“The grass is always greener on the other side”, as the famous saying goes. In the dynamic IT industry, it’s no surprise that professionals often seek change – the prospect of more exciting projects, the promise of better pay, or the opportunity for growth in new areas is what recruiters use to tempt employees. Yet, just a few months after exploring other business opportunities, some individuals come to the realisation that their decision was not the best and… consider returning. This phenomenon serves as a confirmation of the employer’s strong brand. Familiarise yourselves with the captivating stories of Bartek Kołodziej and Sławek Nidecki, who decided to return and embrace professional development within the Sabre team.

“Boomerang is a term commonly used to describe an employee who chooses to leave a company, only to return later, following a trajectory similar to a boomerang. This perfectly describes the journey of Bartek Kołodziej, Senior Principal Software Engineer, and Sławek Nidecki, Principal Software Engineer. Discover why they chose to return and the values they cherish at Sabre.

What is your area of expertise?

BK: As a Senior Principal Software Engineer, I act as a domain expert across various areas of SABRE Hospitality’s primary product, the Central Reservation System (CRS) for hotels. However, my responsibilities extend beyond this.  At Sabre, I have the chance to progress into a managerial role, overseeing a small team of experts. Moreover, I support my supervisor in managing Krakow’s Sabre Hospitality Solutions department.

SN: In my role as a Principal Software Engineer, my primary focus revolves around the technological advancement of the Central Reservation System, particularly the ARI (Availability, Rates, and Inventory), which plays a crucial role in transmitting up-to-date information about hotel products to external systems used by travel agencies and reservation portals like Booking.com. This is a project where I am deeply involved, overseeing its progress and guiding its technical direction.

Looking back on your early days at Sabre, what was your professional journey like within the company?

BK: When joining the Hospitality department, I used to have some concerns about the complexity of solutions at Sabre. My prior experience with smaller-scale systems and a different technological stack made me a bit anxious. Luckily, these worries proved to be groundless as I found myself in an exceptional team. Made by individuals who are open, helpful, and, above all, deeply passionate about their work. I have also had the privilege of meeting managers who provided invaluable support during the onboarding process and at each subsequent stage of my career. They noticed my potential and allowed me to flourish. With their guidance, I was promoted to the position of Senior Software Engineer in a mere two years and, shortly after, to a Team Lead Software Engineer and Manager Software Engineer.

The managerial path provided immense satisfaction – I remained closely tied to technology while having an impact on the functioning of development teams in Krakow, along with the growth and shape of our platform. Furthermore, collaborating with individuals in different positions and groups allowed me to thrive as a mentor for younger team members.

SN: My Sabre journey has also been marked by positive experiences – reflecting on the beginning, and the subsequent eight years, I have positive memories. Most of the time, I was involved in developing products within the Hospitality department, but not exclusively. Sabre allowed me to actively shape Site Reliability Engineering and immerse myself in a completely different technological environment, specifically working with the Common Platform.

Unlike Bartek, who highly esteems the managerial path, my career at Sabre has been exclusively technical.  I enjoy ambitious projects and technological challenges, and I’m delighted that Sabre provided numerous opportunities to actively engage and face these challenges.

Both of you decided to leave the company; why? And what prompted the decision to return?

BK: After almost nine years at Sabre, I felt the need to change and explore a new working environment. I was curious about working in another big tech company. However, it quickly became apparent that the role I found myself in somewhat fell short of my expectations.

The Sabre team, with whom I had formed close bonds – both professionally and personally – over the years of our collaboration, informed me about the chance to return. Yet, the key factor in my decision to return was my manager, Marek Godawski, who not only persuaded me to come back but also brought several other “boomerangs” into the team. It’s no wonder, as working in his managed team has consistently been marked by an excellent atmosphere, high culture, respect, and a continuous opportunity for growth. And that has not changed, so I am thrilled with the chance I have received.

SN: The lockdown pushed me to leave earlier, stopping the world’s development, especially in the travel industry, and blocking my chance for a promotion. Even though I felt the need to go, I did not experience any sense of harm – quite the opposite. I do recommend Sabre to others.

As in Bartek’s case, Marek Godawski played a crucial role in my return. He is a supervisor with a remarkable ability to connect with people, manage their work to enhance their career growth, and support the team they are a part of.

But the truth is, that was not the sole reason for my return. I always felt that the company takes a highly professional approach to creating and developing new and already existing solutions. Moreover, Sabre operates on a large scale, allowing us to boast excellent products with a well-established market position, used directly and indirectly by millions worldwide. I also get a chance to confront challenges I would not encounter elsewhere, working in a highly “dynamic and bustling system” where hundreds of thousands of real transactions flow. On a daily basis, my company silently empowers individuals to explore the most distant parts of the world. This perspective strengthens my appreciation for playing an integral part in its business structure.

Would you recommend working at Sabre to others? What, in your view, is the most valuable aspect of working here?

BK: Certainly. I wholeheartedly recommend it, and I have done so on multiple occasions whenever someone asks me about my place of work. Sabre is a large organisation offering numerous opportunities for professional growth within the company. This is a significant advantage not only for those who enjoy learning and want to acquire new skills but also for those seeking the best path in IT for themselves. In addition, Sabre offers a flexible work model tailored to individual preferences and excellent internship programs, which young people highly value.

The positives are truly extensive, but what I find most valuable is the incredible community of individuals and the positive workplace culture they foster. Comprising helpful and outstanding experts, they go beyond their professional duties by actively participating in many charitable initiatives. They are part of interest groups and hang out outside of working hours. Sabre is a place where long-lasting friendships are built.

Sabre has a lot to offer from a technological standpoint. If you enjoy working with large-scale systems, handling hundreds of thousands of transactions every day, and are not afraid of challenges related to the continuous development of a system used by millions of travellers worldwide, then this is the right place for you.

Some might criticise Sabre due to its significant “legacy”, but this is a part of our identity that we cannot deny. However, as a company, we are deeply committed to modernisation initiatives, providing most employees with the capability to work with both new and older technologies.

At Sabre, we actively pursue exciting projects and tackle new challenges. We handle “large-scale” initiatives, such as migrating a system with tens of thousands of machines to the cloud or adapting a system to be “cloud agnostic” for new clients in various regions across the globe. These are topics that hold immense interest for enthusiasts and anyone eager to broaden their horizons in our field.

SN: Yes, just like Bartek said. Furthermore, the low employee turnover and the chance to work with individuals who have been here for years make a significant impact. Their commitment, professionalism, diligence, and openness create a seamless and fantastic work environment.  Sabre is an excellent workplace – if you have a passion for learning, do not hesitate to join us.