Golden Pioneer: And The First 10th Anniversary Present Goes to…

Over the years, we’ve seen many abundantly talented people come through Mistral’s doors. Some may have since flown the nest to new adventures, but others have stuck around to keep the Mistral journey going.

Last month, we honored the first person to reach the 10th work anniversary milestone. Dženan Dizdarević, one of our quality assurance engineers and a dear friend to many, witnessed Mistral grow into a software powerhouse, contributing to that growth any way he could. His thoroughness, kind demeanor, passion for work, and strong team spirit greatly influenced the success of many individuals and projects over the years. 

Then and Now

Dženan started with the company back in 2012 as a junior QA engineer, with a little more than a year of work experience. His first engagement was as a manual QA engineer for a global technology and services leader in the audio streaming and podcast industry. Mistral had only one office in Sarajevo at the time, which was located in Hrasno. 

Mistral's building in Hrasno

“I was lucky enough to join a team of much more experienced colleagues, who encouraged me to try harder and improve my knowledge from the start,” he recalled. 

The Automation Journey

Dženan is currently a senior test automation engineer on a project for a global insurance provider, and he is well-known in the community for mentoring many younger colleagues. However, back in the day, automation testing was one of his first challenges to embrace. 

“I became interested in test automation after realizing there was nothing new to learn in manual testing, and I have to admit that I was a little tired of it”, Dženan said, remembering how his automation journey started. 

“I recall how difficult it was for me as a beginner to find the web element locator. 😊 The project I was assigned to at the time required both manual and automation testing, so I rolled up my sleeves and decided to welcome the challenge. I’ve mastered the fundamental concepts and design patterns of test automation over time. After mastering the first tool, it was time to move on to the next one and so on. All of this, in theory, is very similar. And once you’ve overcome the first hurdle, everything else becomes much easier.” 

One of Mistral’s defining characteristics, according to him, is the ability to advance professionally in the direction of one’s choice.  

“Every project I worked on provided me with new experiences and broadened my knowledge. In addition to the effort and work I put in, I’m grateful to have people in my environment who provided sound advice and encouraged me to constantly strive to learn new skills. I’m happy because I now have the opportunity to share my knowledge with younger colleagues,” Dženan said. 

Some Things Never Change 

10 years is a long time, especially when working in the tech industry.  

“In terms of technology, a lot has changed. Test automation has become a norm, and open-source tools are becoming more popular and widely available. Artificial intelligence and machine-learning-based technologies have significantly improved and facilitated software testing. The entire team is now responsible for software quality. Businesses now use cloud computing on a regular basis, and software testing on physical devices has been replaced by testing on cloud device farms,” Dženan noted, adding that he’s seen significant progress in the software development life cycle processes in our company, from project discovery to project closure.  

Some things, on the other hand, never change. He believes that Mistral’s core values – People First, Culture of Trust, and Passion for Growth – have remained consistent throughout the years. 

“Mistral invests in its employees on a regular basis and strives to keep them satisfied and happy. Over the years, the company has established a clear mentorship and onboarding plan, and the knowledge transfer and onboarding of new colleagues is much better organized and gets optimized constantly,” Dženan concluded. 

In the Eyes of Others 

Many of our team members recognize Dženan as a dedicated and thoughtful teammate. We asked some of his coworkers to reflect on their experiences with him over the years, and here’s what they had to say: 

Coworker 1 
Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of teams and amazing people, and it appears that last year was no exception. Working on the same team as Dženan has been nothing short of inspiring. Everyone should strive for his exceptional work ethic, unique perspective, and dedication.  

Coworker 2 
The one and only don Dženo! He is the type of person that everyone likes and would be happy to work with. I’m sure you can’t find a single person who disagrees. He is a true professional, always concentrated and focused, every day for the past ten years, even when tasks are relatively mundane, and he never makes mistakes. 

Coworker 3
Dženo is one of those people I’d be happy to work with on any project for the rest of my life, not just in the IT industry. He demonstrated enormous understanding and patience for all potential issues from the first day I arrived at the project. I recall wondering if there was anything this man didn’t know because he seemed to know everything, and even if there was [something he didn’t know], he would find a solution quickly and the entire team would learn something new. 

Dzenan and Mersed

Reflecting Back and Looking Forward 

We often don’t notice how much we evolve from year to year. In his 10 years, Dženan has both seen and experienced change first-hand, much of which has made him re-evaluate his approach to his work. 

When asked to send a message to his younger self, Dženan said: “I would advise the younger me to be more courageous in the face of new challenges and experiences. They provide invaluable lessons and broaden our knowledge. Welcome them with open arms, faster. Don’t think too hard, just say yes!” 

There will be many more new experiences and opportunities to learn in the years to come, but for now we want Dženan to enjoy how far he’s come in the last decade. For his anniversary, as a token of appreciation for the years he has dedicated to us, we presented him with 5 extra vacation days, a gold Mistral medallion, and a travel voucher for anywhere in the world. 

anniversary present

Happy Anniversary Dženan, and here’s to all our future endeavors

If you want to join Dženan and become a valued QA member of our community, let us know via Mistral Careers page. Join us in writing the next decade’s chapter of Mistral’s story! We look forward to meeting and welcoming you.