Parts of the Interview:
About Michiel's company
Why should anyone join your company?
I founded the company and am a developer myself, therefore I know what developers need to shine. We’re dedicated to improving ourselves as developers every day and always want to improve the quality of our code. Any developer with ambition and potential should feel right at home in our team.
What do you like most about your company?
The open communication and helping each other with the various challenging projects.
What is the company’s vision?
To help our clients convert their software product ideas into technical solutions which consist of high quality clean and maintainable code.
His way of working
If a developer is not convinced of your ideas, what do you do?
I let the developer explain why (s)he is not convinced and we discuss the pros and cons of the various solutions. It might be I’m wrong and the developer has a better solution or it might go the other way. In the end it’s about the best solution and what results in the best and cleanest code. Not about who came up with it.
If someone delivers code that needs improvement what do you do?
We always have Pull Requests to evaluate each others code. I comment on the code to point out the improvement and try to explain the reasoning behind it.
How do you experience working with Macedonian developers?
I find that this works really well. Software development especially is a field where working remotely is no real problem, since all tools are online anyway.
Are there opportunities for advancement or professional development in your company?
We always strive to improve as developers. That’s one of the characteristics we look for in anyone that wants to join our team that they’re eager and willing to grow and improve. The developers usually do a lot of learning themselves already with free online resources. Just before COVID-19 we were looking at which conferences would be interesting to go to as a team, but that was halted because of COVID-19 obviously.
About the Macedonian team
What does a long term cooperation mean to you? / What is your vision for the Macedonian team?
Long term cooperation means at least several years. I only expand the Macedonian team if I have enough long term commitment from our clients in The Netherlands to be able to keep them. My vision is to grow the team along with our clients and at some point have multiple teams in Macedonia to support the various clients.
How does that show in salary?
I feel we pay a good salary according to the market and salaries grow each year according to improvement and dedication.
Describe your Macedonian team in five words.
Eager, driven, senior, fun, pragmatic.
How have the developers improved since you started working with them?
Every person is unique obviously, and everybody has their own particular areas of improvement. Whether it be in coding style, communication skills, or leadership skills. I see the team improve in those areas and actively work on improving them. It’s fun to see when certain ways of thinking in code have been explained to see those ways be applied in practice in pull requests.
What are the biggest challenges in this job that someone would face?
Really understand the domain. The projects we work on are typically complex and it’s not something that can be explained and understood as a whole in one session. You’ll need quite some time to be able to start to understand the domain and how everything works together. That’s one more reason why we’re always looking for long term cooperation, because it’ll simply take some time before anybody is really up to speed to begin with. Another challenge will be keeping up with our code quality requirements. I’m not saying we write the cleanest code the world has ever seen, but we do expect a certain minimum quality to be able to pass through our pull request gate. And we’re not afraid to reject the same updated pull request multiple times if that’s what it takes to make the code reach that level.
Get to know the team
I’ve been working with Michiel for about 3 years now. He is a highly skilled engineer, passionate about software and committed to delivering high-quality solutions. With his experience and versatile technology knowledge, he really helped me grow as a developer and improve my skills.
Michiel is a developer at heart, and a great one at that. His feedback is often direct but almost always results in some kind of experience or knowledge gain. He’s also a team player, meaning he has no problem accepting or hearing out different opinions/solutions, basically whatever gets the job done in the best possible way. Personally I find those traits great to have in any teammate, but especially in the people in charge. Working on his team has been great so far for my professional growth.
Michiel is a person very dedicated to the job. As an experienced developer with knowledge of various technologies, he is always there to lend a hand and offer guidance. As a manager on the other hand, he listens to suggestions from the team and understands developer woes.