Marko Bjelac | Employee interview | Software Sauna

Employee Interview – Marko Bjelac | 5th Anniversary Special

This weekend we celebrated a significant milestone – Software Sauna’s 5th birthday! To fully understand what Software Sauna is all about, there is only one way – to go back 5 years in the past. Luckily for us, we don’t need a time machine for that; interviewing our Lead Developer Marko Bjelac will do the trick.

Actually, we literally went back in time by watching this video. Marko is Sauna’s very first employee, and this is a perfect opportunity to reflect on how things have changed along the way.

Marko toasting with CEO Ilkka after signing the deal of his lif… sorry, his employment contract!
Marko is toasting with CEO Ilkka after signing the deal of his life… sorry, his employment contract!

When you look back, is the reason you joined Sauna in the first place the same one why you’re still here?

Yes, completely. Exploring XP-like development practices together with other devs.

What parts of your vision from 5 years ago became a reality?

What came true: There are people like me out there! Sandra and Adrijana found them and brought them to me. I am so grateful to them! When we get projects which are Sauna-owned, and we get to work together on them, I have a lot of fun (and hope I’m not getting on the other devs’ nerves too much).

What didn’t come true? This can be done only on Sauna-owned projects, and I wish there were more of them. 

You said you want to create a “living room” working environment where devs are drinking tea while exchanging ideas. Have we reached the idea of that living room?

The biggest problem is that some people like coffee, not tea. 😀 In general, the idea has been carried out. In between typing code, we have a lot of fun in pair & mob programming sessions, architecture discussions, and development planning meetings.

The extent of these practices varies depending on the project and the client. As for the “living room” – this has become literally true as most of us are now in our actual living rooms (or other rooms) at home. 🙂

Software Sauna team at the 5th anniversary party
The Sauna team at the 5th-anniversary party

What is the most important thing about software development?

Software developers! It’s easiest just to do everything yourself; however, as the proverb goes: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

How do you see Sauna in a year?

I hope we’ll have several Sauna-owned greenfield, and maybe some brownfield projects going. For greenfields, we would use our Sauna Starter to bootstrap and get it running quickly. Developers on all those projects would be in (relative) consensus about practices and conventions regarding architecture, test methodology, continuous delivery practices, etc. Also, I hope clients and owners of these projects will be happy with our ways of doing things.

Marko won
Marko won the “Never stop learning” award at the 5th-anniversary party. “Never stop learning” is one of the five Sauna core values, and Marko is definitely a person who represents it fully.

Software Sauna was founded by two Finnish friends who wanted to create a service to meet the needs of modern software development. We combine Nordic business culture with the expertise of top-notch engineers whose skills are forged on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. We work side by side with our clients on the frontier of digitalization and challenge each other to succeed every single day. As people and technology are close to our hearts, we say, “Happy Programmer – Happy Client.”

We heat up your software development.

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