Behind the Tech Interview Series. Jovan Kovačević


April 1st, 2024, posted in for_founders
by Adelina

There are people making waves everyday in the field of technology. Our "Behind the Tech'' series is where we explore the stories of these amazing people. We aim to shed light on their challenges, victories, and invaluable lessons learned. Plus, this is a great way to encourage connections between technology creators and the community.


Join us as we discover the fascinating world behind the tech that shapes our world!

Jovan Kovačević, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) with Coinis since 2020, is a standout figure in the technology sector with over 12 years of professional experience. Holding both a bachelor's and a master's degree in electronics, telecommunications, and computer science from the University of Montenegro, Jovan's academic background laid a solid foundation for his professional endeavors.



At Coinis, Jovan has been instrumental in driving technical development and operational excellence. As CTO, he leads a robust team of 50, comprising both internal and external developers. Under his guidance, the team is split into nine agile teams, tackling highly complex and challenging technological projects with remarkable success and efficiency.


1. Who is Jovan? Tell us a bit about your previous experience. What makes you successful in your job?

Jovan: Hi! I am the CTO of Coinis, an Ad Tech company. My journey in tech began over a decade ago, with an academic foundation in electronics, telecommunications, and computer science from the University of Montenegro. Transitioning from a developer expert to a Scrum Master before stepping into my current role has given me a unique perspective on the technical and managerial aspects of technology projects. I don't like to boast about my achievements, but if I had to pinpoint what contributes to my effectiveness, it would likely be a blend of my comprehensive technical knowledge, my dedication to Agile methodologies, and my commitment to creating a team culture that values collaboration and innovation.


2. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Why?

Jovan: Receiving the Agile Leader of the Year and the MATA Award has been incredibly humbling and is something I hold in high regard. These awards are not just personal accolades but a reflection of my team's collective effort and dedication at Coinis. They underscore our commitment to innovation, excellence, and pushing the envelope in technology. I am most proud of these because they affirm that the path we're on is not only successful but also recognized by the industry and peers.


3. What are some of your biggest tech challenges? How do they impact the business?

Jovan: One of the biggest challenges we face is keeping pace with the rapidly evolving technology landscape while ensuring our solutions are secure, scalable, and reliable. These challenges directly impact our business as they dictate our ability to innovate and deliver value in everything we do. To mitigate these issues, we focus on continuous learning, adopting best practices in software development, and fostering a culture of innovation within our teams.


4. Do you have any examples of a technological change that you have implemented within an organization? What was the outcome?

Jovan: Implementing Agile methodologies across all our tech teams was a significant shift. Moving from traditional project management to a more flexible, iterative approach allowed us to improve our productivity, enhance team collaboration, and respond more effectively to changing project requirements. The outcome has been overwhelmingly positive, with increased team satisfaction and higher-quality deliverables. From this approach, a plethora of new ideas come, both technical and business ones, as the entire team is involved in the process, and it nurtures innovation.


5. What was a major people management challenge? How did you solve it?

Jovan: Balancing the needs and aspirations of a diverse team of 50, including internal and external developers, was challenging. We addressed this by fostering open communication, setting clear expectations, and providing opportunities for professional growth. By recognizing individual contributions and promoting a culture of mutual respect and support, we were able to enhance team cohesion and drive collective success.


6. How do you measure your department’s success? What metrics do you have to make sure you are on the right path?

Jovan: In the fast-paced ad tech industry, our product-based company must adapt quickly to changes and manage frequent ad hoc requests. Our department’s success hinges on several key metrics: sprint completion rate, code quality metrics, deployment frequency, team velocity, product adaptability, customer feedback, team resilience and morale, and business impact.


These metrics are mostly measured through our internal systems and middle management procedures, and they ensure we meet immediate needs and position us for long-term success in the dynamic ad tech sector.


7. Are there any resources (book, podcast, etc) you’d recommend to a junior?

Jovan: For juniors diving into the tech world, finding informative, engaging, and easy-to-digest resources is crucial. Here are some YouTube channels that I highly recommend for beginners:


1. @Fireship offers tech news in a short, snappy format. It's perfect for staying updated on the latest tech without spending hours watching long videos.

2. @LinusTechTips is great for tech news and reviews. If you're interested in the hardware side of things or just love tech gadgets, this is the channel for you.

3. @freecodecamp is an invaluable resource with many free tutorials for beginners. Beyond their YouTube channel, they have an extensive platform full of programming tutorials that can take you from novice to job-ready.

4. @_JohnHammond provides accessible content for beginners in cybersecurity. If you're looking to delve into the fascinating world of cybersecurity, John Hammond breaks down complex topics into understandable content.

5. @TraversyMedia offers crash course tutorials that can give beginners a solid understanding of a topic in just 1 hour. It's perfect for those who want to learn a lot in a little amount of time.

6. @TheCodingTrain focuses on the programming of animations, making learning to code fun and visually appealing. It's a great way to see immediate results from your coding efforts.

7. @derekbanas is known for his concise and comprehensive crash courses. Derek's tutorials are a great resource if you already have some preliminary knowledge and want to expand your skills quickly.

8. @hnasr covers tech infrastructure foundation topics. This channel offers clear explanations of foundational concepts for those interested in understanding the backbone of tech systems.


Many of these channels also have their own platforms or recommend further resources, such as freeCodeCamp, where you can find a wealth of tutorials and projects to practice your programming skills. Diving into these resources can provide a broad and solid foundation in various aspects of technology, making them ideal for beginners eager to explore and grow in the tech field.


8. With technology constantly evolving, what trends are you most excited about, and how are you preparing for them?

Jovan: I'm particularly excited about the developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR). AI is set to make our interactions with technology smarter and more intuitive, while AR/VR promises to transform our digital experiences, making them more immersive and interactive. To stay ahead, we're focusing on continuous learning and innovation, exploring these technologies' applications in our projects, and encouraging our team to deepen their expertise in these areas.


Jovan’s story shows us that passion and hard work can help you reach new heights. The Agile methodology is undoubtedly a great basis for a tech company, which he’s proven in his 12 years of tech experience. Leading major teams and projects isn’t too difficult when you’re good at prioritizing, communicating and fostering team collaboration.


We hope you've enjoyed exploring the world of tech leadership as we come to an end of this awesome conversation with Jovan. 


Don't miss out on the insights – keep an eye on our blog for the next “Behind the Tech” interview!

About the author


Artsy kid navigating the world of tech for the first time and trying to learn as much as possible about it. My biggest passions are video making, writing, and TV shows I can cry to at 2AM. I also really love IKEA.

See more articles by Adelina