Berg Software is 30 years old… due to great people
When talking about Berg Software’s 30 years’ “history”, there’s nothing as important as “the people”. Cliché? Maybe. But we know for sure that our growth and success are built on individuals’ growth and success.
As a client, you might have heard stories about software developers staying with Berg Software for a veeery long time: 20+ years is not an exception, and 10+ years is close to the average. Although this is exceptional within the software industry, we know it all comes down to personal qualities and drive, compounded by a friendly, 100% supportive environment.
Before you think “10 years with the same company? That’s old!”, let us tell you about the youngbloods: the fresh graduates we have on board are red-hot focused on learning, growing and delivering, and can definitely drive the company into its next successful decade.
Now what about some specifics?
A “regular” growth story
Adrian is one of our (non-HQ) office leads. He joined Berg Software while still a student, back in the early 2000s. First stack? Visual Basic 6. Yes, we know, it’s “legacy software” since 2008 – but only an issue if that’s all you have. Instead, Adrian took the deep dive: from VB6 to DBs; then to ASP, PHP and .NET; eventually turning to C# for backend and Angular for frontend. (Funfact.1.1: he recently found that some of his “old” enterprise code is still running after 15 years with corporate users in Switzerland, Singapore, Israel etc.)
The technology track, however, only tells 1/3 of the story. Even more challenging was the client-facing work. From ad-hoc presentations for end-users, to understanding the clients’ needs and translating them into software specs, this is a skillset that software developers don’t usually acquire during school. So “jump into the water and learn swimming” seems to work, especially when backed by a supportive team. (Adrian says: “Dorian, the Berg Software’s COO, has always been there for me, as the role model anyone needs.”)
The final 1/3? When Berg Software wanted to open the Lugoj office, Adrian took the challenge, again. The target was to decentralise some of the work by building a software development team in their hometown. (Yup: hip remote/non-commuting, before it was even a concept.) Of course it was a successful project, and of course Adrian plays it cool:
“It was pretty easy to grow via word of mouth and friends-bringing-friends.”
But at Berg Software, we know how much of a hard work that was. (Funfact.1.2.: We also know that it’s now easier for Adrian to pursue his hobby: taking care of, and riding his three horses.)
Mirela joined Berg Software 2 years ago, while still a student. (Yes, her too.) She had worked in one of the multinational corporations in Timisoara, but that was not completely her thing: “I didn’t like the technology (C, embedded) that much, but the young colleagues kind of compensated for it”.
So, what is her thing, then? Back in the university, she enjoyed OOP/object-oriented programming applied on backend and frontend, which led her to Java and Angular. Her current stack at Berg Software is Java, C# and Angular. Bonus: “I love what I’m doing, especially because now I can see the impact of my work for happy clients”.
Although still young (and fresh in the company), Mirela has a clear view of what helps a good software developer grow:
“It’s hard work and ambition: I don’t give up until I solve the problem, even if that sometimes means working until 8pm. And then it’s the soft skills: working with colleagues and clients, understanding their views and needs.”
(Funfact.2.1.: Our guess is that Mirela is deploying pretty much the same skillset in her free time, when working on some hyper-detailed flower-and-stabilised-lichens arrangements.)
Last but not least, there’s the support network: in a relatively smaller company, people take their time to guide and support you. In Berg Software, this is possible because of colleagues’ personal investment and because of the systemic approach.
Virginia is probably the embodiment of Berg Software’s systemic approach. With Berg Software for 25 years (gasp), she’s described by colleagues as “a child prodigy who took on extremely complex projects briefly after joining the company”. Currently one of the software layer architects of an enormous project in the medical industry, she knows a thing or two about growth in extremely demanding environments. (Funfact.3.1.: Her extensive flower garden is a highly demanding growth environment, too!)
Nudged by medical industry’s requirements, Virginia targets nothing but excellence. Therefore “her system” goes through: developers’ final selection and allocation to the appropriate project; gradual induction; guidance and support, leading to independent work; continuous cross-reviewing of code; individual growth into niche experts.
It all starts with getting the right talent on board: they want to learn, are not afraid of unknown, are highly reliable and transparent. The lack of a complete tech stack is not a big issue, but not being open/honest about what they cannot is definitely a dealbreaker. Virginia and hear team are always ready to support when an issue occurs – but they need to know about it first.
Oh, and that “continuous cross-reviewing of code”? It’s another medical industry quirk where any task needs two reviewers, but Virginia knows it’s for the best:
“It takes a smoothed ego to understand that even the best code can benefit from a friendly input. From the outside, potential errors are easier to spot, and the code can take a simpler, more elegant shape. The review procedure is both a prevention measure and an excellent learning method.”
Finally, individual growth. Says Virginia: “One needs to learn and grow on a continuous basis. Keeping up with technology (languages, kits etc.) and being one step ahead of client challenges is the only way forward”.