Cherry-picked Moments From Our Frontend Tech lead Stefan

Todor Panev
Todor Panev
Published: 08.07.2021

Stefan Peshikj a.k.a Stefcho, joined Web Factory five years ago as an intern, within just a few years he has become our tech lead for the Frontend development team. Starting in the company as a protégé gave him the opportunity to excel in the fields he loves. Now as a mentor, his mission is to teach the new generation of software engineers at Web Factory, inspiring them with his work and actions. Let’s peek a bit into his daily life and work-life balance.

Why did you join Web Factory, and what has kept you here?

Back in my student days, the guys from Web Factory had a presentation at our Faculty for Computer Science and Engineering, and at the end of the presentation, I had a chance to ask some questions so I could learn more about what kind of problems they are working on, and get to hear about the company's culture and similar stuff. They seemed like a great and fun group of people overall so that spiked my interest in wanting to join the company.

I had previously had an internship in a larger sized company, so I wanted to see what it's like to work in a smaller team where I hoped that I would gain more experience and be able to improve. And that was exactly what happened in my case.

I was able to join Web Factory as an iOS Developer Intern. I think I was the 25th member of the company when I joined five years ago. As an intern, I was able to learn proper coding guidelines, techniques, and nice little tricks to kick off my professional career on the right path.

Over time, I got the chance to start working in the Frontend Development field which I always had a knack for and it fueled my growth even more.

The company was really supportive of me finishing my university studies, and working here really helped me get perfect grades at the last year of my studies without having to learn too much after work, as real-life experience increased the rate at which I learned and adapted to new things.

I had a great mentor who was dedicated to helping me get on the right track, showing me what I need to work towards to become better at what I do, so that is why I always try to follow in his footsteps when I am mentoring other colleagues.

A great working atmosphere, room for growth, really cool people and continuous improvement have kept me working in Web Factory. From the start of my internship until today, all of my suggestions for improving the overall quality of the company have always been taken into account, and the same goes for every team member.

I consider all of the people there my friends and family; we always hang out, have fun, and share experiences. This really helped my introverted nature, since here I am able to fully express myself without any inner doubts or restraints, which made me a great person to have fun with. I think that we have really good chemistry, which helps in creating a great and healthy working environment.

What is your role at Web Factory?

My current role at Web Factory is working as a Full Stack Engineer, and also as a Frontend Tech Lead. I've worked on a variety of projects here, and have experience in many different domains of work. I constantly research and explore new trends in the industry, try new tools and frameworks which can be of benefit to our company, and share my work and findings with my colleagues.

I try to be a guide for all of the members of the Frontend team, provide them with guidance and support, be there to help with crucial software decisions and try to help them improve.

In my spare time, I maintain an open-source library for drawing that I've built while working on a project here, which introduced me to the open-source community and allowed me to work and support other people and projects which are not connected with Web Factory, constantly trying to improve the performance, adding new features and collaborating with other developers, something which I appreciate greatly.

As a hobby, I write blog posts that help promote the company and help other developers in the community with some problems that we have solved with our projects.

Biking and chilling around the city with the Web Factory teammates

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Web Factory, whose job would you want?

To be completely honest, I would not change my job and responsibilities with anyone in the company, I am pretty satisfied with how I am progressing in my career, and with my current responsibilities.

What are 3 words to describe Web Factory?

Extraordinary, Professional, Superb

Stefan’s daily work uniform :)

Do you have any hobbies, go-to weekend activities, or long-term passion projects you’re working on?

I primarily play computer games with my friends in the late-night hours, and that has been my hobby for the last 14 years. The majority of that time I spent playing one particular game (World of Warcraft) and it's something that I still enjoy to this day. The game pace and competitive nature have helped me with improving my mental skills, skills under pressure, and communication with other people.

I am a huge fan of space exploration and how the universe works, so in my spare time I watch a lot of documentaries about our solar system, the universe and how everything works together in complete chaos.

Over the last year, I started hiking almost every day in order to get back into shape and improve my overall physical and mental strength, and so far it has been really helpful for me. I plan on going regularly to the gym as well, as I think that it will help me a lot since most of the time we spend working consists of sitting on a chair.

Top three life highlights?

My first highlight was in my third year of studies where I applied for a programming hackathon and competition. I spent four days non stop working on a full-stack solution and presented the final work to an audience of 100 people and our team got first place. That was a really happy day for me.

The second highlight was my last university presentation, and I was shaking for the first three minutes until I started presenting like I normally do. I was really happy that the presentation and Demo project went as planned and I finally got my Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

The third highlight was when I travelled to Austria for a week to join a Developer conference as a representative of Web Factory. It was the first time that I travelled in an airplane, so it was a fun and neat experience for me. At the conference, I met cool people, learned about the latest tech trends and had a bit of fun, and it was a pretty good week for me.

How do you define success in life?

The greatest success for me will be the ability to provide my children with all of their heart's desires (if they earn it of course). I want to stay in a position where I can provide everything for them, and give them a home where they can start their own chapters. I would give them life pointers—which they will ignore of course :)—and watch them grow and become better than me in every single way.

I would be successful if they lived a happy life while I still continue to play old video games while they make fun of me for not keeping up with the latest tech (like I do myself with my parents).

Stefan at the WeAreDevelopers conference in Vienna doing research about Angular tech

Describe what you were like at age 10.

I was a pretty active and funny boy. I played football a lot with my friends on the streets, and I always wanted to stay out late so that we could have fun and play sports games outside.

I have had a computer at home since I was 6, and by then a friend of ours had already taught me how to establish a Dial-Up connection on the internet (it was pretty expensive :D). I was helping my parents with some projects which involved me typing on the keyboard, so I became a fast typer pretty quickly from a young age.

I think this was also the time where I earned my first Playstation One, which was hidden away from us quickly since my brother and I could not decide who got to play first so we quarrelled a lot. Fun and simple times.

Are you an iPhone or an Android type of person? Why?

I really don't have a big preference on this topic. I love the iPhone's user experience, but I hate the price since I could never afford it before.

I’ve always used Android phones, but there are too many vendors and different Android versions and software which is kind of chaotic in my opinion.

Still, I continue to use Android. At this point in time, the hardware is so advanced that I never have any issues with Android, and it's a lot less expensive than an iPhone, and it gets the job done. But who knows, maybe I will try out the next generation of iPhone.

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

If witnessing a more abstract topic is allowed, I'd really love to witness and see how the universe was formed, and to find out whether it was actually a "Big Bang".

I'd love to see the first few seconds of its formation, as they are really crucial from all that we know today, so knowing whether that's correct would be really cool! I'd be happy to share my findings with everyone!

Do you recall any embarrassing fun moments at work? If not, then tell us if you have an office nickname? What is it?

A colleague ran a marathon, and he was supposed to get a voucher for a plane ticket discount, but he was the only one in the company who still did not get one. He was talking about how he did not get it for days.

So one morning, the other guys made a false email telling him that he would actually not get a voucher, without explaining why that was the case. They sent the email through to him when he was making his coffee. His facial expression was priceless.

Everyone was looking and trying not to laugh while he was reading the email since he did not have any clue as to why he did not get a voucher. It was a really good laugh for everyone once they revealed who sent him that email.

Another moment, which was a bit more embarrassing, was when another colleague bought a new SUV. We were so happy for him, but another colleague and I pranked him by disguising ourselves as robbers (he knew all along that it was us :D). We drove him in the parking lot a bit, he was in the back seat, and then ejected him from his own car. It was really funny (and a bit embarrassing with all of the other people not knowing what was going on), but it was a really funny scene and everyone was having a good laugh about it afterwards.

You want to learn more about how to grow in your career?

Write to us and meet Stefan. He is always ready to meet with you over a coffee and share some interesting facts about programming and the universe. At Web Factory we always encourage our team members to write and share their knowledge, subscribe on his Medium blog page here to learn something new.

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