By blending technical expertise with great passion, Madalin is a leader who inspires through example and dedication. With over 10 years of experience in the IT industry, he’s always ready to embrace a new challenge with enthusiasm and turn it into a great learning opportunity. He’s one of our technical gurus who is both tech-savvy and more than happy to offer support. Discover Madalin’s story and find out how he manages to juggle being a tech expert, a leader, and a father.
How did you start out at Endava?
I joined Endava in 2008. After moving to Cluj, I had to decide between 3 companies, and somehow I chose Endava. As I'm still here after 10 years, it proved to be the right decision. I started as a Developer working on an interesting insurance project, with a complex business and many challenges. After a year or so I became responsible for the Claims business area, i.e. the go-to person for anything business or technical related to claims. I learned a lot about ownership and responsibility.
For a couple of years I was involved in some short projects, still in the financial area: banking, forex, insurance, everything building up to the next challenge, a Payments project. I was part of the initial team that started working on the project in 2011. We are now the biggest Agile setup within Endava and are still growing. Currently, 125 people distributed in 14 Java teams (12 teams in Cluj) and 2 .NET teams (in Cluj) are contributing to this great project. I believe that the fact that we are still growing after all these years says everything about the quality of our work. I'd like to think that maybe 1/5 of this success story was also my contribution.
It's pretty difficult to describe my main activities. My role is very complex: from coding, design & architecture and advising our client on the best business decisions to take on my team's projects, to interviews, job offers and architectural reviews for potential new clients. I also provide help in RFPs, presentations, training, performance reviews and salary reviews, career coaching, driving events, leading initiatives and the list can continue. The point is that I see everything as a new opportunity to grow. Even if some activities seem tedious at first sight, there is always something to learn.
Tell us about what drives you within Endava.
What drives me the most is autonomy. I like the fact that I can try new ideas and that everywhere you look there is an opportunity. I don't usually complain or emphasise problems preventing me from doing my job. I mean, I do complain, but I also offer solutions when I discover something that is not working. It's very easy to spot problems and invoke them every time as an excuse, and it's very easy to have a solution for everything, even if it's not something important. The hardest thing is to identify real problems and offer viable, valuable solutions.
Again, it may seem a cliché, but in every difficult situation, I see an opportunity to grow and develop new skills: when others see a Product Owner with low business knowledge, I see an opportunity to influence a project. When others see people around them not doing their job right, I see an opportunity to develop additional skills, and when an entirely new situation appears, even if the first instinct is to reject it, I just go with it, even if it takes me out of my comfort zone.
I sometimes go into new situations just to listen to people talk. It doesn’t matter if they are technical or non-technical people: I analyse how they present facts, how they frame the entire setup and how they respond to questions, how they rephrase things from different perspectives, what language they use. I guess this is the most important lesson for me: always be an excellent listener. It's very hard to achieve this with so many people having opinions around you.
Name some books/tutorials/speeches that had an effect on your career path.
The first that comes to my mind is Simon Sinek's ‘Start With Why’ but I recommend most of Simon Sinek's speeches. Something I’ve recently read and liked is ‘Who moved my cheese.’ I enjoyed it a lot.
Tell us more about yourself outside of work.
Time outside work is focused on my family. I have 3 great kids and an amazing wife. I try to maximise the time spent with them as much as possible.
The common thing between work and life is being involved. When I do something, as a father, a husband or an architect I take ownership, and I am truly involved. This is the key for everything from my perspective. It's very hard to make people think you care about something if you treat that something superficially. And it's very hard to have the same level of involvement in everything. This is why it's very important to have your priorities in line with your personal values. It’s similar to project delivery: you cannot get things done fast, cheap and good. You must pick 2. I have my list, and I like to think I choose wisely every time.
I'm also a very passionate reader. Although I don't have so much time for this activity. I read technical books, fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, fantasy and mostly any book I consider "good." I usually have 3-4 books I read in parallel. Depending on time and mood.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting work at Endava today?
Be humble, listen, chase any opportunity you get. Don't take things for granted.