Ivo Tustanic is a Computer Science student, with a specialization in Software Engineering. He decided to relocate to Boston for his third work term - a position at Warner Bros Games! In this interview he shares how the relocation went, how COVID-19 has affected his work term, and some advice for seeking co-op students.
Why did you choose your program?
“My biggest reason for choosing Computer Science is the freedom I have to explore interesting new projects. I started my first project at fourteen, launching a website business to host Minecraft servers; I even made some income. That’s when I realized the potential of coding; I knew it could allow me to take on some really cool and innovative projects in the future. In computer science, your only limit is your imagination.”
About his current role:
“My current role is at Warner Bros Games working on a mobile game called Game of Thrones: Conquest. It’s a mobile MMO game based on Game of Thrones! I’m part of the team that maintains the servers for the game. My work is mainly focused around server-side code as well as DevOps work, which are the things that allow our game developers to do their job more effectively. The best part of the position is the impact that I have. Since there’s only around 150 people working on the game, everyone has an important role to play in its continued success. This role is definitely a lot different than my previous terms because I’m working at a much smaller place, so I’ve gotten to know everyone pretty well.”
About skill sets and success:
“I think that getting good at a role, even in engineering, is largely about your people skills and being able to communicate by asking people for help, as well as being efficient when working independently. Having run a website in the past, I think that I possessed some of these traits, but my current role has definitely helped me to develop those skills.”
“Not being scared to try new things is very important. I developed this ability over time and I think it’s a very important strength to have. Recognizing that you won’t be great at something the first time around is good, because no one ever is. That’s why it’s really important to be a persistent learner, and not to become demotivated by thinking you can’t learn something.”
About the Co-op Office:
“The Co-op office was helpful in stressing the importance of interpersonal skills. I think this allowed me to develop these skills faster; they’re something you need to be able to succeed in any role, especially in an engineering role at a small company.”
How COVID-19 has affected his work term and advice for other students:
“I’ve been working remotely since the end of March. Being in an engineering role, I spend most of my time working at my computer either coding or typing things to other developers. In that sense, not much has changed, but I really miss our office and the people!”
“I think the most important thing to do during this time is to manage your time well, and not be too hard on yourself. Since we’re all stuck at home, it’s easy for your work life to bleed into other parts of your day. Students should try and stick to their normal routines. Something that’s helped me is getting dressed and having breakfast as if I was going to leave for work. This allows me to be in a ‘work’ mindset for the time that I need to be effective, and then have some separation from work once the day is over.”