Vlad joined Endava in Pitesti almost four years ago as a Development Consultant. Since he is a strong believer that the only limit to our growth is the one we set for ourselves, he constantly challenges himself to think big and to keep an open mind about continuous learning. Dive into his world; discover how to learn 30 technologies in only 3 years and see how easily your hobbies can enhance your expertise.
When did you join the company and what is your career path so far?
Joining the Endava team almost four years ago opened up many opportunities for my career. I am working on my fourth project now and each one has been more fascinating than the one before. Initially, I was involved in developing an electronic payments platform from scratch, for one of the top mobile money solution providers in the world. After this experience, I worked on an insurance project for one of the biggest insurance brokers in America that was expanding its business to Europe. Another major project I was involved in consisted of developing an electronic payment processing solution for the banking industry in Norway and Sweden. Nowadays I am working on an electronic invoice-processing platform that has to deliver the highest level of performance.
Besides gaining the business knowledge that came with every project, the different technology stacks I worked with helped me enrich my technical knowledge. In the last three years I learned more than 30 new software technologies and libraries (including AMQP, Swagger, Retrofit, Akka, Dozer, Spray, New Relic, Spring Boot, PowerMockito, Cloudant, MongoDB, BlueMix and more) as well as an additional programming language (Scala); all this while aiming to achieve the highest level of quality and performance we can provide to our clients.
Tell us about what drives and guides you at Endava?
The two things I love most about Endava are the organization’s culture and the daily slice of fun I have with my colleagues. I find that the balance between challenge and support is fine-tuned here. The challenge component for me consists of understanding what the client wants and delivering a suitable solution with the best tools and practices that our industry has to offer. The support is provided by the never-ending knowledge sharing process that is part of our daily activity. If you get stuck, there is always someone who knows more on that topic and can point you in the right direction. A funny example would be how I won the internal annual foosball championship, despite the fact that I almost knew nothing about this sport before my colleagues introduced me to it!
Could you share some books/tutorials/talks that had an effect on your career path?
For many years I had only an OOP and synchronous processing mind-set and I felt that the output of my work was somehow limited or incomplete. This feeling disappeared once I learned more about functional programming (Scala) and asynchronous processing using the Actor model (through Akka). Learning about these two topics enabled me to better understand software in general. In terms of talks, the most enlightening one was Uncle Bob’s “The Scribe's Oath” at the GOTO Amsterdam Conference in 2017. This talk made me aware of the great ethical responsibility that we have as software developers by comparing us to scribes and doctors.
What can you tell us about your life outside of work?
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I fully agree with Confucius. Love struck when I discovered the world of IoT, all the gadgets, sensors and microcontrollers that allow you to make anything you desire. Now my toys are based on Arduino, ESP, Raspberry, BeagleBone, LilyPad and other microcontroller-based devices. I am currently taking this one step further by developing my own electronic boards using Eagle and a desktop sized CNC machine, designing and printing my own casings for the devices using SketchUp and 3D printing and making everything pretty with the help of my laser cutting machine.
My private and professional life complement one another. I’m learning new technologies in my private time that boost the quality and performance of the projects in my work. The things I learn at work also enhance my hobbies and passions. For me, creating the Digital Innovation Practice at Endava was the best thing possible. It’s like having a community of people that are passionate about the same hobbies, but in the workplace. We share knowledge, opinions, experiences, exchange ideas, improve each other’s understanding and join efforts to achieve cool things. I was pleased to share my knowledge about IoT devices and the opportunities that they bring.
If you were to start work at Endava tomorrow, what would be that one piece of advice you would give to yourself?
“Think big!” is my best advice. At Endava the only limit for how good you can become or how many things you can learn is the one that you set yourself. So set it as high as possible!