Underneath the blinking neon-light, in one of abandoned auditoriums, group of people is drafting on white board serious strategy. Photos have to be mobile, the most read author to be circled with blue, voting of readers to be counted for surveys… Not one person in redaction is ready for that assignment. We dream big, but know so little.
„Okay, we’ll have to gather the money and find someone to make this for us“ – states Editor-in-Chief and her Deputy – myself.
„I’ve never made website like that, but I can try.“ – says shyly seven feet tall guy, sitting in the last bench. He comes in front of the blackboard and starts asking questions… A lot of them.
Why did we think of this and that, which tone of blue, what is the exact number of columns we want. Then he starts asking about things that we still haven’t thought through. He scribbled down all of our answers on a paper taken out of my notebook, and crumpled it in the back pocket of jeans.
„Do you want to try?“ – I ask. „I do.“
How awesome Velicko is, you can easily notice. Firstly, he is 7 feet tall, so there is no crowd in which you can lose him or get him out of sight. He’s extremely funny and seems like someone who can switch literally any situation into a circus or a party. But, every once in a while when you hang out with him, you’ll discover new, unbelievable fact, totally incompatible with his silly character – that he’s master in chess, fluent in Spanish, that he can solve Rubic’s cube in one and a half minute and stuff like that.
I can’t rememer how he got in redaction of Magazine InterFON, where I volunteered for four years during my studies, but I can tell you that he came in the right moment. We were changing lot of things in our organizations and of the main ones was making of new website.
Velicko made it with a help of a friend who was doing that for living. He did everything as we wanted, even better. And then he started exploring on his own. All ideas that came to our minds as something we would like to add or change – he was ready to realize, form the scratch.
„Velicko, can we enlarge this?“ „Is our website SEO optimized?“ „Why is this little thing in the right corner bugging?“
„I don’t know, but I will learn“.
He would usually call me the same afternoon, to tell me that he still hasn’t solved it – but he’s on a good way to find a solution. Each and every time I would be amazed by his persistence and willingness to sit on a problem and try to solve it in myriad ways.
As our studies were approching finals, we started looking for students that will replace us in InterFON after graduation. Among other teams, someone was supposed to take on what Velicko was doing so far. Again, we have placed him in front of a challenge – he was the only one who could teach six new, curious freshmen what they should do.
„Veličko, have you ever led a tim?“ – I asked.
„I will learn.“ – he answered the same thing, with a big smile around his head.
One night, after the redaction meeting, Velicko kindly asked me to stay a bit longer and help him to arrange his CV. I can’t remember if he even mentioned what for. As usual, he asked a lot of questions, such as – why am I highlighting this, and deleting that. I discovered few more of his unusual hobbies. At the end, we were both satisfied with how we packed his skills and experiences.
Last time I talked with Velicko, it was on my birthday. We are kinda grown up now, so we just exchanged few lines early in the morning, before going to work. I don’t think that he’s aware of the fact that he gladden me so much.
He is in Dubai now, working for the company that sells software used in business intelligence. Ten days before he wished me all the best, his status was changed from intern to permanent employee. He says that CV we made that night – brought him to where he is. And that is not all – he now does the very same thing, helps people from Balkans to prepare motivational letters, CVs and other documents for jobs in Dubai – and earns his pocket money from that.
His boss started to be amused by the fact that Velicko can easily „slide into“ new field, so he sends him each time in a company from totally different sphere of business. Velicko explained me that he’s currently in finance and accounting, in order to understand better how to help such a company with his software. And he says that is the very favourite part of his job – to go from department to department in one system and learn a bit from everyone, to get big picture of its functioning. He learns about what is important to them, what they want to improve. Then he uses that knowledge to help them, like he did with us in InterFON.
Velicko claims that only now he gets how much he doesn’t know. He believes it would be cool to enroll another faculty – faculty of economics, to complement his knowledge. Until he dares to do that, he had bought last December tons of books that he plans to analyze in the year ahead. I don’t have any doubts about him becoming an expert in this field too – because he has shown, in numerous occasions, that he knows how to learn and he’s willing to. He’s doing it the right way.
He’s not that lazy to avoid starting from the scratch. He’s not afraid of taking the responsibility. He is persistent enough to sit through the process of solving the riddle and try to approach it from 100 sides.
Velicko is not embarassed to ask, a lot.
He’ll never burden you with the story about how will he, as a programmer, solve your problem. He won’t draw you pixels, megabites, systems and similar things. He’ll learn your language and why is the thing you’re doing important to you, and then find a way to make it easier for you.
My friend Velicko is a classic example of how nerds can change our little worlds for better.