Žygimantas Augūnas is a full-stack engineer at Neurotechnology. He is a great example of how to start a career in software engineering as a student, as he is currently combining work at Neurotechnology with studies at Vilnius University.
When did you become interested in software engineering? Did you always know you want to work in this sector?
Ever since I was a kid I've been always interested in technology. I used to edit pictures, and create photo manipulations as well as 3D models. However, I got into coding only in high school. In general, I've always thought I was going to be a journalist and study political science. I've decided to study software engineering during the last days of the general admission. This, so to say, shot in the dark turned out to be extremely lucky as I have found my new passion. The studies are interesting and for the last three years, I've been going to work smiling and inspired.
What did you know about Neurotechnology before? How did you start working here?
I have found out about Neurotechnology at the university's career fair. My course's curator has been already working there, therefore, applying did not feel that scary. After the first year of studies, I felt mature enough to start looking for a job, thus, I've tested my skills in various interviews and got a place here.
What was your first day at Neurotechnology? Did you face any difficulties when joining the team?
Of course, the beginning was quite scary. I didn't know anyone, and during the first weekly developer meeting, everyone was using that weird, unfamiliar terminology. However, my colleagues have made the integration into the team very smooth and easy.
What are the things you like about the company?
Let me start with my team. I like that we can freely express our opinion. There are no bad ideas, no stupid questions. Such an environment is great at fostering teamwork and continuous learning.
Talking company-wise, I like the fact that if anyone starts facing issues at any point , there are always people who are ready to help. I believe I can openly state that even though there is no defined guild society culture within the company (yet), at least my colleagues working in front-end development certainly know where they can get some help, advice, or share their achievements.
Could you describe your normal working day at Neurotechnology? What do you usually work on?
The first thing in the morning is to make coffee. Coffee is one of the most crucial parts of work, probably taking the second place after the computer. Most of the time I am working on developing the program as a website (web app).
Could you describe your dream work environment?
In my opinion, the most important thing is that everyone feels welcomed. It's crucial to share the workspace since it is much easier to work as a team this way. That's why one of the most important values would be open-mindedness, mutual understanding, and cooperation.
What would be your vision as a Team Lead? What kind of dream team would you gather?
Besides a mutual team spirit, it's very important to be passionate about what you do. In an ideal team, I would imagine people working not only toward a shared goal - to develop the best product version, but also viewing work as some kind of playful challenge. It is very important to have a good approach to issues you are facing. I've noticed that sometimes it would be more useful to view a bug within a code as another task that needs to be solved instead of a failure. This is the team where it would be the most fun to work - a team that has a healthy approach to everything they do and is persistent to make things better.
Are you growing as a student and software engineer? How are these parts of your life complementing each other?
Since my studies are related to my job, they both complement each other. When studying at the university I can directly see how certain things are functioning in real life. Moreover, I have noticed several times how things I have learned at university helped me understand a problem at work, thus, contributing to solving it. It's a mutual benefit.
Is it hard to balance both studies and a full-time job at the same time? Do you have any advice for those who are in the same boat?
It is not hard to balance my job with my studies - and I wouldn't be able to say that if not for the fully flexible work schedule. Of course, during the quarantine, it was much easier since I did not need to spend time in traffic when traveling to and from university. However, once we returned to back to normal, I realized that the most important thing is to plan everything. And then, if you really want something, you will make it happen.
My advice: most of the time, all the fears about not having enough time for something come at the time when you could be working instead of sitting there thinking that you do not have enough time.
Žygimantas Augūnas is one of many students (Bachelor, Master or Ph.D.) currently working with us. At Neurotechnology we value lifelong learning and continuous improvement. We have flexible work schedule, which is especially convenient for students who need to balance their job and studies.
It does not matter whether you are a student, a graduate, or someone who wants to kick-start a career in software development. Please check our list of open positions.
Also, if you are passionate about technologies or have some R&D experience in the following fields, we are eager to hear from you:
- biometric recognition algorithm development
- neural networks
- computer vision
- artificial intelligence
Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) your CV and motivation letter.