Insights from a Java software engineer in Graz


Giulia Di Pietro

July 20, 2021

Zlatan Zaric shares what’s unique about being a software engineer at Dynatrace.

Zlatan enjoying a coffee with Dieter in the Graz Lab.

Hi Zlatan, thanks for taking the time to talk to me! So, what do you do at Dynatrace?

I’m a senior software engineer working in the Digital Business team and working in the licensing initiative. My team’s goal is to create an awesome new licensing experience for our customers.

How long have you been working at Dynatrace?

Since January 2020. I was the 8th Dynatracer hired in Graz in May 2019, but I started half a year later. My wife and I just had a child when I signed, so I asked if I could take some time off to be with my family before starting. 😊

What has your career/study path looked like?

I finished school at the HTL Saalfelden am Steinernen Meer (Electrical engineering with focus on IT). After military service, I decided to study computer science at the TU Graz.

In my last two bachelor semesters, I started working part-time at Axis Flight Training Systems in Lebring. There I consolidated my knowledge and built up a fair amount of hours flying a full flight simulator. 😊

Finally, I ended up at Dynatrace! And I was drawn there because I had the feeling I could develop the most in this company. I liked that I was challenged already during the first job interview, compared to other companies I was interviewing for.

How do you organize the work in your team?

There are seven people currently in my team, but new colleagues are joining continuously, which keeps the team dynamic and constantly changing.

We adapted Scrum to our own style in the Graz Lab. We do not have classical sprint masters but rather a Product Owner who is writing stories and a team member wearing the hat of Agile Advocate to moderate the meetings if required. If needed, we can also ask our Graz-based Agile Coach for help, which is rarely the case.

The Scrum Master role is divided between the Agile Coach and the Agile Advocate. The Agile Coach is a dedicated lab- and company-wide position for agile process support. The Agile Advocate is usually a development team member doing most of the daily work. We have all the classical sprint ceremonies like dailies, grooming, retro, planning, and pre-planning, as well as a song of the week to keep it interesting.

PS: this week’s song is Not Evil from The Lego Movie 2

Why do you like your job at Dynatrace?

I like that I’m constantly challenged; there’s not much monotony. That’s very important for me since I don’t like doing the same thing over and over again.

Also, there’s an incredible team spirit. The devs think alike, so it’s easy to get along with everybody, but we have a great deal of diversity as well. Not only when it comes to the technical background but also the cultural aspect. There are many different points of view on the same problem, and this diversity helps you come up with a more optimal solution than you would have if you stayed within your comfort zone.

Is there anything you particularly like as a developer?

I am a backend developer technically, but I want to become a full-stack developer. Dynatrace is supporting me completely in learning about frontend development. They said I could have training on the job and use my work time to do a Udemy course. And I can also support the frontend team to get some practical experience.

It’s very cool because Dynatrace doesn’t limit you. No one says, “no, stick to backend because we need you there.” Instead, they say, “if you want to expand your horizon, go ahead and do it.”

I also like that the quality of your code is crucial in this project. You need to take ownership of what you build and make sure everything works properly before handing it to the customers. We are encouraged to invest as much time as needed to write tests. You can’t throw the problem over the fence and expect somebody else to do it. It’s your code in the end.

What type of person do you think should apply to Dynatrace?

I think it’s essential to be a team player, work well with people, and have an open mind. I think that’s more important than technical ability. Don’t be restricted in your way of thinking but be open to trying things out.

I recommend working at Dynatrace to agile people who like to learn and reinvent themselves. Those that are not afraid to expand their horizons.

If you like doing the small thing and be an expert in one area, then Dynatrace is not really the way to go. On the other hand, if you like agility and change, then Dynatrace is the place to be.

How would you describe what Dynatrace does?

During onboarding, you hear this mantra a lot: “Wow the customer.” And once you get to know the product a bit better, you realize that that’s what Dynatrace does — wowing the customer by providing services that let them sleep better at night.

Imagine you have an online service somewhere, and it needs to stay alive and stable at all times. How can you tell what happens and where it happens? How can you reduce the impact of a bug? How do you improve your online services for the customer? Dynatrace answers all those questions (and more) in an automated fashion, just by installing one installer — the OneAgent. You install it once, and you have it all.

And finally, what do you do in your free time?

Above all, I like to spend time with my kids. But if I manage to have some free time, I like to go running or play basketball or volleyball. If it’s late at night, — spoiler alert — I like to code on my private projects. 😁

Interested in working with Zlatan? Then check out all our open Java positions in Graz and all our other R&D labs on our Careers page.

Insights from a Java software engineer in Graz was originally published in Dynatrace Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Giulia Di Pietro