Year 2023

This blog post is my eleventh yearly reflection. The three previous reflections can be found here: 2022, 2021, 2020.

Usually, I write these at the start of the new year. This time, it’s the middle of December. I’ll start an extended vacation later in the week I finish writing this blog post. It made more sense for me to reflect on the year now instead of doing so in January after a long vacation.

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Nine Talks Lodged in My Brain

A colleague and I were discussing technical conferences recently. They submitted that most of the conferences are not that helpful knowledge-wise. I disagreed. Based on my experience, conferences can be a fantastic source of knowledge. But it depends on the conference and how the participant approaches it.

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My dad died two months ago. This blog post is one of the ways I’m trying to make sense of his death. Some might be surprised by my decision to publish a blog post on such a personal topic. One, I find putting my thoughts in writing and sharing them valuable for myself. Two, I hope that sharing about topics that some might find taboo (like going to therapy) encourages others to open up as well.

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Recommended Software Engineering Books

I enjoy consuming books, and I work in software engineering. So, the obvious thing to do is to write a blog post about software engineering books that I’d recommend. This is that blog post.

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Some time ago, I was asked what got me in my career to where I am right now. I lead engineering, and I’m part of the top leadership team at Vinted, a company that was valued at $4.5B in 2021. It might be that the question asker was looking for some recommendations, expecting me to highlight some skills, traits, or habits.

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To Escalate, or Not

To escalate, or not, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

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How I Consume Books

In response to my previous post, I was asked a question in the comment section of one of the social media sites. The question was about how I am able to consume so many books during the year. This blog post is an attempt to answer that question.

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Year 2022

This blog post is my tenth yearly reflection. The three previous reflections can be found here: 2021, 2020, 2019.

I’m happy I continue with this yearly habit. I find it interesting to go back and look at the things I chose to highlight in each of the previous years. Those words help transport me into the mindset I had at that time. The simple words written in my reflection on 2017 “the rest is up to me” bring me back to my mental state of being motivated to take on the challenges ahead.

Here are some of the things that happened during 2022 in my life, in no particular order:

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CTO Connection Podcast - Mental health for engineering leaders

An episode of CTO Connection podcast, where the host Peter Bell talks with Mindaugas Mozūras about importance of mental health, benefits of therapy, and other topics.

I Choose Me, I'm Sorry

This blog post is a stream of thoughts about self-management triggered by a music album. Yes, that’s a bit different than my previous writing on organisational structures and decision-making. But I care deeply about self-awareness and self-care, and the stream of thoughts below culminates in some relevant ideas.

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Startup Recruitment Failures, Episode 5

A podcast episode of Startup Recruitment Failures, where the host Indrė Kaikarė asks Mindaugas Mozūras to share his hiring stories.

Notes from LeadingEng New York 2022

On April 8th, I attended LeadingEng 2022 New York conference. This visit was my sixth time attending an event organized by LeadDev. My fifth one came earlier the same week, and I’ve written up my notes for StaffPlus 2022 New York too.

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Notes from StaffPlus New York 2022

On April 5th, I attended StaffPlus 2022 New York conference. This was my fifth time attending an event organized by LeadDev. I’ve previously attended four of their conferences in London, including the first one ever. I’m happy to see they’ve continued to grow as a community and an event organizer.

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Disruption Talks Ep. 66

A podcast episode of Disruption Talks, where the host Filip Sobiecki interviews Mindaugas Mozūras about his story with Vinted.

Organizations: Size & Time

This blog post was born out of a question I’ve asked myself. The question was “does it make sense for a multi-thousand people organization to have specific objectives for the next five years?”. My intuition says that the answer is a yes. It seems to make sense for a multi-thousand-person organization to have specific longer-term objectives. But I’m not a person satisfied with intuitive solutions. I’ve tried searching my mind for a fundamental answer. This blog post is the outcome of my search.

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Year 2021

Time for another yearly reflection, the ninth one I put on this blog.

Life continued despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the things that happened during 2021 in my life, in no particular order:

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Decision-making & Organizational Structure

During the past couple of months, I’ve been thinking a lot about organizational structure. Specifically, the book Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow was the first trigger to consider the theory of organizational structure.

An organizational structure defines how work is done, information flows, and decisions are made in a company, department, or team. I realized that structure is fundamentally about the trade-off between integration/cohesion and speed of decision-making. In this blog, I focus on how different organizational structures affect decision-making and how to think about these trade-offs.

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Moneycode: Moneyball-inspired Thoughts on Hiring

I’ve recently read Moneyball, a book seemingly about baseball. It’s not. Moneyball is about analytics, data-driven culture, and how to apply analytics to picking players. In this blog post, I share my thoughts on the book and the parallels between selecting players in baseball and hiring.

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Year 2020

Time for another yearly reflection, the eighth one I put on this blog.

The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 a unique year. I spent time worrying that I, my friends, or my family will get sick. Because of quarantine, I spent more time at home. I felt less productive and had to adapt to working differently. I interacted with my colleagues mostly through a screen instead of face-to-face. Ten years from now, I might get confused between what happened in 2018 and what happened in 2019. I will never forget 2020. I think that’s true for most.

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Bulletproof CTO Episode-1

A panel hosted by Kamil Ferens on the issues the COVID outbreak brought to engineering teams.

Act On Crisis - Mental Health

A video podcast episode of Act On Crisis, where Ieva Vaitkevičiūtė talks with Mindaugas Mozūras and Žilvinas Kybartas about the importance of and own experience in mental health.

IT Taburetė S2E10

A podcast episode of IT Taburetė, where the hosts talk with Mindaugas Mozūras and Povilas Godliauskas about mental health.


A couple of weeks ago, the first photos from the upcoming movie “Dune” were revealed. In 2019, my most awaited movie was “Parasite”. “Dune” is the one I’ll be waiting to see this year. In this post, I share why, including my history with the book the movie is based on.

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Cities and Network Effects

While I was in Mexico City, the most populous city in North America, I couldn’t help but think about network effects. As a technologist, I’m quite familiar with network effects on technology platforms like Facebook. But what about cities? Do cities produce positive network effects?

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Three Weeks in México

In this post, I share my thoughts after coming back from vacation right back into a pandemic. I tell a bit about how my fiancée and I planned our vacation and some highlights from the trip itself.

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In-between Applause

I’ve been public speaking for years now. In this blog post, I walk through my experience giving a talk at MobileOne on November 13th last year. Throughout, I share how I build, prepare and give a presentation.

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Trust in Humans as a Service

I’ve been thinking about trust, precisely trust’s place in the sharing economy and the future of trust between humans on the internet. In this post, I go through my thought process and provide a glimpse into a potential future of trust in humans as a service.

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Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday along with eight other passengers, including his daughter Gianna. His death touched me personally more than the death of any other public figure. At first, I couldn’t believe the news. And then, after I’ve confirmed it and reconfirmed it a couple of times, I couldn’t stop crying. It took me some time to understand why Kobe meant so much to me. This post captures his legacy on me.

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Two Years in Psychotherapy

This blog post is accompanied by an image of a psychotherapist’s couch. If you’ve never been to therapy, you might associate the image of this couch with therapy. While my therapist did indeed have a piece of similar furniture, I never lay on it, instead choosing to sit face-to-face with her.

I continue to encounter stigma and misconceptions about therapy. I hope this post about my two-year experience will help to continue normalizing the practice of going to therapy. There were people in my life who were open about their psychotherapy experience, which made it easier to try it myself. On the web, Zach Holman’s example was quite inspiring.

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Year 2019

Time for reflection. This is the seventh time I take the time to jot down my thoughts about the previous year. Looking back through the things I wrote over the years, it’s fascinating to observe the road I’ve travelled and what I found important each year. Those observations also give me the motivation to continue with this habit.

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Notes from The Lead Developer London 2019

On 11th and 12th of June, I attended The Lead Developer London 2019 conference. This was my fourth time attending Lead Dev. I’ve also attended it in 2015, 2016 and 2017. I went alone to the first Lead Dev ever in 2015. Every subsequent time I brought more and more co-workers from Vinted Engineering. The conference itself grew too. It’s now in multiple countries around the world and welcomes multiple times more participants.

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Year 2018

Time for reflection. This post serves as a summary of my year. I didn’t list everything that came to my mind when thinking about 2018. Some of the major trends or events were personal, so they were left off.

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Always on Vacation

I’ve been a Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker owner for a couple of years now. It tracks steps I’ve taken, floors I’ve climbed and my sleep. When I bought it, I made steps my primary goal. While I already walked a lot, I made sure to walk more to stay healthy. This year, I’ve focused on a different metric my Fitbit tracks: resting heart rate.

Resting heart rate is my heart rate when I’m still. It’s an incredibly important measurement, a grade for my overall health.

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Don't Hire The Best

We’ve been hiring a lot this year at Vinted. Our hiring pipeline has multiple steps, and we select only a small percentage of candidates. I never previously checked the exact number. A couple of weeks ago I saw a quote with the answer:

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How We Approach Engineering at Vinted

A post by Mindaugas Mozūras on Vinted Engineering blog about Vinted’s approach to Engineering.

Written in Ink

I sometimes put on movies in the background. I pick fun ones with great soundtracks. My favorite for this purpose is the concert film masterpiece “Stop Making Sense”. My second favorite - “The Social Network”. I love the combination of David Fincher’s masterful directing, Aaron Sorkin’s snappy dialogue and the dark ambiance of the soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

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Ruby Rogues #372

A podcast episode of Ruby Rogues, where the panel (Charles Max Wood, David Richards, Eric Berry, Catherine Meyers) talk with Mindaugas Mozūras about hiring. They talk about why it’s hard to find great developers to hire, the importance of hiring both junior and senior developers, and his blog post A User Guide to Me. They also touch on how you come about writing up job roles, the importance of letting developers think outside of the box, and more!

Book Review: The Food Lab

There’s a short list of books I would describe as life-changing. “The Pragmatic Programmer” changed my understanding of the profession I’ve chosen. “Quiet” helped me accept myself for who I am. “Thinking in Systems” changed how I understand the world. There a couple of others, but not many.

“The Food Lab” changed my life by converting me into a confident home-cook.

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Vilnius Tech Leads: Year One

Vilnius Tech Leads had its eighth meetup last week. In this blog post, I look back at how it started, year one and what I expect in the future.

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How I Write

A couple of days ago, a friend asked me advice on writing. She wanted to know how I write, what steps I take to write a blog post. This post serves as an answer to her and to anyone in the future, who’ll ask me the same question. I enjoy the meta awesomeness of writing a blog post to explain how I write a blog post.

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My Ruby Story #40

A podcast episode of My Ruby Story, where Charles Max Wood talks to Mindaugas Mozūras. They talk on how Mindaugas got into Ruby, what made him fall in love it, how he got his first Ruby job, and what he is working on now.

Outcome Blind

I’ve used to play the Magic: The Gathering (Magic for short), a collectible card game. I’ve played it from summer of 2004 to late 2013 (for magicians reading this - from Fifth Dawn to Theros). Magic taught me to be outcome blind.

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A User Guide to Me

Inspired by this article published by Inc. in 2014 and How to Rands.

Hey, I’m Mindaugas Mozūras, and I lead Engineering at Vinted. Welcome to my user guide to working with me. The faster we get to know each other and how we work, the stronger our relationship will be, and the more we’ll accomplish together.

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Third Try's the Charm

I’ve been focused on hiring great people the last couple of months. Vinted, the company I work for, had a fantastic 2017, so now it’s time to scale our team a bit. Hiring well is the most important thing a company can do. Hiring includes rejections. On both sides. Potential candidates reject Vinted. We reject potential candidates. We receive a bunch of applications from motivated people, who’d love to work at Vinted. It’s not easy to say “no” to them.

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Year 2017

Time for a yearly summary. I’ve started 2018 with a three weak vacation in Thailand. I’ve disconnected my work email, deleted Slack and didn’t do any writing or coding. So, this summary comes a bit later than usual.

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The Three Last Conversations

A video recording from Build Stuff 2017 of Mindaugas Mozūras presenting “The Three Last Conversations”.

Cool Projects

A year and a half ago, my friend recommended me to watch the TV show “Silicon Valley.” I was aware of the show’s existence but had not found the time to check it out. My friend pitched the show as funny, parodying tech industry and having the main character looking and having mannerisms similar to mine. I accepted two of those three statements.

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Pronto Labs

More than four years ago I wrote Pronto. The initial commit is dated 2013-07-02. The first version released 2013-08-15.

I wanted to solve my problem. I wanted to stop writing comments like “This line is too long!” on GitHub pull requests. I imagined three runners that would integrate Rubocop, Flay and Brakeman to help automate work that I did manually before.

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There’s more focus in my life. It has not always been that way. What does focus enable me to do and how did I get here?

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Writing to People

Communication is hard. It involves people, and no two people are the same. This is a story about how I continue to learn to communicate better in writing.

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Staying Sharp with Exercism

If you’ve followed my summaries of the year, you know that I’ve been in a leadership role for a while. That means less code, more listening. But I still like to keep my coding skills sharp.

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How I Keep 26kg Lost

Last week this post hit Hacker News frontpage. It’s about how Justin Angel lost 100lbs (~45kg) in 6 months. The story is quite interesting, though a little extreme.

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When my focus was .NET development, on the podcasts I listened to I’ve used to hear praises heaped upon Norwegian Developers Conference. It was held in Oslo and quickly became Europe’s largest .NET & Agile conference.

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Year 2016

American Dialect Society declared “dumpster fire” as the word of the year. And that’s how most will remember 2016. But while demotivating and fake news dominated our feeds, there’s no need to be discouraged. In a lot of ways, 2016 was a great year.

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Musings on Personal and Professional Growth

An interview with Mindaugas Mozūras — one of Vinted’s first employees, who joined us as a developer and is now Head of Engineering.

I Was Not a Ruby Developer Before I Came to Vinted

An interview with Mindaugas Mozūras, the Head of Engineering at Vinted, the social pre-loved fashion marketplace and the most successful Lithuanian startup. Mindaugas explains to us why Ruby is the foremost programming language for a company like Vinted and gives us more insights on technologies, challenges and the ways to overcome them.

Ruby Rogues #251

A Ruby Rogues podcast episode featuring Mindaugas Mozūras. Discussing pull requests, code reviews, their automation and pronto.

Podcasts I Listen To

I’ve started listening to podcasts sometime in 2007, almost 9 years ago. DotNetRocks was my first show. Can’t remember which episode was the first one, but I distinctly remember listening to Billy Hollis talk about Complexity (show #214, 2007-02-13) and trying really really hard to keep up. Stopping and rewinding was not unusual.

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Year 2015

The year 2015 was different. Every year is. Without further ado, a short overview of things that happened with me.

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Year 2014

The year 2014 was exciting and challenging for me. This yearly post provides a short horn-trumpeting summary of it. In no particular order:

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Equal Footing

Best ideas and efforts come from the most unexpected of places. Having a company culture where everyone feels like they can solve and contribute to any problem or opportunity is very important. I’m happy to be working at a company aware of that.

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Continuous Static Analysis using Pronto

Code quality and consistency is important. There are a ton of great open source tools and libraries that provide insights. For example: Rubocop checks your style and Brakeman scans for security vulnerabilities. You can run them easily and get a summary. But especially on a bigger codebase, that can take a while and result in a long list of issues.

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Getting Things Done

This post was originally written by Justas Janauskas, CEO of Vinted, edited for publishing by me and Marek Ivanovskis

In this post I want to share with you my way of getting things done. It works quite well for someone who has to communicate a lot, but others might find it interesting as well.

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Software Development is not Typing

What is software development? Is it typing features that your product people come up with into your text editor as quickly as possible?

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Office. Office never changes

Office. Office never changes

Fog Creek waged war for private workplace and marble showers. GitHub built an empire on letting everyone work wherever and whenever they want. 37signals reworked the whole industry by getting real.

But office never changes.

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Year 2013

The year 2013 was a heck of a year for me, mostly in a good way. In no particular order:

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Top Ten Percent

We were discussing something with a co-worker that I perceived as a problem, yet he didn’t. One of his arguments was:

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git playback 0.2

The feedback after the first post about git-playback was amazing. I’ve been slowly improving it for the last couple of months and I’m pretty happy where it is right now. What’s new:

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Vim - Putting arrows to use

It’s accepted among Vim users - arrow keys should be avoided at all possible cost. Using hjkl is preferred and is advantageous. You never have to leave the home row - that let’s you be faster and it’s more comfortable for your hands. As someone who’s already had to deal with a little bit of wrist pain, not having to move my hands to arrow keys (and don’t get me started about the mouse) is favorable, to say the least.

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I’ve been doing a lot of things this year that I was (and still am) afraid of doing. Writing a blog is one pretty obvious example. I wanted to try writing a blog for some time. So, what was stopping me? Fear of failure. Fear of putting my thoughts out there and getting a negative response. Asking myself “what’s the worst thing that happen?” helped me overcome that.

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I still encounter people who want to use their favorite extremely-powerful framework for everything. I don’t think that’s the right attitude. Slides for a lightning talk ‘simpler’, hosted on Speaker Deck, which tries to address that:

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git playback

It was a lovely Saturday afternoon… I just did a code kata, but I was not entirely happy and not sure how to do it better. So I decided to look at how other developers tackled the same problem. Found a dozen repositories on GitHub, but there were a couple of problems:

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Joys of Programming

I’m always surprised when I meet programmers who don’t enjoy what they’re doing. Don’t misunderstand me - I realize that software development is not everyone’s passion. Still stunned every time. For the life of me, I can’t imagine doing anything else. For me, writing software is a great delight in more ways than one.

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Hello World

Welcome to my blog. My name is Mindaugas Mozūras, and I’m a twentysomething software developer. Here I intend write about anything that interests me - mostly various development topics, but there will probably be some general geekery as well. If you want to get a sense of what I’m currently excited about, check out my GitHub and Twitter.

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