Interview with István Markó

Interview with István Markó

1. When and where did you first hear about Hunnect?

In 2010, when I saw a job advertisement looking for a quality assurance specialist with good orthography skills, preferably with a degree in Hungarian language and with at least one higher-level language exam, I thought that could be me. And I was right. 😊

2. What are your first memories of the company?

Of course, I was a bit scared, as you always are when you start a new job. I didn’t know most of my colleagues and I hadn’t even heard of 99% of the software we used. Also, my Skype didn’t work for some reason on my first days, so during one of the first projects I worked on, I kept running between two rooms to ask the project manager if they thought this or that could be a true error in Estonian (which neither of us spoke), because I was checking a list of errors produced by the QA software. But after the first novelties, things got smoother.

3. You studied Hungarian language and literature at university, as well as sociology of religion. Then you became a Project Manager and the Director of Operations at Hunnect. Is this a field that has always interested you?

I have to admit that before I read the job advert, I didn’t even know this industry existed. I was not the kind of person who checked the name of the translator when reading a novel. But the company culture and the interesting, challenging and innovative things I saw here quickly won me over and I am happy to have ended up at Hunnect.

4. What is your most remarkable memory of the company?

I have seen and experienced a lot in my 13+ years, so it is difficult to choose just one. To keep things interesting for readers, I will give a negative and a positive example as well. During my time as a QA specialist, one of the clients decided to change a critical instruction just before the deadline, so we had to change a key term that appeared in almost every sentence of the text. This wouldn’t have been a huge task if Hungarian wasn’t an agglutinative language. But because we use suffixes, I spent countless hours correcting the conjugation (because, of course, the suffixes had to be changed according to Hungarian vowel harmony). When I got to the end, we got a letter saying “sorry, we still need the previous version”. But we were working in an environment where the change history was not kept, so I had to start all over again. My smile at that time was not sincere. 😀 But I also have a lot of positive memories that are difficult to choose from. I could mention countless things, like the “doughnut days” every Friday (when we were all still working in the office), partying together at the SZIN festival, organising the discovery tours of Hunnect Gastro Club, all the company trips and subcontractor days. Well, it seems I have mentioned them all. 😊

5. In 2022 you were promoted to the position of Deputy Managing Director for Operations. What do you think it takes to be a good manager?

That’s a tough question. Before making a decision, I try to gather all the information about the situation and consider all the possible outcomes. On the other hand, we can’t forget that we are working with people, and there are aspects of everyone’s life that we can’t see, but which affect their reactions. These things have to be balanced with the work requirements, which I think is a challenge for everyone. And since we have been working from home and communicating via Skype and Teams, we have to be more careful about what we write down and how we phrase it, because even with the best of intentions we can hurt someone with something as small as a missing emoji. Also, my sense of humour is quite dry (and sometimes have a “deadpan delivery”), so I have to be extra careful not to come across as a sarcastic person in writing. If my colleagues read this, I hope they’ll let me know if I’m not succeeding.

6. How do you see the future of our industry?

Since I have been working here, the industry has seen a lot of technological innovation. This is something we can take for granted in the future, too. Gradually, client requirements will change in terms of the work processes required to deliver projects. But I don’t think that “Skynet will become self-aware” or that some form of human intervention won’t be necessary. As they said on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about automation: a hundred years ago, most of society worked in agriculture, and nobody would have thought that today everybody would be developing software. So it’s not that people can’t do what they could a hundred years ago – it’s just a shift in needs. I think the same is true for the future.

7. What do you like to do in your free time?

Other than going to concerts, I like comic books, so I am easy to find at live music shows and comic festivals. 😊

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