Our “People POS” series shines a spotlight on teammates who help bring Revel’s client-first business approach to life. In the previous installment of the series, we featured Mishuk. Mishuk is an Atlanta-based software engineer who kicked off his career at Revel and continues to help build products that simplify the user experience for both clients and employees.
Revel’s product engineering team also extends to major hubs in San Francisco and Lithuania. We recently chatted with Vilius, a director of software engineering based out of Revel’s office in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Upon graduation from Vilnius University with a degree in software engineering, Vilius spent the first few years of his career working at local startups as a software engineer where he learned to be a “master of all trades.” After attending a local engineering conference and hearing a thoughtfully crafted presentation given by a Revel employee, he was intrigued by the employee’s extensive knowledge. Vilius later reached out to connect with the presenter and eventually landed a role on the Revel team.
He started at Revel as a full stack engineer and gradually gathered more responsibilities along the way. Now well into his third year at the company, he manages a team of software development managers who each have their own respective teams.
“I really like working with the people here, whether it be my direct reports or the people I report to. I value the relationships I’ve made with different people—that’s the cornerstone to my success here. Technology and practices change, but the culture and the people are what keep me steady,” Vilius explains.
Outside of the office, you’ll find Vilius traveling in his spare time—often by car on long road trips to other European countries—and adding coins to his collection spanning 170 countries along the way. When he needs to recharge and wants to enjoy nature, he visits his grandparent’s country home that sits about an hour outside of Vilnius.
Agile values are extremely important to the team in Lithuania, and guide Revel’s entire product engineering team today. These values help the team divide tasks into short phases of work, and encourage frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans as needed to make projects successful.
A recent project that encompassed these values from start to finish was the complete redesign of Revel’s online ordering solution. After inheriting the project, Vilius and his team decided a complete rewrite was in order.
“It’s not easy to convince an organization that you need to start from scratch, but it opens up a lot of opportunities,” Vilius explains.
Once they had buy-in from senior stakeholders, they applied a fresh mindset towards delivering the product. This mindset included the promise of direct and frequent dialogue with Revel’s end-users to create an impactful solution.
“From that point on, people who joined the project had the mindset that we were going to build a better product, so they tried to build a better version of everything. The result came out to be quite a success,” says Vilius.
The result of the team’s collective efforts was Online Ordering XT, Revel’s next generation, fully-integrated online ordering solution. In the first four months since the product went live, clients have already generated $3 million in total sales and counting via online orders.
As Vilius has progressed in his career at Revel, he has gradually adjusted from being a hands-on software developer to enjoying the managerial nature of his current role.
“At times I miss the hands-on work; it’s different because you don’t instantly see the end result of your efforts,” he explains. “I’ve also learned how to gather dopamine from empowering people and not just writing code. That’s what drives me the most today—helping people identify what they like to do and what they’re passionate about.”
A large part of Vilius’s role as a director is to consistently weave Revel’s agile values into the team. Outside of how the work is actually divided, championing self-empowered teams is another core agile value that Revel promotes. In Vilius’s opinion, that starts with helping teammates discover what to do, rather than simply telling them what to do.
“What I value the most is not micromanaging. I like to help people find the answers themselves. I believe that because we’re hiring bright professionals, we need to trust them. That’s what we try to do.”
And because Vilnius is a hub for technology companies like Revel, Vilius explains that a lot of people who join Revel have already worked in a self-disciplined environment.
“In an agile sense, the team is the most important thing and we believe that teammates can be self-disciplined. As long as the team doesn’t miss you, you can start your day when you need to,” Vilius explains.
Revel’s flexible atmosphere persisted throughout the pandemic, and Vilius is proud that his teams continue to respond to client feedback in a timely manner and deliver new solutions quickly and effectively.
From a technology perspective, Vilius notes that talent in Lithuania is often attracted to Revel because the team uses a modern tech stack, including coding languages that are gaining popularity in the region. The team compliments this modern technology stack with trusted technology frameworks as well.
New and prospective team members also appreciate that Revel is a product-driven organization. This means product engineers typically work on a core product rather than move around to various projects. The result is an additional layer of focus and dedication to key products and, according to Vilius, leads to quality development work.
As Revel’s client base continues to grow, the team in Lithuania has plans to expand Revel's employee footprint in the region. Thanks in large part to dedicated hiring managers like Vilius, Revel’s technical talent in Lithuania sets the bar very high.
“Right now we want to scale the team, but it’s important to us that we keep our agile values. I have the opportunity to work closely with our internal teams to help do this sustainably,” says Vilius.
Agile values and a focus on team empowerment from leaders like Vilius will continue to shape Revel’s company-wide success.