1 December, 2020
Aleksandra, a Software Engineer Who Loves Kickfit and Progressive Metal
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At the beginning od 2020, Scalefocus invested in a new development center in Skopje, Macedonia. So we’ve decided it’s time to share with you some of the awesome people from our Skopje team in the People of Scale rubric. Keep reading to learn all about Aleksandra Shumkoska.

On her journey so far

My name is Aleksandra and I work as a Software Engineer at Scalefocus, Skopje. I grew up in Slavej, but after high school, I moved to Skopje.  

I didn’t always imagine becoming a Software Engineer when I grow up. It was a set of circumstances that made me pursue that path.  From an early age, I was very good at both natural languages and technical disciplines such as Maths and Physics. However, I realized that it won’t be an easy task to get a job in either of those fields, especially in my country. In a way, programming languages combine both natural languages and tech, so it made sense to go for it. Hence, I ended up in IT. 

Оn her path at Scalefocus Skopje

I joined Scalefocus’ Skopje office about 2 years ago as a Software Engineer. Currently, I am part of the Data team. When I first heard about Scalefocus, I imagined it as a place of many opportunities and that is why I decided to join. I was not wrong!   

Mainly I work on projects related to Data Engineering and Data Science. My daily activities include software design and development, code reviews, data analysis, planning as well as daily meetings and discussions. However, those responsibilities vary depending on the client or the project that I am assigned to.   

Whenever I have the time, I get involved in some of our internal projects. Right now, I am helping with the Data Analytics within Scalefocus Academy. Last but not least, I actively participate in organizing different events and activities as part of the Spirit of Scale initiative. 

On her team

My team is full of kind and smart people that are willing to share their knowledge and always give you a hand when you need it. They are good drinkers too. How can one not like them?   

I am a relatively new member of the Data team and so far, I am happy to be part of it. I believe I will grow to like them even more. 

Оn most important qualities for a Software Engineer

There is not one single quality a person should have to succeed in this line of work, it’s a mixture of many.  If I have to choose, I would say that the ability to learn and to adapt to new things is key. Each project is a different story, new tools and technologies pop up all the time and if you are not willing to keep up, you can’t succeed. 

On dealing with fear and doubt

I’ve had many such moments in my life, especially in my career. What is important is not to give up.

I believe that anything can be achieved if you put enough time and effort into it.   

Having people who believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself also helps. Sometimes we just need a little push to move forward. 

Aleksandra loves cycling.

Оn taking risks 

The biggest one was letting go of a job that I really loved in order to pursue personal growth. It was a tough choice, but I ended up loving the new job. Plus, I gained the personal growth I was striving for. I can’t know what would have happened if I had chosen differently at the time, but I like where I am right now. I certainly made the right choice. 

On her favorite tech stack

We are using Python to develop a platform which is a wrapper on top of Apache Airflow. The solution integrates multiple different types of databases, warehouses, and cloud storage. We are extensively using Amazon Web Services. During my career, I have used different tools and frameworks depending on the project, but Python was always there. So, I am going to stick to Python as my number one.  

One of this Software Engineer’s passions is cooking.

On inspirations and interests

There are a few people close to my heart who have truly inspired me throughout different stages of my life. Each of them has made a big impact on who I am as a person and as a professional. 

I am a person of many interests. There are days when I feel hyperactive and can’t even find enough time to do all the things that I like. On the other hand, there are days when I just want to crash on the sofa and binge watch some shows on Netflix.

One of the things I enjoy most is cooking. I love spending time in the kitchen both cooking and eating.    

To compensate for all the eating, I try to keep myself physically active. I like running, cycling, yoga… Recently, I started training kickfit which I find very beneficial for both physical and emotional health, but due to the COVID-19 situation, I had to put it on hold for a bit.   

Another thing I enjoy is traveling. I like seeing or even just hearing how people live in different parts of the world.

So far, I have mostly visited European countries, but I can’t wait to explore more. I like music too. Everything seems better with a good prog metal playing in the background.  

Оn advice for young IT specialists

Get ready to read and google a lot. 

On her projects & routine

Currently, we are developing a data platform that will help our users to move data from one place to another. My workday starts with a daily catch up with the other members of the team where we discuss the tasks for the day. After that, I focus on my tasks which usually include the development of new features and testing. Throughout the day I participate in additional meetings where we discuss ideas as well as potential issues or improvements in our work.   

The Work From Home period hasn’t had a big impact on my work so far. My team is located in another country anyway, so our communication has always been virtual. I do miss hanging out with my local colleagues though.  

On mentors

Since my start at Scalefocus, I have had a few different mentors which are worth mentioning: Krasimir Kostadinov, Goran Stojanovski, and my current mentor – Nikolay Petrov. Such inspiring professionals, and even better people. And no, I am not saying this just because they might read the article. 

On the most important lesson of 2020

Things don’t always go as planned. 

If you want to become a part of the awesome Scalefocus team in one of our many locations, click here to see the current openings.