IT Labs part of IT4charity 2022

IT Labs part of IT4charity 2022

Each year, IT Companies gather for the same reason. The reason is called IT4charity – an organized event to raise funds for people in need. Their main goal is to engage IT companies in Macedonia to collaborate and participate in this event for a greater purpose.

During the summer, our company took part in the IT4charity 2022. This year’s goal was to help the children without parents or parental care that are supported by SOS Children Villages Macedonia.

How did we contribute? IT4Charity had teamed up with Challenger, and by collecting points for each passed GREEN kilometer of the employees the companies participating donate funds to SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE

We participated by doing different physical activities, we tracked and gathered points that not only saved the earth from carbon print but also contributed to the donation to SOS kids’ village.

Once a week, we gathered in the City Park to have a nice hike along the Vardar River, or some of us were members of the ‘Bike Gang’ who rode a bike route of at least 20 km in total. Even individually, we did that. Walking the dog? Put that tracker on. A night out on your bike? Put the tracker on.

We were able to donate enough money, as a team, so the children’ everyday living expenses such as food, clothing, electricity, etc., will be covered for a certain amount of time. IT4charity has been occurring once a year for many years now, and each time, the number of participants is bigger.

We are beyond proud and grateful for the efforts of our kind-hearted and physically active colleagues. We encourage them, and you, to participate in an even bigger number next year because the more the better.

If you see yourself as part of this kind-hearted group of people, check the current vacancies below.

If you see yourself as part of this kind-hearted group of people, check the current vacancies below.

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Hiking and Foraging Mushrooms: An IT Labs Day in Mavrovo

Hiking and Foraging Mushrooms: An IT Labs Day in Mavrovo 

When in nature, enjoy it – and that’s exactly what we did on our day in beautiful Mavrovo. A group of us got there early in the morning, in our hiking gear, ready to explore the trails! 

On the way up, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and some of our team members who are acquainted with nature actually managed to find and forage some mushrooms! We got the pics to prove, right below. 

All in all? It was a day of bonding, having fun, helping one another to get through the demanding slopes and steep parts of the trail, reaching and enjoying places that offered breathtaking views, and we capped it all with a hearty lunch in one of the wonderful restaurants below. 

We’d go on and on to explain and capture the energy and enjoyment, but the pictures below should paint the picture. 

You want to be a part of something like this? Join us and be part of the next hiking trip.

You can do it right here!


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IT Labs Go-kart Races: First to The Finish Line

IT Labs Go-kart Races: First to The Finish Line 

The thrill and excitement of F1 racing are unique – there’s the rush, it’s demanding, and the bragging rights belong to whoever crosses the finish line first or gets the best time. Now, F1 racing is not something you can just go to a racetrack and do – but you can do the next best thing: Go-kart racing. And we did just that. 

On a sunny day, we gathered at a racetrack, we got our balaclavas and helmets, and we took to the racetrack in groups, all trying to beat the clock – and their competition. 

The results? A great experience filled with adrenaline, showing our competitive spirit, and trying our hand at one of the most physically and demanding sports! 

 

 

We started out with two groups of 10, and the best 4 from each group made it into the final, where they hashed it out for the winner. 

The winners are as follows: 

  • First place – Marko Hristov 
  • Second place – Nomche Bezhanoski
  • Third place – Kristijan Vasilevski 

 

You think you can beat them in a go-kart race? Join our ranks and be part of the next racing event we have.

You can do it right here!


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Learning by Always Being Up to the Challenge: The Story of IT Labs’ Nikola Angelkovski

Learning by Always Being Up to the Challenge: The Story of IT Labs’ Nikola Angelkovski

It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information, technology, and all the opportunities you can choose from – what will you do? Which tech stack? Where do you see going with that? A million possibilities.

For some, this can be a bit too much to handle, but for IT Labs’ Junior DevOps Engineer, Nikola Angelkovski, it was just what the doctor ordered. He started as an intern, got on full-time, and now earning his mark by learning something new daily!

His experience so far? Read it below:

You’ve been with us for a year now - how is going so far? What are you most proud of?

I have been with IT Labs for 1 year. So far it is going really well, and I am most proud of the fact that I have managed to get this job and place myself in a great learning environment along with great co-workers.


What’s the biggest change you experienced with IT Labs? What surprised you the most?

The biggest change that I have experienced with IT Labs came in the form of responsibilities. Now that I am a full-time employee, my responsibilities are bigger, and that in turn motivates me to work even harder and commit to my goals even more. The thing that surprised me the most (in a good way) is the fact that there is a huge emphasis on knowledge sharing through the various communities and employee growth, both personal and professional.


You obviously want to progress and grow, and probably have a plan on what and who you want to be 5 years from now  care to share?

In 5 years time, I want to further expand my knowledge and skills with a couple of certifications under my belt and possibly mentor new DevOps interns. Also, I want to thank Kostadin Kadiev, Blagoja Panovski, and Milan Gjorcevski, among others, for guiding me on my journey and giving me valuable tips and tricks to master my craft.


Favorite thing to do with co-workers?

Besides playing table tennis, FIFA and darts, I really enjoy talking to my co-workers on various topics, such as traveling, arts, and sciences, because you get a different perspective and view on things, which is a cool way to learn something new every day.


What’s the one piece of advice you would give to future techies?

Always strive to learn more, believe in yourself, and never be afraid to ask the questions that you have on your mind. Also, never give up on your dreams if something goes wrong along the way. A little fun fact about me: I applied for a one-month internship at IT Labs back in 2019 and did not get accepted. But 3 years later, here I am, writing this to share my story and encourage other people to pursue their goals and dreams.


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Going Against the Odds and the Stereotypes: The Story of Aleksandra Glavinova

Going Against the Odds and the Stereotypes: The Story of Aleksandra Glavinova

Support is the one thing we know that can help people grow and become who they want to be, but what happens when there isn’t any? Some people cave in and fall in line, but some, like Aleksandra Glavinova, go beyond and above in their efforts to break stereotypes and prove people wrong.

She earned her degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering in Skopje, joined IT Labs as an intern, and is now with the company full-timе – as a Junior Front-end Engineer!

Below, you can read all about her experience with IT Labs, and where she sees herself growing for the future.

You’ve been with us for little over a year now - how is going so far? What are you most proud of?

I made it 1 year as a full-time employee this month! Before that, I was part of the internship stream that lasted for 3 months. As a part of this company for this past year, I noticed a particular progress in my knowledge, a change in the way of thinking, in solving problems, a change in the way of communication as well as a change in the overall way of life. I am most proud of the fact that I dared to try, and furthermore that I had the chance to be part of this company and to have the opportunity to prove myself in an industry – something I have dreamed of for a long time.


What’s the biggest change you experienced with IT Labs? What surprised you the most?

With IT Labs, many things changed in my life. This was my first job, and I felt for the first time what it was like to handle big responsibilities, be financially independent and start a completely new way of life. They say that every new beginning brings new challenges, so in my case, I can say that starting at IT Labs was also the start of a series of beautiful things that happened in my life. From the first day here, I was most surprised (pleasantly) by the friendly and kind attitude of all the colleagues in the company, who from the first day were cordial and eager to help me manage, as well as to feel like I’ve been here for years.


You obviously want to progress and grow and probably have a plan on what and who you want to be 5 years from now  care to share?

My goal is to get much more experience and knowledge and to develop myself not only in my field (front-end), but also to expand my knowledge in the field of backend technologies. I expect that I will progress enough to be able to pass on my knowledge to some of the next generations that follow and will be part of our company. Five years from now, I see myself with my laptop on a beach with my family, writing code with ease, with a cocktail next to me.(If you really want it, you will find a way to get it 😉).


Favorite thing to do with co-workers?

My favorite thing so far is to discover new places and new food for lunch time with my co-workers as well as playing table tennis in the office Arena. But there’re also so many other things that I love to do, like chatting on the breaks, sharing experiences from our work and private life, drinking coffee etc.


What’s the one piece of advice you would give to future techies?

Listen to your heart and work hard for your goals. Don’t pay any attention to the negative or discouraging opinions – at the end of the day you are the creator of your future and it’s worth giving things a try, even if sometimes the outcome is not as you expected. Waking up every day and doing a job you don’t like is like serving a sentence, and you lose the purpose of life. It’s very important to feel fulfilled and to do what you have dreamed of in life.


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Learning With A View on The Future: The Story of Daniela Zdravkovska

Learning With A View on The Future: The Story of Daniela Zdravkovska

When people walk into a company, they take some time to settle in and get going, but there are some people – like IT Labs’ Junior BA, Daniela Zdravkovska – who hit the ground running and are simply a pleasure to work with.

She walked into IT Labs in the summer of 2020, starting out as an intern, and then joined us full-time – and now, two years later, she decided to share her story so far, and her dreams of what we’re sure will be an amazing future.

You’ve been with us for two years now - how is going so far? What are you most proud of?

I joined ITLabs as a Junior Business Analyst in January 2021 after completing my internship in the summer of 2020. So far, I’ve had the chance to work on different projects and industries and collaborate with a diverse team of great professionals I’ve learned so much from! Most proud of? I believe it is the project I am currently working on as a BA, being the first project I am entirely leading by myself—also, the possibility to bring our team to the Jumpstarter’s finals. Jumpstarter is an EU initiative and program where ITLabs applied in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering (FEIT) Skopje with a solution that focuses on the establishment of an EV platform with a purpose of developing a modern solution that will support the growing EV infrastructure in Macedonia, with a view to expand it in the region.


What’s the biggest change you experienced with IT Labs? What surprised you the most?

The good thing about the tech industry and IT environment, I guess, is that it is never dull. Change is our constant, we live it daily, meeting different customers, working with a different set of people, and technologies, and facing different challenges both from tech and business perspectives. Having this in mind, I cannot think of something in particular that surprised me the most, work-related. On the other hand: the people – ITLabs is full of amazing people. Friendly, and always willing to contribute both to the company and outside of it. We’ve seen many small acts of kindness making the change for our small communities.


You obviously want to progress and grow and probably have a plan on what and who you want to be 5 years from now  care to share?

Five years from now seems like a reasonable time for me to gain some deep experience in business analysis practices and start climbing the project management ladder. Also, during my master’s studies, I’ve been focused a lot on the operational side of the business, so in maybe 6-7 years from now, I’d really like to see myself covering the role of operations management, improving processes, performance while helping the organization with operational strategies and improve our day-to-day work and working conditions.


Favorite thing to do with co-workers?

Honesty, I did not have enough opportunities to spend some time with my colleagues and do some activities. With the whole Covid-19 thing going on, between personal and professional stuff, I can say that I barely worked for 2-3 months from the office, while mostly doing my job from home. I participated in a few of the many knowledge share sessions we have at IT Labs, and I attended a couple of happenings in the office Arena. Since I prefer live gatherings, I’d say that the Arena gatherings and events are my favorite so far.


What’s the one piece of advice you would give to future techies?

Have no fear when joining the IT world. It is a fun place to grow both as a professional and human! 


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The Defined Road – The Story of Simona Stavreva

The Defined Road – The Story of Simona Stavreva 

The road of all the people looking to make it in tech, or in any other industry for that matter is rarely – or better said, almost never – defined and laid out. Well, not for IT Labs’ Intermediate QA Engineer, Simona Stavreva, who knew exactly what she wanted to do and where she wanted to do it.

She walked through our doors four years ago, and has been growing and progressing through the ranks (and the skills) – and if that isn’t a worthy story, what is?

Her story, in her words, all below.

How did you end up with us?

I heard about IT Labs at the Job Fair event on FEIT. At the time, I just finished my ISTQB certification and was looking for opportunities to gain practical knowledge in software testing. I checked out the website, applied on the company web page, and in record time I had an interview scheduled. The rest, as they say, is history.


What was your experience in the internship program? With the mentors?

Regarding the internship program, I remember we were a group of 6 new interns, working on a new project from the start. It was a great experience to participate in the whole process of creating business requirements, design, implementation, and testing of the software with the help of experienced engineers. Three months during which all of us boosted our knowledge and got some real experience. I would like to add that working with the whole group of interns is a very positive thing as we learn and grow together – those are friendships for life!


What do you see yourself doing in the future? The only way is up, so where exactly is that?

On the day of the interview, I expressed my passion for automation testing which was heard by the company, and I was given the opportunity to work and grow in that field – so, I see myself automating test cases and speeding up the whole test process.


What does your average day look like?

Every day starts with a stand-up meeting, but after that – every day is special. Generally, in 2 weeks sprints I work on analysis of new requirements, planning test strategy, implementing, and executing manual and automation tests and demonstrating the new functionalities on product owners, but every day includes meetings and discussion with my colleagues and most important learning new techniques, approaches, and tools for testing.


Something personal you'd like to add?

I’ve been with IT Labs for four years now and want to add that here at IT Labs, the internship is not the only time you get to have a mentor and support from more experienced people, but also as an employee – we always support each other, because as everyone knows, sharing is caring.


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From Intern to Software Architect: The Journey of Aleksandra Gjinovska

From Intern to Principal Software Architect: The Journey of Aleksandra Gjinovska

Deciding to enter the world of tech is a big decision – there are a lot of things to learn and become a pro at. But if you have a general idea of what you want to do and know that learning is a never-ending process – you will find your passion. Just ask our Aleksandra Gjinovska.

She walked into IT Labs as an intern almost ten years ago, and has since grown and developed to become a Principal Software Architect. She decided to share her journey with aspiring techies, to show that nothing is impossible if you have your mind set on learning and growing.

Read on.

How did you end up with us?

I searched for an internship program to fill my extra time while preparing my graduate thesis. A friend told me about the internship in IT Labs, so I applied. A couple of days after the interview, they called me up to tell me that I shall begin in a couple of days. Have to say, it’s one of the best decisions I made about my career – I still remember how excited I was that day.


What was your experience in the internship program? With the mentors?

I had a great time during the internship. Blagoja Panovski, (a senior engineer at the time, now a Principal Software Architect), was my mentor, and I learned a lot from him, but what impressed me the most was the working atmosphere, the friendly attitude of the senior engineers, and their willingness to guide and share knowledge. The lunch breaks, hangouts, and treasure hunting team building are things I still remember.


What do you see yourself doing in the future? The only way is up, so where exactly is that?

I had my sights set on becoming a software architect, and I worked hard to become one – since reaching that goal, I’m now focused on solution design, being a good mentor and leader, and just learning something new every day.


What does your average day look like?

As a software architect, my day is filled with a lot of activities: from code reviews, coding, deployments, and meetings with teams – all the way to engaging in more company-level activities, which include planning, brainstorming sessions, mentorship, and development programs. Aside from the regular work stuff, there are the coffee breaks, hanging out with colleagues, and chit-chatting with people from other teams.


Something personal you'd like to add?

An advice for all aspiring techies – it’s okay to not have a clear vision of what you want to do in the future or what you want to specialize in or become a pro at. I came here as an undergrad without a clear vision in which direction I wanted to develop, but I knew I had to keep learning and growing. At IT Labs, I have the chance to experiment and work with cutting-edge tech, but also improve my skills and develop new ones – some of which I was not even aware of before. I’ve been here for almost ten years now and stayed because I knew I’d have the kind of environment and culture that would fit me – a collaborative environment where individuals work as one cohesive team and knowledge flows freely. Find this, and you’ll do great things.


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From QA to BA: The Story of Stefanija Djajkoska

From QA to BA: The Story of Stefanija Djajkoska

Sometimes you set your mind to one thing, but along the way, you learn that you have qualities for a different thing, so you decide to give this different thing a chance and it ends up fitting you. Like. A. Glove.

How? Just ask our Senior Business Analyst, Stefanija Djajkoska, who came to IT Labs as an intern about 6 years ago, and has risen through the ranks – learning and growing along the way.

This is her IT Labs story.

How did you end up with us?

It was during my studies; we had a mandatory internship. My uni colleague, Magde, (now my co-worker) had mentioned that she started an internship at IT Labs, so I decided to apply for the summer program as well, and I got in!


What was your experience in the internship program? With the mentors?

Quite the rollercoaster. I applied for QA internship, however during the interview and the assessment, the recruitment people told me that my skills are more suitable for BA. At the time I didn’t know exactly what a BA was, but I decided to shoot my shot and accepted the offer. I learned a great deal from my mentors, as they supported me every step of the way, and helped me immensely during the internship, and also later on.


What do you see yourself doing in the future? The only way is up, so where exactly is that?

Lately, my focus has been on product management activities, so I see my future self: climbing the product manager/product owner ladder. I’m interested in this field and at IT Labs, we’re encouraged to keep learning and developing, so I’ll go for it!


What does your average day look like?

Facilitating meetings with both the team and the clients, lots of emails, documenting requirements, doing analysis and research, brainstorming, preparing mockups, and the list goes on. No day is the same, and that’s the one thing I really love about this job.


Anything personal to add?

When I first came to IT Labs, my goal was to learn more about software quality and become an experienced QA engineer. But I walked out of the internship interview as a BA intern. You might ask yourself how and why this has happened, but remember this – people here can see potential in you, to develop in ways you’re not even aware are possible.


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Where The Road May Lead: Five Minutes with Vlatko Zmejkoski

Where The Road May Lead: Five Minutes with Vlatko Zmejkoski

Starting out as an intern, Vlatko came through the ranks here at IT Labs as a Backend Engineer a little over three years ago, and has been with us since. While we know his story, it’s high time we share it with you. Short and simple, we sat down with him for a quick, somewhat brash, 5-min chat during which we got to pick his brain and see how’s life at IT Labs for him. The results are below.

How did you end up with us?

It was an ex-roommate who had already started an internship in ITL who suggested that I apply. Funny story, I was interviewed multiple times (Ana Strezoska, IT Labs’ People Specialist, may confirm), the first interview was for a DevOps engineer, but I ended up changing my mind and coming again for a second as a Backend Engineer, yeah… that was a lot of interviews through the process, but in the end, it was actually perfect, as I found something that really interested me and the time, and I’m still going with that.


What was your experience in the internship program? With the mentors?

I can say for sure that I started from 0.5 with truly little knowledge in software development outside the general programming knowledge from the university and learned A LOT throughout the program. Miki Jovanovski was there as our mentor supporting and teaching us how to be better developers, now, he is on my team, and I’m still learning from him.


What do you see yourself doing in the future? The only way is up, so where exactly is that?

I don’t really have a “set in stone” future job position, but I’d like to go with the flow, and explore and learn things that I find interesting and things that can make a difference, but yes, the sky is the limit. Also, IT Labs has a policy that allows people to move not just up the ladder, but also horizontally – you can switch from one stack to another, to different projects, different techs, and this is perfect for anyone willing to learn more and try to find their calling.


What does your average day look like?

It always starts with a morning daily stand-up, a shake, and a coffee near me, and by noon we are done with meetings (hooray), but yeah, meetings are essential when you realize you need additional meetings for confirmations and syncs. After noon, I start with daily coding tasks, have other meetings with the team, and maybe prepare a pull request for code review (probably another cup of coffee in the meantime). And that’s a day in a wrap.


Something personal you'd like to add

I’m a gamer at heart, I love coffee, passionate about technology, from recently into AI sphere and started CrossFit training.


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