04 Mar 2022

The girl who wanted to be a Financial Manager, but became a Full Stack Developer instead

Today, our third piece of content from the IT Teams Astronauts series focuses on the feminine side of our team. ”If someone had told me 10 years ago, during high school, that I was going to be a programmer, I wouldn’t have believed it”, Raluca told us, but today she is full stack developer and […]

Today, our third piece of content from the IT Teams Astronauts series focuses on the feminine side of our team. ”If someone had told me 10 years ago, during high school, that I was going to be a programmer, I wouldn’t have believed it”, Raluca told us, but today she is full stack developer and a core member of the IT Teams.

So far, we’ve seen how our fellow colleagues started their careers, how they joined IT Teams, and what was the motivation that made them stay here. Having such a devoted community that strives for the same values which are synonymous with our company, means a lot. And this is the precise reason why we want to find out more from their side. In order to keep on improving the relationship with our teams, we need to know exactly what works well and what needs to be corrected along the way.

Although Raluca studied Mathematics and Computer Science during her high school days, back then she wasn’t really sure that she wanted to become a web developer. As time passed, she thought that enrolling in a university focused on Economics would suit her well. This is how she ended up studying Computer Science at Bucharest’s University of Economic Studies, a place where she could combine two of her favorite things: cybernetics and economy. Now, after an exciting journey for a young professional, we are really happy that she occupies a really important place in IT Teams, as a full-stack developer.

Let’s meet Raluca and see how the world looks through her eyes, and words of course, at 26 years old.

Raluca, tell us more about your beginning at IT Teams? What captured your attention?

I first started in a different web development company, but as time passed I realized that I needed to move on and find a new challenge in life. Luckily, that was the moment when a friend of mine told me that he had just joined a new company, IT Teams, and, if I wanted, he could further recommend me. He was really happy about his professional choice and, although I had already applied to a bunch of other job opportunities, I received really positive vibes from IT Teams. The interview went pretty well and the people I’ve met during that time were really great. This was the reason I accepted their offer almost three years ago, following my first instinct, and now I am a full stack developer.  At IT Teams, I really like the emphasis on freedom and flexibility, as well as the work-life balance.

You are now a full stack developer, how have you developed professionally during these years?

Looking back, I can safely say that during my first job as a web developer I acquired the basics when it comes to a more technical approach. I learned a lot about algorithms, software performance, file processing and so on, things that really helped me along the way. But analyzing my career so far, I have come to realize that about 80% of everything I know I’ve learned here, at IT Teams. Every project that I’ve worked on here and especially my colleagues were two great reasons that contributed to my professional development. Even though the company grants us access to various courses and learning platforms, exchanging ideas and constantly sharing opinions with my team is my no. 1 source of knowledge. Especially when you want to learn new technologies or to be part of a greater or different project than you have been in the past.

I’ve also learned a lot of things on a personal level during my time at IT Teams. Now I can say that you first need to understand the big picture and then act on the respective information, before making any decision, I understand why certain things are not supposed to be taken personally and why treating situations with an objective mind can really help you. Working on bigger projects helped me learn how to better listen and communicate more efficiently with members of the team.

What makes you happy both professionally and personally?

For me, working in an environment that encourages flexibility and autonomy is the best choice I could make from a professional perspective. The right kind of management in a team is the most important feature I can rely on. Having liberty and being confident that my colleagues and my managers trust me when it comes to a non-traditional way of working, is something that gives me hope and confidence. In short, I can definitely say that fully respecting the balance between work and personal life is one of the most important things for me. And having this at my disposal, helps me reach my true potential and push my limits. I’m a bit competitive, but not towards other people, I’m usually fighting with myself to be better and better in the long term.

I really like what I do, I like the projects I work on and my teammates. I don’t see myself giving up on programming to move into the area of ​​architecture or business. But, we will live and see.

Was there something that you really missed while working from home during the pandemic?

Our company offered us the chance to work remotely even before the pandemic started, so I was used to interacting with colleagues of mine that worked from home. Personally, I used to go to the office every day. I really like the human connection, but during the lockdown, I had to adhere to the current situation and work from home. It took me some time to adapt to new routines and different ways of working. Of course, it was hard to face a new reality that was pretty anxiety-inducing, but now I’m really enjoying working from home. Even though we don’t see each other at the office daily, I spend as much time as I can, going out with friends from work, so we continue to develop our friendships in new ways.

How do you see the balance between soft skills and hard skills?

I think that having lots of skills from a programming point of view is nothing if you don’t nurture your soft skills. And by that, I’m trying to say that without having respect and a minimum of communication skills it can be extremely difficult to deliver a project, especially if it needs teamwork and constant human interaction. Emotional intelligence plays a key role in every work environment, so yes, knowing how to create at least a professional relationship is an important aspect.

Tell us more about you and how you spend your spare time.

Well, I have a few things that I like to do to relax with my friends on weekends or holidays, of course. I really enjoy hiking since I’m passionate about challenges of any sort. This is why I tried skydiving once, it was an exhilarating experience. I also like jogging and I think sometime in the future I would like to try a half marathon, maybe in the mountains, and see how that would go. Let’s say I enjoy the adrenaline rush and physical challenges as a whole.