Arseniy Seroka, CEO of Serokell, tells us how the software development company focuses on creating customized high-performance solutions.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Serokell.
Arseniy Seroka: I founded the company immediately after graduating from the university. I studied computer science and fell in love with functional programming and Haskell. Back then, it was hard to find opportunities that matched my interests and, at the same time, left enough room for teaching. So together with my friend Jonn Mostovoy, we decided to start our own company. At first, we just worked on our projects together, hiring our friends. We have more than a dozen completed projects and 50+ people working with us five years later.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Arseniy Seroka: One of my strongest features as a human being and entrepreneur is the ability to build trusting relationships with people. You know, some business leaders think they should control everything in their organizations and be the smartest and most competent person in everything. They think their business shouldn’t depend on someone else than them.
I think it’s a very harmful way of thinking. You should hire better people than you at their job if you want your company to grow. I admit that it can be scary at times because you bet your success on other people. But business is teamwork. I’m proud to say that all my employees are true professionals who don’t need me to supervise their every step.
How does Serokell market its product/services online?
Arseniy Seroka: Our blog is one of Serokell’s biggest accomplishments from the marketing point of view. We hire the most skilled writers we can find and encourage our developers to share their knowledge. This allows us to accommodate different readers with various levels of expertise: from junior programmers and business specialists to senior developers.
Another thing that differentiates us is our podcast. My colleague and friend Jonn Mostovoy interviewed some of the leading experts in the field of functional programming, and the conversations are always extremely interesting for people who work in our field. We have an active following on social networks, and our blog and podcast definitely helped us establish ourselves as experts on the market.
Most of our clients come to us because they’ve already heard about us either on social media or from their friends and colleagues.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Arseniy Seroka: We are a completely remote company, which gives us a lot of flexibility in attracting the best talent. In fact, flexibility is one of our strongest points. We have employees from all over the world and do our best to accommodate different time zones while remaining productive. They can decide on the working schedule themselves, which a lot of people see as a great advantage.
We also do a lot of work aimed at maintaining our employees’ mental health. Working from home might not be easy for some, so we provide free therapy sessions, yoga classes, English classes, and a book club. We encourage our employees to participate in conferences and hackathons to develop their skills and cover their expenses.
How are you funding your growth?
Arseniy Seroka: We don’t attract any external capital and use our income to promote growth.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Arseniy Seroka: Not so many companies do functional programming custom development at such a level and such a scale. Some of the companies that do are Tweag, FPComplete, Well-Typed, and Galois. We plan to stay in the game by expanding to the areas where mission-critical software is important such as BioTech, FinTech, and AI&ML.