few lessons. Can you see the incredible progress that has taken place within a single generation?
David recalls these conferences and face-to-face meetings with a playful smile on his face. “I met many people there who today are successful IT entrepreneurs. Together, we learned how to recognize and sniff out business opportunities, while observing and anticipating what technology could one day do. I was very interested in understanding how everything is created and works. At that time I began creating websites for customers – both large and small,” adds David Máj.
Creating large projects
This new field was full of opportunities. Up until that point there were not many companies on the market doing software development. And so it was not uncommon, for example, to find an individual developing solutions for a bank. In this wild time, it did not matter whether a company was backed by one specialist or a large team. The demand was enormous, and suppliers were few. At this time, David was deciding whether to start a company or follow the path of self-development and knowledge. For the moment, he chose the latter.
He actively participated in discussions and became well-known in the Czech developer community. “I actively helped the starting programmers and answered various questions, because at that time – however strange it may sound now – there was no Google and almost no Internet content. The language barrier was another variable,” recalls David Máj. He adds that he also founded his own project, webdeveloper.cz, which is no more, but at the time was full of articles on programming-related topics. Because everybody was hungry for information, website traffic was very decent and numbered in the hundreds a day.
The number of projects went up. David actively monitored what was happening in the development segment around the world, and decided to create the Webmonitor project – the first ever online tool for monitoring servers and websites. He collaborated on this project with one of his clients. The programming took several months, but it all paid off – the project was hugely successful. It was presented at Invex, the largest IT fair in the Czech Republic in its time. The project was also mentioned in specialist press several times. Webmonitor was monitoring thousands of websites and everything was working well. But David was just over twenty years old, and he felt he should move on. That is why he stopped the project after a few years and began looking around for the next opportunity.
Reputation with IT companies
Every previous experience encouraged him and pushed his development, both professionally and technically, and as a person as well. He knew how to program, he enjoyed it, and he wanted to develop. At that time, companies delivering software, applications, and technological solutions had already started to appear. “So individuals no longer had easy access to the more attractive projects. But I did not want to have a company yet and deal with staff issues – I was still focused on personal growth. That is why I started selling my services to IT companies, and it worked,” remembers David Máj.
Gradually, he gained trust and a reputation with IT companies. He had good results, and built a brand linked to his name. At the same time, he studied, learned, expanded his horizons and travelled. During his career, David has worked out of all kinds of places. He has developed software and technology solutions from the Greek islands, Australia, Dubai, Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Bolivia and from a number of European cities. Being an avid java drinker, he often visits coffee-houses to think. When you ask him, he is happy to recommend great places in Copenhagen, Budapest, Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam and other cities.
He is used to working in teams made up of diverse experts, as well as people from all over the world. “That really gave me a lot. That is why I think I have great sensitivity, empathy, drive, the ability to keep development teams together. It is important to be able to sense that something is going on in your team, affecting productivity, and so on. It is necessary to know how to motivate a programmer – for instance by assigning them to another job,” explains David, sharing his experience.
Regarding programmers’ motivation, David believes there are multiple ways to incentivize and support it. “Communication is the most important thing of all. So I talk to the team about what is bothering or annoying them, what is going on, how the tasks are progressing and how, for example, they might see them from a different point of view. I try to be a leader in the best sense of the word, to support rather than look for mistakes,” he says. All this helps the team to grow, and not only accelerates the delivery of solutions for customers, but also increases the overall appetite for project work.
Managing teams and large projects
The huge commitment pays off. David, together with other experts, have worked for the world’s premier companies such as Tesco, Uniqua, Hella, Peugeot, Škoda Auto, Federal Mogul, Firo, Čedok and many others. His customers came from all over the world – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Bolivia and others.
“Over time, this proactive attitude earned me the trust of major companies and I gained access to some quite fascinating projects. I worked my way up to the position of head of development teams. I managed 2-million-dollar-budget projects, I led entire teams and I implemented solutions in all kinds of areas, such as the automotive industry, stock market, pharmaceutical industry, e-commerce, tourism and public administrations,” says David Máj.
In 2017, David decided that it was high time to start sharing his experience and competence, and founded TechOne CZ. It does custom development, provides IT support, manages projects, hires out specialists and puts together development teams. A significant advantage of the experts from David's team is their ability to deeply understand problems, find the right solution, and support the growth of the client's business.
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