Goran Shopovski is Web Factory’s first team member. He joined us 10 years ago and during his 10 years tenure at Web Factory, we have faced and achieved so many great things together. Today, he is one of the core members of the company.
Looking back then and now, many things have changed in the company and in the IT industry, and Shopche (as we call him) is the guy from the front row who can tell us how it was to get through this long run.
We would love to share his story with you, but the best way is to hear it from him personally. We asked him 10 questions for his 10th anniversary. Read the answers below.
What’s your role at Web Factory and what is your background?
I’m currently Java Tech Lead at Web Factory, and I’m coming from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. As per the faculty programme, we covered, of course, parts of development and programming, however, the most important thing was that I got the foundations of programming and picked up the progressive way of thinking and approach to things… since I came to be part of Web Factory shortly after I finished my studies, I grew professionally along with the growth of the company. Having a strong analytic capability I tend to continuously update my knowledge by studying state-of-the-art development tools, new programming techniques and participating in educational opportunities.
Why did you join WebFactory, and what has kept you here?
Why … haha .. so how the story goes … As any recent graduate, I was invited by a friend to come for an interview for a developer position at a local startup. The next thing I know, I got a call from Mihajlo, one of WebFactory’s founders with whom I went to high school with, saying …. “Man, you’re coming to an interview at our company, and you didn’t call me first?”
We had a good laugh about it, but business is business and we went through the process of mutual evaluation if I would be a fit for the company and if I would find the perfect place for kicking off my career.
From that day, I have been given countless opportunities for growth, multiple challenges to get out of my comfort zone and friends for a lifetime.
What do you find the most challenging, and what do you like most about your role?
Technical challenges are something I easily and quickly overcome… however on the soft-skills side, I find communication a bit more difficult. Being a person that doesnt prefer being in the spotlight, in order to grow as a team lead, communication on multiple levels was a daily challenge 🙂 but with time I got used to it, now I enjoy mentoring newcomers and interns and being able to share my practical knowledge.
Which were the most memorable moments for you during your tenure at Web Factory?
Uh… there are plenty, quite difficult to choose just a couple to share here today 🙂 I’ve been part of this company for a decade and we’ve been together through a lot! As the team grew, we had to change offices 7 times, and it was hilarious at the beginning doing everything by ourselves, thinking we are the experts in everything 😀
Also, I’d like to remember that at the beginning we were working with smaller clients and as we grew we were able to get on much bigger clients, which I saw as a company’s success but at the same time, my success as well, being able to lead a team to complete a full project from planning to launch.
And of course, the time spent with colleagues, all the after work parties, the celebration of my 10th anniversary with WebFactory. When we work, we work hard, but when we party, we party harder.
What would be the message that you want to share with the people who consider joining Web Factory?
One of the things that we do here is looking at new technologies and how to adopt them; and we always look for that flare and eagerness to grow and learn new skills. We support our team members that want to grow by trying new things, adopting new technologies on projects and give guidance and mentorship where needed. You are never alone, you always work with a well-balanced team of seniority.
What’s one thing you miss the most when looking back at the beginnings of your career at Web Factory?
Of course, when I started at Web Factory, we were a much smaller team, and there was much more closeness between the team members. It was much easier to share experience and knowledge with members outside of your actual team. Today, I might say it’s a bit more difficult, which is understandable as we tend to be more organized and structured and share knowledge across teams in a more functional way. Now, of course, you cannot compare the size of the teams now and then, with all the benefits and downsizes that each respectively has; as today each smaller team functions in a similar way that we did back then on a company level.
How do you spend your time outside of the office?
Well, most of the time, I spend my time in nature, the mountains, and parks with a bike or just walking. I find it very relaxing getting some time off the screen.
If there’s one thing you could improve, what would it be?
If I have to choose one… I’d say, communication. I definitely understand the importance of proper communication between team leaders and team members, cross-team communication and intercompany communication. Although I am working on improving this skill set, I put a very high standard where I want to get my communications skills and I’m getting there day by day.
What’s your next step, or a new goal you’d like to accomplish in life, or while with Web Factory?
Considering we are working fully remotely at Web Factory, I’d like to live a digital nomad life for a couple of months during the year. I love travelling around the world and since now I can combine that with working remotely with my team, it would be amazing to put this plan in action.
What is the biggest takeaway in these 10 years?
Team. Team. Team. The most important thing is to have a team that you connect with, not on a professional level only, but as friends and peers as well. Being part of a successful team helps you thrive and achieve new heights.
The team members should be professional, reliable and respectful of the company and the company’s values, as well as each other. And at the end of the day, they feel like family. But it doesn’t just happen overnight, you and your teammates need to work together to build this.