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Crafting Software Projects and Career Paths with Daniel, .NET Software Architect

Daniel Bran’s journey with Fortech started even before we opened our delivery center in Oradea. He has been a key person who contributed to the local team’s growth from 12 to 120+ people. As Daniel is eager to evolve and help others do so constantly, his career path brought him to a double-hat role as a Software Architect and Engineering Manager. He is the man who helps talented people work as a team, improve performance, reach project goals, and enjoy well-deserved results together.

Read about Daniel’s growth journey and the project from the Automotive industry he is currently working on. Get a glimpse #BehindTheCode.

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself? What are your studies, hobbies, passions?

I graduated from the Computer Science department of the University of Oradea, where I got my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Distributed Systems on the Internet. I am very passionate about software development; it’s an enriching activity that really brings me joy.

In my childhood, I liked to play football. I was assigned to a 3rd league team, and I even played a few official matches for juniors. In that period, I discovered another great passion. In the 6th grade, at a computer science lab, I’ve successfully compiled my first instruction: print ‘Daniel Bran’. At that moment, I realized the potential of this immense world of software development, and I wanted to be part of it. Thus, I started to work to make this dream real. Every step I took was worth it, as it helped me learn and become the professional I am now. My passion for football remained a hobby I enjoy with my colleagues.

My other hobbies are fishing and reading. If you’re looking for a good read to help you grow, I recommend James Clear’s book, “Atomic Habits” and John C. Maxwell’s “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn”. “Atomic Habits” talks about the power of habits – as the habits we create help us to be more efficient. It is important to know how we can build good habits and break bad ones for our personal growth. The principles from “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn” can be applied in almost any area. Personally, I apply it in the work processes: if we have a good way to evaluate the things that didn’t go well and learn from them, we know exactly what needs to be improved to get the desired results. I think we learn the most important life lessons from failures.

Tell us a bit about your software development career. How did it start, how did your journey with Fortech begin?

I started my software development career back in 2012, in my 3rd year of college, as a Junior .NET Developer. I worked on a project that used Visual Basic .NET, and I’ve made my first steps in programming.

Two years later, being employed at another company from Oradea, I started the collaboration with Fortech as a 3rd party supplier. I worked remotely with a team from Cluj, and had a wonderful experience. I met great professionals, passionate about their work and proud of their software craft, from whom I’ve learned a lot. Even if I was an external collaborator, the whole interaction was great. I immediately felt a strong bond with the team and the company’s culture. This experience made me wish to work here. That’s why in 2016 when Fortech opened an office in Oradea, I thought it would be great to take a chance. I attended the opening event, met some of the first colleagues, and, a few months later, I enthusiastically joined the team.

Back in those days, our team in Oradea counted around 12 members, of which only two were .NET developers. Fast forward in the present days, the whole Oradea team counts 120+ colleagues; 25 of them are working on .NET. I’m incredibly proud that I’ve contributed to this growth journey by being involved in our annual internship program, which reached the 5th edition this year.

What do you do at Fortech? Please describe your current role.

Currently, I wear two hats: I am a Software Architect, and I was recently promoted to the Engineering Manager role. As a Software Architect, I am responsible for building the architecture, proposing services and design patterns, designing work processes, or choosing the proper methodology to ensure that the code’s quality, code conventions, and best practices are respected. As an Engineering Manager, my main goal is to help my team grow. How do I do that? Through monthly one-on-one coaching, setting individual objectives, constant feedback, and mentoring. I am the man who helps talented people work as a team, improve performance, reach project goals, and enjoy well-deserved results together.

I am an active person, always eager to learn new things and help others grow in their professional paths. Besides helping my colleagues and our interns, I enjoy mentoring high school students in the “Discover Your Call in IT” (DPIT) program. I was involved in 5 editions of the program and was lucky to work with extremely bright and passionate students. My teams were awarded countless prizes for the applications they developed.

Daniel and the Bond Coders Team on the DPIT podium, 2019.

Tell us a bit about the software project you are currently working on.

I am involved in building the architecture for a couple of projects. One of my favorite projects is for the Automotive industry. It is a management system for the periodical technical inspections for vehicles. It helps you schedule an appointment, call an inspector to pick up your car from said location, and return it back after performing the due checks.

What’s the project’s tech stack like?

We use the latest version of Angular with Material design and Azure services: Service bus, Azure database, Azure functions, Service Apps, Outlook integration. We also use the AWS notification service.

What are your favorite things about this project?

I like the idea and the novel tech stack, as we are using cutting-edge technologies. Besides, I like the deployment process that uses Terraform to create all the Azure services. Let’s not forget the team. My colleagues are great professionals, highly passionate and motivated. I can rely on each team member, as I know everyone does their best to help the team.

What’s the most challenging thing about this project?

The most challenging thing was to deliver the start part of the application. We prepared a list of initial requirements, added a detailed analysis for each idea and constantly asked for feedback to meet the client’s needs. After that, the Azure services and Terraform integration is the most challenging part.

How about the team?

My team is amazing. We really like working together, which makes the working hours fun and enjoyable. When it’s someone’s birthday, we get together in the Fun Room, eat pizza and watch films with Mr. Bean. Periodically, we organize traditional Romanian lunches with zacuscă, clisa, onions, and other goodies.

When someone celebrates one year in Fortech, he receives a trophy and a medal. When someone decides to go another way and leave Fortech, we get together, go down the memory lane, and listen to some traditional songs like “Drumurile noastre toate, se vor întâlni vreoodată!” (Maybe our roads will meet someday). We try to keep the same bonding with the former colleagues, as they often return to Fortech after a while 😊

Daniel and his team during a dinner.

What’s next in your career journey?

I am deeply thankful for the opportunities I’ve got here. I started the collaboration with Fortech as a Mid .NET Developer. When I officially joined the company, I was promoted to senior. In time, I broadened my technical and people skills and became a Software Architect and Team Leader. Recently, I was promoted to the Engineering Manager role, and I want to focus on this career path. I want to grow with passionate people and craft impactful software together.

What advice would you give to someone interested in joining Fortech?

Fortech is an amazing company. It is not perfect, as perfection does not exist, but it’s an incredibly good place to work. It is a place where you can grow and develop as a professional and human being. Here you will find a great community of people who love what they are doing. I remember my first days here: I met smart people, open-minded, ready to help and guide me. If you’d like to work with this kind of people, this is definitely the right place.

What’s Your Story?

Browse the Fortech Careers section on our website and check out our opportunities. #CodeWithUS

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