My name is Octavian Negru and I am a Junior Software Developer at Continental Iasi. My career here started in October 2016, with a program for juniors in programming called Bootcamp C++. This program was explicitly made for juniors in programming, in order to teach people how to program. But is quite a story how I managed to get into the Bootcamp. First of all, I have to say that my professional background is not a technical one. Now I am a PhD student in Orthodox Theology, which isn’t a technical area of study, not even in something related to science at all. My PhD work is related to the concept of mind in Eastern Theology and the Philosophy of mind. My last job was a nice one (I was a church singer), but during my daily tasks I had to do only repetitive stuff, which for me soon became a boring thing, and there I couldn’t develop myself too much. And after all, life is not only about doing stuff, going home, have a peacefully, eventually boring life.
Life is also about challenging yourself. So, I was seeking for a new area of work.
I have a good friend, who’s a Python programmer, and I asked him: “What is programming?” I have to tell that I’m a computer passionate, and I love – when time permits- to go “under the hood” of a PC, because there is a lot of knowledge gathered. My friend said: “I cannot tell you what programming is. I will give you some school books, and see for yourself. If you need help, I will be by your side.” So I started to learn. For curiosity and for pleasure.
All was so logic! It was all about understanding. And the mind, once it gets bigger, cannot put back into its smaller limits. Some stuff was quite hard to comprehend, but with patience, all is possible.
Like this passed almost 6 months. And I found out that Continental is organizing a program for juniors in programming. That was the best occasion to test my knowledge. So, I sent a CV, and was invited to some test. The test was very nice, with logic questions which required thinking out-of-the-box. After some time, I was called and invited to the Bootcamp.
Our mentors from Continental soon became our friends. All was done in a professional way, but also with a kind attitude toward our understanding regarding programming. The exercises were very well chosen. We were free to search the web for solutions, but soon we discovered that the internet isn’t the solution every time, but our mind.
We were encouraged to help each other, but not by sharing snippets of code, but explaining to the colleague what’s the logic behind the code. All the program was about understanding, which leads to good problem solving. A lot of time we had to work as a team since this is the best way to learn faster. The general atmosphere was a very pleasant one, and soon we became friends.
We had some exams during and after the Bootcamp, and the results decided where we would go: in testing, in programming or home. The exams were challenging, but, if you struggled, you could pass them.
So, after the Bootcamp finished, we were integrated in Continental teams, to learn the projects and to work on them. Here, I discovered very good and helping colleagues, which also are true professionals in programming. The environment here, in Continental, is nice, all people treat one another with respect and trust. It’s what I dreamt of. I can say that now I have a really good time in Continental, and I am thankful for what I achieved with the help of my team.
I still learn every day new things and here is the beauty: you never stop. So, follow your dream and do not be afraid!