Seavus experts and Technology Line Managers: Igor Lazarevski, Technology Line Manager for Microsoft Technologies, Igor Joshevski, Technology Line Manager for Front-End Technologies and Gjore Zaharchev Technology Line Manager for Quality Assurance, talk about what tasks are the teams solving, what technologies they use and how career development looks like in one of the largest IT companies in Europe.
Tell us about the latest and most complex projects your team has been involved in. What technologies did you use to implement them?
Igor Lazarevski: All of our projects are very complex in terms of the business side, technical side or both. We tend to create an environment that is challenging for our developers. This is because, in our line of business, there is no staying still with knowledge, you either go ahead or you are trailing behind. For this reason, if there are low challenges in the project, we try to introduce some by adding a new technology or pattern of tool that can help within the projects. Of course, this is done by keeping in mind the time schedule for the project, since a happy client is something we strive for in the end.
With this said, in the latest period we have had projects in which we implemented event sourcing (currently a work in progress) and tried to overcome any obstacles that are coming our way like data consistency and performance. Another project is in the field of implementing the serverless environment on Azure as a cloud provider (related to the enterprise environment) with native services that are used to quicken the development speed. Another project that comes to my mind is a large enterprise environment, which is not just technically challenged but also in terms of the domain since the domain requires a very big load to be supported. Therefore, scalability and performance must be seen as a development culture for the project. The next project is in the sphere of IoT where we should and have used native IoT services on Azure, including the use of Azure Sphere in collaboration with our embedded division. So, you see, satisfaction, knowledge and advancement are the core values in my company and we tend to live by those values.
How many divisions are in the company and what are they working on?
Igor Lazarevski: We have several divisions at Seavus and some of them are distinguished by technology and some of them are business domain related. The ones distinguished by technology are the Embedded, Microsoft, and Oracle divisions, which are handling projects with .NET or Java as technology or those needing the creation of embedded devices and software. The people belonging to those divisions are experts in Microsoft, Java technologies, C\C++. However, this does not mean that we are focused only on our main technology stack. We are open to any tool or technology that can bring value to our projects and satisfaction to our clients. This means that collaboration (one of the main values in Seavus) is happening all the time between all divisions, which means collaboration is happening between people with expertise in Java and .Net also.
Other divisions are distinguished by the business domain (industry) in which they are working in, like the Telecom division and the Banking and Finance division. As their name states, they are focused on building systems for the banking and telco industry. In those divisions, you can find people with various technology backgrounds. We support clients that have the need for .NET, Java, Payton, VB, machine learning experts, BI and database experts, and other languages and profiles that are implemented in the environment that the clients are interested in.
What is the most promising development direction in which Seavus is headed? How are innovative technologies and approaches implemented in the company?
Igor Joshevski: Knowing the fact that the IT world is changing and growing every day, Seavus has its own dedicated team that works on planning and developing future activities and roadmaps of the company. A couple of phases are covered for this process, starting with the analysis of the trends in existing and new technologies, building small research teams that work on a PoC for different domains and purposes, which in turn provides us with valuable feedback and expertise on how effective a specific language and how/where can we use it, the framework etc. Other important points include investing in the education of the employees through conferences, workshops and presentations. During the final stage, we do annual planning and adjustments with the new findings so that the company can keep track of the updates.
Which divisions will be opened in Moldova? What will the team of local specialists work on or are already working on?
Gjore Zaharchev: Currently, our team in Moldova is working on Test Automation for various projects and different industries. Our plan for Moldova is to expand the team mostly in the software testing area and to grow this office as one of our biggest software testing and test automation center. We will definitely have other experts like C#, Java, or FE developers but the main focus will be on software testing and test automation. In general, all divisions will be present and different types of projects will be available starting from the Banking domain, Finance and Fintech, Automotive insurance, Telecommunications and Billing systems, Gambling and Betting, etc.
Tell us, how does a company build work with remote requests? How effective is this cooperation and what difficulties have you been facing? How did you deal with them?
Igor Lazarevski: We have been working remotely for many years in the past and have developed very good experience working with remote teams. This is why we have not been affected by the Coronavirus situation that made companies switch to working remotely. We were ready for it and even helped others by teaching them how to become organized. I proudly say that we are a group of people who are driven by our contribution, with everyone showing eagerness to contribute, learn and achieve goals set by the project and most importantly by themselves. This is crucial in order to have good productivity when working from our homes and with people from other countries or cities in our country.
This is beneficial because we can collaborate with people with different mindsets, coming from different educational systems and experiences. Of course, this must be supported by the many tools that we have in the company which are focused on tracking and leveraging the performance and making sure that projects are not “lost” along the way. Also, we have a project structure that has many responsibilities (taking care of people, satisfaction, growth, etc.) among which is making sure that all people in the team are properly guided and managed towards mutual and project interests. Those responsibilities are mainly covered by our Technical Leads and our Project Managers who are the main drivers of collaboration, cooperation, productivity and satisfaction.
One of the biggest challenges that we are facing is the sense of belonging which has come as a result of the Coronavirus crisis and we are actively working to overcome this challenge. How we do it, well, we have many activities that are focused on making people feel that they are part of a team, like having daily formal and weekly informal communication between team members. We have online activities in which we all participate depending on one’s interests like yoga, aerobics, online gaming, sharing experiences like biking (Bicycle Day for example), hiking, tree planting and so much more. By using this approach, people have been bonding and making tighter connections with each other, since each one of us wants to belong in a group, in a team, in Seavus.
The most rapid career growth is in the IT field. Tell us what career prospects there are in Seavus? What can a junior specialist achieve in one year?
Gjore Zaharchev: We have established a solid mentoring and coaching program in different areas which were adjusted and updated throughout the years. Not only juniors but also more experienced intermediates can expect a lot in developing their personal careers. Our approach is individual and we work with every engineer separately based on previous experience, knowledge and personal desire for career growth and advancement. We do not forget the senior engineers since they are the key factor in completing this successful story. Regarding the achievements within the past year, we now have very successful stories in our other offices where people who joined as junior engineers were able to learn and complete tasks previously planned for more experienced engineers. Also, we want to achieve independence in work and easy decision-making in their day-to-day tasks.
Tell us about your success story at Seavus, what helped you achieve your goal and your position?
Igor Joshevski: Success is a mix of many things. In my case it was a mix of dedicated project work, constant learning and improvement of skills, team collaboration and help, and the programs and the opportunities that Seavus offers within the company as part of the career development process. At Seavus, a career path and plan exist for all employees helping them follow and achieve their goals.
How does the company evaluate employee productivity, prospects and performance?
Igor Lazarevski: As was mentioned before, we attend to everyone at Seavus with technical and managerial guidance by providing a technical lead and a project manager in the teams. Those roles are responsible for monitoring, guiding and growing people in their technical and non-technical skills. In addition, the Technology Line Managers at Seavus are responsible for providing instructions for every person in the corresponding technology line in order to be part of a project in which that person can develop and feel comfortable. Together with the technical leads, they tend to create a career path for people and make sure that every potential is monitored, guided and that every person has knowledge about things that need to improve in order to reach the next professional level.
Seavus pays special attention to the continuous process of training and developing of its employees’ hard and soft skills. To do this, the company has opened innovative laboratories, as well as open projects - one of which is the SeaQ platform. Tell us more about it. How does it affect work in the company?
Igor Lazarevski: The technology stack is very broad, with new technologies, techniques and processes emerging every day, thus, we need to keep track of them in order to provide the best support to our clients and build software that is stable, scalable and maintainable through time. Using this mindset along with the values, the idea of OpenProjects and SeaQ came to life. My vision is that every technical lead will have one independent project, in which we will investigate various technologies, tools or implementation practices, and everybody from Seavus will be invited to join those projects. In this way, we will grow together, learn from each other and be ready for the future.
As said before, collaboration and knowledge are some of our values at Seavus and one of the biggest problems in large companies. How do we find the right people with the right knowledge who can help us in our work? How can we transfer our knowledge to our colleagues today and in the future? How can we appraise our colleagues for exceptional collaboration and contribution? Those are some of the questions that SeaQ tries to answer by having a good analysis of the existing environment and making a tool which provides a proper environment for the people to have an answer to those questions. SeaQ as a platform was born from our OpenProjects initiative as well as many other tools like skill repository and management tool, estimation helper and pre-sales management tool, CV builder etc. All of these tools are built from developers, for developers, and we will to continue this trend of leveraging our knowledge.
Tell us about the work of innovative laboratories at Seavus. How can it help employees in their work?
Igor Joshevski: Innovative laboratories are environment(s) where each employee has the opportunity to join and learn something new, where the “new” can be a specific architecture or a new language, a tool or even new hardware and business domain flow integration. Each project within the labs has its own specifics and goals, and employees choose what fits them best and what sparks their interest to join and learn.
Skills gained while working on lab projects are very beneficial for the employees for their current or future assessments through improving code standards and quality, planning better architecture, speeding up the development process by using specific libraries or practices, or even being prepared for a new domain that will become a worldwide trend in the upcoming period.