Last year, Amalija Ramljak, Petra Mišeta and Sven Kovačić joined our team so we thought it would be a good time to ask them how everything is going. It’s not easy studying and working, especially when both of these concepts have changed entirely due to pandemics. However, they are doing pretty well juggling it all, and that makes us super proud! :)
Both Amalija and Petra are completing the fifth year at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) while Sven is at the third year at Zagreb University of Applied Sciences (TVZ). Working at Netgen is a first “serious” job, for all of them. With so many things upside down, especially during the last year, we are curious if getting a job was a challenging mission for them. Somewhat surprisingly, they all agree that finding a first job, being a FER or TVZ student, was not so hard at all.
“Some students prefer to just study, while others can’t wait to start working. It depends on their preferences, really”, explains Sven. “However, it is not that difficult to get that first opportunity”, he adds.
Sharing the same opinion with Sven, Amalija adds that the first job opportunity also depends on the field you are interested in. “For example, there are plenty of opportunities for you if you are interested in web and mobile development, but definitely not as much in the segment of machine learning”, explains Amalija. “Sometimes, the firms might even demand specific knowledge or passed exams so that they are sure that you understand specific concepts.” Generally, the students who attend the Computing program (at FER) might find jobs a bit easier, believes Amalija, unlike those that attend the Electrical Engineering program - at least during college. Later on, it becomes easier for everyone.
Petra adds that some of her friends had some disappointing experiences with firms that would give lousy tasks to students after hiring them, and not really including them in anything relevant or meaningful. “This is why some of my friends would quit such jobs”, points out Petra. “This is completely different in Netgen”, she then continues. “From the first day, we were included in the current projects, immediately invited to join in all meetings, working on the real stuff. I do admit, I was expecting to be given some side project, but it turns out that I was wrong which was a nice surprise.”
Speaking of surprises, we ask them if there was anything else that they did not expect or imagined that it would be different when they’d started working.
“I was actually surprised to be given a chance. I wasn’t expecting much while applying for a job, having no previous working experience, but then I received an email with an assignment. It was nice to be given a chance so you can show what you’ve got”, says Sven. “Also, there are plenty of other things that you have to get acquainted with so it took me some time to figure it all out. For example, I had no experience working with Jira, but I picked it up quickly.”
Amalija admits that the working dynamics caught her by surprise during the summer internship, but after she picked it up rather quickly, she now feels quite confident even when working alone. “Compared to the summer period, now there are more of us working with JS and there is always someone more experienced with React whom I can ask for help or directions if I need to.”
Right at the beginning of their careers, we wonder what they would like to excel in. Sven and Amalija are both oriented to frontend development, and interested in JS and React. “My main goal is to become better with JS and with frequently used frameworks, such as React and Vue.js”, explains Amalija, while then immediately considering gradual growth to a full-stack developer. “I was always drawn to CSS and JS so it would be cool to create something from the backend and to match it with a slick frontend.” On the other hand, Petra is determined - backend development is her only true love. “I was always more interested in how things work in the background. There are simply too many details that require your attention when working on the frontend and backend somehow seems far more compelling”, claims Petra.
Finally, we end our chat with their comments on the overall atmosphere and people at Netgen.
“The people are the best thing about Netgen”, Amalija highlights. “Even in occasional chaotic situations, there is a certain team cohesion so you can always feel free to communicate and agree upon the next steps without any aggression or mutual attacks.” Agreeing with Amalija, both Sven and Petra add that they also appreciate the working atmosphere. “I don’t have a feeling that anyone is looking over my shoulder”, Sven comments. “Yes, we are always super busy, but the overall atmosphere is quite laid-back and relaxed.” Petra believes that the smaller collective is what makes Netgen different as everyone knows each other well and everyone is ready to step in and help out if somebody is in need.
“I’ve noticed that a lot of people work at Netgen for many years now, and it doesn’t seem like they are planning to leave to work someplace else. Everything seems to be sorted out nice and such are the people working here”, notices Amalija. “I have no idea how many companies can say that about themselves, but I have a feeling it’s not too many.”