“Webbing is more than just work”
Vjaceslavs Rubulis, Core Network Team Lead at Webbing, shares the secret of building a good relationship when you’re only talking on Teams, what he likes about the company’s approach to network development, and what makes him feel that Webbing is the place where he belongs.
I knew it was important to do something you really like to make your life complete
I’m from a small village in the Latvian countryside, but after I graduated from the university I stayed in Riga and have been living here ever since.
It’s hard to recall the exact moment when I decided my future would be in networking, though I remember analyzing myself at some point, trying to figure out what I wanted to be. Since work is a big part of life, I knew it was important to do something you really like to make your life complete. And after thinking about it, I ended up with two paths that I could choose from: it was either something related to programming or telecommunications.
So, I got a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Riga Transport and Telecommunication Institute and started my work as a transmission engineer. What I did was mainly related to IP networks, but later, step by step I began to explore mobile networks and eventually started working with them. Prior to joining Webbing, I worked for an international mobile operator, having gained 7 or 8 years of experience in the telecommunications industry.
Joining Webbing was a step forward
I’ve been at Webbing for four years now. I knew about Webbing from my previous job, and I found out that they were looking for staff to support their network. After chatting with Noam Lando, Webbing’s CEO, about technologies, customers, and his vision, I got interested in core network engineer position. He advised to talk to Webbing’s director of networking engineering, Ran Dor. Shortly after having a chat with Ran I got a call offering me the position.
From a technological point of view, Webbing interested me as a concept. But what attracted me most was the company’s approach to how networks should be developed, and deployment should be done. Webbing does not develop its network without having a clear understanding of the customer’s need for it – and if there is such a need for some network element or a service, Webbing will find the best way to develop it, deploy it and deliver it to the customer. Thus, spending time and resources more effectively.
That was the moment for me to step forward in my career, and it definitely was a step forward.
The new level of maturity
A lot has changed since that day. When I started as a core network engineer, it was only Ran and me dealing with the core network. Within six months or so we realized that we needed more manpower to meet our network growth needs. That’s when we started thinking about building a team and whether it should reside in Israel or Latvia. Latvia won and we hired Edgars. That is how I became the team lead of the core network team. Currently there are four members, including me. In four years, the team grew fourfold.
The attitude towards what we’re doing has changed, too. We’ve reached the point where we can’t afford to make mistakes, yet what we’re doing now takes way more time and preparation, be it scaling solutions, upgrading or integrating some network elements. So, I would say, with more power and more customers came this new level of maturity of networking along with the new way of thinking – how to do it better, delivering services 24/7 so customers can trust you.
It has changed me at some level as well. Having so many great colleagues, I learned from them, and not only in my professional life. There’s a lot of communication, and we have people from all over the world, so I’m always learning something new.
We have formal training, of course. When onboarding new vendors on our network we have professional courses from them and learn how to work with their equipment and their solutions. We also have the opportunity of taking courses on any topic that we’d like to explore in our professional field.
An active approach to life and work
I prefer an active lifestyle. When you’re sitting at your desk and concentrating on the tasks that you have, I think it’s very important to keep your body active. I like hiking and going to the mountains, riding a motorcycle, roller skating, going to the gym, plus I’m still learning windsurfing.
It helps me free my mind from work when needed. Oftentimes, when you think quite a lot about how to do certain things, you come to a point where you run out of ideas. Whenever I run or go to a gym or ride a motorcycle or windsurf, I free myself from these thoughts. And after a while, I can see a different angle and find a different approach for solving a problem.
I think that the most fun thing at Webbing is communicating with colleagues. We have a very friendly environment, and we’re not just colleagues, but more like friends. The people here are special. We’ve managed to build a good relationship even during COVID when we could only talk to each other on Teams. We’re constantly chatting and joking, with a lot of events, both local and remote. We spend time together, even outside of working hours, like watching Formula 1 with team members or going for motorcycle rides, and it also brings fun and joy to our work environment.
Webbing is not like other companies in many aspects. The biggest difference that I see is that you know why you are doing certain things. If there are any decisions made at C level, new goals or a new vision that affect your work, it is clearly communicated to everyone, so they understand the impact on their work.
Besides that, you are free to share your ideas. If anyone on the team has any idea on how we can do things better, it will be heard. And if it works, it will have a green light to be developed. So, you have communication that works both ways.
And the people there are more like family. There’s no pressure, no one is looking over your shoulder. You have this feeling of trust that allows you to concentrate and work on things that you need to do.
It is also amazing how the company cares about the employees, starting from the office premises, and laptops and screens that we use, to all the activities – it really makes you feel like this is the place where you want to work, the place where you belong.
We are helping to make this world better
What motivates me at work is seeing the process of our network evolving. I feel satisfied when I see that our decisions and actions are working, and the customers are happy with the solutions we deliver. It’s a great feeling of realizing that you’re a part of it and it’s more than just work.
From a technical point of view, it is interesting to build something and see how it works. But in the end, there are customers who are using this service. We have various types of customers from many fields. By providing them with our solutions, our connectivity, we are helping other people, other companies, other services, to evolve. You may say we are making our world safer if our customers work in security, or healthier if we provide connectivity for IoT healthcare devices that can save lives – there are many other solutions, so basically, we are just helping to make this world better.