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LUCIAN GRUIA

Ciklum (Merged with CN Group)

My Activity

My roles in the company:

  • Principal Technology Lead for AI, BI & Data – starting Nov 2023 
  • AI & Java Communities Lead – starting Apr 2023
  • Principal Java Developer / Software Architect – Oct 2022 – Nov 2023

Period: Oct 2019 – July 2022 (CN Group) | Aug 2022 – Present (Ciklum)

Customers & Positions

When I joined CN Group in 2019, I was the first Senior Java Developer to work within Bucharest’s freshly opened CN branch. 

At that time, it was a major change in my professional life. I was coming after 7 years of experience in the biggest telecom company in Romania to the smallest CN branch. 

The CN team greeted me with openness and warmth, so the transition was really smooth.

Since then, I have been working with 2 customers as: 

  • Java Tech Lead – aerospace domain (Flatirons Solutions, US customer)
  • Blockchain Solution Architect – supply chain based on blockchain technology (Swedish customer)

Languages, technologies and frameworks we are working with: 

  • Java SE 7,8,11, Java EE 8, Spring, Hibernate
  • Postgres, HSQLDB, PLSQL
  • Apache Solr 5, 7
  • Javascript, Angular, Gulp
  • Shell Scripting
  • Jenkins, Maven, JFrog
  • Blockchain, Hyperledger

Internal activities

One key aspect I enjoy at Ciklum is the variety of internal activities we can participate in. From open English lessons and communities that share the same interests, to outdoor events and learning facilities, everything is well-organized, people-oriented, and fosters a growth mindset.

I am also part of some of them. 

Principal Technology Lead is my first role as a director at this scale and I have the mission of driving AI architectural strategy & adoption and leading AI department growth.

In this role I am responsible and decision maker for:

  • Recruitment (supervising this activity in collaboration with HR dep)
  • People’s career path (together with the people managers and mentors)
  • Architecture and technology adoption
  • Pre-sales
  • Customer relationship (in collaboration with the key account managers)
  • Department growth and strategic decisions

One of the major programs that I am developing internally is our GenAI Upskill Program, a certification program that aims to take our developers through dedicated learning paths and mentoring sessions.

Here in Java Department, it is the place where I do the vast majority of my activity as part of Ciklum. I work with our customers as a Java developer and I am part of the Java Architect Chamber where we discuss highly important technical aspects of the Java technology. As part of the department, I often attend specialized conferences, such as Spring.io or Devoxx. 

But also, there is a number of internal activities that I am directly involved in, in order to support the growth of the department.  

Interviews.

One of the side activities I am responsible for in the company is interviewing Java developer candidates. As part of the Architect Chamber, together with my colleagues from that team, we prepare questions and code challenges for the interview in order to expand our team, gather developers for new projects and to grow our local branches.

Supporting HR team.

In addition to assisting with interviews, I also contribute to the HR team when organizing our presence at tech events like DevTalks. At these events, we prepare code challenges for attendees at our stand. It’s essential to maintain regular communication with the HR team to prepare materials for candidates, define candidate profiles that align with our projects, and ensure the HR team is familiar with the terminology and keywords that aid them in identifying suitable candidates.

Java meetup

This is our annual event where we present topics of broad interest or current trends and hot topics in Java. Up to now, I have presented the following topics. 

The Java community serves as a hub for Java developers across all Ciklum countries and departments. I hold the role of Community Lead there, and together with a colleague, we organize monthly knowledge-sharing sessions.

I have also presented a topic for my colleagues:

Another vital function of the Java community is to disseminate technical news from the Java world and to seek support on specific issues from colleagues who might have more experience in those areas.

The AI community began as a discussion group consisting of a few AI enthusiasts, where we shared AI news. However, with the surge in LLMs and AI trends in 2023, our AI community experienced significant growth. As the Community Lead, I manage and moderate most discussions within the community.

Additionally, there’s a crucial internal project that I developed in collaboration with my colleagues, Sarah Topping and Saikumar Uomo:

  • Ciklum AI Hackathon

Ciklum Speaker’s Corner is one of the most unique internal projects I’ve seen in a software company and is among my favourites here. It offers experts the opportunity to present on various technical topics, discuss trends, or showcase projects at global events. Participating in such events is both challenging and rewarding, and it offers visibility in the market for both the company and our experts. 

I’m grateful to my colleague, Iryna Rud, for trusting and endorsing me to speak at such a significant event. It greatly contributed to my growth as a specialist.

So far, these are the topics I’ve presented

Following this, I took it a step further and presented at one of the largest international tech conferences, Devoxx Ukraine 2023. Thanks for the support and endorsement to my colleague Olena Midzhak for this!

As part of CN Group, we initiated a series of articles on our blog and on external platforms, where we published technical articles about technologies that interest our customers. Below are some articles that I authored:

See more on my project series of articles on blockchain technology.

Personal development

During my activity at CN & Ciklum, I significantly improved my communication & presentation skills and I learned a lot of new things about project timelines and budget estimations.

One of the things I appreciate the most about my current job is that the company is always transparent and that there are always a lot of growth opportunities, both from a technical and a management point of view.

CN Group & Ciklum as an employer


Nowadays, there are so many opportunities for software developers. But are they all the same?
While most companies deliver a simple Job Description when approaching you on LinkedIn, on CN’s careers page you can find sections such as:
  • What will be your tasks
  • What we need from you
  • What can you expect
  • Benefits in your location
  • Details about the hiring process
  • Who will be at your interview

I really appreciate how efficiently does CN communicate with the candidates. You can rarely see a smoother or more transparent process in other companies. I personally have not seen that. So you just expect no surprises after signing the contract. This is a key difference. 

I have always appreciated CN for being such a transparent and people-oriented company, where you can find your work-life balance and develop as a professional in a relaxed environment.

PS. Do you think I’m subjective? Then try and convince yourself 😀

Here are the answers I provided in the interview with Ciklum’s Marketing Dept.

Team

While working on this project I collaborated with an amazingly creative and dedicated team. Please reach out to the following team members for further references:

PS. Thanks for #kudos, Cristina (screenshot) & Cristiana (screenshot)!

Description (CN Group)

CN Group is a close partner to its clients in transforming their business ideas into successful SW solutions, products and services. Our knowledge, experience, skills and services extend far beyond the technologies we implement. 

For over 27 years, we have been providing high quality IT Software Development,  Consulting services, and Mechanical & Electrical Design Engineering to our partners in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, USA and the UK. 

Starting with an office and a handful of employees in Prague, today we have IT experts in our five centres – Prague (CZ), Bratislava (SK), Zlín (CZ), Hradec Králové (CZ), and Bucharest (RO).

Our guiding principle is Continuous Improvement and cross-domain knowledge sharing. We consider it essential to keep improving our Business Experience in different industries and our Technical Know-how, while innovating our methods and Working Approach. 

 

 

Company Info

  • Founded 1994
  • Headquarter Prague, Czech Republic
  • Domain Software nearshoring
  • Workplace Remote or Bucharest/Prague office
  • Company size ~400

Description (Ciklum)

Engineering technology that empowers our clients to redefine their industries. Again, and again.

Ciklum is an international software development and IT outsourcing company founded in Denmark in 2002. It is headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
The company has software development centres and branch offices in the United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Israel, Poland, Ukraine, Pakistan and Romania.
 

Company Info

  • Founded 2002
  • Headquarter London, UK
  • Domain Software development
  • Workplace Remote or Bucharest/Prague/Bratislava office
  • Company size ~5000