If you attend one of Victor's Pass It On sessions, Endava Tech Flow speeches or community meetups, there's one thing that comes forth clear as day: his enthusiasm for what he does. Besides cultivating his passion for technology and architecture at work and by reading, he takes the time to grow as a person through everything he does: from his knowledge sharing within the company, through the Software Craftsmanship Community in Iasi, to playtime with his son.
Read on to find out what keeps him curious and what makes him enjoy being outside of his comfort zone.
Describe your professional path within the company.
I first joined Endava eight years ago as a .Net Developer. I had the opportunity to work on a challenging project for one of the most significant football associations in the world. The best part of it was the team, a small and focused group of people from whom I've learned a lot about building scalable systems. After that, I've worked on a couple of projects for a short time and then, in 2013, decided to pursue a challenge outside of Endava.
In 2014 I returned as a Design Lead on a greenfield project. This particular project had a considerable influence on my career and was a great learning opportunity. I've worked on it for almost five years and didn't get bored for a day. It was the perfect blend of a great team, the technology that moved me out of my comfort zone, and a smart and friendly client.
Now I'm working as an Architect on another challenging and exciting product with lots of new things to learn.
Tell us about what drives you at Endava.
Looking back, the thing that I appreciate the most is the people I've met. I was lucky to meet and work with a bunch of talented individuals from which I've learned a lot. I still keep in touch with my first Career Coach from Endava, even if we now live in different countries. Another example is the team which I've been a part of for almost five years. Although we had our ups and downs, there was always support and challenge in the group, and this allowed us to grow together. Also, there have been many interactions with people outside of my immediate team: during community meetings while asking for help or giving advice or just on a coffee break. You can learn a lot by talking to other people and learning about the challenges they face in their projects.
The next best thing is the learning opportunities I encounter. In Endava, I did many things that took me outside of my comfort zone; this is why I enjoy this company and feel I have to be here. It is the right place for me to learn and grow.
You are an active speaker both in Endava and the community. What motivates you to share knowledge and to hone your public speaking skills?
The biggest motivation is quite selfish - I want to learn. I firmly believe in the ‘Learning by Teaching’ method. This is one of the main reasons why I’m a blogger and a speaker. I might think I know a topic, but when I try to explain it to others, I find gaps in my knowledge. Blogging or speaking about a problem forces me to fill in these knowledge gaps. After preparing for a talk or writing an article, I have a better and more in-depth understanding of the topic.
The second reason is my belief that communities help us grow and get better. If I talk from experience, both about success stories and failures, there are at least two opportunities to learn. On the one hand, people can learn from the mistakes I’ve made or the lessons I’ve learned. Everything I put out there can be critiqued, so there’s an opportunity for me to learn from others too.
In the end, I hope that more people will get out there and talk from their experience. Knowledge sharing benefits everyone.
Name some books/tutorials/speeches that had an effect on your career path.
Every time I faced a challenge at work, I looked for a book that could help me understand it and overcome it. Reading a book that offers you a knowledge set you can immediately apply is one of the best ways to learn. Some of the books that helped me in challenging situations were: 'Working Effectively with Legacy Code' by Michael Feathers, 'Enterprise Integration Patterns' by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf, 'Continuous Delivery' by Jez Humble and David Farley and 'Software Architecture for Developers' by Simon Brown.
Tell us more about yourself outside of work.
Most of the time, outside work means family time. This means time to relax and shut off all job-related thoughts. During weekends, I go out with my wife and our 9-month old son, enjoy a bit of nature and a good cup of coffee. Mornings are usually father-son time. Playing with my son makes me appreciate the little things and focus on what's important.
I have to confess that I learn a lot from watching him play and learn. We should all learn more from kids, from their curiosity and the way they explore things. If I give him a toy he hasn't seen before, he looks at it from every possible angle. He tastes it; then he bangs it on the wall, then he drops it. And so it continues. Children learn so fast, it's incredible. Now that's a robust learning strategy that we should all apply: stay curious and learn by doing.
Apart from that, my hobbies focus on Software Engineering. I'm an avid reader, and I enjoy a good book. I also have a technical blog, where I write about stuff I'm learning, or I find interesting.
I'm a big believer in learning from others. That's why two talented and passionate software professionals and I are organising the Iasi Software Craftsmanship meetups. I also share my own experiences and lessons learned through Pass It Ons every time I get the chance, inside and outside of Endava.
Since my hobbies are related to Software Engineering, it just makes my work easier. I find it very satisfying when I learn something and then have the opportunity to apply it in my daily work.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting work at Endava today?
Do things outside of your comfort zone. Always look for opportunities to learn and for people to teach you. Moreover, regarding the topic of opportunities - once you start looking for them, you'll see them everywhere.