When AVAST users install the free antivirus, we use this opportunity to collect some research data on various subjects. This particular research was based on over one hundred thousand responses collected during the last couple weeks. So, it is pretty solid data. Read more…
I don’t know much about Lukas, other than that he is respected and liked by his colleagues (or they wouldn’t have suggested him as a potential interviewee). On facebook, I discovered he has an interest in photography. In communicating with him for this interview, I found him to be unassuming, communicative, and laid-back. Considering I’m no software developer (and only a very amateur kind of geek), I would say that those are qualities that have contributed well toward the avast! software we all use and love. –Jason Mashak
1: You’ve been at AVAST since there were only a few handfuls of employees… what, for you, are some of the more memorable moments in the company’s history since you’ve been here?
I joined AVAST seven years ago  when there were around 20 employees. Some of the core team members of today were still at university, studying along with their work. You would see them in the office only once or twice a week. This was a big difference from the 140-something we have today, when we hardly fit into any room all at once. For example, there used to be a habit to celebrate birthdays together in the offices. But as the number of employees grew, we would have to celebrate almost every other week. And we also started to have problems fitting into any one room, so the tradition was abandoned over time.
Moving into a new building, the one we are now in, was also quite exciting. We watched it being built, visiting it several times before it was finished. One of the last things moved were our company servers Read more…
When the Marketing/PR department was trying to transition to the company’s new project tracking system, it was difficult explaining how each task in our department can be so unique… but that didn’t phase Lukas, who (like me) was still fairly new at AVAST. He helped us determine an overall scheme, with variously detailed project subcategories that made sense. He suggested solutions that could be more easily optimized in the future. And, in terms of QA, that’s exactly how you want to handle things. –Jason Mashak
1. The “QA” in your title is a bit abstract – what types of projects at AVAST are you responsible for the quality of?
In terms of avast! 6.0, we test the antivirus regularly and report any bugs in new features. As avast! is the most widespread antivirus software, the product also has great community support that includes a group of avast! Forum evangelists who help with the testing of every new Beta release. The community makes good suggestions and their help allows us to verify that avast! works on thousands of different configurations.
There are also other projects being built in AVAST’s offices that we put our hands on, such as testing the upcoming Business Protection and Business Protection Plus (administration console) for small business customers. And Mac users should start looking forward to a new version of avast! for Mac. Read more…
Customer feedback, with other companies and industries I’ve worked in, had a tendency toward primarily negativity. There was very little balance – complaints greatly outweighed any occasional positive stories we would receive. In each case we would justify the imbalance with generalizations that “people love to complain” or “nobody has time to give positive feedback”… or the cynical “they probably just want a credit” (and, at least in American culture, the last one is unfortunately often the case, as it has become a norm there to take advantage of the adage “the customer is always right” to secure discounts, freebies, etc. – I know, because I myself have emailed restaurants after a bad experience, knowing I would likely receive a voucher along with the standard apology) .
Something is different, however, at AVAST. Read more…
- Greetings from Central Europe. I’ll not bother to say much about myself (Google is there for any who have a deeper interest), but I’ll tell you that, in summer of 2010, I joined AVAST Software as Web Copywriter – a position that, like many others here, was much needed, as the company has grown, along with its user base, at an almost unbelievable (exponential – about 1 employee per 1 million users) rate in recent years.
I learned a few things very quickly at AVAST:
- Being a web-based company, every action requires simultaneous macro & micro perspectives as to how it will affect (or be affected by) a global community. Localization adds, of course, many more layers of potential difficulties, and our multinational team is priceless as to the insights that its individuals provide.
- What applies in terms of marketing & PR (my department) often calls for an extremely different approach than what applies to, for example, e-Commerce, programming, database architecture, QA, sales, support, etc., which are every bit as integral (if not more so) to the quality of the products we offer.
- Combined, the two elements above requires (and in our fortunate case are performed by) the top industry talent available. I am amazed to discover, within my first few months at AVAST, that nearly every person I’ve worked on any type of project with has been well above average in terms of work ethic, capabilities, and creativity – characteristics that were not always exactly plentiful at Fortune 100 companies I’ve been involved with in the past.
In a 1,000-year-old city – that, annually, more than 6 million tourists visit to experience the mystical pulse of human history – I suppose avast! was bound to happen. Its founders, two floors above me in the wizards’ tower, continue to surge energy through the walls and floors, to all levels (one can see/hear/feel it at the coffee machines). In modern times, when little Merlins and Gandalfs and even Harry Potters grow up… they make things like avast!