The Story of Darko Milevski – Managing Director at ⋮IW Skopje

29 Sep, 2020 | 5 minutes read

Darko has been with our company for one year now. He is responsible for our office in Skopje. He is highly enthusiastic and ambitious, always ready to help others and contribute fully. With vast experience in the IT sector, he is widely known for his engagement in the .NET community in our country. Here’s his story.

Who is Darko?

I’m dynamic and enthusiastic, always seeking new challenges. I love learning new things and getting involved in even the smallest details. I am a proud husband and father of two wonderful kids.

My passion for IT and computers started in 1988 when I was just 8 years old. That year, I saw a Commodore 64 for the first time, and soon after, I got one. It was more exciting than getting the latest iPhone today.

So eventually my first programming language was Commodore BASIC used to operate the system, load programs, and games. Starting from there, during the next years, I learned most of the well-known languages for that time like GW-Basic, Clipper with dBase, Pascal with Borland Delphi, and ended on complete Microsoft .Net stack.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University in Skopje. In 2004, I began my career at an MS Gold Partner company. I became certified in Microsoft technologies and started as a software developer, eventually becoming a team leader. During that time, I successfully completed numerous projects and products, mainly in the private sector. Today, I manage ⋮IW’s office in Skopje, striving to ensure good working conditions, challenging projects, and a spirit of growth and teamwork. “I want to see all employees with a smile when they come to work each morning.”

IWC: What made you be part of ⋮IW?

“The desire for growth” – that drive for change and progress led me to ⋮IW. I find ⋮IW’s culture very attractive, with its amazing spirit of innovation, great people, and exceptional professionals. ⋮IW is a very dynamic organization, and I immediately connected with it. Working in a company with such a unique portfolio of services and knowledge seemed like a big challenge for me, and I decided it was worth giving it a try.

IWC: Share one interesting working experience – a project or a challenge that you have been working on, and has remained in your memory

I always dreamed of working on a multitenant SaaS product. I envisioned it, read about its composition, hosting, and challenges. With the emergence of cloud platforms in recent years, it became easier to develop and scale robust systems. I dedicated my time to exploring and learning about the opportunities PaaS or cloud-managed services offer for building new multitenant SaaS products.

Luckily, I got the chance to work on this type of product at IW. I was part of a team that worked on a solution using all the latest technologies and trends, like IoT, big data processing, real-time reporting, and alerting. We developed and ran this solution using AWS managed services. We worked with geo-locations, routing and predicting, optimizing processes, and analyzing human behavior. We combined all this data to provide users with accurate feedback and recommendations for improvement.

It was a great experience, challenging from many perspectives. New company, new roles, new team, new working procedures, new stakeholders, new market, and a new cloud platform (AWS). I learned a lot through this journey and am always grateful to have been part of a wonderful team that conquered every challenge step by step.

IWC: What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my family and what we have accomplished together. They have always supported me throughout my career, even when it required sacrifices like preparing for projects, learning, certification, community activities, business travel, and speaking at conferences. I thank them for their unwavering support.

I’m also proud of my colleagues, past and present. I’m proud of what we have achieved professionally. Today, I can proudly say that all my colleagues are my friends.

IWC: Tell us about an experience that shaped you as an individual

Many events in my life have taught me valuable lessons, but one stands out: my involvement in the technical (Microsoft) community. Participating in this community gave me the chance to travel, meet extraordinary people, and learn from the best. Their passion for knowledge inspired me to start and conquer new heights.

I applied as a speaker at regional technical conferences, organized the local community in Skopje, and was one of the main enthusiasts who believed we could organize the biggest software development conference in the country. Keeping pace with the latest technology and what my friends were doing kept me motivated to learn and grow.

In 2011, I received global recognition from Microsoft for my community involvement, becoming a Microsoft MVP. For the next six years, I participated in the Microsoft Global MVP Summit in Redmond, USA. These experiences significantly shaped who I am today.

IWC: What is the biggest challenge that you experienced during COVID-19 as a Managing Director at ⋮IW Skopje?

Before COVID-19, I had no experience managing remote teams. Most processes involving people engagement became challenging when done remotely. Organizing interviews over Skype or Zoom without seeing the person in front of you and missing body language cues was difficult. Onboarding new employees remotely and getting to know them through screens and home offices was a completely different experience, requiring new skills and approaches. Adapting new employees to our company culture and communication style remotely was one of the biggest challenges.

IWC: How has COVID-19 changed you personally and professionally with your colleagues?

Personally, I started valuing things I previously took for granted. Walking with my family during curfew was priceless. Saying hi and shaking hands with neighbors or old friends is something we all miss. Visiting relatives or close friends, talking to them, or playing with their kids are activities we often postponed, thinking we had all the time in the world. COVID-19 changed my value system for the better.

Professionally, I missed my time in the office with colleagues. I used to go from office to office, talk with colleagues, share jokes, see them smile, and ask how they were. We are partially back in the office now, and I enjoy the time spent with colleagues.

IWC: How do you motivate your team and what motivates you to continue to excel at your work?

You cannot fake motivation. To motivate others, they need to see your passion. People want a leader who supports them and celebrates successes together. I involve myself in everything my colleagues do. I see their challenges, discuss their approaches, give advice, and recognize their opinions. I strive to create a culture where employees feel safe to face challenges, ask for help, and grow. The person who gets help learns something new, and the helper feels valued. I aim to foster an environment where employees inspire each other, as inspiration is the greatest motivator.

Personally, I am very curious and enjoy facing new challenges. I find motivation in others, their approaches, stories, and successes. I also find motivation in our happy customers and colleagues, their achievements, and growth. All of this drives me to keep moving forward and reach new heights.