People of Symphony Starring Jasmina Jovanova: Adding Value by Visualizing the Bigger Picture
Jasmina’s story is a true example of how self-discipline and commitment can forge a great career path. During a decade and a half in the industry, Jasmina has managed to find new challenges, explore new areas and domains, and expand personal boundaries — from starting as a testing trainee, over the first lead roles, to today’s position as a Service Delivery Manager in our development center in Skopje. Moderate, at first sight, Jasmina leaves an impression that she manages to do everything with incredible ease. From her daily routine — starting with a continental breakfast and making sure the kids are up and running — to daily team meetings. She follows the “light approach” to facilitate the process of “bringing value while getting the job done.”
Living the Agile Adaptability and Focusing on the Essence
“Being able to adapt is crucial, as things don’t always go according to plan, both at work and in private life,” Jasmina explains as she dives into the methodology that shaped her career path. "The agile context allows you to adapt to all circumstances against encountered changes. Whether we focus on the essence or the form, it is up to us,” she adds. For that reason, Jasmina tends to favor a joint effort approach, where all team members share the same feeling that the team works and delivers value as a whole. “We might have a different star in each sprint, but the whole success is a real team effort.” Along with all the practical advantages, this is the charm she finds in the agile contexts.
“It is the same with our culture,” she adds. In general, “Symphony creates an enabling environment where everyone can speak up, and where clients accept and recognize our ideas and thoughts. As real partners, we bring essence and value to clients, and they encourage our improvement and creativity.” “Such cooperation allows a more significant involvement of all team members, resulting in the shared feeling that we equally contribute to shaping the product. For every new requirement, the entire team gathers, brainstorms, and discusses how we can address this new requirement. By putting ideas into practice, we determine whether the projected outcome can be more effective or the path more accessible. Our team is long past the individual egos, and we love that. I have been a part of the Symphony community for over a year now, and from day one, it was only natural that everyone contributes towards a successful joint delivery, and that’s the beauty of my current team and the entire Symphony community.” She explains how the team adapts and focuses on the problem’s essence rather than the form itself — from brainstorming to final delivery phases. The agile philosophy is based on open and transparent communication, similar to the transparency culture we nurture at Symphony.
Healthy and Positive Environment Enables Successful Delivery
Being a part of the team instead of just working in a group of people is the foundation for every success. “I always tend to adapt to a team's dynamic, and my experience probably makes it easier.” A healthy environment stimulates growth, and there is always space for improvement. Previously, Jasmina assumed the roles of a Test Lead, Project Lead, and Project Manager, in all of which her technical background was one of the greatest assets. Still, she always strives to work on her soft skills, as her role involves communication and cooperation with various stakeholders.
“I love Symphony's supportive approach, open-mindedness, and culture of continuous learning and development. Compared to my previous experiences, I feel more heard and stimulated to act through many joint activities with colleagues in service delivery and the entire community. Such dedicated career development creates an environment that stimulates growth. Even my March IT Up experience was an exceptional (and a bit stressful) milestone. A perfectionist strives to deliver the best presentation, and the Symphony community is always there to provide support.”
Always Test the Assumptions
“My development path has taught me to ask, test, and improve.” Throughout the years, Jasmina has been part of what local stereotypes may call a minority — first by attending a technical high school where only 10% of students were females and then pursuing a career in engineering after obtaining a degree in electronics and telecommunications. Her professional life has only confirmed the focus on the skills. There is no room for testing any stereotypes in the software industry; the only tests are the challenges we set for ourselves. Jasmina’s decision to join Symphony’s community has also tested her capability to adapt to a different setting, as she was looking for a new challenge after 13 years and three lead roles. Her decision was based on Symphony’s detailed and skills-focused recruitment process.
In retrospect, after almost 15 years in the industry, the drive for improvement and life-long learning nature were the main motivating factors for Jasmina’s role shifts. “Every project, every position (even in the same domain), brings new development areas and enables you to feel useful and see that your work brings value and benefit. Repetitive processes and reporting are not boring tasks for me; on the contrary, being organized and analytical allows me to find creativity in each step of the work.”
“One of the most important lessons I have learned from my QA days is to always think about the bigger picture, set the scenario (before testing), and visualize the expected results. Even nowadays, I especially enjoy the QA aspects of each deployment. And (secretly) I always cheer for the QA engineers in the team! It all comes down to a good concept: planning, organizing, delivering, but with detailed scenarios and vision,” she continues. “Creating detailed concepts against given challenges and making a plan for delivering solutions is probably my go-to creativity trick.”