People of Symphony starring Igor Stricevic: A Frontend Mindset Destined for Success

People of Symphony starring Igor Stricevic: A Frontend Mindset Destined for Success

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August 22nd, 2021

Meet Igor Stricevic or as we like to call him - Jiggy. His career path sets an example to all young engineers driven by true curiosity and a knack for problem-solving. He is currently working as a Software Engineer at our development center in Belgrade focusing on React.js frontend development, but before we get into his Symphony journey, let’s take it back to where it all began. 

Discovering a true passion for Engineering

Being a gaming enthusiast at a young age, paved the way for Igor to develop a genuine interest in computers, technology, and the workings behind it. During his high school years, he always did extra work in Informatics class, discovering software development, databases, and backend technologies, and the love for gaming slowly turned into a real passion for software engineering. 

“What I primarily worked on was building a mental model for constant self-improvement. My University years set the basics and gave me the guidance I needed to discover what I truly love doing and what drives me.” 

Igor’s first job was working for a startup during his second and third year. “It was a really extensive learning experience since there is usually a shortage of people in startups. I had to tackle all the processes and familiarize myself with DevOps, backend, and frontend simultaneously, working mostly on web applications with Java and Spring, as well as JavaScript and jQuery.” His focus was primarily backend development and DevOps but the more he worked and accumulated knowledge, he shifted to frontend. “Fronted development was a real challenge for me, with a specific set of problems and all the complexities that come with it.” At that point, he aspired to become a real Frontend wiz and tackle all the little details that matter. 

Climbing the Frontend ladder

Igor likes to say how you cannot be exceptional in both backend and frontend. You have to find a niche and work your way through it by achieving small victories each day and learning from your mistakes. 

When asked what his favorite framework is, Igor bets on React. “In the past, I worked in Angular and Vue.js and I was first introduced to React.js in Symphony. I have to say it is my personal favorite since it encompasses much more than other frameworks and it is basically a library with better performance, depth, and out of the box approach to development. I am still discovering all the possibilities React has to offer, but I believe that you can find a solution to any problem using this JavaScript library.”

Igor’s Symphony journey started two years ago and it has been a definite turning point in his career as well as his personal development path. At only 26, he has an impressive track record of working on some of the most challenging projects and as he says, embarking on an intense but extremely rewarding journey. “What I cherish most about this company are its people and the incredible team that left a lasting impact on me, both personally and professionally, and I feel very lucky to have met them.” 

He likes to point out that what makes his team so amazing is compatibility, mutual respect, and understanding. In our Belgrade office, Igor is known as someone who always brings the community together and truly represents that Symphony spirit. “My team members have been excellent mentors since I am the youngest one, but more importantly, they helped me steer my ambition and aspirations in the right course. Everyone brings their own unique perspective to the table but I have to give a special shoutout to my previous team lead Marko Jarcevic who left an immense impact on my personal and professional path.”

Igor worked on many different projects, from AI annotation tools to live chatbot solutions, while his most recent project involves mobile app development in React Native for Android and iOS. “This is something new for me but I embrace the excitement and learn as I go together with my team. Whenever we work on challenging projects, we push our limits by agreeing on internal goals and deadlines. This approach gives me invaluable experience and insight and prepares me for every next challenge that comes. I love the creativity that comes with engineering, especially in frontend development.”

Working together with the Head of Software Engineering and People Operations team, Igor had an opportunity to create a development plan catered to his career aspirations and needs. From React.js to React Native, he was given the opportunity to learn new technologies and constantly work on polishing his skillset and reaching his full potential.

Words of advice for young Software Engineers

Igor started his IT journey at a young age and his development path within Symphony has been nothing short of impressive. We asked him to share his invaluable insight gained over a two-year period and he gave us some excellent pointers on what to take into account when starting your career. 

For Igor, mindset is where it all begins. Determination, self-development, and a curious mind are the three pillars on which every success story is built on. For every young software engineer, it is crucial to start with a good foundation and get a deeper understanding of how things work, before jumping onto a specific framework. Another important thing is to always keep that special spark alive, and come back to it whenever you find yourself in a rough patch. As the saying goes, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

“Your best learning path is solving problems as they come, and giving just enough attention and time to each one of them. The concept of seniority does not necessarily apply to the time you spent working in certain technologies but how much you invested yourself in the whole process. Accumulating knowledge is hard at first but as you pinpoint the weak spots and make your strong spots even stronger, you reach that a-ha moment when you finally grasp the bigger picture and the right solutions come to you. I still have a lot to learn within the frontend frameworks and I look forward to every new challenge.”

Being a good software engineer is more than just showing up each day and doing the work, you have to put in the extra mile and commit to a lifetime of learning and improvement. If you play your cards right and never lose sight of the bigger picture you can achieve truly great things. If you're interested in joining our Belgrade community and working with Igor and many other extraordinary engineers, check out our openings here.

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