Martina Schusterová: Education is one of our most important investments

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Tina has been a part of our company since 2007. As Head of Education and Development Center, so of course, she was chosen as an ambassador for education and development. Why is education a matter of the heart for her?

What is the scope of your work?

I lead a department that provides training and development for the company's employees and supports educational activities in the region. Part of our work is to develop the organization and move it forward so that employees have the skills and knowledge that the current market requires and that support the strategic direction of the company. Our activities are also focused on supporting agility, cultural transformation, leadership development, digital and online education, supporting the community of internal trainers, and more. It is also in my competence to lead dual education, which prepares young people after high school in a 3-year post-secondary higher vocational education for a career in IT.

In general, we are engaged in all educational and development activities.

Why do you think education is important?

Because without lifelong learning, we will not move forward - either as individuals or as a whole in society. I consider education to be one of the most important investments not only from the point of view of the company in terms of costs but also from the individual point of view of every person who needs to devote his/her time to education. Self-realization is the most important human need, and continuing education helps us meet that need.

You participated in the creation of the You Can GURU program. Can you tell us more about it?

We provide corporate training externally through suppliers and internally through our colleagues. The You Can GURU program is unique, which originated in Košice and we are proud of it. We have 285 internal trainers in the company who train our employees, thus adding value. The aim of the program is to build a community of internal trainers, help them in their teaching skills and appreciate their role in contributing to the development of society. We received the HR Award within the Group for this program, its impact on the company, and its added value. We also won the Learning and Development Award in 2019 in Slovakia with the program.

Thanks to the fact that we have internal trainers, we can apply the trainings directly to our corporate environment. So far, we have gained above 95% satisfaction from these trainings, which is the greatest added value for the training participants.

What development activities do we have in the company? What should we imagine in relation to them?

In the company, we focus on employee development, where we have defined the so-called "Future skills" and we try to prepare educational activities in this direction. At the same time, we run a targeted coaching development program for leaders or activities to support digital education. We participate in international development and talent programs, where we contribute in terms of content or methodology. Agility is a key for us and in this context, we bring and support activities at the company level in the field of building agile internal trainers or systematically increasing agile skills and knowledge. We also follow trends and want to bring new online solutions. And last but not least, we work to increase quality, efficiency and create new opportunities for students within dual education.

Do you also lead dual education, how do you perceive this role?

I started leading dual education more than 2.5 years ago and it was a new area for me within which I could move, bring new ideas and participate in the quality of this form of study. So far, our dual education has prepared and successfully employed 109 graduates who work in various positions and the company is satisfied with them. 92 of them took the opportunity to get a German certificate, the so-called Fachinformatiker, which is also valid outside Slovakia. The added value of the graduate for the company is high and we do everything to have the best possible candidates and among them, to prepare even better employees.

Do you have any advice you give to participants in dual education during their studies?

Yes, I have. We need to be brave, not afraid, to try new things without losing humility. Because for a career in IT it is necessary to constantly work on yourself and especially to want to work on yourself without the order of, for example, a superior.  

What was your path to education and development?

I was always interested in the topic of education, even as a child I wanted to be a teacher. So I'm glad that this is how I got to education In addition to studying at university, I made a pedagogical minimum, and even after joining the company, it drew me in this direction. I studied a lot and I was looking for the application of knowledge directly in practice, in the company. So I got to the department of education and further developed myself in this area, the transfer of knowledge to others came and gradually it keeps me moving forward.

What do you think the future of education looks like?

The current situation has also shown that the trend is online and digital education, and we want to continue in this direction. We plan to continue to support employee development in digital form with the options we have or in new formats. We are currently preparing a plan and strategy for our direction to fulfill our mission. We also have positive responses from students - participants in dual education to the online form of study and practice.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I have been in the company since 2007, which has been a few years. And I don't know if it's just my luck, but there are still things happening around me that give me the opportunity to do something else. I do not experience stereotypes, I get space in various projects, I can implement my ideas and contribute to the growth of the company. That feeling when you see results behind you, when you help employees progress and develop, when our successful dual graduates are in high positions and the company relies on them when you see that your teammates are satisfied, have the space to participate in interesting projects, and move on forward,  is irreplaceable and I am grateful for that. It's not a matter of course, but a return on my investment in what I do.

If you want to invite Michal Rusnak for a cup of coffee, rather not. He is a tea lover He believes that a smartphone is the best invention in the 21st century, do you agree? Michal is also a huge fan of AI that will be a future game changer according to him. How did he start in Open Sovereign Cloud area?

Following the Skill shifter program, he switched Linux/Windows Admin to a new career path. There are several opportunities for development and personal growth in our company; so, Michal did it. Currently, he is a great performer for the Open Sovereign Cloud product to be inspired from

Why? Read more.


What Martin Palko, Chapter Lead admires about Michal?

“He has joined our team only recently as a finisher of Skill shifter program. Already during this program, where main emphasis is on self-study, Michal has demonstrated strong proactivity and quickly tackled challenging Kubernetes certificates. He carries on with this characteristic which helped him to overtake (with another senior colleague) whole monitoring stack of the product. With his operations experience he is always helpful to other colleagues.”

Michal, what makes working for DT IT Solutions Slovakia appealing to you?

We have an opportunity to work with the newest technologies, as mentioned to develop new product from scratch (it all has started in 2022) and we are an amazing group of people on the project. We have great collaboration and wonderful social activities - lots of teambuilding, mutually agreed office day, meetups, and friendships outside of office. We have the SPIRIT

Marek Krafcik is a fan of Star Wars. His most favorite is mini-series Ahsoka. The one that appealed to him the most was the history of Arda by J. R. R. Tolkien, do you know it too? 

Marek agrees with Michal (and the rest of the world ) that  AI, Health Tech and Augmented reality will boost up tech revolution in the upcoming years.

But he likes to relax with a cup of cappucino with cinnamon after a hard day resolving an Open Sovereign Cloud issues. 


How does Martin Palko, Chapter lead describe him?

“When I have started on a new Chapter Lead position for Open Sovereign Cloud in May 2022 Marek has already been hired. He was one of few juniors within the team surrounded by seniors facing huge personal challenge to step his game up and fit in. Not only by his skillset but mainly by great attitude he managed to do that very well. He has become an integral part of PaaS Stream and I think it is a great start of his career in our company. He is always willing to give more than what is just required.”

Marek, what do you personally like about the project?

On the OSC project we are using latest and modern open-source cloud-native technologies and principles. I would like to highlight especially Go language and Kubernetes which are core technologies of this project. That’s what I personally like about the project. There is always something new to be learned from.

// Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management.

// Go is a statically typed, compiled high-level programming language designed at Google. It is syntactically like C.

Could you describe us the background of the Open Sovereign Cloud, guys?

Currently, we are working on a project with about 60 people worldwide, and we find it surprising that half of them is from Slovakia. It's wonderful that we are actively involved in the development of such a large project from scratch rather than just doing operational support.

If our team is separated into three streams, each member is assigned to a sub-team based on his or her knowledge, prior experiences, and personal preferences.


OSC 3 Streams are:

  1. onMetal (Infrastructure as a Service) – sub-team dedicated to software defined and bare-metal infrastructure.
  2. Gardener (Platform as a Service) – sub-team dedicated to development and maintenance of Managed Kubernetes environments in compliance with cloud-native principles, implementation of newest open-source cloud-native solutions.
  3. Software Services (Software as a Service) – sub-team dedicated to development of additional features, controllers, operators for Software Services such as Kafka, Kyma, PostgreSQL using Go language.

What are clients' top benefits from using Open Sovereign Cloud?

The main advantage of our product are data, technological and operational sovereignty. Meaning our customers have authority and control over encryption, usage and access to their data, transparency over access by the cloud provider’s or any other 3rd party and make IT decisions independently of the product decisions of proprietary providers. Data are stored and operations carried out within the EU in accordance with Gaia-X initiative. Having said that our target industries are healthcare and public sector in DACH region.

Our first customer Barmer – is one of the largest and most respected public health insurance providers in Germany with product IDP.

What team challenges as well as individual ones lie ahead?

Marek Krafcik

“As this environment is constantly evolving and progressing, we both need to consistently expand our technical skills to meet our individual challenges and ambitions. We must continue to adapt and learn new pertinent technologies because the IT world is known to evolve more quickly than any other industry.”

Michal Rusnak

“We want to emphasize that every member of our team is enrolling in classes and obtaining certifications in the technology being utilized on the project, such as Certified Kubernetes Administrator, which is well-known and regarded globally.”

Our team has a few significant challenges ahead of it, including enhancing the stability and performance of our product, creating new features, and bringing on new clients. But we are sure, we can handle it together.

About Michal and Marek

Michal Rusnak is officially part of Open Sovereign Cloud team since March 2023. He joined the second wave of Skill shifter program in 2022 where a group started with the Cloud technologies, especially with containerization technologies such as Kubernetes which is core of this project. Michal decided to join Skill shifter program last year due to his motivation to keep up with latest technologies and to step up in his career. Before this program he used to be a part of Linux / Windows administration team that was handling simple L1 tasks.

"I wanted to be a part of some bigger project and develop something on my own, " Michal adds.

Marek Krafcik

After his studies at University, he worked 3 years in IT as technician when he got an opportunity to work for DT IT Solutions Slovakia. During his job interview, he was asked it’s not a problem to work with Kubernetes and Linux. That’s how he became a part of OSC, now he is glad for this decision.

"OSC TEAM is wonderful group of people and the product we are developing from scratch is everyone’s baby whom all of us are proud of, " Marek thinks.

Author: Ivana Marcinková, Communication Specialist