June, 2018
My Journey to Becoming a Proper Software Engineer
by Jure Debeljak Software Engineer
at Ekipa2 d.o.o. Subsidiary

I first read about Talking Tom and Outfit7 in 2010 in an article titled “Talking Santa Says: 41 Million App Downloads In Six Months” on Techcrunch. Back then, I was impressed by the company’s technological success, even more so when I learned that the owners were Slovene and the company had one of their biggest subsidiaries in Slovenia.

At the time, I was in my second year of CS studies. I had some extra time on my hands and I wanted to make some money. I attended a lecture on how to create a well-scalable mobile backend that was given by Igor Lautar, VP of Technology at Bee7000 Limited, now Outfit7’s VP of Digital Sales. His final slide said something like: “Are you young and eager to learn and grow in a team that’s working on interesting challenges?” I was like, “Yep, that’s me!” And so I applied.

My first interview was with Mitja Kravos, currently VP of HR. He didn’t sugarcoat anything, he just told it like it was. Mitja basically told me that you don’t have to come here thinking you need to know it all, but if you “Own Your #hit” (one of the company’s values), you get all the opportunities you could want to work on the projects that you like.

I got the job! I was really proud, but I was still a student and, finding myself surrounded by so much accomplished talent, I felt a bit like an imposter. There were moments in the first few months when I felt like everyone was better than me and that my ideas wouldn’t bring anything new to the company. But then I reminded myself about all the effort the company put into hiring me and I thought, if they spent so much time on me, then they must believe I have something to offer! And so, I started to believe that myself.

Feeling like an imposter wasn’t such a bad thing after all. It pushed me to work harder because I felt like I had something to prove – to myself. I had to prove that I belonged in the company. That’s the thing about Outfit7, you want to go beyond your comfort zone, you want to push yourself to find your limits and then, when you do, you come out the other side feeling very good about yourself.

Of course, even when you work hard, mistakes will inevitably happen. Mine did! I accidentally deleted two weeks’ worth of financial data. But here you own your mistakes and you speak up, even when you mess up big time – that’s the only way to minimize the impact of your mistake. I sat down with my manager and together we worked out a plan to resolve the issue. And we did.

So, we make mistakes, we resolve them, learn from them and we move on. But we never forget to laugh. I mean, who wouldn’t laugh at teammates wearing pjs after our “chief bonding officer”, Jon, decided to introduce them as the office uniform for the day?! He felt it would bring us closer together. It did bring a lot of laughs! After all, at the end of the day, nothing makes you feel like you’re exactly where you should be more than laughing with your teammates while doing your daily dev stand up in pyjamas.

There are lots of things I love about working here but, I have to say, the one thing that stands out big time for me is working on projects that I’m passionate about, ones that feed my programmer soul. One such was the work I did on the backend part of our adMediation system, which serves the configuration required to show ads in an optimal way in million of our games. Together with my teammates, we found a pragmatic solution that works excellently in production and enabled us to iterate and improve on it very quickly.

And there you go – now you know about my biggest mistake, my greatest achievement, and the colorful days we have at Outfit7! It’s your turn to talk. And maybe join us.

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