After the first interview with Goran Shopovski who is Web Factory’s first team member, next in the line is Sasha Krstev, who also joined us 10 years ago and after a few position changes, now he is our Game Tech Lead as part of the Sindex team.
Sasha Krstev a.k.a Sashko joined the team while he was still a student, being literally grabbed from the classroom by Toshe and Stefan and put into our team as iOS developer. During these 10 years in Web Factory, he transformed himself a few times, into very different technical and non-technical roles, but kept his infectious cheerful spirit along the way.
Let’s read his story about him and Web Factory.
What’s your role at Web Factory and what is your background?
I wear many hats in Web Factory and can fill both management and technical roles. When you are a part of a company that started small and grows rapidly, the dynamic environment presents different challenges and opportunities as times change. I was happy to tackle all of them. My background is technical though, started off as an iOS developer and evolved with the company, working on different platforms, languages, and non-technical roles. There is always something new to look forward to.
Why did you join Web Factory, and what has kept you here?
That is an interesting story but the tl;dr version of it is – They picked me up from university by accident.
I was on my way to register for my final exam, and the professor introduced me to Toshe & Stefan. A brief interview later they asked me- “When can you start?” I went home afterward and when was asked “How did it go?” I said – “I think I got a job?”
Two weeks later, I got to know them, and I knew I have found my people. The knowledge, the team spirit, the support… never looked back.
What do you find the most challenging, and what do you like most about your role?
The greatest challenge is the responsibility and the role switching, but at the same time that is the most satisfying part of the job. Always keeps me on my toes, and throws new learning opportunities at me. No rest for the wicked as they say, whenever you get comfortable with something a new curve ball pushes you out of that zone and presents you with a new set of challenges.
Which were the most memorable moments for you during your tenure at Web Factory?
10 years will bring you a lot of moments, it’s hard to pick from them.
Most of them revolve around “No way they did that” thoughts combined with a disbelief emoji on my face. The lengths that Webfactorians are prepared to go to make something happen, be it a prank or a genuine good deed is astounding.
A few things do come up right now: I found the best man for my wedding here, and I think it was the most uncomfortable position anyone has ever put him in 🙂
Once we dropped everything we were doing and went to spend the day cleaning up our colleagues’ flooded house.
And they got me my dream car for my 10th anniversary… come on you can’t beat that!
What would be the message that you want to share with the people who consider joining Web Factory?
It’s a great place to learn and grow. It does not matter if you are new at software development or a seasoned veteran, you will get the chance to work with great people and learn something new. We pride ourselves on our knowledge sharing and mutual support. I’m not a football fan, but a phrase stuck with me from a former roomie I had, that describes the feeling perfectly. “You’ll never walk alone”.
What’s one thing you miss the most when looking back at the beginnings of your career at Web Factory?
That kindergarten feel when going to work. You know how every beginning has a “honeymoon period” where everything seems perfect and exciting, most people will tell you that it will pass in a couple of months. Well for me it lasted years. I couldn’t wait to go to work, there were no working hours – we were just there all the time. My friends even joked that I lied that I was partying all night so I can spend more time at work, which for me at that time – was not that different.
The company grew with time, and we managed to pass that spirit to our new employees, but I will never forget those times… I mean we even considered a closed-down kindergarten for our office space once!
How do you spend your time outside of the office?
Fill it with things I enjoy doing – gaming, coding, coffee, driving… not that different from the office 🙂
If there’s one thing you could improve, what would it be?
Shake off this procrastination feeling… I am, sadly, not immune to it.
Saw a writer that would hire an “anti-procrastinator”, whose sole job would be to sit beside him and stare at his monitor during his writing hours, nothing else.
Trying to be my own, so I don’t have to bother other people 🙂
What’s your next step, or a new goal you’d like to accomplish with Web Factory?
An in-house made and maintained Web Factory product, that we can then use to build upon. I believe that success of that magnitude will open new doors for us, new opportunities, and a new chapter for Web Factory.
What is the biggest takeaway in these 10 years?
Never stop learning. I believe this to be the single greatest quality a person can have. Don’t get comfortable, don’t shy away from challenges, and DO share what you know. In Web Factory you are surrounded by this type of people and it will move you forward, and you will move them too.