#PeopleBehindProjects – Talking with Adelina Ionescu
We go further with our #PeopleBehindProjects campaign, and we invite you to meet Adelina or maybe you previously know her from the ClujLife, a sociable person, and popular employee who gets on well with her teammates. She has been with TEC: Digital Agency for 6 years and, during this time, she’s had the chance to work on several projects and with various technologies, an opportunity that always brought her great joy.
Adelina is a Full Stack Developer and she is also a team leader. In her first years with the company, she worked on the websites for leading music festivals, UNTOLD and Neversea, and then she started working on the digital experience of The Open, the R&A’s flagship event, a project on which she works as a Technical Lead.
The Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in golf with a worldwide audience and TEC provide an extensive team of technical engineers, project managers, testers, developers, architects to work on the project, both prior and during the event. The team is hands-on, working round the clock ready to intervene if necessary to solve any problem that could impact the event.
To give you an idea of scale, at the 2019 Open, there were 7 million unique visitors during the last game of the Royal Portrush Championship, 850+ pages accessed, 180K hours of video and audio content, and billions of server requests during the four days of the event.
TEC is responsible for everything related to the digital experience of the event – everything from live scores, live blogs, virtual media center, live streaming, and also on ticketing and marketing support.
“Every year preparations for managing The Open begin in May, with a series of test weeks. TEC tests cover all the different main moments of the event. This is done by simulating based on the database from past years, after which we see what needs to be changed or adapted. The list of tasks is then extracted and prioritized. We test, retest and, document the process. This year (2021) we had very few problems, but those we encountered were solved quickly because everyone is responsible for a certain project area, no one is waiting to be told what to do. Last year (2020) there were about 4 problems at once with the external platforms, and our good organization within the team was vital. But those are the good times; I like those. I don’t practice any kind of extreme sports, for me this is the adrenaline rush I seek. The one I can control to a certain extent, on which I can intervene.“
Teamwork makes the dream work.
Beyond the technical challenges that may arise, the pressure during the event puts the members of the team face to face to other kinds of challenges – the connections between them. However, precisely during these crunch times, in which you may not always realize the tone you use and the looks you throw, the deepest connections are made between the members of the team. And this is precise because the experience of the event shows them the true meaning of the word “team”, this event mobilizes them and unites them.
“We never say this is not my problem, instead, we look for solutions. And if it’s the responsibility of a third party, we still come up with ideas. At TEC: Digital Agency you have freedom, you just have to speak up. Our focus is to find solutions, not to look for culprits or to complain that it did not happen.“
Talking to every member of the team, you get the gist of how proactive everyone is. Adelina says that it helped that we started as a smaller company, but also the fact that the people who later joined TEC: Digital Agency moulded themselves to the existing core and they have adopted their desire to do more.
“What I really like about TEC is the environment and the way we do our job here. Here you are involved on a larger scale, you don’t just do one thing. Moreover, you are listened to regardless of your position. You can’t always do something, but you know you spoke your mind and that you were heard. Also, you may not find your place on a project or team, but at TEC you can always change your career path. I feel that you can always go with an open heart to someone to ask for help, you have no obstacles, and you always get a piece of advice.“
Sure, most of us find fulfilment in the work we do, but how many of us feel we are at the right time and place?
The UNTOLD and Neversea Partnership – Behind the Scenes of one of the greatest events
The sixth edition of the Untold festival was concluded not too long ago, here in Cluj-Napoca, and we are happy we got the chance to be there with them every step of the way, still. We started our collaboration in 2016, and since then we took over the In-Town platform, UNTOLD and Neversea websites, and everything related to access and data sync – online check-in, top-up, presales, digital marketing, and integrations with other platforms. Perhaps some of you read the article published in Cluj Life about our event platforms.
Marius Lupou, the project manager who handles the UNTOLD and Neversea client shared insights regarding the challenges we had to overcome so we could keep delivering performance. What he was saying back then was:
“The first UNTOLD festival was held in 2015. After this first year, the conclusion was drawn, there was huge potential and a decision was made, to start working on our own ticket sales platform. In 2015 and 2016 the access was made through colored wristbands; we couldn’t stick with them if we were to grow, as those wristbands could be easily taken off and shared with somebody else, which builds up to huge financial losses for the organizers; there is also a certain strictness regarding participants safety that could not be covered by a wristband like that. This was the improvement for 2017 – we replaced them with RFID wristbands (Radio-Frequency Identification). Around the same time, we launched the online top-up platform, and gradually, we added other functions to it, like the auto top-up. The whole platform was developed over time”
In the matter of Untold highlights, a big achievement for us was definitely the festival record we set in presales 2019 when we had 15.000 tickets sold through our platform in 30 seconds.
The question Marius answered many times was “How come it didn’t crash?”
Why didn’t it crash, Marius?
“On our platform, once a user enters the landing page, all he has to do is to select the number of tickets, to check the terms and conditions, and then he’s gone – no additional data processing. All his information – email address, name, phone number, banking information, and so on, is filled in weeks prior, so when the user logs in to buy tickets, he can complete the purchase in a few seconds, as he’s already registered. Furthermore, before the presale campaign, we also made a video tutorial on the platform, showing every step one must follow in order to get a ticket.”
Up to this point, we didn’t catch Marius enough during smoke breaks, in order to hear his complete feedback on how the latest edition of UNTOLD festival went technical wise, but the overall feedback we got so far is that everything went smoothly, and everyone is happy with the result; – which completes the event streak we had in our company these past couple of months. See you next time on #PeopleBehindProjects.
#PeopleBehindProjects – Talking to Marian Sababei
It’s not a secret that we are fascinated every time we have the chance to speak with and about our people, the #PeopleOfTEC. Today, we would like to introduce you to one of the #PeopleBehindProjects: Marian Sababei, TEC’s Project Manager, responsible for financial matters and HR Department.
Maybe some of you remember him from the ClujLife article.
Being a project manager, the nature of Marian’s work enables him to see, feel, and understand the company statistics at a completely different level. The best part of it is that he also witnesses first-hand how the numbers are translated into the daily reality of the office. But, first of all, let’s take a quick look at him as a person and as a professional.
What Does it Take to be Project Manager?
Certainly not what one would first imagine. Marian graduated Automation and Computer Science at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. He was always good at math, so it was the obvious choice. But, he also owns a degree in Cartography from the Faculty of Geography, within the Babeș-Bolyai University. He never intended to practice in this area but was simply passionate. His professional journey started in Timișoara, continued in Târgu-Mureș, now taking him to Cluj, at TEC.
“After graduating, I joined a corporation where I discovered many things and held various positions over time – SAP consultant, IT Project Manager, Head of Retails Solutions. But, after about 12 years, I realized that I would need a change: I wanted to see what life in another company feels like, as a Project Manager. It was a major shift for me. During the first 3 months, I just blamed myself for leaving my old job. There were many differences I didn’t expect and couldn’t foresee. After a while, it hit me: I realized that my experience in the corporation could be very useful when it comes to workflows, administrative processes, and HR.”
The Big Picture
As Project Manager, you always need to keep an eye on the big picture and to be crystal-clear about what you’re looking for in the people that will someday be your colleagues. According to Marian, things are and need to be kept pretty simple, you know.
“We’ve always looked for people who are smart and willing to work. The rest can be learned. Even when it comes to the interviews we conduct and the tests we give when we’re searching for a new colleague, we place great emphasis on logic. Of course, we also look at the technical skills, but we are very much looking for people who think for themselves and who can be part of a team, where we all aim in the same direction. We are constantly searching for people with whom we know we’ll enjoy working. After all, we spend a quarter of our lives at work, so we need to at least make sure we feel good around each other. Attitude matters a lot. You may be the best technical person out there, but if you don’t have the right attitude, we probably won’t be able to consider you as our colleague, for the simple reason that you won’t fit-in with us.”
Women or Men in Technology? Both, Because They’re #PeopleOfTEC
Marian joined the TEC team in 2018 when the company was 3-4 years old. It was always about a natural, organic growth, in which the distribution of people in TEC was naturally balanced, says Marian. During that period, quite a few women decided that they want to become #PeopleOfTEC and eventually became part of our team.
“Even if it is not generally accepted, there are positions for which women are more suitable than men. Why? Because it’s in a woman’s nature to be more industrious, to own a finer sense of observation, or simply to cope with some tasks better than a man would. At TEC, there is this balance between genders, and that is a must for us, as we need to cover a wide range of skills when working. The advantages of a gender-balanced team are numerous, but the most important thing is that the number of conflicts of any kind decreases, and, as a man, you’ll take on an additional responsibility when it comes to how you behave and how you talk when something goes wrong.”
Why to Become a Part of the #PeopleOfTEC?
Now, you might wonder whether you should consider becoming one of us, one of the #PeopleOfTEC? Or perhaps why should you consider TEC as a future employer?
“TEC is a place where you come to grow. Any new ideas are welcomed. Nobody cuts your momentum as long as there is no negative impact on others or projects. #PeopleOfTEC are encouraged to implement the new things they come up with, not just launch ideas. On top of this, there are the certifications and courses, where our colleagues have all our support. We also offer days off in addition to standard leave for them to learn and invest as much time as they need or feel, at their own, steady pace, in their professional development. They want and need to have nationally recognized knowledge, to be up to date with the latest news in the field. This is also a reassurance for us, we know that we have competent people from several points of view. I would also add the openness that you will find here – both when it comes to management and colleagues. We never had a corporate structure, we don’t wait for our manager to tell us what to do, we keep the communication open at any level, and we constantly offer each other feedback.”
If things stated earlier above did not yet convince you to consider becoming one of the #PeopleOfTEC, I see myself forced to mention that we recently moved into a new office, looking better than ever and with every perk you would need. But it’ll be entirely up to you if you’ll visit it or not – your living room might as well be the place you do your magic from. Are you ready? View our openings.