We’re continuing our series of first-hand reflections on the recently held annual leadership gathering, HTEC’s central strategic planning event. This time, we had the privilege of catching up with Goran Savić, HTEC’s Director of Technology | Tech Excellence Network. Goran possesses a wealth of experience in growing the technical expertise of teams and defining and upholding the standards of technical excellence, and we were curious to hear his main takeaways and impressions, both from the event and from HTEC’s recent growth.
In case you’ve missed the previous interview in the series, you can find it here:
In your opinion, what is the biggest value of the annual leadership gathering?
I see this gathering as the main and most important synchronization event. Of course, we are in constant communication with different company leaders all year round, but events such as this provide an opportunity for everyone to align on all the big and small details that make up our overall strategy. We have all the people in one place with enough time and with the immediacy and the intimacy of communicating in person to iron out all aspects of our shared work—all the micro syncs and alignment that we don’t always have the time for in the course of our work. They are micro syncs in the sense that they are small topics, but in the long run they all add up and significantly affect our results.
Goran Savić sharing a moment with the mentors of our Junior Development Program in Banja Luka
How HTEC’s recent expansion influenced your personal career growth?
I’m going to slightly pivot this question and generalize the answer for all tech excellence roles, meaning technology leaders, architects, and tech specialists. What HTEC’s growth has brought to this group of people, myself included, is an enormous flux of new opportunities and projects where we can exercise specific technical skills. The reason why this is so important is that it enables us to build these high-level technical roles. No one can become a solution architect through working on one project only. The fact that we have roles that aren’t project-specific means that people in these roles can gain exposure to different contexts and projects in order to build their experience and knowledge. In most technology companies, you will only have a few solution architects. The fact that we now have 22 with more to come is a rare luxury, and I am privileged to be in a position to help build those technical roles.
“On a personal note, I am now dealing with a much larger number of people who are technically strong. One side effect of that is that my opinions and ideas are rarely the best ones. This is certainly challenging, but also very amusing, and it motivates me to try and be cleverer than I know I can be”.
Can you highlight one challenge and one benefit that were the result of HTEC’s recent growth?
One thing that comes to mind is both a challenge and a benefit. In most lines of work, there is this general mind frame that slower is safer and that you have to think and measure three times before you make the cut. That works well to a point, but if we are on a quest of building a large international company, we have to accelerate and embrace a fast chess mindset, not regular chess. Making that mental adjustment and accepting the velocity of change around me has been one of the biggest challenges of our growth as a company. Embracing this mindset also means accepting occasional failure, which brings me to the second part of the question. One of the most satisfying things to watch over the past two years was seeing how little we have failed. We have achieved excellent results time and time again, even though we are moving really fast.
What would be your message to any engineers looking at HTEC from the outside?
What I find extremely amusing about this stage of HTEC is that we are now building foundations for what’s to come. This is very exciting, but also very hard. It’s much easier to work in a system that’s already set up and that requires us to maintain it and perform our operations. HTEC is working towards achieving something at an incredibly high scale. Because of this, we’re often operating in the unknown and defining processes for scenarios we haven’t encountered before. We have already built and continue to fortify a team that is ready to deal with the unknown, to jump into chaos and extract order out of it. This team is continuing to grow, and if anyone reading this is excited about the prospect of conquering the unknown and embracing a unique opportunity for accelerated professional growth, they are the people we wish to meet.