Want to know how a high-flying team lead makes sure he’s on top of his game every day? We’ve got you covered. Uroš Marić, head of FishingBooker’s Legal department, has decided to let us in on all of his secrets – tongue firmly in cheek, of course. Read on to discover his unique perspective on cold spoons, hot showers, and early starts…
I wake up at 04:00 A.M. and immediately turn on Basecamp, our internal communications system. It’s extremely important to me to be the first person to post something every day.
There’s no point in sugarcoating it – when it comes to bad years, 2020 was right up there with some of the worst of them. Health, relationships, jobs – none of these were safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Life as we knew it was completely transformed, and most of us at FishingBooker are still reeling from it.
The travel and tourism sector can be pretty fickle anyway, and the fishing charter industry often involves weathering both metaphorical and literal storms. Our bread and butter is providing customers with memorable angling adventures – but who’s booking a fishing trip in the middle of a global pandemic? With hindsight, it was obvious that our business would take a huge hit.
FishingBooker Recruiter Vedrana Gnjatić knows there’s one question she’ll never be able to avoid when she tells people that she relocated from Australia back to the Balkans: “But why?!”
“Serbians who were born and raised here, and haven’t lived elsewhere, automatically know that I’m not ‘one of them,’ even though I speak the language and was raised with plenty of Balkan culture in my household,” she says. “People have reacted in all sorts of ways – from slight confusion to straight-up asking what’s wrong with me for coming back!”
On March 9, our team reached a milestone here in Belgrade – we were now a 100-person company! A week later, our office was empty. Initially planning to work from home for a week and see how the new coronavirus was spreading locally, we, like so many other companies in the world, had actually become “remote” overnight.
Nobody – and nothing – is perfect. Anyone who deals with the inner workings of a website knows all too well that bugs are a fact of life. But managing a site that’s used by thousands of people and processes hundreds of bookings in a day means we need to be quick to identify these issues and act on them.
How do you describe a day in the life of the Customer Happiness team? You come into work, sit in your spot, put your headphones on, and steel yourself for a deluge of emails? Finally, you call it a day, ready for it all to start again tomorrow?
Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is to take everything apart and start again.
Usually, we go for the alternative. With a large inventory and endless growth ideas, we use our engineering resources very carefully. That means building on what we have or, if we’re introducing a new way of doing things, starting with a minimum viable product, testing, and iterrating. This helps us make smart decisions without letting individual projects spiral out of control.
But when we set out to improve the way our calendar works for scheduling fishing trips, we realized that the single best course of action was to go back to the drawing board. Here’s why, and what our engineers did next.
Albert Einstein famously said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Sure, some people might disagree with the literal truth of this (as dark as a life without learning sounds). But there’s no doubt that it rings loud and clear for digital companies. Our world is changing so fast that relying on “yesterday’s knowledge” is a recipe for disaster.
That’s why a crucial part of working at FishingBooker is building your personal skills and keeping on top of industry trends. And what better way to learn than straight from the horse’s mouth? Last month Stefan, Marko, Aleksandar, and Petar got their school caps on and traveled all the way from Belgrade to Google’s Academy in London. Their aim: to uncover new data about how people interact with different technologies. Here’s how it went.
This year, we’ve been creating and updating. Where better to start than in the office? As well as making new features and booking fishing trips, we’ve been creating a real oasis of calm and focus in the vibrant, bustling city of Belgrade.
Walk the corridors of FishingBooker’s offices, and one thing you’ll notice is the mixture of people around you. We base our operations in Serbia, and our employees come from as far afield as Russia, Peru, Australia, just to name a few.
When it comes to the distribution of men and women, it can look like some departments are even intentionally counteracting the “typical” gender balance for that field. Nowhere more so than in the Engineering Team.