Kreso described the start of his career and life in Istria with that sentence. It also served as a great opening line for the rest of our interview, in which he told us about the projects and technologies you can work on in Vodnjan – and a few bits about the unique hands-on approach to development there.
Q: Kreso, let’s start out with a cliche – what exactly does a Principal Engineer in Vodnjan do?
Kreso: That’s kind of hard to describe for someone not into this line of work. To put it simply, I work on the very core of Infobip’s business – our core messaging platform, or ‘IP Core’, as we call it. My team and I make it possible for Infobip to receive messages from our clients in high volumes, and to send them to our 800+ operator partners from all over the world.
Q: Wow, impressive. Can we get some more details regarding your projects? The parts that aren’t ‘top secret’?
Kreso: Well, we work on achieving real-time high throughput and low latency – it’s quite interesting and challenging to tackle. We’re also building (and maintaining) a micro-services-oriented architecture with high availability and geo-redundancy.
Our platform is being constantly improved and new features are being developed, and we’ve been integrating push, Voice and instant messaging alongside our SMS, so we’re pretty much never bored and there’s always interesting, important work to do.
A lot of our frameworks are developed in-house, and every developer is fully responsible for their projects/products/services and any of its deployments or upgrades.
Q: And how do you handle all that? Through established procedures, or…?
Kreso: We practice agile, scrum-based development – the best thing here is precisely the lack of unnecessary and lengthy procedures. You come to work in the morning and there’s a list of problems waiting for you on your desktop – and you go about solving them the best way you can. We take the no-nonsense, hands-on approach rather than the way of getting lost in pointless bureaucracy and red tape.
Q: What did you work on before joining Infobip?
Kreso: I worked on the implementation of an e-learning system, web development, development of an online payment/authorization system and the integration of IBM’s Content Management System.
Q: Was it the projects that made you stay in Vodnjan? Or was there more?
Kreso: Yeah, the projects did draw me in – while there were interesting and challenging ones in Zagreb as well, the stuff in Pula (where our Istrian offices were before the Campus was even built) was more urgent to handle, since there were issues with messaging due to the increase in traffic at the time. But that wasn’t the only thing Istria had going for it.
Life here is pretty great – there are virtually no traffic jams, while in larger cities it can take you more than half an hour to get anywhere, at all. It’s also more relaxing to live in Pula than in a bigger city, not to mention healthier. Also, don’t forget about the sea – as someone who likes long walks and running by the shore, I really appreciate it.
Q: Thank you for your time, Kreso! Now, for the final question – would you recommend Istria to other developers?
Kreso: I would. Personally, I really like living here, and I’m glad I get to work on meaningful projects with global impact from such a peaceful corner of the world. Maybe it’s not for everyone – but someone who enjoys nature, peace and fewer traffic jams should feel at home around these parts.
To all developers out there – I’d definitely recommend to try out Istria. They’ll probably stick around. Just like I did.