Senior Front-End Developer
When I met the Front-End Team, everybody stopped working and took a break to introduce themselves. It was something that I haven’t experienced before, I felt like they respected me since day one.
In 2017, Riste Samardjiev started as a front-еnd developer at Melon’s office in Skopje. He has been in owe with technologies since he was a child but his passion for graphic design is what drove him to software development.
“While everybody was playing games on their computers, I began experimenting with CorelDRAW and Photoshop. I did designs for my father’s friends and some companies in Macedonia. I was rich in high school,” Riste laughs.
By the end of high school, Riste switched to coding and learned Turbo Pascal. He knew he would like to pursue a career in software development and applied at the “Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies” in Skopje where he spent five years studying and an additional year conducting his final thesis.
“I find my story with Melon funny because I have started a job here twice,” he says.
Back in 2015, Riste was working for another software company. His friend Petar Bakovski, CTO of Melon and Head of our Skopje office, told him that there are available open positions. Not long after, Riste got a job offer from Melon but decided to refuse and focus on a startup idea he had. The government significantly funded his dream idea and Riste together with a friend pursued it.
“I called Petar and told him that I wanted to focus on my startup for at least one or two years. He supported me and told me to reach out, if I need any help,” Riste says.
His business functioned for a while but not as good as expected. Even so, Riste is proud that he learned a lot from that journey. Not just technical skills, but also time management, and organizational skills. In 2017, he applied at Melon once again and is with the company to this day. Riste shared that his startup experience has helped him a lot in understanding the work that he does now. “I had to do everything: from washing the dishes and cleaning the office to maintaining the software project and selling the product to clients. This taught me to prioritize my tasks,” he says.
Even though it was a long time ago, Riste remembers his first day at Melon as if it was yesterday.
He already knew a lot of the developers at the Skopje office and was familiar with Melon’s culture. “The trickiest part was to find the correct room because the office was situated in a big house at that time,” he laughs. Riste liked that everybody was polite and helpful, so he got used to the new place fast. “When I went to the Frond-End Team, everybody stopped working and took a break to introduce themselves. It was something that I haven’t experienced before, I felt like they respected me since day one.”
Riste says that people are the most valuable asset at Melon.
He did not expect the team-members to be so united and friendly with each other. Riste misses going to the office and remembers the times before the pandemic when people were gathering after work, going to team buildings and other company events. “I am a social person and I love talking to people face-to-face. Five months ago, I honestly lost motivation and I wasn’t able to sit in front of the computer and complete the simplest tasks,” he says.
Riste decided to try Melon’s Self-Care Program and after a few sessions with the company’s psychologist, he felt enthusiastic again.
He likes that the company is taking care of its team-members by organizing workshops and trainings not only related to software development, but also to people’s personal well-being. Stress management, motivation in times of pandemic, finding the balance between work and life are some of the topics that have been covered.
Riste has grown a lot since he began his career at the company. He says he has improved both his professional and personal life.
“I have had the chance to work on many different projects – both short and long-term. I have been part of decision-making processes, which I cherish,” he says. Being involved in the decision-making processes and working on a project from the beginning has taught him new important skills. Riste says that he loves that developers grow together with the company. He remembers that in 2017 they were somewhat 30 people at our Skopje office, while in 2022 they are close to 100.
Riste is happy with the friendships he has built at Melon.
“My colleagues call just to ask me how I am doing, and this is the most precious thing for me. I got to know their families and I made better connections than with people I have known my whole life. We do care for each other,” he smiles. Riste is still friends with every team-mate he met during his first day of work, even though some of them have left the company. His biggest motivation at work is the people.
What he likes the most about his job at Melon is that he gets involved in every decision from start to finish.
“We are not like robots, receiving tasks and completing them. We ask each other questions: How should we approach the problem? Will this be enough? We interact with our clients and with one other,” Riste says. He also enjoys that he has become a good professional and is able to help his colleagues when needed.
“The new people at Melon are already smart so my advice to them would be just to be nice and make things happen. Also, to be proactive. I learned it here and found that it is the most important thing in our company.”