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ProductDock’s career reflections: interview

by ProductDock

Through the “ProductDock’s career reflections” interview series, we celebrate team members’ dedication and commitment to our values and goals.

This time, we talked with our Unit Lead, Bruno Raljić. After finishing university, he began his career at ProductDock as a Java developer in 2011, implementing his fresh ideas and knowledge at our company and its values.

What do you like most about your role?

What I appreciate about this role the most is the autonomy it offers in driving changes within the company. As the Unit Leads, we implement many changes while prioritizing input from employees and addressing their requirements. I also value the freedom that comes with this position to propose and implement ideas that I believe benefit both the company and its people. Overall, it’s an environment where various things can be suggested without hesitation. The role carries additional authority, so in that context, some ideas and initiatives can be more easily implemented within the company.

ProductDock's career reflections

What is your biggest challenge as a Unit Lead at ProductDock?

Generally, my main challenge lies in separating personal and professional. I’ve been with the company for a long time, along with several other colleagues, and sometimes balancing discussions from the Unit Lead—other roles viewpoint while acknowledging our long-running relationship can be quite complex. It’s a significant challenge to find a balance between what people want and ensuring everyone is satisfied when making decisions or implementing changes.

Can you tell us about your career path at ProductDock?

I joined the company in 2011 after graduating from university. While I knew the basics of Java programming, my university education fell short of providing me with a comprehensive understanding of business concepts, programming, and app development. I spent significant time studying. The company culture fostered experimentation and welcomed suggestions. During that period, we had initiatives such as Book Review and DevFriday. I took pleasure in proposing such ideas, leading us to organize a Coding Challenge under my initiative. These events not only allowed us to enrich our knowledge but also fostered further growth. Furthermore, working on projects was also vital for both learning and personal improvement. While at codecentric, I served as a Feelgood Ambassador for the Bosnia and Herzegovina location as part of the Feelgood management concept. So, I also participated in activities beyond just project work. As for working on projects, I spent six years working on one, after which I took part in several other projects, which all led to my being offered the position of Unit Lead. 

In short, my career path included starting as a Java developer, dabbling in Python a bit as well, and working on React Native mobile apps and web applications during transitional periods before becoming a Unit Lead.

ProductDock's career reflections

What is your best ProductDock memory?

The memory that first came to my mind is from my earlier days when I was studying for certification exams. It still lingers in my memory. It was quite tense, wondering if I would pass, questioning whether I was cut out for this—and when I finally passed the Java programmer certification, the weight was lifted off my chest, and that was it. 

Also, I always fondly remember the team-building events in Dubrovnik, organized first-time round by codecentric and the second time by ProductDock – both occasions were great and warmly embraced by all company employees.

ProductDock's team building

What is the secret of staying in the same company for more than 10 years?

The answer here would be similar to my answer to the first question – I stayed this long due to all the possibilities that ProductDock offers. The company has always welcomed new suggestions and encouraged everyone to contribute and propose innovative ideas freely.

As an illustration, once I got the idea to organize a Book Review – the management gave the green light, and we organized everything swiftly and easily. The key thing here is the possibility—the opportunities available at the company level, all I can do, and things I can influence.

Proposing ideas that will be accepted and recognized as useful has always been particularly important to me.

Why should someone join ProductDock?

The best thing about the company is definitely the people and the unique atmosphere at PD. Even former employees say they miss the spirit and atmosphere they experienced here.

ProductDock's career reflections

Which app do you find helpful and why?

I use the Toshl finance app to track my expenses on a daily basis, as I value having control over my finances. Additionally, I use an app called Reminders to organize my to-do list for the workday efficiently.

What would you say to the younger self just starting to work?

I would tell myself that it’s perfectly okay not to know everything at that moment—you’ll learn. 

There were times when I wondered if I was cut out for this job or if I should leave it to smarter people. There were instances when I was learning something, and someone explained it to me—while it made perfect sense to them, I found it challenging to piece it all together.

ProductDock's team building

Have you seen any good movies lately you would recommend?

Interstellar. The film lasts three hours, but I watch it whenever I have the opportunity. I love that movie, and I would recommend it to everyone.

What is your favorite video game?

I’m not an avid gamer, but I enjoy playing. We have a PlayStation at work where we play eFootball (formerly PES). I don’t play competitively; it’s not an addiction for me. Nowadays, work is the only place I play – there’s always time for a game of football with colleagues during breaks.

ProductDock's career reflections

What is your favorite place you have ever visited?

I rarely travel alone. Makarska and Baška Voda are beautiful to me because of the beaches, and I love visiting them with my family.

What was the best concert you ever attended?

We organized ourselves here at the company, and a group of ten of us attended the Metallica concert in Vienna back in 2019. We’re planning on doing the same for the upcoming Rammstein concert in Belgrade.

ProductDock's career reflections

What do you do besides work?

I enjoy taking a break by cycling through the nearby hills, resetting my mind, and activating my body. While the brain rests, the body gets tired – a shift occurs, almost like flipping a switch.

So, whenever the weather is nice, I enjoy a good bike ride. And, yes, I always wonder, while going uphill, why I needed this, but when it’s over, I feel happy.

What are the three things you like the most at ProductDock?

– Openness and transparency – all the information is accessible to everyone. Flexibility in terms of not having strict working hours. Open communication, and people being entrusted to make certain decisions. If a colleague needs to leave the project for two hours, I believe the conditions have been met for them to do so. People have the freedom to be responsible in making their own decisions.

 -The atmosphere and the people themselves, including the initiatives that people launch. A positive atmosphere.

 – The knowledge-sharing culture we have. We gather and share knowledge with each other. I like the atmosphere and the fact that anyone, from junior to senior team members, can freely present something to the rest of the crew. It’s always important for us to listen and exchange opinions.

ProductDock's career reflections

If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?

On a humorous note – I would love to have greater persuasive power with clients. :)

Coffee or tea?

Tea. I’ve never been overly addicted to coffee. The strongest coffee I drink is cappuccino. I like sweet coffees, such as sweet instant coffee and Irish cappuccino. We have a coffee machine at work, and I don’t know how to use it – when someone asks me for help, I usually say they better ask another colleague. :) I had tea this morning, so I definitely belong to the tea team.

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