Hinrek Saar. Self-improvement through curiosity and problem-solving

DevOps engineer Hinrek Saar – automating processes like there’s no tomorrow

In a rapidly changing world, finding your true calling seems more difficult than ever. Nevertheless, there are examples like Hinrek’s where you can tell – it was meant to be.

Hinrek Saar’s interest in IT started at a very young age. When he was 6 years old, he took his TV game to pieces and wanted to put it back together but he lacked the skills for it – that was when his thirst for knowledge started to develop. After several attempts to repeat the same process, this time with his first computer, it was evident that Hinrek’s passion belongs to the world of computers and technology.

“My biggest wish as a child was to become a computer hacker and at times I was up to no good. I remember running away from kindergarten for half a day to explore Mustamäe. It didn’t happen just once – it continued also when studying in elementary school. My parents were definitely worried,” describes Hinrek episodes from his childhood.

How did Hinrek end up in Proekspert?

Hinrek’s journey in Proekspert started while he was still in his second year at Tallinn University. At that time, he was not too aware of what Proekspert specialized in and how it was different from any other IT company. It was only when he heard good things from a friend who was already working in Proekspert and whose opinion he trusted. After the initial approach from the recruiter, Hinrek decided he could at least do the test work which was offered to him. As he had a knack for solving puzzles and challenges, he did it with pleasure – not surprisingly, he succeeded in completing the task. But that did not secure him a place in Proekspert just yet.

Vital Skills of Hinrek Saar

What Hinrek found interesting in the recruiting process was that the interview had the same weight of importance as the test work and programming skills.

“You have to be an active person to fit in the Proekspert team – as there are no bosses you have to have a proactive nature, nobody pushes you here but yourself,” – that is how Hinrek describes the person who would be a good cultural fit for Proekspert.

“Everyone in Proekspert has their own little weirdness: there’s a bunch of people who are a bit nerdy but very intelligent at the same time.”

After he had officially started in Proekspert, he heard from the recruiters that what really signed the deal were his intrinsic skills and a good sense of humor. “You have got to have a sense of humor in Proekspert,” stated the recruiter to him.

3 items that characterize Hinrek as a person

  • Yo-yo – playfulness, and childishness – Hinrek doesn’t take himself too seriously
  • Watch – a gift from his fiancee: family is important to him
  • Shirt – Hinrek is a team player

Wait, what? No managers you say?

As there are no managers in Proekspert, the employees have to make decisions in teams. “There are of course pros and cons in such culture. For a person who is used to wait for directions and orders, it is naturally very tough to cope with the style we have here. But people who are able to lead themselves and know what they want, it is a superb place to be,” commented Hinrek.

“I also have experience in the construction sector, which is very hierarchical. That is why I enjoy the way we operate here, as you never have the feeling that you are coming from a lower rank than someone else – you can approach everyone as an equal. I think that is extremely important, especially for young professionals,” explains Hinrek who has now worked in Proekspert for more than a year.

What are the benefits of such working culture?

As a DevOps, he can test new technologies and always be on the frontline of innovation – that is the reason why he thoroughly enjoys his job. Currently, there is a huge deficit of DevOps across the industry. It is a position that has not been around for too long, requiring a deep understanding of how systems work and what can be done to improve efficiency. As a downside, there are no concrete settlements regarding where the developer’s job ends and the DevOps’s begins, leading to some confusion at times. Hinrek sees that in the future, the developers and DevOps are working together towards the same goal, which would make the processes even smoother from the start.

Besides his work, Hinrek has gotten to know himself as a person in Proekspert. He has developed an important skill for sharing his knowledge and offering help where needed. “Through leading various trainings, I have become a better communicator and improved my sense of empathy. I can put myself in someone else’s shoes and understand what they feel and how they act,” says Hinrek about what he has learned in Proekspert, “Working in Proekspert really helps to get to know different people and  myself as well.”

What does the future hold for Hinrek?

First of all, it has been a monumental year for him in his personal life – he recently welcomed the birth of his first child: “Being responsible for another person’s life changes a lot. Certainly, more thought must be put into operating everyday life and planning my time. Trivial and small everyday concerns no longer bother me. Being a dad is a very strong feeling”.

From the professional side, does he have plans to do job hopping or will he stay in Proekspert for the long run? “I can honestly say that I don’t even consider next steps outside Proekspert. After experiencing the great culture that has been achieved here, it would be very difficult to start working in a place that has much tighter frames. I don’t want to sound harsh but in my view, it would be a step back,” – confesses Hinrek.

“That is why I plan to stay in Proekspert for as long as I can – there is still so much to do and to accomplish. I am curious about who I can become – as a professional and as a person. I’m happy for what I have today and who’s around me”.

What they said:
“Hinrek is a very social person, I’m quite sure that he even talks in his sleep. Everything he does, he does with his heart – he’s the man you can count on. When Hinrek would not work as a DevOps engineer, he could easily be a CEO or a CTO, as his great communication skills would let him succeed in every leading position.


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