“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie

A full year has passed since we moved from SYRMIA office spaces and started adapting our homes to improvised work environments due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In these times, dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem is even more vulnerable and requires constant changes. Automotive industry experienced a hard-hit in the past year, but companies are, more than ever, willing to prove trust and deliver safe and high-quality products.

To improve system reliability, modern concepts, such as deep learning, are used in computer vision to an increasing extent. Training process for traffic sign recognition is becoming more and more complex as the number of supported countries constantly increases. Thus, our Client was eager to find a team of professionals who could inherit existing code base and continue developing their in-house tool. SYRMIA site in Banja Luka was recognized as a good candidate for growth, based on the great cooperation with the Client in the past, and knowledge gained on their other automotive projects.

In short time, SYRMIA even hired new people, who will, together with experienced engineers from already existing teams, form a cross-functional team capable to solve all sorts of challenging tasks. One of our senior engineers, versed in agile methodologies, stepped in as a team lead, and Pions team was born.

"Pions are not produced in radioactive decay, but commonly are in high-energy collisions between hadrons." - Wikipedia

Q: Hi Mladen, can you tell us more about how it was to create a team in the times of working from home, and virtual work environment?

A: Hi, first of all, this was the first time for me, after a while, to lead a team. Returning to that mindset of being someone who should encourage all the positive processes in the team came back quickly, probably also due to Team Coach training I took shortly prior to the new situation. Few members of the new team were my colleagues that I had already cooperated with and that gave me additional confidence that we will succeed. Virtual work environment has put us all to the test, but having open-minded, adaptable team members, made it a lot easier feat. We try to keep the atmosphere as if we were in the office, we keep our cameras on as much as we can to keep our interaction more in-person-like and for the time being it is going well. Troubling times can put additional stress on you, so we keep reminding ourselves to be easy-going and have fun. Our new area of work is quite interesting, it keeps us motivated and we do our best to celebrate all the small successes we make, and there were quite a few!

In order to speed up the team's onboarding process, a university professor has been engaged, who was providing valuable theoretical, academic background for machine learning domain during training sessions. Since they had tight schedule, to overpass issues caused by geographical distance and remove obstacles for undisturbed knowledge transfer, the Client provided one person at Germany’s site that joined Pions team in February.

It has been 6 months since they have started as a separate team, and positive feedbacks about their progress and achievements are constantly arriving. But they are not stopping there, since the plan is to expand the team even more in the near future. Meanwhile, they will continue to promote us in the best way, and to serve as an example of physically distanced, but strongly connected group of people, always ready to boldly face new challenges.

If you want to be an essential particle of this strong force as well, make sure to send us your resume on jobs@syrmia.com and get ready to start your SYRMIA journey!