• In #PeopleBehindProjects

    #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 precisely 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 were a small company, but also the fact that the people who later joined TEC: Digital Agency molded 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, you always get a piece of advice.

    Sure, most of us find fulfillment in the work we do, but how many of us feel we are at the right time and place?

  • In #TECTalks

    #WomenInTechnology – Talking to Anamaria Sfîrlea

    Did you know that only 5.31% of IT Specialists are women?

    Gender imbalance in the workplace was a problem that has been debated since the beginning of the century. Now so many women are working, that it is quite rare not to see at least one woman in every domain.

    Women are very remarkable in what they do. They stand out through their hard work, ambition, perseverance, and amazing results. Our colleague Anamaria is like that. You may have met her in a previous ClujLife article. She juggles between being a developer at TEC and attending master’s courses at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics from Cluj-Napoca.

    For Ana, school always came first, she didn’t think for a moment to get a job while attending college classes. At the end of year two, she did an internship, but it was during the summer. She joined the TEC team in the fall of 2020, during the pandemic, after a well-deserved summer vacation. She started looking for a job with the desire to work with different technologies, but she felt so great during the technical interview that the technology stack wasn’t all that important in the end.

    My mother is a teacher and she raised me and my brother with the idea in mind that school and education are the most important things. I’ve always seen school as a job. Even if I didn’t get paid, that was my job and I had to take it seriously, I had to give everything I could, because otherwise I couldn’t be happy with myself. My work schedule is flexible, and this helps a lot with school. There was always understanding if I needed to take an exam or attend an important course. And this was made clear to me from the very beginning – that the company values our education and us completing our studies. For now, I want to learn as much as possible, to expand my knowledge related to the practical part of my job. In college I receive a lot of theoretical information, but it does not compare at all with what is happening in my actual job.

    At the beginning, Anamaria was assigned to a big project. She learned, tried to integrate, and to understand how things work. She told us that she felt very quickly treated as an equal, not as a “new colleague”, and the worries related to the fact that in TEC people work mostly remote disappeared after the first week. Initially, she was slightly stressed that she did not know her colleagues, that she would not know to whom to turn to in case she needed help, but she immediately realized that many were aware of this and they contacted her, offering to help her. Later, Ana was assigned to a smaller project, about which she spoke with great enthusiasm.

    The project is exactly what I wanted – a project from scratch, where I can go through every development stage. And a junior developer rarely has this chance in a company. I learned a lot while having to solve problems and through many knowledge-sharing sessions with my colleagues. Me and another developer  started this project, along the way we were joined by two others. Now that we finished this project, when I look through the code and see things I implemented, my heart grows. I like to think that I have an essential role in the team I am part of.

    In the months spent at TEC, Anamaria realized that the human side is very important in the work environment. Having the experience of an internship in a corporation, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that here, the focus is mainly on people. You would think that this is a default thing in small companies, like this one, where there are about 40-50 people, but you would be surprised that things are not always like that.

    Unlike large corporations, where procedures matter a lot, here people come first. The work environment at TEC is dynamic, challenging and I didn’t get bored in all the months I spent here and I didn’t get to consider my work a routine. I am a sensible person and if I feel stress or pressure from others, I can’t cope anymore. It is important to have people around me in whose presence I can feel comfortable, especially since there are days in which I talk more with my colleagues than with my family. If you decide to join us, you can expect very friendly colleagues, willing to help you, but also a place where you can learn a lot about what IT projects mean.

    Of course, the conversation with Anamaria could not end without touching the main topic of this article, what it is like to be a woman in the IT field.

    I was really amazed when I saw how many women are working at TEC when I arrived. I also remember my first call with the project management team – only women were present. It’s a general perception that the IT industry is male-dominated, but it’s not. IT is not a place of discrimination, nor have I ever thought of any difference for us as women.

    Even though studies show that only 5.31% of IT specialists are women, in our company there is a rate of 43% female developers.