This is the story of Jan Marincek - Head of Software Engineering from the Skopje development center. Coming from an engineering family, Jan knew very early on in which directions his passions would evolve. Growing up in the gaming generation and witnessing the rise of internet popularity fueled his curiosity for problem-solving and technology. Fast forward to today, he has many different projects, roles, and invaluable experiences under his belt that brought him to the Head of Software Engineering role in Symphony.
Dive deeper into Jan’s professional path as he shares all the obstacles, successes, and milestones he faced over the course of an impressive career.
The Journey to Symphony
Jan first started working in a big IT company as a trainee, where his journey of accumulating knowledge on a variety of complex topics and processes began. Slowly, he climbed the ladder to a Senior Software Engineer and started working directly with clients. Early on, he realized the importance of building a balance between technical and communication skills, which are at the core of every outstanding engineer.
In his early career, Jan tackled both backend and frontend frameworks as he gradually transitioned to systems design and architecture. He worked in different tech lead roles before he was approached by Igor Nikolovski from the Skopje development center. In 2019, Jan joined Symphony as a Senior Software Engineer and started his Symphony journey. As he was slowly adapting and immersing in the Symphony culture and workflow, all the positive stories Igor shared with him turned out to be 100 % true. He felt an immediate connection with his team and the community, while a variety of challenging projects and technologies immediately sparked his desire to learn and grow together with the company.
When asked to describe his experience working in Symphony, Jan says he found the perfect match of support, opportunities, exciting projects, and amazing colleagues in one place. Jan believes that you can expand professionally as much as the environment lets you, and that is precisely what Symphony has given him - the time, space, and resources to constantly grow and evolve both in the technical and people skills domain. The community, pleasant atmosphere, and numerous benefits are a bonus to an already solid foundation he is proud to be a part of.
All the intricacies of the Head of Software Engineering role
Symphony opened up a new window of opportunity to grow in areas he felt most passionate about. However, the current role differs from all his previous technical lead positions for many reasons. After showing a variety of skills and outstanding results, his potential was recognized and he became the Head of Software Engineering a year ago. “I think my passion for sharing knowledge, getting into deep discussions, and valuing everyone’s input combined with my technical and organizational skills is what Symphony recognized and the determining factor that led me to the Head of Software Engineering position.” - Jan pointed out.
Jan likes to say how the Head of Software Engineering role could be described in one word - versatile. When asked to describe his workday, he says - “I simply listen more. It encompasses a lot of planning, from people operations to strategy. It is about joining forces in giving your best to put the company’s vision and strategy into practice. Every discussion leads to better implementation, measuring, steering, and finding optimal ways to operate and deliver exceptional results.”
“Actions you take now contribute to the overall value and success of the company. You have to learn to understand and embrace the bigger picture since it was a bit of a struggle to come to terms with not seeing immediate results. You have to train yourself to trust the process and give a 100% in everything you do.” - Jan concludes.
Mentorship as an Integral Part of the Growth Path
Jan is very active in knowledge-sharing and mentoring initiatives at the Skopje development center. What stood out the most on his learning path in Symphony were the Leadership academy, the SkillsUp workshops, insightful conversations with the Skopje people team, and his one-on-one mentorship discussions.
“Coaching is an integral part of all lead roles, and I have to mention the SkillsUp leadership and conflict management workshops which were incredibly useful and well thought out. They helped me learn models, tips and tricks, and strategies to handle various situations while building trust and mutual understanding. Every workshop and presentation is an important piece of the puzzle of finding who you are, getting to know yourself better in the personal and professional sense.” - he points out.
Jan showed his proactive attitude and piloted the one-on-one mentorship program in the Skopje hub. He actively listened to the pulse of the community and felt it was just what the people needed at that moment. The one-on-one mentorship is an ongoing project with a more controlled environment offering a better scope of understanding for both the mentor and the mentee. In his words - “The knowledge transfer rate is much bigger and you have more time to dedicate to a smaller group.” Jan received excellent feedback from the Skopje community, and he hopes the initiative will expand even further in the future.
Jan has a thought-provoking perspective on growth, saying how you can use fear of the unknown as an instrument and transform it into opportunity. Inexperience did not stop him in his determination to learn and always give his best shot. “I always see a problem as a new window of opportunity. It is all about taking the tools at your disposal, the inspiring people in your team, and streamlining your energy and efforts into making the best of it.”
Finally, Jan left us with some interesting food for thought when we asked what boosts his adrenaline in the professional sense - “It is and always will be - being brave to suck at something new!”