Career reflections: Florin & Ileana
Career reflections: Florin & Ileana

Career reflections: Florin & Ileana

The dynamics between mentor & intern

In some companies, interns spend their time on small and tedious tasks. Not at QUALITANCE. Everyone makes a contribution here and that’s exactly the story of Florin and Ileana. Rather than being stuck in the mail room, they had their nose to the keyboard, working on applications and hunting for bugs.

Meet Florin, a full-stack developer hired  after completing his internship with QUALITANCE in 2014. Originally starting with a much different direction in mind, Florin’s internship helped him realize he wanted to work with Node.js, AngularJS and CSS. With the help of a close-knit group of coworkers, his new goal to become a full-stack developer at QUALITANCE came to life. But after Florin’s graduation from the internship turned into a full-time position, someone new had to step in his place.

Enter Ileana: after meeting the QUALITANCE team at a school event, Ileana found the energy and competence of the team inspiring and knew she would eventually find a place working right alongside them. During the two-step internship program featuring a new class of talented interns, Florin worked closely with Ileana, teaching her everything he knows and passing along tips as a former intern. Here’s what they’ve learned.


Describe your transition from being an intern to a full-time QUALITANCER.

A little over a year ago, I joined the internship program at QUALITANCE, with my mind set on following a career on networking and system admin. After the first couple of weeks, my interest in JavaScript development grew and soon I was convinced that this was my new career goal. After completing the internship program, I was offered a job as a front-end developer, which later evolved into full-stack work.

Describe your day-to-day role as a Full-Stack developer.

I work daily with both server and mobile or web applications, all on JavaScript. That gives me a very diverse set of tasks at hand, from changing data models on the back-end to moving pixels around in CSS. Most of my work revolves around the browser (obviously), Webstorm and the terminal, all of which help me with the Node.js and AngularJS setup of my projects.

What interests you about being in the technology field?

It’s fascinating due to its diversity and how fast it changes from one week to another. All this innovation and progress means there’s no shortage of things to do and learn, and for someone looking for a challenge, there’s no better field to be in right now.

Before you started your internship, what drew you to QUALITANCE?

I read about QUALITANCE before applying here and what convinced me to jump on board was the opportunity to work with the newest technologies used to build apps right now. I like coming to the office every day knowing that most likely I’ll leave work having learned something new.

Explain a situation where you took something you learned during your internship and applied it to your work as a full-time employee.

During my time as an intern, the first thing we learned on the testing class was that no app can be flawless, and there’s always a tiny bug to be found if we looked hard enough. I always keep that thought in mind when I’m writing code, and it’s helped me on numerous occasions so far.

What’s the best advice you’d pass on to the new QUALITANCE intern?

Be open to every new idea and try to learn as much as possible from everybody. We have developers working on many different technologies and every one of them could teach you something new. Also, don’t forget to have fun — we’re always up for a good laugh!

What is your mid-day pick-me-up? (Neighborhood walk, coffee, nap, anything?)

When I feel the need for a break, I’ve found the best solution is to simply take a walk in a park, or somewhere quiet. It really helps clear your mind and maybe find a solution to that bug that’s been keeping you busy all morning.

What is your go-to website for news, entertainment and social media?

I browse Reddit daily and have built myself a front page with all the sections I’m interested in, like tech and worldwide news. I also like to play games as often as I can, so sites like Polygon are at the top of my browsing habits.


Why did you want to be at QUALITANCE?

My first contact with QUALITANCE took place at a workshop which was held at college, in a project organized by SiSC (Sindicatul Studenților din Cibernetică), a students organization in which I am a member. I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism the QUALITANCERS showed. I had the opportunity to see things from two perspectives, as an organizer and participant; this gave me the chance to see how they were eager to do everything by the book, even rehearsing for the event. The result? The room was full of students and the event was a success. That was when I first wished to be one of them.

Describe your day-to-day role as a QUALITANCE intern.

My duties as an intern at QUALITANCE changed greatly over time, but in essence the main tasks remained the same: to learn as much as I can. I liked that the transition was smooth — from tutorials which helped me to get used to the technology used, to tasks on the project in which I was assigned — I didn’t feel rushed into anything.

Tell us one important lesson you’ve learned during your internship.

I learned the best thing anyone can do in an internship is to be ready to be like a sponge. No matter how good your education is, everything is different in the real world. Through the internship, I had the opportunity to work in a competitive environment, gain practical experience and develop new skills while still refining other skills.

What interests you about being the in the technology field?

What I enjoy the most in the tech field is its characteristic newness: the fact that, even if you are a newbie or a senior, you can learn something new every single day.

What were your professional goals before your internship? How have they changed since then?

Before this experience, I wasn’t sure what path I would like to follow, given the fact that this sector is so complex. What I was studying in college wasn’t enough to give me a clear view. This process helped me discover my strengths and weaknesses while confirming for me that I made the right decision when I chose to study Informatics. In just three months, I managed to do what I was afraid to do in two years: I discovered things that made a change in my career.

What extracurriculars were/are you involved in that help your work at QUALITANCE?

I’m a member in a student organization called SISC. It aims to represent students and provide them development opportunities. I learned that my success will always be equal to the amount of effort that I put in, regardless of the issue.

Explain the relationship between you and your mentor during the internship.

Everything, from the technologies used to the working environment, was new for me but Florin played the role of the initiator very well. He showed great patience and empathy. Perhaps that is a result of his experience, from the past year, when he was an intern, but I believe that’s what made him such a good mentor. He is the first person I go to when I need help or advice.

If the tables were turned and you were the mentor in the internship, what three things would you focus on teaching the interns?

Advise that reading is a good way to learn, but then putting that into practice is even better. Recommend that the intern finds things he or she enjoys and to specialize in it. Encourage him or her to seek help whenever needed, because it is not looked down on to ask for help when you have a blocker.

What is your mid-day pick-me-up? (Neighborhood walk, coffee, nap, anything?)

My mid-day pick-me-up was somehow “inherited” from the rest of the team. The QUALITANCERS knows it as the “ice cream break from 3 o’clock” and had become tradition during hot summer days. To the untrained, it may seem like a trivial walk to the store, but for us it was a real source of energy. We kept this tradition even in the cold season, but we replaced the ice cream with sweets.


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