Meet David, our CPO trainee, who talks about his experience at Raketech, sharing insights into the role. Read our Q&A and find out why being a trainee actually pays off…
Tell us about yourself and what you did before Raketech
Hi, I’m David Farrugia, a project leader at Raketech and former CPO Trainee. Since a young age, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for building a business of my own. I am a co-founder of Treehouse.com.mt which is a local, online classifieds platform which specializes in the property sector. I also launched Webninja, which is a web development solution for SMEs which would like to have an online presence through a stylish and effective website. I acquired my online knowledge thanks to a digital marketing agency called Icarus, where I worked alongside an extremely talented development team and handled web development and design for high-end clients such as the Times of Malta. I also had the opportunity to work with Abdalla Kablan, a blockchain and fintech expert, as an online marketer in an AI company called Amico.ai.
Can you explain your CPO trainee role at Raketech?
The role of a CPO is quite a vast one. I worked directly with CPO Martin Larsson as part of the product team, who helped me develop within the role and how to manage multiple products at the same time, which was more challenging as time progressed. When I first started, it was a race to get up to speed with the company, to understand how it works, learning who does what, who is in charge of what, who to talk to etc. and the people at Raketech were very helpful.
To improve something, you must first understand fully how it works, split a project into parts as a team and optimize where needed. The main focus during my training consisted of creating a structure for automating time-consuming tasks. Other areas consisted of business plans for several business ideas and ventures, competitor product analysis, product presentations, as well as educational presentations. However, a CPO role is not just about the products, but it’s also about the people who make it all happen.
What does a typical day at work look like?
Typically, a day consists of multiple discussions to get up to speed on the company products and current project statuses. This was essential when I started, meeting new people in various roles and understanding what value I could add to help improve the products. I would work on several ideas and sharing my ideas with Martin and other teams to help filter out idealistic concepts into actionable ones. In a CPO trainee role, like other managerial roles, communication is key. Constant updates, idea sharing, and clear, actionable points are essential to make a difference and develop as a person.
Club Tropicana Summer Party
What project are you most proud of?
I worked on several projects and was involved in different stages. I had the opportunity to start building a Raketech product from scratch. I created the architecture, communicated my ideas with Louise (Head of Content) who is super friendly and easy to work with and we shared our vision with a project group. Design-wise, we worked with Jani, Head of Design, Clint, a talented UX specialist and Zlatko, a creative and patient designer. Development included Thomas, an extremely talented developer and our CTO – Jonas. Last but not least, we had Mariya as the project developer who did a great job developing the system from the ground up. I learnt a lot on this project and a special thanks goes to Martin who devoted his valuable time and attention to my ideas, sharing his vision and provided me with all the required resources to make it happen.
I worked on an educational programme to give an overview of how the affiliate system works and how Raketech makes money to pay for everyone’s salary. I loved this project because my colleagues gained a better understanding of how their role fits into the company and received great feedback. This also sparked an education trend within the company where field leaders shared knowledge within their specialist area across the company.
What was the biggest challenge and why?
A CPO role certainly has lots of challenges varying from technical knowledge, in different aspects of design, development, online marketing, industry insight & wise business decisions, as well as managerial challenges. For me personally, the biggest challenge (and sometimes still is) is to multitask on different projects, in different stages of development and with different people involved.
The best technique is to keep myself and my tasks well organized and prioritized. In fact, I always carry around a small notebook to make sure I jot down notes, updates and tasks. Another technique is to properly structure the day and try as much as possible to focus one day on one project, rather than trying to tackle three projects in one day.
Have you learned anything new since you started at Raketech?
Definitely! I’ve learned anything from how a corporate company is structured, to tips and tricks from experts in various fields. Moreover, I’ve also learned how to interact and build professional relationships and how to get people involved in projects. Honestly, when you work in such a fast-paced environment, every day presents opportunities to learn something new. You just need to put in the effort to learn.
What’s your best Raketech memory so far?
At Raketech there’s always something cool going on. My favourite event so far was a team building activity on a sailing boat. A group of us spent a day together going from Sliema to Comino on a large sailing boat. We had a great time swimming and socialising. We also recently had a rooftop BBQ at the office, where Ian a colleague of ours, together with our event organizers catered for us with a delicious BBQ spread, plenty of laughs and some good wine.
A team-building boat day!
How would you describe Raketech in 3 words?
An opportunistic, professional endeavor.
What is next for you at Raketech?
The future looks bright and I am very excited to work on my very own project at Raketech. I can’t say much about the project, but its a personal interest of mine and thanks to Raketech I can make it a reality! I will continue to give my input on the systems which I am highly involved in while helping my colleagues to best of my abilities.
What tips would you give to potential future trainees?
Send in your CV! Apart from all the knowledge and resources gained from this experience, you also get to meet awesome people. It’s the best way to kick-start or expand your career and you might get an opportunity to launch your very own project inside the company like I did!