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People of Symphony starring Mladen Radivojevic: Shaping the leaders of tomorrow through mentorship and knowledge-sharing

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Symphony
October 12th, 2021

It is time to introduce Mladen - a QA Engineer working in our Niš development center. In the seven months he has been working in Symphony, he worked on an innovative API tests generator, mentored and coached aspiring Junior Software Engineers, and readily shared valuable knowledge through articles, learning sessions, and panel discussions. Get an in-depth look at his inspiring journey, career plans, and views on the future of QA. 

At the moment, our Niš hub is expanding its QA team, and we are looking for bright young minds like Mladen to join us - find more information here.

Choosing the right path

During his faculty years,  Mladen found himself at a crossroad between dedicating to his doctoral studies and working in education or starting a job in the IT industry. He never regretted choosing the latter and says he got the best of both worlds - a chance to combine his love for academia and education with working on exciting projects. 

Mladen started his career working as a manual tester when he discovered automatization, and a whole window of opportunities opened up for him. He slowly started exploring the subject, and in that time, he switched to a new company as a junior, focusing mainly on API testing. With his hard work and dedication, he became a Delivery Lead in his previous company. As he pointed out - “it is very important to familiarize with the product domain as much as possible. I had developed a strong domain knowledge and understood the product’s intricacies, so the lead role came as a natural step. I really enjoyed the open communication with clients and improving my people skills along the way. It was a definite step up in my career.”

Just as his engineering role grew, along came the opportunity to join Symphony and a new chapter began for Mladen. At the very beginning, he was given a chance to be a mentor to two Junior Software Engineers, and it was an absolute thrill to find himself in this role. “The feeling you get when sharing your experiences with someone younger and eager to learn is irreplaceable. I remembered my own struggles as a Junior Engineer and really gave all my attention into making the optimal junior development plan.”- said Mladen. He likes to say that it is always a mutual learning process, where he also learns about himself, his stronger and weaker points and works together with the mentees to balance them out. Ever since his mentorship success, he has been adamant in sharing knowledge through articles, blogs, live sessions, and many other initiatives in Symphony. 

Leaving a mark on his Symphony journey

Mladen recalls his first encounter with Symphony through the intricate selection process. “It was very detailed, and it stayed with me as an amazing experience of learning about my professional skills and where I stand in the industry. To this day, I never regretted joining this company that recognizes and nourishes my passion and aspirations both in the professional and personal sense.” 

Mladen also got the chance to communicate directly with the client, hold a demo, and see the other side of the coin, which is equally important to a successful engineer’s technical skills and scope. He joined a team of people he clicked with in the first couple of days, and he truly enjoys their full support and cooperation. The project he currently works on is bringing just the right amount of challenges and obstacles to push him to new heights and find better solutions together with his team.

Mladen is very active in many different initiatives, but one of his favorite ones is writing articles, blogs and sharing knowledge and tools to help other engineers. Recently, he shared five essential Node.js packages for QA automation in his Medium article that you can read here and got excellent responses. Mladen considers feedback and constructive criticism combined with polishing your technical and people skills essential on the path to success. 

Another project Mladen is especially proud of is the basic API tests setup generator Tesugen , which he created and launched out of a need for a more structured NPM package that optimizes API testing. The idea stemmed from Mladen’s own need for a better system and setup that minimizes time-wasting. With just one command, you have the setup ready for optimizing and adjusting to your preference. Tesugen was a huge success, with over 2000 downloads in just a few days. It is a library that keeps on developing and growing, and Mladen’s vision is to optimize it further to make QA testing as smooth as possible and accessible to everyone. 

What the future holds

When asked about future predictions concerning QA, Mladen points out how the QA role has rapidly grown and evolved in recent years, and more exciting things are sure to come. He believes that the QA processes are moving towards better standardization and optimization that will bring overall satisfaction to both engineers and clients. The tools are constantly evolving and upgrading, and he expects an ultimate QA tool to develop in the near future. Mladen also shared his excitement with the development of visual testing as the future of QA, breaking boundaries and removing setbacks that classical UI tests may have. 

Concerning his future prospects and career plans, Mladen aspires to become the company’s Lead QA Engineer, and one day, a Software Architect. He works diligently towards his goals every chance he gets with the full support of his team and the company. What he finds most valuable on his Symphony journey are the extensive knowledge-sharing opportunities, Lunch&Learn sessions, webinars, exciting projects, and constant challenges set before him that make him push forward and give his absolute best in everything he does. Symphony has given him the space to learn and grow in the areas he is most passionate about and he cannot wait to see what the future has in store for him.