Nov 2, 2020 · by Alina Mihut

Brand Ambassadors Stories: Alex Bartis, iOS Community

Alex explores new trends like drones and a TikTok account “from zero to hero.”

To express our brand voice  in the most authentic way possible, we launched the “Brand Ambassadors” program – a program designed to bring our people’s stories, their local cultural flavors, their passions, and the common goals that make our communities so powerful to our readers. In this series, you’ll get first-hand accounts from the people bringing innovation to the forefront at Cognizant Softvision. 

When it comes to empowering our people to be their best versions of themselves we’re always open to explore their ideas and to support their creativity. Together, they are a reflection of who we are as a company and represent the company we strive everyday to be known as: The place to be

Recently, Alex Bartis, an iOS developer from our Cluj-Napoca studio, wanted to get in touch with his own creative roots – launching a TikTok account and exploring other trends while we work from home.

Now, let’s get to know him better. 

Q: What has collaboration looked like for you since the start of COVID-19? 

A: Well, we moved the whole team online (as everyone did), but we took an extra step to make sure we’re also moving the socializing aspect online as well. Sure, this means more meetings throughout the day, but we don’t mind because they’re  for coffee and breaks.

Q: Has collaboration changed for you?

A: Not much. The only aspect that has been added is that wherever I am, I need to make sure that I have a good internet connection at all times, whereas before I could unplug for a second when we had in person meetings, etc., now I’m plugged in all the time. 

Q: Are you utilizing the WFH capabilities to your advantage, ie- going on a trip while remaining connected?

A: Yes! I am: trying to be more outdoors and near in nature during the workday. We actually have a small turtle that needs to be fed every few days if we’re not at home, so we can’t be gone too long.

Q: How do you stay connected with other community members? 

A: I’m using the same channels as before: Skype, Slack, Workplace. Nothing much has changed except that the organizing aspect of the community meetups now takes place online also. Before it would be in our studio in Cluj.

Q: How are you connecting with other colleagues inside the company? 

A: Connecting with others outside of my community, of course, also moved online, but I’ve tried to keep the “spark” alive by calling for video coffee breaks.

Q: So you started a TikTok account and it looks like you’re good at it – please share with us your experience “from zero to hero”, as you now have 15k followers, on the platform! :))

A: Haha, this is a good one!  I actually started my TikTok account at the end of 2019, but I wasn’t posting much. Since the pandemic started though, I had more time to organize myself around the house and fit about a video recording per day in my daily activity. The irony is that I produce comedy content (or at least I try, haha), but I use TikTok to consume more serious stuff, like science, cooking, software development stuff, stuff you should know, that kind of thing.

For my own TikTok content, I try to exaggerate relatable happenings for Romanians and Romanian couples. Stuff like how couples behave or stuff that most Romanians have encountered, like experiences with courier companies. The ideas come to me mostly when they’re happening to me in real life, and I just try to put a funnier spin on them and cram the whole thing into 15 or 60 seconds. It helps a lot that my girlfriend, Iulia, supports me with it and provides valuable input.

Q: Rumor has it that you’re exploring a lot with drones – how did this passion start and any tips for a newbie?

A: Yes, one of my most expensive hobbies! 🙂 The first thing I would say is to read the Romanian legislation. Even an entry-level one can be dangerous. Imagine eight knives flying at 30kmh. Basically even beginner ones can cause damage to both people and objects. Once you’ve done that,  start looking at comparisons and pick an entry-level one that fits your budget. You can now get really good and smart ones at the 500 Eur price mark ($600 USD). After you buy one, spend a few hours on YouTube looking at flying and shooting tutorials before the first flight. It’s a lot of information and it can be overwhelming, but the hobby in the end, makes it worthwhile.

Q: What are the most interesting trends in the iOS field that you would like to share/explore with others? 

A: At this point, I would say AR. Apple is gearing up for its smart glasses and putting in a lot of effort to develop AR before its release. This means it’s a good opportunity for us devs to prepare the killer AR app before we actually have the hardware. I don’t think this ever happened before. We, as developers, need to spend time learning the technology and the tools provided to be one step ahead of the hardware.

Q: Walk us through a “mobile experience – normal day at work” in these unprecedented times – while working from home.

A: My normal day starts by waking up sometime between 6 and 7 AM (Where are all my morning people at?), having a 30-minute coffee while I browse the news and Reddit, then switching to my gym or running clothes and having my first workout of the day. By 9:30, I’m fit ?, showered, and have prepared my second coffee for the day and ready for my daily standup. After the standup, I prepare a quick cereal and protein breakfast and start working on my tasks for the day. Around 12 I go down to the shops to buy some fresh produce for lunch, then we get to cooking and eating. If we still have time, we go on a walk around the neighborhood or a bike ride.

After lunch, I get back to work and usually hope no meetings show up except some coffee breaks, so I can really focus until the day ends. 

In the evening we try to get out a bit again, maybe a walk or bike ride to the city center to have dinner or maybe go outside the city to do some drone flying. In some exceptions, we might go for a short hike somewhere nearby. 

The end of the day mostly falls asleep on the couch while watching Netflix or TikTok or maybe playing video games.

Q: Who is your favorite leader in the tech industry and why? What about in personal development? 

A: I don’t think I have one honestly. I like Tim Cook for his humans/people-first approach, even though he is not as an exceptional as Steve Jobs was in terms of actual technology, he focuses more on people and the human aspect of technology. I also like Sundar Pinchai from Alphabet and I think he has a really tough job, in the sense that he keeps the Google business model of data selling while also somewhat taking people’s privacy into account.

We’re eager to get in the studio again with our colleagues like Alex, but in the meantime, here’s a ‘postcard video message’ from Alex’s holiday – showcasing how much he’s missing us even from apart – relaxing in Greece. 🙂

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