Masha Reko - Apprenticeship Blog

What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing. (Aristotle)


Who am I? To be honest, I don’t even know for sure.

I was born in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. I was a curious child from the start, and I loved learning. Everything interested me: from books and movies, to music and art. I also played sports: skiing, tennis, golf, basketball - it was impossible to just choose one, so I did them all. I started traveling on my own from a very young age. Volunteering, youth camps, workshops - you name it. Basically, I was all over the place. And then, right before graduating from high school, I discovered programming - and decided to focus all the energy I had into becoming a Software Engineer.

It has already been two years since I graduated from University. I still remember the feeling when I finally defended my bachelor thesis. I remember how empty and confused I felt. What do I do with my life now? There is a small tradition at my University that all graduates follow: take a photo with Nikola Tesla (not the real one of course, but the statue in front of the faculty). Stand proudly next to him holding your diploma. As if we are now equals.

I took that photo too. But it just didn’t feel right, not just yet. My journey had just begun. I knew there were still plenty of things to learn (and maybe some to unlearn and relearn again). So I continued studying. I received a scholarship for a European Masters in Software Engineering, which is a two-year program where you get to spend each year in one of the partner Universities. I did my first year in Italy, in a beautiful city of Bolzano, up in the north. Then I moved to Kaiserslautern, a small town in south-west Germany, mostly famous for its football club and its quietness (the fact that even the traffic lights get turned off at 9 pm says everything). All in all, it has been an amazing two years. I grew so much, both as an engineer and as a person. I met so many great people and learned so many new things. And now, at the end of it all, I can call myself a Master Software Engineer.

But still, I remember that photo with Nikola Tesla and I tell myself there is still a way to go. Despite what it says on paper, I cannot say I ‘mastered’ software engineering (honestly, can anyone even say that?) I realized that now is the perfect time to stop studying for exams and finally get my hands dirty. Knowing stuff in theory is not the same as applying them in practice. So I moved to Munich and started a 6-month Apprenticeship program in a company called HolidayCheck. I like to think that this is yet another step towards me discovering who I am. Maybe even towards ‘mastering’ software engineering, who knows :)

This blog describes my journey as an apprentice, the experiences I had, the lessons I learned and memories I made. Welcome and enjoy!