Interview With Radovan Končarević — ADC Tech Lead at Nul Tien

The best way to learn about a company is through its employees. Therefore, we decided to give you a peek into the workings of Nul Tien through the lens of our senior developer and ADC tech lead — Radovan Končarević. In the interview, Radovan talks about how he started working with Nul Tien, his recruitment process, biggest challenges, achievements, etc.

Nul Tien was founded in 2013. as a result of the collaboration between two very successful Dutch companies — Betabit and Enigmatry. Radovan is predominantly focused on working with Betabit’s clients, so you’ll learn how his team handles the projects within this company. In future interviews, you will get the chance to learn about the experiences of developers working for Enigmatry, so stay tuned!

Why did you start working for Nul Tien Belgrade?

I knew some of Nul Tien’s employees before deciding to make a career change, so I was familiar with how the company operated. At that time, I specifically wanted to work at Nul Tien. I wasn’t simply looking for a career change — Nul Tien was my first and only choice.

I was mainly drawn to the opportunity of working with cutting-edge technologies in .Net and Azure environments, the project diversity, good coding practices across all projects, work flexibility, as well as the wealth of opportunity for learning new skills. Another deciding factor was the company’s client-first approach, which also involved attending occasional business trips.

How did Nul Tien’s recruitment process work for you?

The selection and hiring process was very elaborate, and it was conducted in five steps. During that time, I got the chance to meet people from both Belgrade and the Netherlands who were working in various technical and non-technical positions.

After the initial HR interview, I had to solve a technical assignment based on the elimination method. This test was a great starting point for further discussion during the technical interview. After completing the assignment, I went through two rounds of technical interviews — the first one with the senior developers working in Belgrade, and the second one with a solution architect from the Netherlands.

The last step in the hiring process was a meeting with the CEO of Nul Tien, where I was officially presented with their job offer. From this perspective, the entire process, even if it had five steps, helped me learn more about the company before I was even hired. 

What were your biggest challenges starting out?

When I first started, the biggest challenge was adjusting to the new work environment, colleagues, projects, etc. Besides having to catch up with the latest technologies, I was also getting used to a different workflow that involved communicating with clients and participating in design decisions instead of merely implementing solutions.

What helped me immensely during that period was the mentorship from senior developers and other colleagues who were always open to any questions. It wasn’t easy, but after a few months of adjustment, I found myself back on track.

What is your greatest achievement in Nul Tien to date?

I am most proud of my involvement in the formation of the ADC team (Advanced Development Center). My role as a technical lead helped in the creation and development of the team. In the beginning, the team went through a chaotic and difficult period that brought forth a myriad of challenges. The initial idea was to pivot from standard consulting services to software engineering. The average project lifecycle in the ADC team is around six months, allowing us to form smaller teams dedicated to specific projects.

We started with only three developers and the first couple of projects were not on the level that we wanted, Besides the lack of people we were dealing with a lack of experience in managing client requirements, as well as with a lack of knowledge in some areas. Today, the Belgrade team has over 20 members, also including colleagues from the Netherlands working in various positions. Since the beginning, we went through different phases and significant organizational and structural changes. However, in the past 12 months, the team started to resemble our initial idea.

During this period, I was involved in various processes, such as recruitment, onboarding, mentoring, leadership, and development. Before that, there was a period of continuous work toward improving our processes, which is why we have a successful team capable of taking great responsibility and working on complex projects. Other than the various phases the team successfully went through, we are most proud of its cohesion, as well as the overall pleasant atmosphere.

How has the technology industry changed?

I think the technology industry has expanded in every possible way. Technologically, recent years have seen a shift towards open-source and cross-platform solutions, especially when it comes to Microsoft technologies. The Serbian IT market is also expanding — a great number of projects are implemented outside of the country where the initial idea or funding came from. There’s an increasing number of companies that are setting up offices in Serbia and outsourcing work to Serbian teams. IT solutions are now integrated across many domains, which leads to faster, more efficient, and more structured results.

Unfortunately, it feels as though there’s a lack of competent professionals on the market, which has resulted in companies putting in an extra effort to attract quality candidates. Today, it’s the candidates who are choosing the companies they will work for, not the other way around. A good thing about these changes is that more and more young people are getting into IT, and this trend will continue in years to come. Programming has also become a part of the curriculum in elementary schools, which should bring about more depth of knowledge to the industry in the long run.

Why do clients choose to work with Nul Tien?

Nul Tien boasts immense experience in working on different project domains and types of projects in terms of size, scalability, and requirements. Nul Tien’s Belgrade office is a part of the Betabit business system, and Betabit is a Microsoft Gold Partner with plenty of experts in different fields, which is why we have access to a comprehensive knowledge base.

Things are running smoothly within the company, as there’s always the possibility of getting immediate assistance. Teams are formed separately for each project based on numerous aspects. The members are chosen based on project and client requirements, so no one is simultaneously working on two different projects.

Moreover, all of the projects are similar in using good coding practices across all phases, from defining requirements, design, and planning, to realization and maintenance. I think that the complete project organization and service package that we offer is what attracts clients to collaborate with us the most.

What are your plans for Nul Tien moving forward?

From my team’s perspective, we plan to increase the number of members due to the increase in new projects. Although we’re divided into back- and front-end developers, the service team, and the business analyst team, this increase in the workload will lead to the restructuring of the team and further segmentation of its roles.

Moreover, we’ll focus on mentoring, education, and involvement of junior programmers in the whole process so they could learn new skills by helping with current projects.