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Meet Istvan Safranyos: The Fast Interview

Istvan Safranyos, staff engineer at Fast

Name: Istvan Safranyos

Role:  Staff Engineer

Team: Platform Integrations

What do you do at Fast?

I work on Fast’s Enterprise Integrations for large Fast sellers, and Platform Integrations with major e-commerce platforms like Salesforce for our Fast Checkout sellers with online stores.

Describe your typical day at Fast.

Most of my time is spent meeting with our other business teams, Fast external partners, and customers to understand how Fast can help. I also help hire engineers excited about solving online checkout issues with us.

Why did you say yes to Fast?

They grabbed my attention in the news media for how fast they were growing and the e-commerce problem they were solving. How we buy things online hasn’t caught up with technology. Fast is working to make the checkout experience match the technology, and I wanted to be part of that.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

Sárospatak, a small town in Northeast Hungary. I was a regular kid. I played soccer, a popular sport in Europe. I got my first computer – a Commodore 64 – when I was eight, and that changed everything. I started playing video games – they were on cassettes back then – and programming in my early teens. I had no question what I would do after high school. I graduated from Budapest University of Technology and Economics (like MIT in the U.S.) with an engineering degree. I’m blessed to pursue my childhood hobby professionally. 

What’s something about Fast that really stands out?

We’re so collaborative and efficient. I’m in communication with so many people that I always feel I have the “big picture” of what we’re working toward. At Fast, we’re very transparent. 

Also, our engineers are so talented while being down-to-earth. I think we’ve done a great job at hiring, in skill set and attitude. 

There’s a saying, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I’m grateful to be here because of the amount of learning I get to do from my colleagues and every other team.

How is your desk set up?

I have an adjustable desk, dual 4K monitor setup, MacBook, and keyboard. I have water, coffee, fruit, and usually a protein shake at my desk.

Proudest moment as an engineer?

Before Fast, I was at Google for eight years. I joined a project as one of the early engineers, building a targeted ad system from scratch. It was so successful after we launched, it was acquired by another Google team. 

What sparks your creativity?

I look for inspiration everywhere. It comes from places you wouldn’t expect, so if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find it. 

Favorite thing about being an engineer?

I’m a problem-solver, and engineering offers unlimited challenges and problems to solve, which is why I got into it. Every problem has an uphill and downhill phase. Uphill is more challenging and involves ambiguity, and this is when we can learn more by working with uncertainty. Downhill means we figured out the main problem, and now we just use our tools to solve it. I like the two-phase approach.

Your non-negotiables for life?

Being humble, kind, and open to learning.

One thing about you that has been and will always be true?

I strive to understand things fully.

Advice for engineers wondering what to do next ?

Don’t confuse passion for enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is short-term, but passion is what drives you forward. Once you find your passion, focus on mastering it, starting with the basics.

Where can we follow you?

LinkedIn

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