#InsidePeople with Stefan Jeremić
Welcome to 2023 and to our first #InsidePeople interview this year with Stefan Jeremić.
Being in the IT industry means being constantly ready to move forward and explore new horizons - no one says it's always easy and harmonious, but when you are passionate about it and recognize your purpose there, you don't see it as a problem but as an opportunity.
Diving into this honest and inspirational interview you will find out what our developer met as a challenge during his journey through the IT industry as well as what opportunities come with some industrial transitions.
Switching from one program language to another and working as a part of a team brings some benefits to his personal and professional growth.
Let’s meet Stefan and find out some interesting facts about his role, what inspires him when it comes to developing the product in BlueGrid, and also learn more about sources that might be useful through the journey in the dev world.
You’ve been in the industry for a long time, yet technology has improved significantly since then; can you tell us about the most challenging period for you during the transitions in the IT industry?
Stefan: Classic algorithms and design patterns have been present for quite a long time. Adopting any new paradigm without previous experience can be challenging. For example, component-based development (currently adopted by all major frontend frameworks and libraries) has its roots in the 1960s, yet it has been widely spread in the last decade. That being said, I can’t entirely agree that computer science and academic research have faster progress than in other fields of human knowledge. Software solutions exist as a service for other industries that help them expand the market and automate their processes. Since different problems require different solutions and architectural styles, the most challenging part is adopting new concepts, which often need changing the way you think when providing a solution.
One good example from my experience would be switching from jQuery to Vue.js, as these two technologies have entirely different ways of solving problems, even if they are written in the same programming language. As I said before, the paradigm of these two is entirely different, and working for a long time with jQuery, from my experience, caused me much frustration, so it was a drawback. Simple problems I knew how to solve quickly with jQuery required me to wrap my head around them to make them work in Vue.
On the contrary, switching from PHP backend frameworks like Laravel to Python frameworks (Flask, FastAPI), although having many differences, was less challenging because many of the main concepts stayed the same.
How would you describe your journey through this industry - where did it all start, and how did you get to this position today?
Stefan: It all started when I was a kid playing computer games. Although I found these games fun, I always had an idea for enhancements and what would make the game more fun. So I decided to learn how to make my games. Game development (especially building game engines) requires knowledge of all sorts of algorithms and optimization techniques, so I started learning them. It was quite hard to understand these concepts because they needed a mathematical background and advanced logical thinking. Still, the learning process was quite rewarding because of all the “Eureka” moments after the days of hard work.
After high school, I got a scholarship to the school of computing (RAF) in Belgrade, where I continued my education and gained a broad knowledge of computer science. Web development wasn’t exciting to me back then because I considered it too easy, but almost all job opportunities in Belgrade were about the web, so I decided to give it a go. And yes, I was wrong; there were many challenging situations, architectural concerns, and opportunities to heat the engine in my head to provide optimal solutions. So the last ten years or so, I was constantly sharpening my skills in this field, and here I’m, happy in BlueGrid.
What are the technologies you use in your daily work?
Stefan: In the current project, we are using Python’s FastAPI backend framework. We use Vue js on the front end to inject our widgets into existing e-commerce solutions. We use google infrastructure for running our service and for storing the data.
My preferred IDE is based on IntelliJ (PyCharm), and the Vim extension is necessary. I work on a Mac.
This was a bit of a broad question, so hopefully, I gave an appropriate answer :)
What inspires you when it comes to developing the product you are working on?
Stefan: People. I like the team I’m working with. There are many smart, hard-working people, and working with them is a never-ending learning path.
You enjoy psychology and philosophy in addition to programming; do you see these sciences being incorporated into your work?
Stefan: How do our minds work? What are consciences? What are our purpose and meaning? These are the questions every one of us asks ourselves from time to time. I find these questions intriguing, so I like to read philosophy works and listen to podcasts and debates from time to time.
Also, some psychology tricks you learn along the way help me to manage stress and to challenge situations :)
How did BlueGrid help you develop experience and knowledge?
Stefan: BlueGrid's internal team is doing a great job promoting some good content about technology on social networks, and it helps me to get information on the fields that are not part of my expertise. We also have real-life events from time to time, which is good because lots of people work from their homes. These events are good opportunities to hear something new, what problems your colleagues encounter, and provide or ask for some advice. It also creates a friendly environment among employees, which helps everyone get more enthusiastic about his/her work.
What sources of education or mentors would you recommend to people who want to follow your path?
Stefan: A couple of years ago, I would have recommended some courses, but these days books would be a better choice. Courses are okay on their own, but when you watch them, notifications and advertising from different sources pop up, distracting you when you need focus. Some of the books I would recommend:
Clean Architecture - Robert C. Martin
Python Cookbook - David Beazley, Brian Jones
The Art of Computer Programming - Donald E. Knuth
What are your wishes for 2023?
Stefan: To stay healthy and expand the family! :)