Q: First off – you became a Development Team Leader in two and a half years. Isn’t that pretty fast?
Filip: Yeah, but with motivated teammates and trust from my supervisor it came naturally. Infobip is really good at recognizing dedication, hard work and team spirit… and they are more than happy to let you know you’re doing well. They’re also very happy to reward you for it.
Two years really flew by, and gave me a chance to play with some really interesting stuff, from high availability concepts, microservices, distributed frontend development, continuous integration, Kafka streams to canary deployments and DevOps stuff, in general.
If you love solving interesting problems, this is definitely place for you.
Q: What made you choose a life in Istria – was it the view? 🙂
Filip: Well, there was no view back when I joined the company, even if there is one now. I came because it sounded like an interesting, challenging job at a company that felt like a very relaxed and friendly place. I stayed because there’s no micromanagement, you get ownership of your projects, and new ideas and innovation are always encouraged regardless of when you joined the company.
The ‘view’, or life in Istria, did play into it, as well – as more of an introvert, I’d take living by the sea over many places to go out to in a large city any day. My colleagues are mostly my friends, and I like the pubs we go visit here. There are also Pula’s famous summer music festivals – just living fifteen minutes from Outlook & Dimensions is a really great feeling.
Q: That must be a great feeling, indeed. But, back to work – what exactly did you mean when you said your ideas are always encouraged regardless of when you joined?
Filip: A really great story about that is the time when I had my first meeting with Adrian Benic, our VP Products, over two years ago. Even though I was a freshly employed Software Engineer, one of the top people in the entire company took all my ideas into account and actually gave me recognition. That… probably felt even better than a vacation, to be frank.
And the thing is, after a while here you learn that everyone’s like that – it’s literally a company for developers, by developers, and everyone from C-level actually gets the tech side of things and is totally approachable. Same goes for team leaders and colleagues; everyone makes sure the work environment is as comfortable as it gets so we can all focus on doing our jobs the best we can and approaching new challenges with no hesitation.
Q: How much do you feel you’ve learned as a Software Engineer at Infobip?
Filip: I initially came as front-end developer, but here at Infobip learning and exploring is highly encouraged – so it wasn’t long until I started developing microservices and doing some pretty interesting stuff with Elasticsearch. And that’s not all – mix it with some ‘business logic’ you pick up along the way, and there are numerous possibilities to expand your knowledge, IT competencies and your career.
Right now, I’m mostly focused on new technologies and developing my organizational skills.
I also got to travel a lot and learn from our teams from all over the world: dev teams in Sarajevo, St. Petersburg, Pune… a fun fact is that it actually takes less time to board a plane and fly to St. Pete than it takes to get home to Slavonia. So, you’re basically connected to big cities abroad and get to occasionally work there, too.
Q: Is there anything you miss living here that you would’ve had in a larger city?
Filip: Honestly, shopping used to be a bit of a problem compared to Zagreb. But lately? Pula’s been developing so fast that I don’t think even that’s the case any longer. If we’re comparing to other countries, I think the salaries vs. expenses ratio is also better than we all tend to think it is. I feel like I have more free time, too – or maybe I just don’t waste it commuting and the sea makes it feel like I’m always on vacation!
Q: Thank you, Filip! Now, quickly, for your closing statement – favorite thing about your projects that you haven’t mentioned yet?
Filip: Hah – no pressure, right? Okay, I’m never bored and always have something to contribute to, I get to work on important projects that I can see really matter – like our Infobip Portal, a really important product for us – so I never wonder why on Earth I’m doing something… Free thinking? Innovation?
Kidding a bit now, but seriously – for someone like me who’s passionate about his work and enjoys getting away from the noise of a big city, Istria’s perfect. And if you get nostalgic, visiting home isn’t even a problem in the 21st century.