With the tech industry flourishing in Romania, it’s only natural that companies in cities as Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj-Napoca or Timisoara start attracting talent from abroad.
For a non-EU citizen, to obtain Romanian working papers is a long, formal and time-consuming process, but once they pass the legal requirements, the country is considered friendly and safe, while the locals are welcoming, making foreigners feel comfortable and part of their culture and tradition.
We talked recently with three expat employees from Adobe Romania, all three involved in tech development and team management in the local subsidiary of the global tech giant Adobe. We wanted to know what they think about Romania, their job and the local tech environment.
One thing we noticed at first was how relaxed they found their own working place, all three appreciating the culture in Adobe Romania, focused on inclusion, diversity, work-life balance, innovation and collaboration.
“The first thing that surprised me was that I was part of a big tech company that had been creating software for decades. Still, the feeling was like being part of a startup in the sense that everyone was concentrating on innovation and collaboration. Even though I didn’t know the Romanian language at all, the colleagues always made me feel no different in any way.” – Filip Stojkovski – Threat Intel Manager.
“When I joined Adobe, I was mostly surprised by how relaxed and easy going the people are. Engineers are always encouraged to get adequate personal time-off, managers are very friendly and always striving to provide the best working conditions, creativity is highly encouraged and there aren’t too many restrictions in terms of how far you want to test your imagination” – Uzoma Ogbonna – Cloud Security Engineer Lead.
“There’s very little scope for any error due to the sheer volume of traffic we handle and we’re always trying to improve our work processes, ensuring at the same time there’s really good work-life balance to prevent burnouts. My teammates are amazing, and every day is a new adventure!” – Sathyajith Bhat – Computer Scientist, Adobe I/O team.
From a market view perspective, they all see the growth, blooming and possibilities in Romania’s tech sector.
“From an initial first glimpse, I see there are a lot of opportunities and the tech industry is certainly booming quite a bit in Romania. I’ve been told that Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest have seen a huge boost in the tech industry, certainly no different from Bangalore. Curiously, the boom in tech industry seems to be limited to select few cities, much like India.” (Sathyajith Bhat)
“I think Romania has one of the fastest-growing IT/Tech sectors in Eastern Europe. And I see this trend to continue in the future. Most of the tech companies are hiring and expanding in Romania because of high-quality deliverables and lower costs. Because of the exponential growth and high demand for IT professionals, companies are going the extra mile in offering generous benefits and a flexible work environment.” (Filip Stojkovski).
“Having been here for about a decade and a half, I have witnessed the massive growth of job opportunities in the Tech industry. I think Romania could compete as one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Europe for the past 5-10 years and it’s no surprise that a lot of companies are seeking talent here.” (Uzoma Ogbonna)
But even though they admire the Romanian landscape (the mountains in particular), the Romanian food or the safety that Bucharest provides, the true excitement comes from their own work, from the actual day-to-day involvement with Adobe products and projects that are developed in Bucharest.
“The most exciting part of my work in Adobe is understanding the vast majority of Adobe products from a technical standpoint and then monitoring, assessing and creating security tools and features to protect the proprietary property.” (Uzoma Ogbonna)
“I'm currently leading the Cyber Threat Intel program within Adobe as part of the Security Coordination Center, on a daily basis I need to evaluate what are the emerging threats and share that information with many teams within Adobe so that our infrastructure and customer data is safe. The most exciting part of working at Adobe is having the possibility, resources and tools that enable me to create innovative solutions that will protect Adobe from cyber threats.” (Filip Stojkovski)
In February 2020, Adobe Romania celebrated all its expat colleagues in a unique event held at the office, where everyone was invited to taste a traditional dish from each of their home countries. Currently, there are 7 expat Adobe employees working at the Bucharest office and they come from Egypt, Turkey, Greece, India, Sweden, Nigeria and North Macedonia.
Sathyajith Bhat is 35 years old and comes from India, and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Communication in 2007. Since then, he’s been working over a lot of different roles: developer, database administrator/architect, client liaison for technical teams, and more recently as DevOps. Prior to Adobe, he brought in DevOps principles at a small startup called Styletag.com, which was an e-commerce shop focusing on women’s fashion. He’s been with Adobe for almost 3 years now, working with Adobe I/O since joining Adobe, as DevOps/SRE for Adobe I/O Events previously and currently focusing on the API Platform. He’s also the author of a book called „Practical Docker With Python” and a AWS Community Hero. They say time flies when you’re having fun – and it has certainly been so for the past 4 months that he’s been in Bucharest, Romania.
Filip Stojkovski is originally from North Macedonia and has a bachelor's degree in Computer Network Engineering from New Bulgarian University. This is also where, for the first time, he got the chance to learn more about cyber-security. He has been working in the cyber-security domain for a decade, holding various positions from security analyst, engineering and computer forensics to program management. He's been living in Romania for six years and been working for Adobe a little over five years.
He is currently leading the Cyber Threat Intel program within Adobe as part of the Security Coordination Center, on a daily basis. “I need to evaluate what are the emerging threats and share that information with many teams within Adobe so that our infrastructure and customer data is safe.”
Uzoma Ogbonna is 32 years old, from Nigeria and has lived in Romania for the past 15 years.
After graduating from the Politehnica University of Bucharest where he studied Electronics and Telecommunications, Uzoma took on various roles while finding his career path, including working as a Risk Consultant and as a Network Engineer before embracing information Security.
Uzoma joined Adobe in April 2016, as an Information Security Analyst and since then he has learned a lot and grown with and within the team, transitioning to a Cloud Security Engineer role and currently a Lead Cloud Security Engineer.
(p) - This article is an Advertorial.