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08.12.2022.

From Intern to Principal Software Architect: The Journey of Aleksandra Gjinovska

Helloworld

Deciding to enter the world of tech is a big decision – there are a lot of things to learn and become a pro at. But if you have a general idea of what you want to do and know that learning is a never-ending process – you will find your passion. Just ask our Aleksandra Gjinovska. She walked into IT Labs as an intern almost ten years ago, and has since grown and developed to become a Principal Software Architect. She decided to share her journey with aspiring techies, to show that nothing is impossible if you have your mind set on learning and growing. Read on.

How did you end up with us?

I searched for an internship program to fill my extra time while preparing my graduate thesis. A friend told me about the internship in IT Labs, so I applied. A couple of days after the interview, they called me up to tell me that I shall begin in a couple of days. Have to say, it’s one of the best decisions I made about my career – I still remember how excited I was that day.

What was your experience in the internship program? With the mentors?

I had a great time during the internship. Blagoja Panovski, (a senior engineer at the time, now a Principal Software Architect), was my mentor, and I learned a lot from him, but what impressed me the most was the working atmosphere, the friendly attitude of the senior engineers, and their willingness to guide and share knowledge. The lunch breaks, hangouts, and treasure hunting team building are things I still remember. 

What do you see yourself doing in the future? The only way is up, so where exactly is that?

I had my sights set on becoming a software architect, and I worked hard to become one – since reaching that goal, I’m now focused on solution design, being a good mentor and leader, and just learning something new every day. 

What does your average day look like?

As a software architect, my day is filled with a lot of activities: from code reviews, coding, deployments, and meetings with teams – all the way to engaging in more company-level activities, which include planning, brainstorming sessions, mentorship, and development programs. Aside from the regular work stuff, there are the coffee breaks, hanging out with colleagues, and chit-chatting with people from other teams.

Something personal you'd like to add?

An advice for all aspiring techies – it’s okay to not have a clear vision of what you want to do in the future or what you want to specialize in or become a pro at. I came here as an undergrad without a clear vision in which direction I wanted to develop, but I knew I had to keep learning and growing. At IT Labs, I have the chance to experiment and work with cutting-edge tech, but also improve my skills and develop new ones – some of which I was not even aware of before. I’ve been here for almost ten years now and stayed because I knew I’d have the kind of environment and culture that would fit me – a collaborative environment where individuals work as one cohesive team and knowledge flows freely. Find this, and you’ll do great things. 

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