Meet The Clouders – Sports Special
15.05.2023 | 4 min read
Welcome to our ‘Meet The Clouders’ series. Today, we’ll be talking to our Senior JS Developer, Jakub Bilko.
In his professional life, Jakub spends his time developing stellar digital products for our clients, with a recent focus on AI. But outside work, Jakub also leads an exciting life. He’s a black belt in jiu jitsu and he lives in the beautiful Philippines.
Today we’ll be having a chat about his life in and out of work.
So let’s start with JS and your journey at 10Clouds. What project are you currently working on?
I’m currently involved in two main projects at 10Clouds. One of them is a print to play card game that utilizes AI for generating content. It’s the first time I’m working with AI and it’s been a very interesting experience.
Another project I’m working on is a video creator suite, something like YouTube Studio. I’m the Tech Lead in the project and provide my expertise to make sure things get implemented according to our standards.
I’m also the Tech Lead of 10C Labs where we research new and interesting technologies.
You currently live in the Philippines. What is it like to work for 10Clouds half the world away from our HQ in Warsaw?
I’ve lived in the Philippines for the last 6 years, so I had a lot of time to adjust to working with people in Poland. My work day usually starts later because of the time difference, but that gives me time to take care of personal matters in the morning hours. It’s important to organize your day to make the most of remote work and I think for the most part I’m doing a good job.
The communication culture in 10Clouds is amazing and makes remote work easy.
Meetings are sometimes held in the evening hours if the clients are based in the US, but that doesn’t happen too often.
And now tell us a little about jiu jitsu? How did you first get into it? How often do you practice?
I used to do Taekwondo as a kid, but as an adult, my martial arts adventure actually started with Muay Thai. I got interested in BJJ because the gym I trained in (Copacabana Warsaw) also offered jiu-jitsu. I decided to try it, got choked out during the first session and I loved it. Fast forward 11 years later and I’m a black belt still obsessed with the sport.
I train as much as I can, ideally every day, but that’s not always possible. I teach classes at a gym and private sessions at my place. I’m focused on NOGI jiu-jitsu (In which you don’t have to wear the traditional Gi). I’m working on my strength and conditioning and I’m trying to get better at wrestling.
I also compete – my most recent achievement is winning gold and bronze at ADCC Singapore Nationals last April. I have a bunch of other competitions that I want to go to, including the European ADCC trials in Warsaw on September 16.
What advice would you give anyone looking to get into this sport?
Just do it! I see a lot of people overthink their first training session. You don’t have to “get in shape” before you train. All you have to do is show up to training and take it from there, step by step. Yes, it’s going to be hard in the beginning and you’re going to want to quit a couple of times, but once things start clicking, you’ll be obsessed!
Why do you think that sport is so important for both our mental and physical health?
I think It’s amazing to be able to see what our bodies are capable of. Especially if you spend most of your day at your desk, it’s like discovering a whole different world. Sports help us improve our cardiovascular health and become stronger. Doing sports is also beneficial for weight management (if paired with a reasonable diet). You could argue that you can get injured, but I’d rather do it on my terms than sitting down the whole day.
Sports help with reducing stress and anxiety which is a pretty big deal for anyone’s wellbeing. They also help us build mental resilience and develop discipline, not to mention you get a huge confidence boost from being able to do things you weren’t able to do before.
Thank you Jakub.