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Luchian, Software Architect, on Exploring Career Perspectives and Crafting a Crypto Payments Platform

Luchian Carstoiu joined Fortech almost 10 years ago. During this time, his career journey evolved from a Full-Stack Developer role to Team Leader, then Tech Leader and Project Leader. He’s currently wearing a double-hat role as Software Architect and Engineering Manager and is working on a Crypto Payments Platform from the Financial industry.

Get a glimpse #BehindTheCode. Discover Luchian’s story filled with hard work, passion for coding, crafting communities, and helping others grow.

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

My passion for coding started way before working at my first job. I was always curious about what is behind things and how they work together. Sometime before high school, I started playing with websites and making some games to behave in the way I wanted. I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve always known that I would be working in IT, and that is why I graduated from an Informatics high school and later studied Computer Science at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. Even if some of my colleagues had already started their careers during college, I did not get a job until I graduated. Maybe because I was lazy, or because I enjoyed college too much.

Speaking about my current hobbies, my life has changed in the last couple of years. I became a father of two beautiful daughters that mean the world to me. After work, we try to spend all our time together. Playing with silly putty of magic sand relieves stress, but nothing beats hearing them laugh.

Even though it seems that my hobby time is gone, from time to time I do enjoy an old-school gaming session with old games from “back in my time” and even more up-to-date ones.

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 2009, after graduating from college. My first job was for a small company, where we were two web developers and a manager. We mostly did presentation sites but also managed changes to a photography website with social tendencies. After a year, I said that it was time for a change, and I joined a bigger company. I worked on the back-end part for many eCommerce websites. Here I learned a lot about working in a team and the challenges that come with bigger projects.

After about three years, a friend asked me to come to an interview at Fortech because they are looking for two new colleagues to join their team. Maybe he knew that my wife is also a programmer, or he knew about Fortech’s internal Referral program. 😊 This is how I (and my wife) ended up in Fortech, a company with no more than 300 employees at that time.

How has your career evolved in Fortech? What’s your current role here?

I joined Fortech almost 10 years ago and started working in an already formed team. At first, I was nervous about fitting into a new team, but they warmly welcomed me and soon enough, I felt that I was in the right place.

My first role in Fortech was as a Mid Full-Stack Developer. After a couple of years, I got promoted to Team Leader, then Tech Lead and Project Leader/Software Architect. My career path did not stop there. I had to make a choice not long ago, going on the Project Management or Engineering Manager paths. It was a hard decision, but since I was not ready to give up coding, I started my next challenge as an Engineering Manager. So, I’m currently wearing a double hat as a Software Architect and Engineering Manager.

As a Software Architect, I am involved in defining standards and best practices, giving architecture advice on new projects, and defining training directions. In the Engineering Manager role, my key responsibility is to help my team grow. I do so through monthly one-on-one coaching, setting individual objectives, constant feedback, and mentoring.

Besides my daily duties, I am involved in technical interviews for the JavaScript roles. I enjoy finding new talents, both for my team as well as helping other teams grow. I am also involved in technical sales, where I assess if we as a team are a match for the client but also if the client is a match for us.

Last year, I started putting together the internal self-driven JavaScript (JS) Community. We are currently more the 50 JavaScript Developers involved, but there is a lot more to do before we can call it a real Community. My goal with the JS Community is to make an easy-to-use channel for developers to share ideas, to ask and find solutions to problems that sometimes make our life a little bit harder.

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

Our client product provides a banking and payments system built on crypto and fiat for companies that want to integrate crypto payments into their day-to-day business. We are working on a complete platform for crypto payments that provides the most efficient, secure way to carry out cross-border payments. The advanced platform supports same-day settlements across a wide range of countries.

What’s the project’s tech stack like?

It’s a full-stack solution, from Groovy and Java on the back-end to React with hooks on the front-end, using TypeScript. The back-end part is slowly rebuilt from a Groovy monolith to a microservices architecture using Java and Spring Boot. We use Jest and MSW for unit testing but also Cypress and Phyton for E2E automation tests.

What’s your favorite thing about this project?

My absolute favorite thing about this project is that on the front-end we can use the latest technologies and we always want to improve the tech stack and development process. Another thing to mention is the team, both the client’s team and the Fortech team members. We really do help each other grow to be better programmers and learn how to properly code in a team, where you are not alone.

What’s the most challenging thing(s) about this project?

Keeping up with the latest tools and technologies would be one, but I think that we are doing a rather good job with it.

Tell us more about your team.

Even though I have worked on multiple projects since I joined Fortech and switched multiple teams, my first team remained the one with which I have the strongest bond. We still keep in touch even though we have been working on different projects and remotely for more than two years. Before the pandemic, we used to have multiple snacks in the office and had dedicated furniture with drawers for them. We joked about being fullSnack developers.

A tradition that overcame the pandemic is getting invites to birthday dinners. Sorry Alinutza that I missed yours this year. I promise that I will eat double next year. 😊

Luchian and his friends from Fortech.

What’s next in your career journey?

My next step would be to manage and balance the time between the double hat I wear: the Engineering Manager role and the Software Architect role. I will make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.

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

If you are looking to start your career as a developer, or you already have a job, but you’re curious if something might be better, then give Fortech a try. You may find here more than just colleagues. Find your place in a diverse community, united by our passion for coding and everything technology-related. Let’s craft & grow together!

What’s Your Story?

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

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