Ajda Marić, Senior Backend Developer: People call me NSofter
In NSoft we divide ourselves only on the basis of whether you have watched the Game of Thrones or not.
Ajda Marić is a 26-year-old from Mostar, who is building her career in NSoft. She is a Senior Backend Developer and Team Lead of NSoft’s Sports team. Her story with NSoft started five years ago when she was working as a student on a project backed by the NSoft team. She is a solid proof that women in STEM are not a myth and that one does not necessarily have 50+ years of experience to be a Senior.
STEM - intention or coincidence
I’m not one of those who say: “I loved mat'h since I was little”. After high school, when I had to decide where to continue my education, I did not have a strong affinity for any field, but due to the rising potential and robust growth of the tech industry, I thought there must be something I would find myself in.
Today it's hard to see myself anywhere else, and I am delighted that such an unexpected entry into the IT world turned out to be a complete success for me.
Only later did I realize the connection. I am a problem-solving type of person, and computer science is an exact science. There are several solutions to the problem, but in the end, the expected result is always unique and simple.
Perhaps because of this "jump on the head", I never paid too much attention to the perception of the IT world as being reserved solely for men, although through college and work I was surrounded by a predominantly male population. NSoft is “isolated” from divisions of any kind
( we divide ourselves only on the basis of whether you have watched the Game of Thrones or not), so thankfully I can’t talk first-hand about the experience of fighting gender-based prejudice. I believe that a determined individual can do anything with knowledge and ability in any profession without receiving any special treatment.
Senior Backend Developer and Team Lead
The NSofters are not particularly crazy about job titles, but as in any serious organization, some kind of hierarchy is necessary, so I ended up with those two fancy prefixes in the email signature. As a Backend Developer, I develop and maintain complex betting solutions with customers in both hemispheres. Working on distributed systems that are growing incrementally, expanding the set of functionalities they offer and are available 24/7, requires constant improvements and optimization, but it is a dynamic that suits me. When it comes to tools, I work mostly in Node.js and PHP.
As a Team Lead, the idea is that, together with the Project management, I prioritize business requirements and prepare them before they are taken over by the Development team.
NSoft has grown at impressive rates in the last few years - so much so that for three years in a row, we have been on Deloitte's list of the fastest-growing companies in this part of Europe. Therefore, we are aware that we need a structure, and although I am not the SPOC (Single Point of Contact) team of Sports, I still have to overtake the most of the communication and coordination to relieve the rest of the team and to ensure quality information flow to other teams - especially if we work on some larger project. The tools we use also help a lot.
NSoft as an anchor of stability
NSoft gives you an alternative - it gives you, I would say, a parallel universe. No matter how unfavorable the political and social situation was, and whatever the current popular problems are at the moment, we choose not to be affected. At work, I am surrounded by positive people and energy, so we serve each other as a shield through which the grayness of everyday life hardly reaches. We think that together we can change the image that Mostar sends to the world.
This company derived from a relatively small environment and became the partner of Sportradar. It builds a respectable image in the betting industry on a global level and through social engagement creates quality staff, while really being able to put in the background the current situation of divided education, health and politics. The IT branch in Mostar is growing stronger every day. I'm glad that after a while, many more stories similar to NSoft's will be anchored there.
Life somewhere else - where and why?
In both business and private life, there would have to be specific circumstances which would make me consider the option of going to live outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina, even just temporarily. As it usually goes: you go out into the world, gather experiences and practices, choose the best for yourself, and come back richer. Here where I am, I am developing both professionally and privately into the person I want to be. And I am pleased with the progress so far.
IT industry and formal education
Working the job you love is often considered a privilege, but the IT industry is growing too fast. Globally, companies are struggling with a shortage of qualified staff. Formal education, through college, really gives you a foundation and structures you, but the actual learning begins only when you start working. You face real problems, you create a product that you will offer to the market, and such responsibility is big. When you enter this world of "big players" early, you mature earlier and acquire qualities that, the older you get, the more you appreciate.
I am very proud that my job has changed me by pushing my boundaries which made me aware of the capacity I have and thus gained a great deal of self-confidence. Ajda from high school can be proud of Ajda from NSoft.
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