Ana Ardelean, Software Engineer – Frontend, on Pursuing Passions and Embracing Challenges and Professional Growth

Meet Ana, our dynamic Software Engineer, who’s not just all about coding but also enjoys hitting the gym, biking through forests, and bonding over volleyball matches. From her love for fitness to her dedication to software development, Ana embodies the perfect blend of passion, talent, and zest for life. Let’s get to know more about her journey and what makes her tick. Ready? Here we go!

Tell us a bit about yourself. How does Ana usually spend her personal time?

In my personal time, I started hitting the gym about a year ago, and I’ve been loving it ever since. I usually go about 3-4 times a week because it makes me feel so much better, especially after a good sauna session. Not to mention, I’ve noticed some physical improvements, something  which is always motivating. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and socialize.

During the spring and summer months, I’m all about biking through the forest with my sister and friends. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding through nature, followed by chilling on a hammock and unwinding, maybe even playing some games.

I’m also a big fan of team sports, especially volleyball. There’s just something about the camaraderie and competition that I find really enjoyable.

And on some weekends, I like to escape to my hometown and stay with my parents. It’s nice to reconnect with them, and I usually end up helping out in the garden or around the house, which I oddly find quite satisfying.

What led you on your career path, to ultimately become a Software Engineer?

My journey towards becoming a Software Engineer began in elementary school when I developed a passion for math. My parents noticed my interest and encouraged me to participate in numerous math competitions and Olympiads, which greatly contributed to my knowledge and skills. Throughout this time, I was fortunate to have exceptional math teachers who provided invaluable support.

As I progressed to high school, I enrolled in an informatics-focused program where I dedicated seven hours a week to learning about computers and programming. It was here that I was introduced to the Pascal programming language and the fundamentals of coding, igniting my fascination with software development.

Following high school, I pursued further education at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, specializing in Automatics and Computer Science with a focus on Automatics and Applied Informatics. During my time at university, I encountered various programming courses that resonated with me the most, solidifying my decision to pursue a career as a software engineer.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

A typical workday for me kicks off around 7 am with some stretching and occasionally an abs workout to get energized for the day ahead. Following that, I have my breakfast and pack my lunch while checking emails and any work-related messages to gauge the day’s priorities.

Once I’m ready, I enjoy a refreshing morning walk to the office, which helps clear my mind and sets a positive tone for the day. Upon arrival, I brew a cup of black tea with a splash of milk, a ritual that I find both comforting and invigorating.

I kickstart the workday with a team daily, discussing any new developments or tasks that need attention. From there, I either tackle ongoing projects or address any new issues that arise. Throughout the day, I take breaks as needed, including a lunch break to refuel and recharge.

In between work sessions, I attend internal meetings to collaborate with colleagues and ensure alignment on project goals and timelines. Overall, it’s a balanced mix of focused work, collaboration, and moments of relaxation to keep productivity and morale high.

Last year you made an impact in our Sports Competition. What’s your strategy for winning it this year?

Last year’s Sports Competition was definitely a memorable experience. I loved the atmosphere of teams supporting and interacting with each other. My strategy last year was quite relaxed – I took a leisurely stroll through the old town to grab a gelato before heading home.

For this year, I’m considering shaking things up a bit. I plan to incorporate a morning cardio routine at the gym, which will not only boost my energy levels but also help me stay focused throughout the day. Of course, I’ll still keep the evening walk tradition alive, mainly because it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in another delicious gelato treat.

What is your favorite tech? What about your least favorite?

My favorite tech would definitely have to be React. During my university days, I had the opportunity to take courses in both React and Angular, and React stood out to me as the more intuitive and enjoyable framework to work with. After discovering my preference for React, I actively sought out internships and positions that aligned with this skill set. Working with React ever since has been a fulfilling experience, especially with the guidance of a mentor like Cezar, who’s a true React guru. His expertise and enthusiasm made the learning process even more engaging and enjoyable.

On the flip side, my least favorite tech would probably be Java. Despite having some exposure to it, particularly during my university studies, I’ve found it less appealing compared to other languages like Python. The syntax of Java doesn’t quite resonate with me as much, especially after becoming accustomed to the simplicity and elegance of Python.

What’s the best piece of tech-related media you’ve read/watched/listened to?

The most recent tech-related media I engaged with was the AscentCore tech-community meet-up, which focused on AI. The event covered a range of fascinating topics, including “Everyday AI: Our Unseen Companion,” which explored the pervasive presence of AI in our daily lives. Another highlight was “AI at the Forefront: Transforming Business with Next-Gen Applications,” which delved into the transformative potential of AI in various industries. Additionally, there was a session on “AscentCore Labs: Pushing Open LLMs Limits: Experiments,” which showcased cutting-edge experiments in language models. Overall, the meet-up provided valuable insights into the current trends and advancements in AI technology.

Which is your favorite AscentCore value and why?

One of my favorite AscentCore values is “Relationships.” Building strong connections with colleagues goes beyond just professional interactions – it creates a supportive and collaborative work environment where everyone feels valued and motivated.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your time here at AscentCore?

The most crucial lesson I’ve absorbed during my time at AscentCore is the recognition of teamwork’s significance in projects. I’ve honed my communication skills by delivering presentations on newly acquired technologies, yet I’ve also come to understand that every member’s contribution is invaluable to project success.

What’s next in your career journey? What skills are you looking forward to developing?

In my career journey, my next step is to transition into a full-stack developer role with a focus on backend development. While I already have experience in frontend technologies, I’m eager to deepen my understanding of server-side programming languages, databases, and backend frameworks.

Furthermore, I aspire to become a mentor in the software development field. My previous experiences working with interns and providing guidance have been rewarding, and I’m keen to further develop my mentoring skills. Sharing knowledge, offering support, and helping others grow in their careers bring me a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.


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