Coding Escape Competition at IT Labs!

Coding Escape Competition at IT Labs!

Doing all the tech things we enjoy and love and putting them to use by developing software that helps our clients grow is one thing – but all the know-how we have is not just for work – we’re also using it to have fun!

On November 15th, 2022, we held a competition – 18 of our team members, coming from various teams and backgrounds – QAs, Devs, Project Managers, and Marketing Pros – all came together, mixed up into five teams, and set about trying to be the best team by beating the Sant’Angelo stage on Coding Escape! 

The rules were very simple – all teams must have at least one dev, to lay the code – all the rest just need the enthusiasm and willingness to compete! 

This is not the first Coding Escape competition we had, but to make things more interesting, this time around, the first three teams that would get the best time in solving the challenge, would win not just the bragging rights, but also a prize – in money! 

The results? Three teams had scored amazing times on the coding escape, winning the competition: 

1st place – FSociety 


The winning team of the competition, finishing the challenge in 46 minutes and 25 seconds, was made of the following IT Labbers: 

  • Mario Liptov 
  • Petar Partaloski 
  • Vedran Krstevski 
  • Petra Jovic 

2nd place – Tehnokratija 


The second-best team at the competition, finishing the challenge in 58 minutes and 38 seconds, was made of the following IT Labbers: 

  • Kiril Todorovski 
  • Nikola Angelkovski 
  • Vladimir Glisic 
  • Marko Hristov 

3rd place – Bugs Funny 


The third place winners of the competition, finishing the challenge in 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 6 seconds, were Bugs Funny made of the following IT Labbers: 

  • Aleksandar Gjoreski 
  • Martin Trajkov 
  • Aleksandra Angelovska 
  • Kostadin Kadiev 

Big kudos to the other two teams that participated: 


Classical Moccasin Raccoon 


  • Damjan Minovski 
  • Angel Kuzmanov 
  • Tome Arizanov 

Popular Jade Barracuda 


  • Dimitar Anakiev 
  • Teodor Mladenovski 
  • Vlatko Zmejkovski 

All in all? It was a great competition and we’re looking at making it a mainstay at IT Labs, as it’s great for hanging out and it’s not a game that’s exclusive for developers! 

We’re committed to providing an environment where team members can express, test their skills, and also have fun!  


Sounds like something you’d like to be part of?


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Call for Winter Internship at IT Labs!

Call for Winter Internship at IT Labs! 


It’s time – a call for all interested to apply to our winter internship program! 

As we’re dedicated to help grow and develop the next generation of tech professionals, we’ll be looking for bright heads who’ll look to cut their teeth in the following tech stacks, for which we’ll have separate streams: 

  • Full Stack (.NET+React)
  • Quality Assurance

INTERNSHIP

As usual, the internship program will last three months, and there will be the opportunity for the interns to become full-time IT Labbers once the internship comes to a successful end! 

The call for interns starts as of 21.11.2022, and will be open for application until 16.12.2022, and all interested can apply on the following links: 

Full Stack (.NET+React) Engineer Internship

Apply Here

Quality Assurance Engineer Internship

Apply Here

For all the aspiring techies, here is what to expect in the process: 

The process involves technical test, an HR interview, a technical interview, and the process will be wrapped up by someone from the People & Talent Department contacting you to let you know if you’re in, and what the next steps are! 

The internship program starts the second half of January 2023, so all successful applicants will be informed of the start date after they finish the application process. 

Looking to learn more about IT Labs and to see why this is the place where you can make your first steps in the world of tech? We’ll have an Open Day event at which you can learn what Life at IT Labs is like – from how we work, what benefits our team members enjoy, how you can grow and develop, all the way to the wide variety of educational and entertainment activities we offer! 

So, if you’re all about growth, are ready to learn from experienced tech pros, work on exciting projects, and join in on the many activities we have, we’re waiting for you application! 


Cooking: Is it a Talent or Something You Learn?

YAY OR NAY?

Cooking: Is it a Talent or Something You Learn?

Take-out is good, it’ll keep your belly full – but getting it prepped all by yourself? That feeds the soul.

Beatriz Castillo

Talent Acquisition Specialist at IT Labs

Cooking is so much more than satisfying our need for food. It’s tradition, it’s bonding, it’s spending quality time with loved ones, connecting on a different level.

The question as old as time is: Does everyone have the neck for it? Is it something you are just naturally born to do, or is it a skill anyone can learn? 

In a ‘Yay or Nay’ session, IT Labs’ Beatriz Castillo – a Talent Acquisition Specialist but also an amazing chef who enjoys cooking and baking tasty goods for her family and friends – answered all of these questions and much more. Starting from the origin of her love for cooking, how she nurtured it, as well as some of her favorite meals to prepare, all the way to how you can do it! 

Agenda: 

  • Cooking – why do it? 
  • Where does the desire for cooking come from? 
  • What’s needed for cooking? 

 


IT Labs at the Heapcon 2022!

IT Labs at the Heapcon 2022!


As far as events go, there are few on the Balkans that provide great value and insight on how certain problems are solved, all coming from great speakers working in some of the largest tech companies in the world.

Heapcon 2022 is one these, and we felt that this is a great opportunity for some of IT Labs’ finest!

We had Kostadin Kadiev, Blagoja Panovski, Aleksandra Gjinovska, Miki Jovanovski, Anastasija Jovanoska, Bojan Stojkov, Kiril Todorovski, Hristijan Tasevski, Martin Trajkov, and Vladimir Glisic all attend it in person, treating it not just as an opportunity to learn, but also bond!

Heapcon is made by a group of professionals from multidisciplinary fields, including: software engineering, project management, marketing, communications and publishing – with one purpose: to host some of the biggest names in industries, and letting them share their innovative ideas and experience!

You want a story like this one all for yourself?


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Macedonia2025’s Advanced Training for Cohorts 2022 at IT Labs

Macedonia2025’s Advanced Training for Cohorts 2022 at IT Labs

IT Labs was part of this year’s Ohrid Hi-Tech Excellence Camp that took place in Ohrid during the summer of 2022, and once again, on 29.10.2022 we hosted the Advanced Training for Cohorts.

The event was organized by Macedonia 2025, at which teams consisting of 2, 3, or 4 participants worked on different building challenges with special instructions, which included 6 Lego sets of the Robotics & Innovation Academy, 6 LEGO® Education SPIKE™ sets, and 6 computers with which the programming process was carried out.

The challenges that were laid out before the participants are in correlation to, and help in solving issues relate to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal no. 7access to clean and affordable energy. The training session was carried out by LEGO® Education trained-and-certified educators. 

The President of the Republic of North Macedonia visited the training session, and the participants presented the models they developed, explaining their applicability and effects. 

Macedonia2025 is a non-profit, non-political organization with a primary focus on economic, and leadership development, working in partnership with business, government, and academia, to generate opportunities and build capacities for economic growth, therefore helping build a stronger nation. They provide a variety of educational programs for different target groups. 


There and Back Again: An IT Labs Journey

There and Back Again: An IT Labs Journey

Here at IT Labs, we love journeys. Whether it’s the journey of an individual team member – professional or personal, or the ones we go on as a team, we always have fun. 

As a company, we’re flexible on how our employees work, in fact, we let them decide for themselves – you want to go to the office? Of course! You want to stay remote? That works just as fine. But in the end, that amazing together time we have when we’re all in one place is not something that can be easily recreated online, so we decided to bring the fun to them!  

How did we do that? With our ITL Caravan! An initiative through which team members from different cities gathered and went on trips around Macedonia and Serbia, going to cities where we have team members that work remotely, and spending the day together – working together, having lunch, hanging out! 

Our ITL Caravan went to Ohrid, Bitola, Kumanovo, Radovish, Kochani, Skopje, Belgrade, and Nish, all over the course of a few months, and the results? Well, we recorded the amazing time we had, and it’s all laid out for you to see. 

Scroll through the pics and enjoy! 


IT Labs’ Martin Trajkov to Take Part in the IT Konekt’s DevDays

IT Labs’ Martin Trajkov to Take Part in the IT Konekt’s DevDays

We’re proud to announce that IT Labs’ Martin Trajkov, Senior Back-End Engineer, will be part of this year’s DevDays, organized by IT Konekt.

On November 24th, Martin will hold a workshop titled “Write, build, and deploy supersonic/subatomic java applications with Quarkusat which he’ll dive deep into the subject of how to write supersonic/subatomic java applications, look at what a cloud-native image is, how to build Quarkus application into one, and why this can be a better framework for developers to work in. 

Martin’s workshop will have the following agenda: 

  • What is Quarkus; 
  • What is GraalVM; 
  • JVM vs. GraalVM; 
  • Quarkus vs. Spring boot; 
  • Pros / Cons of Quarkus; 
  • Initialize Quarkus application; 
  • Write a working API; 
  • Build the API; 
  • Deploy the API; 

This is a free online event, and if you’d like to attend it, you can do so by signing up HERE. 

The IT Konekt workshops are organized as a type of interactive, hands-on workshops with less presentations and lectures, and more practical examples in coding and exercises, at which participants can engage in the work and the discussion. 

The first online IT Konekt workshops were held in November 2020, while the first IT Konekt DevDays were held in the course of a few months in 2021. These sessions were dedicated to technologies such as Java, .NET, Angular, React, and the concepts of “clean code”, architecture, and unit testing. The events were organized in collaboration with lecturers such as: Victor Rentea, Vlad Mihalcea, Kevlin Henney, Manfred Steyer, Nir Kaufman, Dylan Beattie, and Mark Rendle.  

We would like to thank IT Konekt for the opportunity to have one of our own as part of the DevDays! 


The Love for Tech Prevailing: The Story of our Jovica Krstevski

The Love for Tech Prevailing: The Story of our Jovica Krstevski 

The road to finding yourself in the world of tech can be an interesting one – some people get into it from the get-go and stick around, while others take a different, longer road, but still rediscover their love for tech and dive deep into it. 

Take the story of Jovica Krstevski, a Technical Lead at IT Labs – whose love for tech has been an integral part of who he is today. Starting out as an intern more than a decade ago, he’s now a seasoned tech professional with vast experience for whom the sky is the limit. 

This is his story. 

You have had quite the journey to be where you are, Jovica? Care to share a bit more?

My passion for computers and technology goes back to when I was in school, specifically in 1997, when I decided to study Computer Technology & Automation in high school. It was a new course, with exciting new subjects in high school. Here, I had my first contact with coding (Pascal and Delphi), and their usage in automation. But technology wasn’t my only passion at the time – I also dreamt of joining the military, so in college, I joined and finished the military academy. As things developed and changed politically and society-wise and I grew, I decided that going back to software development is a better choice, as I’ll have a better chance to grow and develop – I just picked up where I left off in high school, and the rest – as they say – is history.


What made you choose tech from all the other industries? What drew you to it?

Software engineering allows you to solve challenging problems by using or developing tools – the only thing that’s required is a computer and a determination to solve the problem. This way, you can end up solving big problems in society, improve the day-to-day lives of people, or improve efficiency. I love helping people, and I believe that tech is the way that I can do my due.


How long have you been with IT Labs? What is it like so far?

I joined IT Labs in August 2008 as a Java intern, starting off with Java desktop apps and working on them for the first three months, after that I spent three more months as a C# web developer. I got a job offer from IT Labs, and the chance to start as a junior web developer in an experienced team. The team had just started work on a project from scratch, and this gave me a much-needed boost as I learned a lot about the software development process, as well as honed my skills as a coder. From a technical side of things, it went like this: At the time, I had the chance to move to another project, this time as an intermediate, and work on a legacy product – on this project I learned a lot about refactoring, migrations, deployments, team coordination, and loads of other things. I was climbing up and performing well, and in the next chapter of my career growth, I was working on a different project where I was tasked with leading the team and getting in touch with different technologies.

As for the environment and my colleagues, you can reread the part above – all of the things I’ve achieved were in no small part thanks to the teams I was in – they all helped me develop as a techie. I had great mentors to learn from when I started out, and there are still many things I need to master.


You’ve been growing and developing here since day one  what's in store for the future?

Right now, I feel as if I have a pretty good knowledge of the tools I need on a daily basis, so I’m more focused on experimenting, keeping up with the newest trends and findings in the world of software development – from the programming languages and tools, all the way to new processes, services, etc.


What would be your one advice that you’d give to young people who’re just entering the tech world?

Improve your skills every day! Trying to learn something with each passing day will help you a great deal in becoming a professional!


You want a story like this one all for yourself?


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Representing North Macedonia at the FITCE 2022

Representing North Macedonia at the FITCE 2022


IT Labs’ CEO, Branislav Gjorcevski, represented North Macedonia at this year’s FITCE expo, which was held on the 19th and 20th October at the Broward County Convention Center.

During the FITCE (Florida International Trade Conference and Expo), Branislav had the chance to promote North Macedonia as part of The World Expo Marketplace and network with local and international exhibitors.

In his presentation, IT Labs’ CEO talked about the investment and business expansion opportunities in North Macedonia – from the business climate and the incentives that are offered to foreign investors, all the way to his experience in growing business in the country. 

Huge thanks to North Macedonia’s Honorary Consul General Ms. Dana Klein, for this amazing opportunity to be part of the Expo, represent North Macedonia, and have a platform to talk about the potential for investors, a great honor for the entire team at IT Labs. 


IT Labs at the Omega Consulting Team Training

IT Labs at the Omega Consulting Team Training


IT Labs’ Blagoj Kjupev (CIO), Ivana Shuleska (PM), and Miki Jovanovski (TL) attended the Omega Consulting Team (OCT) training session that was held from the 6th until the 8th  of October in Smederevo, Serbia.

Our team, together with representatives from other companies had the chance to learn about new sales, marketing, and leadership techniques, follow a panel discussion on crucial topics regarding leadership, as well as conducting a case study (in teams).

We’re thankful to OCT for giving this amazing opportunity to our team members to learn and develop as leaders and managers! See you next time, OCT!