Curiosity, flexibility, and a passion for problem-solving are the key ingredients for a successful career in software development. We recently sat down with Mihajlo, one of our Senior Software Developer based in Serbia, to gain insights into his role and what it's like to work in one of our tech hubs.
From the technologies he works with to his approach to work-life balance, this interview will give you a glimpse into the world of software development here at ABBYY.
What is your role at ABBYY, and what is your favorite thing about it?
Absolutely! At ABBYY, my role involves wearing many hats. I work on developing new functionalities while also maintaining existing features. In terms of technology, my team is working on stateless workers, and we use .Net C# and C++. In short, that means I find myself right in the sweet spot between the User Interface and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, connecting the dots for our ABBYY Vantage platform.
What I love most is that every day is different, and every problem requires a unique solution. In the long run, this leads to continuous improvement.
That's an exciting mix of challenges! What does a typical day look like for you at ABBYY?
ABBYY is all about flexibility in the workplace, so I can organize my day in a way that works the best for me. It allows me to structure my day for maximum productivity both in my work and personal life. Remote working and fewer meetings mean I can be efficient without sacrificing my personal life.
My day usually falls into one of two patterns: I either start early, get some work done, enjoy a run or walk, and continue working in the evenings. Or I wrap up my tasks during the day and have a relaxing evening.
The added perk is that I can work from different locations, which is a huge bonus for someone like me who loves to travel.
Your work journey is quite diverse; what was your previous experience before ABBYY, and how did you find your way into this area of Software Development?
Before joining ABBYY, I worked in various software development companies, on products ranging from Advanced Distribution Management Systems for electrical grids to Financial Management Systems.
My academic background was initially in financial mathematics, but my heart was always in computer programming, dating back to my high school days. High school exposed me to mathematics and programming allowing me to gain a really solid set of skills, since I attended the class for gifted students. This made the transition to software engineering smooth and easy, and the rest... is history.
What attracted you to ABBYY, what's the best part of your job at ABBYY?
The most exciting part, without a doubt, is the people. I have the privilege of working with incredibly smart and talented individuals. At ABBYY I found the perfect balance between autonomy and teamwork, which I believe is essential to allow space for creativity and to maximize your productivity.
My job is very dynamic in nature, there are different problems to solve each day, and it keeps things exciting. You're constantly challenged to solve problems, innovate, and improve solutions.
What do you find most challenging in your role?
Haha! The most challenging part is, ironically, solving different problems every day. In the short term, it can sometimes feel intense, but in the long run, it's what leads to personal and professional growth.
The beginning, transitioning into a new role or company, is often the toughest. Getting familiarized to efficiently perform your job can be a challenge. However, ABBYY has created a supportive environment to ensure that you have all the necessary knowledge and resources. It's a place where you're never short of expert guidance and the opportunity to enhance your technology-specific knowledge, even simply for the fact that you get to interact with some of the industry’s best engineers in a one-to-one setting.
Your top advice to someone looking to follow a career path in Software Development?
My advice is simple: cultivate curiosity and patience. Curiosity keeps you asking questions and exploring, while patience enables you to tackle complex problems. Both are crucial for continuous learning, a must in the fast-evolving landscape of software engineering.
Work-life balance is important—how would you define it for yourself?
Work-life balance is something quite individual, and ABBYY's flexible working arrangements allowed me to tailor it to my needs and liking.
Sometimes this means staying late to finish a task, but sometimes it could mean taking a longer lunch break without worrying that I have to be back at my desk by a specific time. This way the work gets done, and my personal life does not suffer.
Lastly, could you recommend us a book/movie/series/ or activity you have recently discovered or are enjoying at the moment? What’s so great about it?
Not long after I was born, my parents opened a bookstore (pictured below), and it is still open. Unfortunately, I did not get into the habit of reading until my teenage years. That’s when I discovered epic fantasy and science fiction and became an avid reader.
Since then, I've really broadened my reading horizons. I even got impatient waiting for translations and started diving into books in English. One that stands out is The Wheel of Time series, which just got its television adaptation that is fantastic. Although, I'd say it's worth reading the books first.
Aside from reading and watching movies/series, I really enjoy running, traveling, and occasionally, video gaming.
Want to follow Mihajlo's footsteps and join one of our tech hubs? You're in luck! Check out our careers page for opportunities to join our team in Serbia, Cyprus, Hungary, and more.