Growing mature within and alongside a single company.
The soul of Pangea.ai’s brand is making human connections. Our tech partners continue to build and strengthen our community’s DNA. We are very proud to have Tapptitude as part of our circle, whose unique individuals now inspire and empower all of our team members.
Time to meet the iOS Tech Lead at Tapptitude, Catalin!
Where did it all begin?
I started working as an iOS developer by chance. During the vacation prior to my last year of college it was mandatory to go through an internship session, and although I was aiming for Java, which was the go-to language for me, it so happened that I missed my first internship day. The company had reserved several slots on java, but two internship positions were for iOS development, and of course that being away meant I would be distributed to one of those two.
The next day, a white Apple Macbook was waiting for me on a desk, letting me know that my plans had been turned upside down and I was about to dive in a completely new environment.
With absolutely zero knowledge to spare and plans ruined, the challenge I was faced with still felt good, and it wasn’t long until I felt completely immersed and in love with the whole thing.
Casual day at the office, talking about tapptitude during an interview.
When and how did Tapptitude appear on your horizon?
My involvement with Tapptitude was born in friendship.
With less than one year of experience in iOS development, I did not have much to offer in terms of qualification, so when the proposition to work alongside some of my college friends had come, It kind of swiped me off my feet. I had not planned things out properly for my career path, so it was quite a bold move to trade a role that I was already comfortable with, and an office that fulfilled all my needs at the time, with the lesser comfort of an unestablished company.
In the end, the decision was taken based on whom I was going to work with, and that stuck throughout the whole journey.
That small team of around 6 people was where the mindset, work ethics and scope of what would soon become Tapptitude sprouted. Being there to witness the birth of a company is an experience that cannot be purchased, especially when you are part of it.
What do you miss the most from the early days of the company, and how did that particular thing change?
I bet that anybody who would look at us in the early days from outside, would pause and think that we are a bunch of kids fooling around, unable to achieve anything spectacular. I say this while looking at some pictures from back then and my oh my, how much I feel and see we’ve changed. The truth is we were young, and still had a lot of sense to be knocked into our heads (the hard way). But what I miss the most, is that I could interact with every single person in the company on an almost daily basis, on more than one level.
I miss knowing more than just the professional life of everybody that I work with, and gaining trust beyond what’s found in a trivial/collegial relationship.
(Fun fact: we have at least three couples that got together at Tapptitude and are now happily married)
The harsh truth is that there are only so many people that one can truthfully interact with. With time, you are required to filter the people in your area of influence (which, by the way, is always bi-directional).
The thing that encourages me is that people of a certain kind, attract people of that same kind. Thus, even if I may not know everybody, and they may not know me, I trust that in every team members area of influence, there is someone that shares the same vision, goals and mindset that once lead to the foundation of Tapptitude, and that in these small circles, people are growing together.
How do you find the balance between life and work? What makes you tick besides software development?
I think that life without momentary purpose is hollow. I find the greatest purpose in growing alongside my family, and since I like kids a lot, and also by virtue of being married to a teacher, I’m currently involved in planning summer camps and all sort of events for kids aged 3 to 12.
There is something special in the way kids express both satisfaction and disappointment, and they always find a way to let you know of either. But beyond the fulfilment I get from seeing them happy, I definitely hope that some of the good traits of my character will have a positive impact in their lives as they grow.
In terms of personal hobbies, I could never satisfy my curiosity with only one thing. I have a thing for taking on many challenges at once. I think it would be easier to understand if I just gave a few examples.
For more than a year I kept working on popsicle stick miniature replica of the “UP” house.
I have designed myself a CNC milling machine that I want to build in the near future.
I once built a longboard out of veneers.
I recently got into coffee brewing, and I’m working my way up towards the perfect tulip.
One that has stuck with me for a loooong time is music. I play guitar since I was just a kid.
One summer I wanted to make wooden rings, so I made around 3 of them. Still have one with a guitar string running down the middle.
I love snowboarding, but lately I discovered an interest for free diving.
Don’t imagine I’m a pro at any of these, but I enjoy challenging myself with new things every now and then, and, being a perfectionist, I try to keep the standards above average.
An egg trebuchet we built during a teambuilding event.
How do you manage to fill your current role at Tapptitude?
Throughout all these years in Tapptitude, my involvement has taken many forms. I wouldn’t have guessed many of them beforehand, as it was almost always driven by the needs of the company.
I managed to find myself in all sorts of situations, from casually having to directly interact with clients and offering my developer and daily user perspective on application related issues, to architecting solutions for larger products, taking part in discovery workshops on all kinds of new leads, guiding new developers on their journey, and others.
It was also a necessity that brought me to take the role of a tech lead and shift focus from one or two projects at a time to a holistic one that encompasses the work and development of the entire team.
It’s not something that I think I can do flawlessly, but I consider myself privileged to be able to interact with so many smart and well qualified people, in order to consolidate the team and make it grow in a healthy way (not necessarily from a numerical point of view).
The straightforward answer is that I don’t think I completely fill the requirements of the role, but I am striving to get better and better at it. Also, considering that I am partly required to take many decisions which directly impact the team that I work alongside, I think I would be missing on the opportunity of a lifetime to not give it my best.
What is one of your traits that you are actively striving to cultivate?
When by myself, I tend to be introspective and kind of melancholic, always thinking things through and putting a serious perspective on all matters. I feel like that part of me is something that is always there, working in the background, and surfacing here and there.
On the other hand, when around other people, I want to be happy and send the same vibes to everybody else. This is something that I am actively trying to pursue. It's actually more than just being happy. I am trying to teach myself the ability to influence others to experience joy, alleviate pressure, and be able to joke and fool around, while at the same time tackling the most important of tasks.
Life is too short to not enjoy every moment of it.
Get to know Catalin and the rest of the Tapptitude team!
We’re delighted that Catalin decided to join Tapptitude – it’s been great having them on board! If you have any questions or want to get to know Catalin or one of their colleagues from the Tapptitude team, we can put you in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Let's work together
You made it this far! Thank you for reading this article. We hope you found it useful. Please feel free to share it with your peers if you feel like supporting us.