After Goran, Aleksandar, and Sasha, next in line for the interview is Daniel Sozdanoski.
Daniel, or as we like to call him Shafro, arrived as an intern in Web Factorу 10 years ago, and now he is one of our core team members as a Head of Tech Operations. He has a lot of things to say about working in Web Factory and has many stories about everything about the company – from working on projects to hanging out after work. But we don’t have unlimited space for every memory from the past 10 years, we will focus on only 10 questions, in which he will describe what it means to be a part of Web Factory.
So without further ado…
What’s your role at Web Factory and what is your background?
My current role at Web Factory is Head of Technical Operations. At the beginning of my career, I started Java/Android internship within Web Factory, which lasted around 6 months. Shortly before being employed, I swapped to Objective-C/iOS development and spent the first couple of years as an iOS mobile developer and mentor. As a part of the initial backend team that was formed within the company, I’ve started Ruby on Rails development and have been RoR Tech Lead and mentor. Nowadays, I’m mostly working as a Solution Architect using Python and coordinating with Company Management and Technical Operations teams to achieve strategic company goals.
Why did you join Web Factory, and what has kept you here?
As far as I can remember, I was always fascinated with computers and how they operate. My first introduction to software programming was in elementary school using Visual Basic, and later on, during high school, I gained more structured knowledge using Pascal. I had the fortune/misfortune of studying something completely unrelated to software development during college, but my interest in the topic never stopped. So when Stefan, our CTO, finally convinced me after a couple of months to actually give this a try and start an internship, it seemed like a great opportunity to follow a passion of mine and have the opportunity to learn and practice in an easygoing and friendly environment. The constant challenges, and growth coupled with the completely unique and, I dare to say, fun way of setting up a workplace and sharing it with amazing coworkers has kept me here ever since that day.
What do you find the most challenging, and what do you like most about your role?
Dealing with different types of issues and focus shifts during a working day and coordinating larger teams internally and externally is definitely the most challenging part of my working time. I mostly enjoy the opportunity to plan, implement and deploy more complex software systems in the real world and watch them grow. From a management perspective, the ability to understand the complexity of running a company of this size and the dedication of all company members to improve and create a better working place gives me great satisfaction.
Which were the most memorable moments for you during your tenure at Web Factory?
There are just so many of them that keep on pilling up during the years. I had the chance to witness the first working days or be part of the initial interviews for most of the people in the company. Even before being part of Web Factory, I remember the day of the first price the company received in a competition. I would never forget Sasha’s first day at the office, or blocking his first car, our first air conditioner, chasing Goran around the office, each and every time we moved the office to a new building, our first team-building experience (and all the rest of them), finishing my first real application, all the after-work parties and “brogramming” sessions, gaming after work with Petar and Stefan… We should definitely start writing memoirs because I’m sure I’m missing like 95% of them.
What would be the message that you want to share with the people who consider joining Web Factory?
Just do it 😉 It’s a great opportunity to be part of a team of highly intelligent and motivated people who are willing to share all of their knowledge with you and help you in any way or form to accomplish your professional and personal goals. If you are passionate about software development and looking for a place to call home away from home, look no further.
What’s one thing you miss the most when looking back at the beginnings of your career at Web Factory?
As Mary Hopkin says, “Those were the days my friend” 🙂 Being able to spend all day long with everyone close by is probably the thing I miss the most. It just creates a special kind of bond between everyone, which makes working a joy. Being able to resolve everything quickly and efficiently, ask anyone, anything across the room and get the help you need is very crucial. We were also “young and crazy” we’ve spent countless hours in the office we even slept there to get things done, but man, it was so much FUN! We’ve grown so much since then, but you can still sense those early days mixed up in the air when everyone gets around.
How do you spend your time outside of the office?
Mostly spending time with family and friends, going out and enjoying myself. Whatever free time I can get, I like to spend reading or watching videos on a topic that seems interesting at the time being, or experiment with video games.
If there’s one thing you could improve, what would it be?
Patience. We are all part of this rapidly moving and changing world, and it’s easy to forget that most of the time, things don’t go according to plan, and it takes time and effort to get to the final goal. It’s the journey that gets you there that really matters, and we should all learn to appreciate every single moment of it. Use every challenge you encounter to improve yourself and reflect on your past challenges to understand how they made you what you are today.
What’s your next step or a new goal you’d like to accomplish in life, or while with Web Factory?
Oh, those change so often it’s hard to keep track of them. I would like to develop a product owned by the company and work on a video game in the latter stages of my career. I would definitely like to experience the startup culture and mentality once again and find a way to use my skills to leave the world a better place for future generations.
What is the biggest takeaway in these 10 years?
You can accomplish anything you put your focus and energy into if you have the right people besides you. Try to understand the people around you, all of them have their own life experiences unlike any other, try to learn from them and share your own knowledge with them. Work as a team and you can move mountains together.