blogOctober 4, 2022

Curiosity, growth and getting out of your comfort zone from a software engineer

Alina interviewing Stefanica, Software Engineer

Article presentation
Stefanica, Software Engineer at OceanoBe

In this interview, we are talking about curiosity, growth, and getting out of your comfort zone with Stefanica, Software Engineer here at OceanoBe.


Stefanica is the type of person that is always positive, listens with intent, and gives her whole heart to the task. She is tech-savvy, curious, and always ponders on her replies, making sure that you will always get the best version of the information she is trying to convey. Above all, she has a strong work ethic and is a reliable colleague. 

In this interview, you will discover more about her journey and the values that drive her. Being a developer was always something she envisioned for herself and she had the courage to make a change in her career from automotive to web development, courage that not many muster, in order to grow and reach her full potential. To put it in the words she lives by “great things come once you leave your comfort zone”. I hope that her journey will inspire you to do the same. 

Alina

Getting to know you

  • So, Stefanica, what’s your role here at OceanoBe and what does that imply? 

I am a backend developer and I have been working mostly in the banking and payments industry and of course on OceanoBe's products. I work with Java 8-17,  Spring Boot, databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and others.

  • What are 3 words that would best describe you?

I am curious, motivated, disciplined, perseverant, multitasking, and the list goes on (smiling). 

  • What’s your favorite pastime, besides petting your adorable cat? 

I love to read and attend music festivals, which are having a comeback after the pandemic. So literature and music are my favorite pastimes, I actually am thinking of learning to play the guitar someday. 

  • What book are you currently reading?

The name of the rose by Umberto Eco. 

Growth

  • Tell us how you started your career and when did you decide that software engineering was the right path for you?

I think I was always passionate about technology and how things work, by the end of high school I realized that I wanted to be a software engineer and I followed that dream at university. After graduating I spent 6 months working as a tester because it seemed to me that this was a good “ice breaker” so to say. After that, I knew I wanted to do development and when the opportunity came to do Android development in Java for the automotive industry, I took it. There I set the basis for professional development working in Agile, building and maintaining android infotainment applications. 

  • I know that you have had a switch in your career from the automotive industry to web development. Were there any challenges there? 

The switch from one field to another I think suited me best. I finished the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, here in Iasi, and I think that my skills were better used in web development. The thing is that the main programming language is the same, Java, the newest part were the frameworks, libraries, and databases. As I said I am very curious and I wanted to grow, making this change seemed obvious to me because working and developing backend web applications have greater complexity and I know that here there are much more opportunities to grow and evolve.

  • How would you describe a growth environment in the workplace?

Well, growth is having the opportunity to learn new things, apply them, and also have creative freedom. It also means having an environment where people can learn from one another, and having challenges because they are a great way to learn new things. And growth also is about discipline, perseverance, and openness. 

  • Looking back, was there a particular experience you recall that was a major learning curve for you?

The first time I switched to development was a really intense learning experience for me, and the same was when I moved on to web development. I was a great deal to learn but I found here colleagues that helped me with resources, ideas, and suggestions. Here, at OceanoBe, I got the opportunity to contribute to OceanoBe's products, the Pulse App, and the OceanoBe website, and working on something meaningful with our team was really a great experience, one I value the most. 

software-developer-oceanobe


Flexibility

  • I wanted to ask you about flexibility, what does that mean to you?

Besides the schedule, I think the possibility to get involved in a variety of projects and learning new things. If you want to grow you can choose to participate and get all the support you need, and that is something you can’t find that easily. A common trait for the people here, at OceanoBe, is that we are open to new ideas and are willing to approach things in a more original way. 

  • One of the core values here, at OceanoBe, is flexibility, how does that translate into our workplace? 

I discovered here that people are very flexible and open to new ideas. Of course, the flexible schedule is one aspect. The thing is that programming is a creative process and it's important to work at your own pace, and here you will find that. 

Excellence

  • What is the number one thing that helps deliver excellence in a project? 

I think it’s the desire to deliver quality solutions, in accordance with the customer's demands, to always want to have a better output, and at the same time your commitment to continuous learning. It’s all about wanting to deliver quality and of course having a team of people where there is constant motivation and challenge to bring our best work to the table.  

  • How do you feel about your contribution to what we do here at OceanoBe?

Definitely, my contribution to the OceanoBe's products because they have made an impact on our community. Some projects are just dear to you, this is the case for me (smiling). Working on these projects I really had a chance to create such meaningful connections with my colleagues, things that bond us. Working together in developing new solutions and ideas is quite unique and the idea behind these projects is that we have total creative liberty and on using technologies and tools. Pulse App is for example a very cool app from that point of view. What book are you currently reading?

  • What was the thing that drew you to OceanoBe, as a company? Is there anything that you really appreciate about our community?

I loved the idea that it’s a startup and the kind of company where new ideas can be implemented, where you have the possibility to create your own solutions. Here innovation is one of the core values and of course, the people have a great vibe. In addition to this OceanoBe is a flat management company and this was for me a great improvement over the more corporate environment that I previously worked in. 

Experience

  • Is there anything that you are looking forward to learning in the near future?

Oh, on the front-end I would love to learn Angular, just so that I could have an overview of the whole stack.

  • What are some lessons you have learned during your career, so far, that you would like to share with other engineers?

There are I few things that come to mind: 

  1. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, to grow means you have to leave your comfort zone, after you pass the resistance phase great things happen;
  2. You must be willing to get involved, not stick to what you know how to do;
  3. Keep up with the newest things in the industry;
  4. Be curious, research, and try to understand the challenge that you face. 


This is where we conclude our interview with Stefanica, Software Engineer here at OceanoBe. You can find more information about OceanoBe’s values, team, and opportunities and you can check our Join our team page. 

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