International Experience and Binge-watcher – Vedrana Tozija


From ‘Nikola Karev’ and FCSE classroom, up to Brussels for her first job experience as a young developer, stopping by in Thailand for another amazing working (and tanning) experience, Vedrana joined our team in Skopje.

“Have you heard that Uber Paid Hackers $100k to Hide Massive Theft of 75M Accounts?”, Vedrana slides towards me and ask me this. I say no, and she continues to describe what happened in a very intriguing way. You can’t sit back and not want to hear her stories. Vedrana can be spotted in a brainstorming session, with a confident demeanor discussing topics from every perspective, whether it is programming, history or even politics related topics. You can discuss every topic with her, but make sure you have facts in your pocket because she knows stuff. Trust me.

Music to play in the back for this blog post: “Feel it Still” from Portugal the Man – Vedrana’s favorite!

🐿Position: Software Engineer
🤓Skillset: PHP, Laravel, Progressive web apps
🤖 Interests out of the office: Astronomy, All kinds of documentaries
🔧 Favorite tools: Sublime, Postman, OneTab Chrome Extension
📰Favorite news sites: Laravel-News, The Verge, Aeon news, Hackread, and Wired;
🙌You can ask her about: Laravel, Progressive web apps, Programming
📣How can you find her: Linkedin profile

How did you decide to develop your career in the IT industry?

The typical answer is that I always liked math more than social science subjects. And that was one key reason for choosing graduate studies in the IT industry. But, to be honest I had a big influence from the Myth-busters series. I was hooked. Like I know it is 2003 TV show, but for real, at that age, I was amazed by their ‘myths broken by science’ activities, that I imagined myself being part of it.

You became a freshman at FCSE and started your journey in the tech world. How was it at the beginning of your studies?

It was really overwhelming at the beginning when I was faced with algorithms and programming all at once. But as I was going through the semesters, I was thinking, oh, I am actually good at this. Also, I’ve had an amazing student experience, and that is why I need to emphasize the following to everyone who is reading this: Participating in a student organization is the best thing that you can do while studying.

You were part of the IAESTE student organization. Soon after joining, you had the chance to get a grip on an international job experience?

Yes, I had the chance to work in Brussels, as part of the software engineering team at Vrije Universitat. We were working on a software that modeled experiments by calculating different segments of experiments that were later on performed at the university. It was really an amazing experience. Having the possibility to obtain such international insights was very important for my career in general.

Besides that, what do you think is the most important thing while building a career in the ICT sector?

Well, the thing is, if you are in this field you need to constantly adapt, improve and build new tech skills. This is the most important thing to remember while obtaining a career in tech. We witness disruptive innovations and changes in our field, that we need to follow it with attention and to absorb information as much as we can. Also, try to work and code in a group, it is always better to consult with more people besides StackOverflow right? That way, you can find your mentor as well. Your mentor doesn’t need to be 10 years in the field. But rather it can be your colleague that is familiar with your strengths and weaknesses and can influence your progress in a meaningful way.

Do you have some ninja technique that helps you be more organized in the office?

I did come across one application that gives you 27-day challenges to be more organized, but I am still thinking whether to try it or not. But basically, I think that doing the smaller and not so difficult tasks in the morning, helps me focus on the complex task with more concentration afterward.

3 things that people don’t know about you?

I actually am fascinated by astronomy and I finished one whole course for it. The second thing is that, if I find some cool documentary, the obvious thing for me to do is to binge-watch it. It is my little relaxing hobby. I don’t know how many documentaries I have watched about World War 2. Third, I love gifs, but who doesn’t?

You have also been part of the #AdevaNomads remote work initiative. How was it for you?

At first it was challenging, but later on, it just became a habit. For me, it is very important to have the chance to organize my time freely and to have the opportunity to work when I feel most productive.

Something else to share with the community?

Don’t decide to develop your career in the IT industry just because someone tells you that it is a financially secure choice. If you don’t love doing it, then you won’t develop skills to support you into becoming professional at this. Have some passion for your work and may the force be with you.

I’ve previously talked with Alek as well, you can check our talk here.
Anita Kirkovska
Growth Hacker