To answer that, we set up a conference call with the inspiring Damir Muhović, a team leader at Infosit. Some 30 minutes into the conversation, we are seriously tempted to apply for a position on his crew. He kindly passes on comments that we, as marketing people, probably don’t have the skills. Yet, his observations on personal growth and career satisfaction ring strong days after we spoke. A person of rich thinking, Damir paints a vivid picture of what it means to be a senior software developer and why in companies like Infosit, these roles grow to their full potential.
He starts by sharing that he had coded long past the working hours the night before, well into the night.
-I didn’t do it because I had to, but because I enjoy what I do. If you can get there in your life and career, I would say you are a happy individual. If you can be delighted with what you’ve built at the end of the day, and if the company you work for supports you in this, you are in a good place, Damir explains.
No doubt, a peaceful fulfilment at the end of the workday is what many people want. Damir says that, in order to get there in software development, you need to grow in seniority. For most people, it will not happen overnight. It takes experience, reflection, and an awareness of what you pursue in your professional life.
-We do a lot of things at Infosit, and for sure, there is complexity and deadlines and projects. But we are very good at recognising and understanding the progress we are making over days, weeks, and months. Our work has meaning and direction. It leads to specific goals. That is important when you are building something you want to be proud of, Damir explains.
In software development, people in junior-level positions will often say “it can’t be done” when you present them with a requirement. Everyone spends some time in this stage because, as Damir says, building pillars of knowledge takes time. As you gain experience, your perspective changes, and you grow in confidence. You get past frustrations and the ideas of the impossible. Instead, you know how to frame a problem and start solving it, free from fuss and fear.
He explains another aspect of seniority. The realisation that excellence in software development is not so much about mastery in a programming language. Rather, it is about finding your niche and becoming very good at it. Once you get there, you will be able to work across programming languages, with outstanding results in different projects and settings. Staying on top of things in software means working in ways that are compatible with what comes next.
If you have new technology, but you work in the old way, you’ve missed the point completely.
Infosit values work-life balance very high, and that is consistently seen in behaviours across the organisation.
-To give you an example, Infosit is the only company where my superiors approached me to offer a paid leave if I needed it because they felt I might have gotten exhausted working on a project. This gesture, although simple, stuck with me for quite some time. As your life and career unfold, your priorities change. If you have children and want a quality life for your family, you start valuing a work-life balance much higher. At Infosit, we work a lot, and we do great things, but we have the flexibility and a healthy, sustainable balance.
These values run deep across the company, and we are very careful about them flourishing in the future. There is also a deep concern for the creative part of software development – for the ideas coming from people and teams.
The culture is such that your colleagues and superiors are careful not to discourage you when you come up with an idea or a suggestion or improvement. You can expect it to be seriously considered, regardless of who it came from. For Damir, this is essential to the playful, creative part of software development.
Great companies understand and guard it carefully.
He then glides to his own transition to team leadership and mentoring, which he currently does at Infosit. Admittedly, it took him some time to come to terms with the fact that his success is no longer equal to the sum of things he delivers as an individual.
-The definition of good work and the definition of my responsibility is now about the end feature we can deliver as a team. This position is undoubtedly about responsibility and striving to build things as best as we can. Team dynamics is something you learn about all the time. I have realised that the team will pick up some of the leader’s characteristics, he says. Being a team player is not just about doing your fair share of the work. It is about supporting others, offering an opinion, ideas, and constructive feedback.
Education and mentoring are paramount, and Damir is aware of the subtleties. “Mentoring is about being around, providing direction and advice. It is about sharing what you know. It is not about reprimanding or talking to people in a bossy way. And finally, it is about accepting responsibility for the result.”
Get in touch with the Infosit crew to talk about seniority and senior developer opportunities in our organisation!
Finding our team's core values (a healthy lifestyle and the work-life balance) a big deal? Work & have fun with the rest of the team.