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Java and its framework ecosystem are the preferred platform when it comes to building enterprise solutions

What is the job of a Technology Line Manager? What fields can our enterprise solutions be applied in? What is the future of Java? What are the latest trends in Java technologies? And what opportunities does Seavus offer to developers in terms of education and acquiring certificates? We talked with Nikola Zivkov, Technology Line Manager at Seavus, who gave us the answers to all of these questions.

Could you tell us more about the work of a Technology Line Manager for Java technologies in Seavus? What does your typical workday look like?

- There are quite a number of different aspects to the work of a Technology Line Manager (TLM) in Seavus, but the simplest way to put it is to say that the position provides a link between technology and business.

One of the key responsibilities of a TLM is to define the company’s strategy related to the Java technologies and frameworks, which are numerous given that Java has been present for more than 25 years, as well as to create a vision for adoption of new technologies emerging on the market that our clients would benefit from and our developers would like to use. Of course, having technologies without developers knowing how to use them makes little sense, so making sure our team of almost 100 Java developers are trained to use these technologies is just as important. With that being said, the daily work involves a lot of communication with tech leads to ensure that teams and individuals have the necessary technical knowledge to finish their tasks, and that work can continue uninterrupted.

The second major aspect in the work of a TLM is to support the business divisions in the process of acquiring new clients, by working to understand the clients’ needs and propose solutions based on our knowledge and expertise. This process includes a lot of requirements gathering workshops with clients, which have, unfortunately, been restricted to on-line sessions due to the pandemic.

What career development opportunities does Seavus offer to Java developers?

- It is not a secret that the best way to learn is by participating on a project with other developers, where knowledge about technologies and best practices is shared within the team. Less experienced developers are paired with and mentored by experienced seniors until they gain sufficient level of technical knowledge and independence to work on their own.

Work on commercial projects is however not the only place our employees gain knowledge. We organize training sessions in the form of informal presentations which usually serve as teasers for developers to get interested in a certain technology. We also organize hands-on workshops where developers can dive deeply in a specific technology under the guidance of a seasoned expert. These workshops usually target technologies and trends which are emerging on the market, as is the case with Docker and Kubernetes which are part of our training program scheduled for the second half of 2021. Other technologies trending among our clients are the Amazon Web Services, for which our developers are attending an official training program where they can also receive official AWS certification.

What kind of projects are you working on?

- It’s no secret that developers like change and like to experiment with different technologies and business domains. It’s therefore good to have a variety of projects that offer different challenges. Two of our industry pillars when it comes to Java technologies are Banking/Fintech and Telecom, but we also have clients in Healthcare, Automotive Insurance and Claims, Trademark Protection, and other industries. These projects offer a variety of technologies and frameworks to work with, but most of the projects have their core based on Spring and Spring Boot as the most popular framework for Java development. Projects based on microservices are often paired with Spring Cloud and Apache Kafka for implementation of common patterns in distributed systems, while cloud-based projects leverage services from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

What are the prevailing trends in Java technologies for 2021 and which of them have found their way in Seavus? Could you name an interesting project that you’ve worked on that made use of one of these trends?

- 25 years after being released, Java is still in the group of three most used programming languages in the world. Java and its framework ecosystem are still the preferred platform when it comes to building enterprise solutions. Lately, the traditional model of development has seen some new flavors which have found their way into our projects as well. For example, Spring Reactor and Spring WebFlux - implementations of the reactive paradigm - have been used on some of our projects to build the parts of the systems that require high throughput. Cloud-native architectures have become the standard way of building applications, so after AWS and GCP it’s expected that more and more Java applications will find their way on Microsoft’s Azure cloud, given the investment Microsoft is putting to make Java a first class citizen on their cloud. When it comes to startups and greenfield development, it’s expected that some clients might opt to use Kotlin in place of Java.

Outside the office, we often see you cycling. How dedicated are you to sport?

- Working in the IT sector is undoubtedly challenging and rewarding. Unfortunately, it comes with a price - the long hours of sitting in front of a screen. I therefore try to counteract this with physical activity as much and as often as I can. Riding my bike or hiking in the mountains is my gateway during weekends, while swimming and daily walks are reserved for weekdays. Healthy lifestyle and sporting activities is something that our company promotes and encourages. We managed to organize several hiking events in our offices during the summer months as well as a virtual “Beat yourself challenge” where employees compete to see who will have the most mileage in running, cycling and swimming during the summer months.