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The experience of a Senior Developer at Prozone

“Some need 4 years, some 6, and some 10 to become a senior. It depends on the company, its organization, the type of projects it is working on, the environment within the company itself, and of course, you yourself… listen to yourself because that way you will know best when you are ready for the next step in your career.”

 

The position of a Senior brings with it greater responsibility for the success of projects, new tasks and challenges, but also the role of a mentor to younger and less experienced colleagues. To shed light on what it means to be a Senior on an IT team, we spoke with Aleksandar Oroz, a Senior Java developer at our company.

How did you decide to become a programmer?

I preferred technical sciences while I was in high school, so I knew that I would continue my education in that direction. At that time, the IT industry was on the rise, so that my path took me to the Faculty of Technical Sciences, majoring in E2, Computer Science and Automation. After graduating from university, I interned and worked at some IT companies. Just over three years ago, Prozone’s HR manager contacted me via LinkedIn, and that was the beginning of my work at Prozone.

What did your journey in Prozone, until the position of Senior, look like?

The most important thing for the position of a Senior is experience, not only in working on specific projects and technologies, but also cooperation with clients and colleagues. Experience is important because it allows you to fully respond to all challenges. Of course, you will not always know the answer to all the questions, but you will know how to approach the problem.

Some need 4 years, some 6, and some 10 to become a senior. It depends on the company, its organization, the type of projects it is working on, the environment within the company itself, and of course, you yourself. It took me about 7-8 years to, after a certain number of successfully completed projects and accumulated experience, feel ready to take that step towards the position of Senior.

What do you like most about working as a Senior Developer?

Probably that feeling that you can respond to all the challenges that a project brings with it, but also sharing your experience with colleagues. I was a junior myself, and I know what challenges early-stage developers face. That is why I approach my mentoring tasks in a friendly way, younger colleagues know that they can always ask me for my opinion and advice.

My goal is for everyone on the team to understand the requirements and find a common solution. We have internal company seminars, where Seniors talk about the problems they face in the initial phase of project development. I love when we all go through every aspect of the project and when we manage to follow every task from start to finish.

Given that you have been a part of Prozone for a long time, what do you like most about the work of your company?

A professional culture, friendly atmosphere and variety of projects. Initially, I liked the opportunity to work in Prozone in Kuwait, where I went after some half a year of working in Novi Sad. Going into the unknown turned out to be a great step in my career thus far, I met new people and expanded my knowledge base. I was there for a while, and then I returned to Novi Sad.

How different is what you do from the job you did before you became a Senior?

The job of a Senior is much more demanding, you are facing more complex tasks, greater responsibility within the project, the scope of work is greater, but with good organization and cooperation of the entire team, all this can be overcome. My task, as the technical lead, is to balance between the timelines for projects and their technical requirements, and come up with a feasible solution.

Do you aim to improve your knowledge and skills? Is a professional best trained at work, or is there still a need for education?

Generally speaking, IT is one of the most dynamic industries, where changes happen every day, new technologies are constantly being developed, and old ones are being improved, and that is why it is necessary to keep up to date with all the novelties.

That is why I think that it is important for every engineer, regardless of seniority, to constantly improve. Ever since my academic education, I have constantly been investing in my knowledge and acquiring new skills, educating myself through tutorials, blogs, forums or podcasts. It is a continuous process for me, and one that will never stop.

Are there still things you can learn from your immediate supervisor?

Of course, I personally think that working in a team with experienced colleagues is one of the most effective and, at the same time, the fastest way of learning and improving.

If you had to list three advantages of your position, what would they be?

What does a working day of a Senior at Prozone look like?

We work according to standardized procedures, so you know at any time what project you are on, what your tasks are, what is expected of you, etc. Each task is arranged according to priority, and in agreement with the business analyst, using the scrum method, analyzing the current situation on the project, if necessary there may be a change in priorities. I try to approach each problem calmly and break it down into smaller segments, which I solve one by one.

Can you tell us more about the projects you are working on?

We mainly do projects related to the oil industry, we make programs for running prison administrations, as well as information systems for prison units in Serbia. We also work with Maximo software from IBM. Each team is assigned one project in which proper communication, support and transparency are essential.

Finally, what would you like to say to your younger colleagues?

In order to succeed at anything, you have to love what you do, and constantly improve. Of course, transparent communication is the key to the successful completion of a project, but also to solving potential problems.

Lastly, listen to yourself because that way you will know best when you are ready for the next step in your career.