Interview with Aleksandar Stojanov – Junior Developer, Maja Nikolovska – Junior Testing Engineer, and Jelena Pop Trpeva – QA Manager (Telecom) and mentor at the Seavus Talent Program.
Seavus, the international software development and consulting company that is part of the Aricoma group, organized their Telecom Talent Program last month, which, like every year, included a training course on telecommunication technologies. This year’s training was held online and was designed for students and young professionals considering a career in the field of technology and telecommunication.
This Program offers a unique opportunity for gaining professional development by learning from the best experts in this field. Namely, Seavus has over 250 experts, a great number of successful projects under its belt, and a 20-year experience in the development and system integration of advanced telecom solutions. The training is designed for graduates and students enrolled in the last year of their studies in information and computer technologies, as well as for those who have some technical knowledge and want to expand it. The Telecom Talent Platform offers a unique opportunity for gaining expertise in one of the leading billing platforms as Seavus is the only company in the Balkans that educates and employs staff with this kind of expertise. The candidates who will get an employment at Seavus will have the opportunity to work with some of the best telecom operators in Europe.
On this occasion, we talked with Aleksandar Stojanov - Junior Developer, Maja Nikolovska - Junior Testing Engineer, and Jelena Pop Trpeva - QA Manager (Telecom) and mentor at the Seavus Talent Program.
How did you decide to enroll in Seavus’ Telecom Talent program? And what did the training look like?
Aleksandar: In my case, it was completely unplanned. I was browsing job ads one day when I came across Seavus’ posting for the Telecom Talent Program and, after reading it thoroughly and discovering what the Program covered, I decided to enroll. My main motive, to be honest, was the prospect of getting a job at Seavus after completing the program.
That year, the Talent Program was held online for the first time. The course lasted for about four weeks and, starting off with the most basic concepts, it covered everything we needed to know about the telecom industry and the billing platforms. The lecturers were experienced professionals from Seavus, who did a great job sharing their knowledge and expertise.
Maja: I was searching for internship opportunities when I accidentally saw the posting for the course on Seavus’ website. I didn’t hesitate to apply and, after passing the tests, I was accepted. The Telecom Talent Program lasted for a month. It was delivered by three developers and three testers. In the first part of the training, we solved problems and learned the entire process of the billing platform, while in the second part, which was also both theoretical and practical in nature, we learned about testing. I found the course very interesting as we had the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals, who were selflessly devoted to passing their knowledge on to us by using simple examples from everyday life. At the end of the course, we all took a test on both parts of the training, after which I was lucky enough to be selected for a job offer and become part of Seavus’ team of testers.
Tell us more about yourselves, your beginning at Seavus and your current job position.
Aleksandar: I am a 27-year old graduate from the Faculty of Computer Science in Stip, a technology enthusiast and a team player. I started my career at Seavus after finishing the Telecom Talent Program and have been working as a Junior Developer since then, for more than nine months now.
Маја: After graduating from the Faculty of Information Science and Computer Engineering in Skopje, completing the Telecom Talent Program, and passing the relevant tests, I got a job offer from Seavus and started working at the company as a Junior Test Engineer. Here, I’ve had the opportunity to learn the techniques of automated testing (Selenium and Java) in practice - by solving problems every day, a process that was challenging but very interesting. I had always wanted to dive into the world of automated testing and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
What projects are you working on at the moment and what are the things you appreciate the most in Seavus?
Aleksandar: Since my employment at Seavus, I have been involved in internal projects related to Salesforce. What motivates me most in my work is the supportive working environment. In Seavus, you can always ask for help from your superiors and colleagues and we all work as one united team towards the same goal. Another motivation to stay and continue my career here is the opportunity for professional growth and skill development.
Maja: I am currently working on a project regarding the telecom system that I learned at the Talent Program. It is a huge project that poses new challenges every single day and helps me continuously learn new things. The team working on this project consists of excellent developers, testers and a scrum master. On the project, I am also responsible for running tests against APIs (Rest APIs) in Postman, and I am really proud that, in a relatively short time, I managed to learn the techniques of manual testing, including APIs, and the basics of automated testing of graphical user interfaces. At the moment, I am also learning Rest API automation testing. For me, the most important thing is that the working environment is friendly and positive; we all respect and support each other because we know that only teamwork and collaboration can lead to success.
Seavus is a company that looks after its employees and offers tremendous opportunities for learning, which is why I would especially recommend it to all those who are at the start of their career.
How did you deal with the challenge of mentoring the Talent Program and what were your duties?
Jelena: The Telecom Talent Program is mentored by several experts in the telecom domain, whose common goal is to successfully pass on their knowledge and experience in developing and testing software for telecom operators. The main challenge for each Program we organize is to upgrade the materials from the previous year and adapt them to the new modern technologies, digitalization and other telecom trends. So far, throughout the years, I’ve had different duties regarding the Talent Program, from organization to mentorship and selection of candidates. This year my duties were directly related to revising the content for the Talent Program and selecting the candidates. The other mentors were dedicated to guiding the participants into the process of development and testing of telecom billing systems. I would like to add that last year we started a new Talent Program with a focus on automated testing. It was my pleasure and privilege to organize it for the first time and prepare mentors for next year’s iterations.
What are the major advantages of the Telecom Talent Program and what skill can candidates expect to gain?
Jelena: The Telecom Talent Program offers candidates specific knowledge and skills that can otherwise be gained only through work experience in the telecom industry. The learning materials are a compilation of the most important knowledge and skills that our telecom experts have gained from their long and rich work experience. As part of Seavus, these experts have had the opportunity to work with some of the most famous global telecom and satellite operators. The telecom systems are unique and very complex, which is why you can hardly find any information about them on the Internet. This makes it very difficult, and even impossible, for someone to acquire the knowledge necessary for working with telecom systems on their own. The Program’s learning materials also cover working processes, programming skills, and techniques for software development and testing; in other words, skills that every software engineer should have. To sum up, in just a month, participants can gain knowledge and skills (basic software engineering and specific knowledge about telecommunication systems) that would take at least a year to be gained through work experience. Another opportunity they should embrace is the prospect of getting a job offer from Seavus after finishing the Talent Program and using what they’ve learned practically by working on interesting projects.
What is your advice to those who are hesitant to apply for Seavus’ Talent Program?
Jelena: As I already mentioned, the telecom systems are very complex, but this should not discourage you. The modules in the Talent Program are well-organized; they build onto each other and are easy to follow and learn from. In addition, the scope of telecom architectures is so broad that it allows anyone preparing for a career as a programmer or tester to find a job on a variety of systems, applications and technologies. The brave candidates who will apply for and successfully complete the Telecom Program can look forward to the prospect of getting a job at Seavus, where they will be able to work in a positive environment, enjoy all the perks we offer (social and sports activities), and develop professionally.