Employee of the week: Sebi

Time has come to write a couple of words about a developer that joined us about half a year ago. Sebastian, or Sebi Sebifor short, is not only a coder – he is a guitar hero. How cool is that? (I still blame my parents for sending me to flute practice instead of giving me a guitar. When did a flute ever help you in an after-party?)

Here are the things Sebi said about himself:

Title: Software Developer

Speciality: Software engineering, C, Java (currently developing SmartGWT skills), front-end solutions with Flex/Flash for web and iOS, web technologies with HTML, JS and CSS, Unix shell scripting, MySQL.

Background: BSc in Computer Science and MSc in Computer Engineering, both from the “Politehnica” University in Timisoara, Automation and Computer Science Faculty. I am also kind of proud that my BSc thesis was published in an engineering journal in 2010. Happy to join the team, especially having already met and briefly worked with Sondre before he started this adventure.

Fun fact: Being a tech nerd is not enough, apparently. I’m also kind of a guitar nerd as well and I try to work on my chops every day.

Employee of the week: Ionut

IonutThere is a saying that jokingly goes something like this: If it sits on your desk for more than fifteen minutes, you are suddenly the expert. The thing with the guy we’ll present today is that it is really the case. Ionut has an amazing ability to grasp new things quickly and put them to practical use the second after.

When it comes to the topic of himself, Ionut shared the following:

Title: Software Developer

Specialties: Java frontend and backend technologies like SmartGWT, Hibernate and Spring, MySQL databases, Unix shell scripting, mobile applications programming for iOS and Android, frontend web technologies with HTML, JS and CSS, embedded programming.

Background: “Politehnica” Timisoara, Automation and Computer Science Faculty, speciality “System engineering” bachelor degree. Master degree in “Automotive embedded software” from the same faculty. I worked almost a full year at company Hella Romania as software tester for automotive before joining the TapBookAuthor.com team a couple of years back.

Fun fact: Once I loved very much programming for embedded devices. During that time I created a self parking car model remotely controlled with a mobile phone via bluetooth. I still love that piece of work and I like to show it to my new friends.

Ionut drives a nice new Passat, in other words he is really well prepared to have a family – but as far as I know he is single. So, any great girls out there for our great developer and friend? Let him know, you might find him swimming, having (usually just one) beer or running. He comes highly recommended (I am not sure if I left the topic of girls now, true in any case!).

Employee of the week: Alin

AlinI made a cup for our designer, Alin, that says “The cup of the world’s best designer”. That is only half-joking, because at his best Alin is really that good. And of course he likes praise, like we all do!

Here is what Alin wrote about himself:

Title: Graphic & UI Designer

Specialities: Adobe suite, Software & Website Interfaces, Branding & Graphic Design and coffee

Background: Arts & Design Faculty, Timisoara, “Multimedia Design” bachelor degree. For 7 years I’ve been trying to share my ideas creating website layouts, software interfaces, corporate identities, graphic design, video editing, prints, advertising and advising on marketing strategies.

Fun Fact: It is impossible to lick your elbow. I stopped trying long time ago.

And if Alin likes me when I hint to his greatness as a designer, I know he also have his times where he does not really love my feedback. (How do you make a design “a bit more fresh and playful” or “a tad more lighthearted” – I know I would kill anyone giving me that kind of feedback expecting to be taken seriously…) But all in all we enjoy working together a lot and I hope we will have the chance to do so for a long time.

Employee of the week: Fredrik Medby Hagen

Fredrik started as VP Business Development (meaning he will do a lot of different cool things) the summer of 2013
Fredrik started as VP Business Development (meaning he will do a lot of different cool things!) in TapBookAuthor in the summer of 2013

Continuing our little series with info on our team, today we (Sondre, the CEO, to be specific) have the pleasure to write a few words about Fredrik. I have worked with Fredrik before, in the management consulting industry.

Therefore, I was more than happy when he decided to cut his salary to come change the world (or at least have fun in a little part of it, improving entertainment and education for children by providing our great cloud-based apps publishing tool – thanks for letting me plug it!).

Let’s see what Fredrik filled in about himself (in one of the very few forms of our firm!):

Name: Fredrik Medby Hagen

Title: Jack of most trades

Specialties: All things IT; requirement specifications, systems design & development,  testing, project-/program-management, IT-strategies etc.

Background: MSc in computer science (NTNU) and employment at small and large consultancies, doing all kinds of IT-related work within the sectors of gaming, telco, media, power&utilities, insurance, banking and health.

Fun fact: In the good old days, I used to nurture my creative side by playing around with trackers and sequencers. Some of my music was actually released (albeit after being remixed by this guy).

Employee of the week: Sondre Skaug Bjørnebekk

Sondre, here with an iPad running the Aschehoug Thomas and Emma app
Sondre, here with an iPad running the Aschehoug Thomas and Emma app

To continue our little series with info on our team, we today let our CEO and Founder sneak in a word or two (to be honest that happens more often than not anyway!).

If it is at all possible to be risk-adverse as a Founder of a startup, Sondre says claims he is – and has been able to steer the company to a profit every year since its founding.

Title: CEO and Founder

Specialities: As a founder of a startup you cannot really afford to have specialities, so I guess mine is that I never feel I am too good for any type of work that needs to be done. I do my share of technical architecture, bookkeeping & invoicing, server maintenance, sales, programming, customer support and product management and enjoy it a lot.

Background: MSc in computer science (NTNU) and MBA in technology management (NTNU, MIT Sloan). Back in the days I also earned a 2nd Lt’s star on the shoulder in the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

Fun fact: I once travelled with train from Moscow to Beijing via Siberia and Mongolia and swam in the manhood-shrinking lake Baikal (13 degrees Celsius!) enroute…

Employee of the week: Adrian Novacescu

Adi has been with us as a developer for a bit more than a year now
Adi has been with us as a developer for a bit more than a year now

Continuing our little series with info on our team, we today write a few words about Adi – a humble and modest guy, who has no big reason for that kind of modesty – since he really is in-the-making to become what people in Silicon Valley like to call a rockstar developer.

Name: Adrian Novacescu

Title: Software Developer

Specialties: I have experience building frontend systems with Java, SmartGWT, HTML, CSS, Javascript as well as backend systems with Java, JSP, Hibernate, MySQL. I am also the “Windows 8 apps go-to guy” in the company.

Background: “Politehnica”, Automation and Computer Science Faculty, Timisoara, Romania.

Fun fact: One time I was on a trip in the mountains with some friends. The weather was perfect when we left from home, so we didn’t took adequate equipment with us. The next day it started to rain, all our food was destroyed, and we spent another two days wet in the woods. Since then, I know that everything you do, you need to be prepared.


Employee of the week: Lucian Corduneanu

Luci Corduneanu has been with TapBookAuthor as a developer for three years
Luci Corduneanu has been with TapBookAuthor as a developer for three years

We are going to do a little series of info on our team. We start off with the developer (not counting our CEO) that has been with us the longest, Luci.

Name: Lucian Corduneanu

Title: Software Developer

Specialties: Proud to be first developer hired. I had the pleasure to work with Sondre, who is a great mentor and teacher. Now we have a bigger team and I’m doing the local coordination and support as needed. I have experience building frontend systems with java, GWT, smartGWT, HTML, CSS, JS as well as backend systems with java, jsp, hibernate, mySQL

Background: “Politehnica”, Automation and Computer Science Faculty, Timisoara, Romania. Cisco CCNA.

Fun fact: I was riding my bike, through a nearby park, which is typically full of children playing, thus, with moderate speed. I had my phone in the right hand talking, when a cute little girl cut my way. I had to use my left hand for a quick break, but the speed was optimal for a perfect flip over the front wheel type of fall. Nobody, except me was hurt, so use the left hand to talk while riding the bike.

Employee of the week: Bjørn Terje Bakken

When I listened to Evernote founder Phil Libin, he said (only half jokingly, I believe) that you should not bother to make friends with people you could not start a company with. With Bjørn Terje, it was the other way around – we started working together back in 2001 and I am glad that we have since developed a friendship through being both customer/partner and colleagues in different roles over the years.

Bjørn Terje was our first pilot customer, but left his role as leader of the digital team at Samlaget after an acquisition and reorganization. He now works as a manager in the public sector in his daytime job. Thus, when the time came to recruit our first external board member he was both a natural first choice and available. He did not dare to say no and we are so happy he is contributing on both practical and strategic levels for our firm’s development.

Let’s have a look at what mr. Bakken had to say about himself:

Name: Bjørn Terje Bakken

Title: Board leader

Speciality: Keeping the strategic focus in discussions

Background: Principal study in Geography (NTNU) and employment at Høgskolen i Nord-Trøndelag (lecturer), University Graduate Center at Kjeller (advisor e-learning), Inspera AS (project leader, advisor), Det Norske Samlaget (head of digital unit) and Government Administration Services (head of web development unit).

Fun fact: Able to use a hammer and saw with both hands, and would love to be a carpenter the next time around

Employee of the week: Tudor

TudorHow long do you have to work a place until you stop being “the new guy”? Right now there is no doubt Tudor has to live with this label. Luckily for him, we have no big tradition for having the new guy paying for the Christmas party – but thinking of it, never too late to start a tradition, right?

Here are the well chosen word from Tudor on the topic of, well, Tudor:

Title: Software Developer

Specialities: Software Engineering, Architecture, Design and Testing/QA. Computer Security, Concurrent Programming, Cloud Computing, UML, Java, C, PHP, MySQL.

Background: Currently finishing Master’s Degree in Software Engineering. Bachelor Degree in Computer Science Faculty of Automation and Computer Science, “Politehnica” University of Timisoara.

Fun fact: My favorite quote is: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” –Albert Einstein