Inspiring others to grow and overcome challenges – check. Embracing modern working setups – check. Loves bacon – check. It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Stefan, our Bondora VP of Engineering. Keep reading to find out more (also included: a cute cat picture).
Bondora Superhero #30 — Stefan Sarbu
👦Bondorian since May 2022
👨💻Role: VP of Engineering
🔋Team: Core Group
Stefan’s journey at Bondora:
I joined Bondora last spring during massive growth and organizational change. This meant I didn’t have the luxury of just observing how things work at Bondora: I had to hit the ground running from day one🏃♂️
Stefan’s typical workday
I practice a very flexible and hybrid approach since I have a 2-year-old son. My schedule is formed around the kindergarten run, so I never stay in one place for the entire 8 hours. I’m usually in the office 3 days per week as I need to be able to talk face-to-face with as many people as possible.
My work setup is also very modern. I’ve taken advantage of all available mobile/remote options. I’m a Slack addict, I’ve taken more than a few meetings in my car, and my best time to focus is in the evening after everyone else is asleep – that’s when I do my best work.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
It’s the feeling of creating something meaningful. As an engineer, you create code which can magically solve some of the most complex challenges in the world. As a People Lead, I help create well-performing teams, and those teams will go on and figure out the secrets of the universe🌌 To be able to say that I enabled that is the best feeling in the world for me.
And what makes being a developer at Bondora awesome?
I know that every company says the same thing, but we really do have interesting challenges and a great culture. Bondora is at the beginning of the hockey stick growth curve, so we have lots of challenges around scaling 📈 and being able to run a world-class service accessible 24/7 all over the globe🌍
How did you find your way into the world of programming? What has the experience been like so far?
My father introduced me to my first computer (and programming in Basic) when I was 6. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated by how this tiny box can help you build almost anything you can imagine. My first job was direct as a software developer during my university days, and that’s what I was doing until 9 years ago when I switched to the management track. I found it more exciting and challenging to help my team grow and leave my mark by shaping an entire department.
Best meme that sums up being a developer?
‘I can’t start programming before I …’
… check Slack 😊
What programming language is your favorite and why?
What is your best investment advice?
Every market is irrational, don’t expect to understand why every move happens. Focus on long-term investments, don’t try to guess the next 10x move.
Best cybersecurity/IT tip?
Password manager and 2FA for everything! The single password that you’ve been using since mIRC or ICQ has leaked on the internet at least 100 times by now, so change it ⚠️
And now, let’s get to know Stefan even better!
What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
I recently discovered that I love driving heavy equipment, like excavators. My most relaxing activities are playing video games, billiards, hiking, and sauna (of course).
What are your favorite games to play?
Yes :) I haven’t had too many chances to play since my son was born, but my favorite board game is Twilight Struggle, and for PC/consoles, I’ll always enjoy an expansive RPG like The Witcher 3 or Baldur’s Gate 3.
Which game have you clocked the most hours with on Steam?
It’s not on Steam, but the game I played the most is still The Witcher 3.
Bacon: yay or nay?
What’s your favorite TV show/podcast?
I’m currently enjoying the show ‘The Last of Us’ (yes, it’s a video game adaptation, but this one is great). As for my all-time favorite TV show: it’s a tie between Battlestar Galactica and Stargate.
What’s your favorite kind of music (to listen to while programming)?
Sounds weird, but it’s either classic rock 🎸 or techno 🎶
Do you have any pets?
I don’t have any pets right now, but I’ve always been a cat person 🐈, mostly because I’m too lazy to take dogs out for a walk.
What superpower would you like to have and why?
I wish it would be easy for me to be a morning person. I’m never functional before 9-10, and I see every person that wakes up at 7 as a superhero 🙂
What’s something that you want to do but scares you?
Learn Estonian. I’ve been here for almost 10 years, and it’s still as scary as on the first day.
That’s a wrap! It has been our great joy to introduce Stefan to you, our dear readers, and we’re fortunate to have him on our team of Superheroes.
If you’re interested in becoming the next Bondora Superhero 🦸♀️ head over to our Careers Page to check out our open positions. Join us again next month to meet our 31st Bondora Superhero!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the individual and not Bondora’s official view.