Teodor Caras, our junior Software Development Engineer

18 Oct 2022 5 min read

We're continuing this blog series of getting to know our XWikiers professional journeys, from interns to full-time employees, with Teodor, another one of our colleagues whom we met through the internship program "Stagii pe bune" one year ago. From the beginning, we've been taken aback by his outstanding comfort in taking initiative, being easily autonomous, and not being afraid of a technical challenge. We can say confidently that in only one year, Teodor has become one of the backbone members of our business applications team.

From intern to junior software development engineer

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I've been working at XWiki for 1 year as a Software Development Engineer, buildin’, fixin’, and improvin’ your beloved Pro Applications. I’m your go-to guy if you wanna inquire about gaming or weeb stuff as I’ve spent more time on the computer/Internet than I maybe should have. Building on the previous statement, I'm also an aspiring game developer. I like trying out recipes from the internet, table tennis (although I'm pretty bad), chess as of late and annoying my two cats. This is just a small subset of the things that make up me, but I would say they make a pretty good abstract.

in 5 things
  • Favorite artist: I've had two bands that I called “favorites” throughout my life. I was rocking Linkin Park from middle to high school, and now I'm jamming on Opeth.
  • Best book ever read: Ain’t got a lot of experience with books, but the one that I enjoyed the most was 1984 by George Orwell.
  • Dream destination: Japan, but also the Swiss Alps.
  • Quote you live by: I recently stumbled upon one that describes my view of life pretty well: “I neither know nor do I think that I know”.
  • At the office or remote? In the context of the pandemic and online classes, I’ll have to choose the latter. However, every once in a while I like to go to the office for socializing, getting prompt help or answers when needed, eating together & playing table football.

The internship experience

How did you find out about XWiki and what made you choose it for an internship?

I found out about XWiki on “Stagii pe bune” back when I was in the third year of my Bachelor's degree. I applied to XWiki because they listed appropriate requirements, fit for an individual that is just starting out. In contrast, I remember reading the requirements coming from other organizations and feeling overwhelmed.

What was your internship experience like?

The internship went really well. As mentioned in the previous answer, Open Source communities are great at helping each other. It was the same with XWiki. Whenever I needed help, others guided me promptly.

What did you find to be the most interesting and challenging tasks?

Working with Maven. That thing is as twisted as it is impressive (at least to me). Jokes aside, a task that was pretty fun to work on was an issue on the Antivirus Application: #26. It was an improvement on how the files were scanned inside the XWiki and how the interruption of an Antivirus scan was handled.

And what about integration into the environment? How easy, or difficult was it for you?

The only unpleasant thing about working remotely was not meeting people as I got to know them, which made the integration process a little bit awkward. But other than that, everything was very smooth.

How easy or difficult was the integration process for you?

The worst thing about working remotely was the limited interaction with my coworkers. It is not a problem when you already know them, but being the new guy and working remotely led to some awkwardness (for me) when finally meeting people in real life.


Teodor's trusted, daily code advisor


Open Source impressions

Was Open Source something you had an interest in prior to XWiki?

Yes... and no. I was using plenty of Open Source software but wasn’t really aware that it was Open Source. I didn’t really understand what Open Source was or how it worked concisely.

What's the Open Source value you identify with most?

Open Source projects rely, to some extent, on the contributions brought by the community. These communities are very eager to help, expecting nothing in return. I find this pretty great, and I enjoy doing it myself.

Becoming a full-time XWikier

What made you decide to stay as a full-time employee?

Besides the universal reasons, such as the need for experience in the field, I remained for the friendliness of the people around here. Being a smaller company, I had the opportunity to interact with almost everybody. Furthermore, the contributions I make are visible in the product, a fact that gives me some satisfaction.

Another big reason was the malleability of my working schedule. Following a Master's degree at the same time, XWiki allowed me to do both — work and study.

Did you feel like anything changed after this in the way you view/do things?


What is working as a Software Development Engineer at XWiki like?

It is quite alright. It is not often that I feel stressed because of this job.

There is high variation in the things that I can do because there are many applications, and I have the freedom to choose the tasks that I want to do. The tasks are assigned fairly, with regard to the time required for their completion.

I’ve strengthened the confidence in my skills as a programmer while working here — I had the possibility to handle a wide range of challenges. Sometimes, these challenges proved quite complicated but, with the help of my colleagues, we've solved them.

Lessons learned

What would you say is the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at XWiki, so far?

While it is important to try to do things yourself, sometimes it is better to ask for directions than to be stuck because of a problem that has already been solved/encountered by somebody.

The XWiki experience

If you could describe XWiki in one word, what would it be?

Community — as it stands at the root of Open Source and thus, XWiki.

Favorite memory at XWiki, so far?

It must be the 2022 Seminar. As opposed to the first one I attended, a year prior, this one was held on-site. It was the first time I met my colleagues from France and got to spend some time with them.


Teodor together with a part of the XWikiers, enjoying a good volleyball match during this year's Seminar.

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