Some know him as one of the first Emakinians, some as a creator of #GivingTheMaximum catchphrase, but not everyone knows his career path – so let us show you how Siniša Gak climbed his career ladder and what he has learnt along the way.
Siniša started his career working as an Android developer while he was still in college. Soon, he wanted to broaden his knowledge, so he started working as a web developer. This is how he got a chance to work with many experienced engineers and learn how a big organization works. In four years he expanded his knowledge and became a scrum master and a deputy team lead.
And then his career path led him to Emakina.RS.
Tamara: Siniša, can you describe your career growth in Emakina.RS?
Siniša: When I was given a chance to get a job in Emakina.RS, I accepted it gladly. I became a member of the core team and I had a chance to take part in the growth of a successful organisation.
I started working as a web developer on a HEMA project in a small team that consisted of colleagues from Emakina.RS and Emakina.NL, where I became a technical lead after two years. The project soon achieved big successes, the team started to expand, which is why we reorganized it into three teams.
My current role is a technical lead plus on a project – technical authority for all three teams, and I am also a team lead in our company.
Tamara: This job position must be very different from your previous role. Can you tell us more about your day-to-day tasks?
Siniša: It is very different, the position of a team lead involves much more interaction with people when compared with some other technical positions.
As a technical lead I take care of the team’s wishes and ambitious and clients’ plans, I plan the development and explore technical feasibility of specific tasks. On top of that, I take some time to dedicate myself to each team member to try to meet their professional and technical expectations, give them challenging assignments and coach them on their road to achieve positive results. Also, this role additionally provides me a chance to set some technical challenges to myself which allow me to further learn and improve on my career path.
A position of a team lead involves even more intensive interaction with team members, keeping track of how satisfied they are with their job and with other team members, and the discussion around possible conditions we can offer them.
Tamara: How do you improve your skills and knowledge as a technical and team lead?
Siniša: My feeling is that I mostly advance and learn by facing challenges on a daily basis. With some challenges, it is hard to choose how to approach them to get the best result. In such cases, I like to discuss the challenge with other team leads, I ask my team lead to give me advice or approach my colleagues from the people team to help me solve it.
Also, I discovered that reading helps me a lot. From a large amount of relevant literature about leadership, I learn the most important lessons about communication skills and time management. Some of the titles which helped me are The Effective Engineer by Edmond Lau, Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg and High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove.
Tamara: In your opinion, what are the most important skills or traits a leader should have?
The possibility to recognize how other people feel can help you create a certain type of connection with that person and react accordingly. Empathy is intuitive, but it is also something you can work on.
Clear and precise communication leads to faster exchange of information and helps avoid misunderstandings. This is a skill which you can learn and which can always be improved.
If you want to be a good leader, your colleagues should be able to rely on you and trust you. You will build this by being honest, dedicated, loyal, self-confident, by fulfilling your promises and taking responsibilities.
Tamara: What advice would you give to your younger self?
- Communicate with your colleagues.
The assumption that someone will read my message between the lines proved to be wrong so many times. When I openly communicate my message to someone, I can usually expect an open answer as well. The answer will maybe be positive or negative for me, but I will surely get the answer.
- Try looking at things from other people’s perspectives.
Before I react to someone’s words, or work, I first stop to ask myself why that person did that in that way. I realised that in the world of business, people very rarely do something to harm somebody, they mostly do things to help themselves. If I manage to understand why someone reacted or did something in a certain way, I am more likely to react to it in the right way.
With this set of skills, experience and knowledge, Siniša easily climbed up the ladder.
Want to start your climb? You are in the right place – #ContinuousGrowth is our motto! Check out open positions and start working with professionals like Siniša.