There is a huge demand on programmers in Serbia. People are attending retraining courses that promise expertise and high earnings immediately after completing the programs. Actually, that is impossible if you are a complete beginner.
Who is Igor Stojanovic?
Igor: Igor Stojanovic is just a regular guy, passionate about programming, sports and music.
At what age did you start working as a programmer?
Igor: I have always loved computers and programming. Under the circumstances, I bought my first computer when I was 28 years old, and I started programming at the age of 30.
When did you start studying programming? What was the motive and inspiration? How did you learn? Where from? What was it like? How much time did it take you to reach the junior level?
Igor: At the time, the Internet was not as fast as it is today. Google was at its beginning.
Wi-Fi was not available, nor spread as much, so in the beginning I learned from various books or scripts. All in all, learning, at that time, went quite slowly.
Back then I worked as security in a company and every time when I worked the night shift, I would take a key from an office and studied how to use Word, Excel, DOS and other basic tools. A few months later, I got a job in a IT school where I started to teaching other people how to use these basic programs. Although I loved the job, there still was no programming.
About two years later, I started asking around for Java classes. There were no classes in Novi Sad, so I borrowed money from my best man and spent 3 months in Belgrade, learning Java at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, known as FOS. Only they held training for third parties. The courses were really excellent, but exhausting.
How long did it take you to find a job as a programmer and what was the position you got?
Igor: After these courses, armed with newfound knowledge, I applied for my first job as a programmer. I had expected that the interview would pass without any problems.
I mean, for Java programmers we only need the knowledge of Java, right? Well, not quite!
At the interview, in addition to Java, they asked me if I knew MySQL, Ant, Hibernate, JSP, Unit Tests …
Of course, none of these we learned on the course, and after a few minutes it was clear to me that there is no way I’ll get the job. But then I asked the most important question in life:
“What I need to learn and make to get a job in your company?”
The person who interviewed me explained to me, with a smile, what kind of application should I make, and which levels of knowledge and skills are expected from me. The question I asked, and the whole conversation opened up my eyes and I can freely say, have changed it.
Although I did not get the job, I did not give up on programming. During the day I worked in order to provide for my family, and at night I studied and programmed. About a year later I applied at the same company again, and I got my first job as a programmer.
How quickly did you make a prosper at work?
What are you working on now? What’s your team like?
Igor: In 2010/11. my focus moved from Java and Web technologies to programming for mobile devices. Even then it was clear that the future is in mobile devices, and that everything will go in the direction to move business from desktop PC to mobile.
At first I was hesitant whether to study Android or iOS. Java I already knew, and I like Apple 🙂
To start from scratch and learn a new language was more challenging, than to go with Android. After about 4 years I left the company and sailed into the unknown as a junior iOS developer. Challenge accepted!
Now I can safely say that I really love what I do. I continue to develop iOS applications in great company with a great team of professionals.
Why did you change the company and why you chose codecentric?
Igor: In fact, by programming in iOS I’ve changed several companies. Working for each of them were nice and interesting. Yet, I stayed here in codecentric because of many things.
codecentric has a policy that developers choose hardware by their personal preferences. At a job interview, they asked me what do I prefere, and at the first working day I got the hardware that I asked for. I’ve never had a problem to get a new iPhone or iPad after Apple’s release.
Here we have individual educational budget. Each of us can decide how to spend it, whether it comes to workshops, conferences abroad or online courses.
The last thing I would point out, and I would say that is the most important, is the care for employees. The management is trying to help and meet every employee’s need. Not only me, but all codecentric employees have private health insurance, 27 working days annual leave plus all above mentioned, no matter if they are here for 6 months or 6 years.
I would say that very few companies offer such conditions and equality. That is why I am here for the fourth year, and that makes me proud to be a part of this team.
How do you work on yourself? Explain how important it is to people who were thinking to change profession and jump into the programming water…
Igor: Although I have been working with iOS for many years, there is still a lot to learn. Every year, a new version of the operating system is coming out, and new frameworks and languages are being developed. Therefore, reading books, blogs, online courses and creating mini projects in which you experiment and explore how something works are very important.
A few years ago machine learning, image recognition and virtual reality were at the beginning, but today this technology is a part of the applications we use daily. In the developer’s world there is no stagnation. Either you advance with the knowledge or you backslide, because changes occur very quickly. If you love to study and solve problems on a daily basis then learning and training won’t be difficult for you. Moreover, you will enjoy it.
In your job, what do you love the most?
Igor: There are a few things that I love:
- It is dynamic, challenging and it’s constantly forcing me to improve and be better than I am at the moment
- I work with very smart and noble people.
- The most important thing is that applications solve a particular problem that customer has. So a year and a half ago I made an application for my son for learning multiplication table. He then learned the multiplication table in an interesting way, and I turned out to be a cool dad with his friends:)
How was it in San Francisco at the WWDC conference, explain briefly for those who do not know what it is …
Igor: My job also enables me to be in touch with the latest Apple devices, and last year, thanks to the company where I work and education budget that I get, I was in San Francisco at the Apple’s WWDC conference. This conference was organized for iOS developers by Apple.
Seeing America, being at the conference, and meeting Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi Craig was fantastic. However, true value of the conference is that Apple has provided more than 1,000 of its developers with whom I was able to consult and ask them if the solutions that colleagues and I implemented in the application are actually good or we need to improve them somehow. Therefore, the presence at the WWDC is priceless experience.
Who Igor Stojanovic is yet to become? What’s your professional plan for the future?
Igor: As I have already mentioned, the human aspect of my job is very important. My current plan is to go deeper down into the IoT (Internet of Things) and to connect it with everything I have learned so far. I would like to work on an application that would be helpful for people with special needs or children. I have an idea and I hope I will be able to realize it in the future.
Do you have some message to our readers? …something to point out…
Igor: I actually do have some. 🙂
If you get rejected on the job interview make sure to ask the question I asked. You’ll get the information on what to learn and probably guidelines where to do it. When you obtain knowledge in areas that were weak, contact the company and re-schedule the interview.
Follow your dreams. Man simply has to love his job in order to be happy.
Life is full of ups and downs, but do not be discouraged, instead work on yourself and be persistent. With perseverance you will overcome all obstacles and eventually get the result you wanted.
If you are interested to be a part of our team please see Job openings