Our DNA is written in Swift

Steve’s Senior Moment

Stefan “Steve” Gugarel came on board of Drobnik KG on April 1st, 2012. He took over main responsibility of the day-to-day development for our most important client at that time. Now, in 2016, he has accrued 8 years of experience in software development, which earns him the status of Senior Developer.

With the average churn in IT being at around 2 years, it is unusual for anyone to stick around that long. So why did he? We asked him.

When it became clear that Steve wanted to work with us – in 2012 – I gave him the choice of either working as a contractor or as employee. He wisely chose the latter, knowing that while making less in the short term it would be the beginning of a way more fulfilling career being part of a team long term.

Steve, congratulations of making it to “Senior Level!”

With the new level you also get an increase in your salary. You now officially make more as employee than I did the last time when I was employed, 7 years ago.

Would you mind providing us with a nice “in action” photo of yours and answer a few questions?

Thanks for the honors, I’d be glad to!

Steve's 4th Anniversary

This photo took only 3 hours, clearly I am better at programming than I am at doing photo shootings… 😉

How did you get into programming?

When I was a child, my parents gave me a learning computer, a PreComputer1000. This allowed you to program in BASIC and so I copied programs from the manual, typing into this box. You would enter code line by line and only when you had typed in all lines you would see if the program was working.


I remember that this was quite frustrating because the power cable would easily come out of the computer. When it did the whole work was lost. But even back then I was quite fascinated that I could easily make programs with input and output.

Did you ever become something different than a programmer when you grew up?

I honestly don’t remember. My parents claim that I wanted to become a priest. 😀

How did you discover Hagenberg? (A vocational IT school)

I discovered it in a study guide looking for IT schools. I had never heard about it before.

What do you like about Drobnik KG?

What’s great about Drobnik KG is that you are surrounded by other experienced people and I continuously learn new things. I appreciate it a lot that the company equips me with high-end hardware. I didn’t ever experience that in any other company before (and I have seen a few). I also like that we are going to conferences every now and then.

I am glad to be part of Drobnik KG and hope that this relationship will endure many more years.


Steve’s being with us for 4 years gives us a few hints about personality traits you need to possess to flourish in programming:

  • Frustration-tolerance: Don’t give up if a loose power cord threatens to wipe out all your work.
  • Aim to surround yourself with colleagues from whom you can learn.
  • If you are unhappy at your current employer, don’t be afraid to become a fledgeling new company’s first employee.
  • Being an employee in a small software company might ultimately be more rewarding than contracting because of the growth opportunities this yields.
  • Money is less important than long-term job satisfaction.

At Drobnik KG, we want to grow long-lasting client relationships where everybody wins. Junior developers have a chance to gain a foothold in the industry, Senior developers get to impart their knowledge on the Juniors and clients get the best of both: lower development costs but greater quality due to the Seniors being always at hand to help out the Juniors.

Categories: Q&A



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