Jan Piskacek (pronounced Yawn Pis-kah-check) is a software engineer working on DCP (data collection platform) in our Raleigh office. He’s been with the company since 2017.
1) What five words best describe you at work?
Passionate, curious, detail-oriented, analytical and fun
2) What do you do to relax?
I like listening to and playing music. I play the clarinet and also taught myself to play the guitar. My wife and I also enjoy weekend travel. Most recently we’ve visited Boone, NC and spent Thanksgiving in Williamsburg, VA. Even when we’re home, we like to get out – go for walks or to a coffee shop or brewery. (I like IPAs, like Hoppyum and Bell’s Two-Hearted and pilsners, like the original pilsner, Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic.) I also like to take pictures. My camera is with me all the time. And finally, I like to watch movies. I have a projector and sound system at home.
3) What’s your favorite book or movie?
One of my all-time favorite movies is Titanic. I was intrigued by the story since I was six years old – before the movie came out. I love boats, I love the story, and especially, as I’ve grown older, it reminds me of what can happen when people think they are invincible.
When it comes to books, I’m passionate about personal growth. A recent favorite is The Startup Of You, co-written by one of the founders of LinkedIn. I earned degrees in business and computer science before getting my MBA. In my classes, I realized that a lot of what I was learning about business could be applied to life. This book lays out those parallels between running your career and running your business, so it really resonates with me.
4) What are people surprised to learn about you?
I am originally from the Czech Republic. My family is still all there. Maybe more surprising is that I came to the US when I was 17. I lived in a small town in western Minnesota and later, I lived in Fargo, North Dakota. I loved living there. Yes, it gets cold, but the people are warm. I feel blessed to have lived there. And one more surprising thing – unlike most software developers, I do not play video games. (I am, however, kind of obsessed with audio and sound quality. I even volunteer as a sound engineer at my church.)
5) What advice would you give a new TKXS employee?
Get involved. Don’t sit on the sidelines and wait for things to happen. Seize opportunities. Participate in the culture and in the company events. Get together with people for a beer. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Learn what people do and ask them about it. It will give you a different perspective.