Gloria has been part of the company for more than five years. Based in Tirana, Albania, she started as a trainee in our Sirma TraineeLab, and now she is a valuable part of our technology team.
How it all started at Sirma?
In the last year of my Bachelor’s program, I needed to start a practice in a software development company. I remember that I was given a suggestion to start and complete my practice months in Sirma (Tirana branch), and I agreed to start. I liked the environment, the employees, and the energy felt there. In the first months, I was involved in some of the team’s projects, and it was pretty exciting. A few weeks later, a group of managers from Bulgaria came to Tirana and proposed to the other trainees and me, to undertake a Java exam. Everyone who scored well could be the next developer part of the company. At that time, Java was one of my favorite programming languages, so I was thrilled by the idea. I took the exam, everything went pretty well, and I successfully passed the job interview. It has been almost my fifth year in Sirma, and no doubt, it is a great pleasure to work here.
What kind of projects are part of your portfolio?
I have been involved in several projects, most of them in the financial sector. What I like most about the projects I’ve been part of is the diversity of the technologies used, which made me eager to improve my knowledge and know more programming languages, techniques, and architectural frameworks. One of my first important projects was with a global solutions provider for the financial industry, focusing on banking and insurance. I was part of the team that had the responsibility to develop ‘Product Catalogue and Pricing’ for one of the top 4 banks in Bulgaria and to provide integration with other banking systems. It served as a wonderful start, and after that, I was ready for my next ventures.
The next three projects had to be done from scratch, from basic requirements and design to development, security, digital signatures, testing, deployment, integration with the existing modules, and support via training and manuals.
I gained so much experience from all these projects in terms of development and skills, such as coping with tight deadlines, improving my communication skills, meeting goals, making decisions, etc.
After all these projects were done, I joined the Temenos team and enjoyed working with them for two subsequent projects. The first one was the development of a connector or middleware used to build a bridge of communication between two banking systems willing to share payments and communicate with one another via the SIA network. The second one was a project aimed to create a SaaS portal to contain all the logic of deploying services as instances and monitoring and managing those instance resources in Azure.
I’m pretty content I have been part of these projects and every time I start a new project, I appreciate the date because I see it as the date of starting something new, and when it comes to such new adventures, I’m all eyes and ears ;)
What advice would you give to any newbies who will join the program?
When I was a newbie, I used to read a lot about what to take into account for becoming a good software developer and the following advice is one of the best I’ve read so far: ‘Nike isn’t just a tennis shoe. She was the goddess of victory, but the only way to achieve victory in learning to program is to “just do it”.’ That’s the key, do it yourself, if you fail, try again and don’t give up, do as much as you can, pay attention to details, create clean and beautiful code, ask for help whenever you need it, and often consult, get better at googling, learn continuously. Don’t learn a programming language, don’t learn how to code, learn how to program, I repeat: don’t give up, and of course, don’t forget to have fun!
Do you think that working with different people and nationalities enriches you as a person and a professional?
For sure. I remember I was reading somewhere that “Diverse teams are smarter”. This is a wonderful opportunity that our job offers us. Working with different people from all around the world is an amazing experience. The team can be more creative, we get to know each other’s culture, become more open-minded, flexible, tolerant and, we can also try learning new languages…
What motivates you?
I remember one of the first projects I was involved in, with totally new technologies, a different work environment, and new team members. In the beginning, I felt like I was thrown into the water, having to learn to swim all over again. I felt involved day by day, worked hard, and learned a lot and after some months of developing the application, we needed to pass the certification phase. It was the certification, the moment that held great importance for us all. It was almost two days and by the end of the second day, when our application got certified and everything was successful, I felt a healthy, rewarding dose of dopamine flowing through my body. Oh, it’s very satisfying to make something beautiful. Whenever I mark a task as done successfully, I’m eager to complete even more. The more complex the job is, the better it feels to finish, and this continuous process of getting things done has kept me motivated for all these years.
3 words that describe you best?
It’s not easy to talk about yourself, at least for me, but work is definitely a great place to get to know yourself well. You get to know what kind of worker you are, are you able to create social relationships easily, how you behave in certain situations, and how you cope with stressful and tight deadlines. And after all of these happen, you get a better overview of who you are…
Based on my exploration journey, I tend to describe myself as supportive, organized, and reliable. Even though a busy day for a software developer is a normal day, I make sure to stop to help anyone who needs me. I do classify myself as organized because I cannot remember a single day gone without a TODO list. All you find around me are planners and notes.. to ensure I’m getting all of my work done on time. Lastly, I’m a reliable person, I tend to describe myself so because I stick to what I say. If I say I’ll do something, you don’t have to worry to remind me. I’ll get it done ;)