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6. February 2023

The Programmer Peťo: Although I Have Been Assigned an Inventory Number, I Do Not Feel Consumed by the Daily Routine

He has been working in Millennium almost from its very beginning. He enjoys his work and advises others that if they want to take this path, they should get truly engaged. We had a talk with one of our programmers, Peťo Kresánek, with whom we chatted not only about what is it like to be a part of something new but also about what it means to be a programmer today.

So far, you could have read our blog interviews with our test analyst Katka, Peťo, the head of the support team,  the test consultant Madlen, and the Delivery Manager Vladko. Today, we are introducing you our programmer Peťo.

You have been a part of Millennium almost from its very beginning, more precisely for more than 22 years. How was it to be at the birth of the company? Have you always been programming, or have you tried various positions?  

A long time ago, everything was different. Even my job interview took place in my room at my parent´s house. Now, it´s just an amusing story for me and my colleagues, but it was quite common then. Mostly because I had already known Miro, our CEO. When he came to our house with a job offer for me to work in Millennium, I took my chances. To be honest, I had no idea what I am going into. Since I had already had a job, it was quite risky to leave my steady job for a brand-new company. However, I liked the idea very much. I was enthused since the work was supposed to be about exciting new projects focused on website development. It was ground-breaking and quite unprecedented in Slovakia back then. I started in Millennium as a programmer, and I have been doing it until today. 😊

What is the main difference between your work now and then?

The websites we developed at the beginning were simple. Even though it was still considered as progressive, we wanted more. Historically, we had been using various programming languages such as ASP, Pascal, and C++, but a major game changer came in 2002 when we started to focus on Microsoft technologies. We were among the first companies in Slovakia which started to use technologies such as C# or ASP.NET.

It was times when we ached to create something innovative. We were successful thanks to the CMS platform Arnia, which we designed. Thanks to our hard work, we gained some truly significant customers, for instance, VÚB bank, Slovak National Bank, Telecom, etc. Every little piece of news in the IT world made us happy. We got new information mostly from books and we tested the acquired knowledge in practice. YouTube was created a little later, so we did not have the advantage of instruction videos as do people today. But it had its magic – the enthusiasm and the joy of success when we moved one step further.

Sure, my work brings many challenges even today. The difference lies in access to information. All information is within reach and the amount of information is enormous, so it is important to select and focus on things suitable for your work. The IT world progresses rapidly every day and we need to keep up if we want to stay on track, together with the best in our field of expertise.

What area are you currently focusing on?

I switched from application development to integration of systems built on Microsoft technologies. Currently, I am programming data integrations for major companies in the financial sector, for example, ČSOB and Slovenská sporiteľňa.

Does the work of a programmer require close cooperation with a team?

Although at the first sight it might seem that the work of a programmer is mostly individual, it´s not true. Cooperation plays an important role. Usually, we work in small teams and complement each other. For example, when I am stuck and I need a piece of advice, it often helps to get an opinion from outside, it means from a colleague who does not necessarily need to be a programmer – they can be experts in some other field, however, their point of view on a given issue can help me to understand it and find a solution.

I appreciate the fellowship taking place in our company. The agile way of project management and daily morning stand-ups where every one of us says what we are working on and if we need any help, play a major role in enhancing mutual cooperation.

To sum it up, my work is a mix – I am responsible for my part of the work, but it does not mean that I am doing it alone. The project progresses only if every team member knows what and how to do it.

What do you do to prevent lack of motivation?

The advantage is that I haven´t been doing the same job all those years. My focus as a programmer has been changing, hand in hand with the evolution of programming. Probably that´s the reason why I have never felt a need for change. Of course, Millennium has been changing as well – from a small firm with just a handful of people to a large stable company developing its business even abroad. I appreciate it since now I have a family to provide for.

I do not experience a stereotypical routine which is another motivational factor for me. Although, after 20 years in Millennium I have been assigned an inventory number, I do not feel it that way 😀 I appreciate that even though a lot of things have changed, the substance remains the same. It’s a very friendly, I dare to say the family atmosphere in Millennium. Work relationships turn into friendships, which is great.

What would you say to those who are considering becoming a programmer? What kind of skills or knowledge should a programmer be equipped with?

Firstly, they must enjoy it. Programmers can evolve into experienced experts through the years, but it gets much easier when they are truly passionate about it. Besides the technical skills, it´s good to have a human side as well, meaning to get along with other people. Since we work on projects divided into teams, unity and mutual support are very important attributes as well. Then, it will go step by step – the desire to learn new things, progress, and cooperate will lead them to what they desire.

Thank you very much for the inspiring interview!

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