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Split Founders: Krešimir Čondić

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč

27.05.2022.

Krešimir Čondić is an entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of CodeMage, a small digital agency that mostly creates web-based products and works in .NET, React, and Vue.js. He is also a developer with a background in teaching in the local community and leading experienced teams.

If he didn’t do what he does now, he will still likely be doing something with technology – like reviews or innovation or just about anything tech-related. Aside from tech, Krešimir is passionate about sports and travel so doing something related to that would also be an option for him. We’d say that in this case, he would make a fine digital nomad. 😉

Nevertheless, we’re happy that he didn’t have to go the alternative route, but co-founded CodeMage right here in Split and thus became one of Split Founders. So, let’s find out more about him, shall we?

How do you measure your own success?

“With the satisfaction of my employees and other business colleagues! Also, by how many planned things actually I managed to realize.”

What does your usual workday look like?

“I communicate with various people such as employees, clients, other entrepreneurs, and developers from the community. All of that mostly happens in person or via Slack or e-mail.

I also do code reviews for my developers and constantly work on defining documentation and tasks for the work to be done.

There is also a time of day dedicated to thinking about our own product ideas and plans. In addition, there is everything related to employee management, be it ordering equipment, salary payment, team-building organization, and whatnot.”

What do you do when you’re not working?

“Listen to music, watch YouTube tech channels, follow Hajduk, hang out with my girlfriend, and try to stay at least a little bit in physical shape. 🙂

Every so often, playing a video game pops up in my schedule when I have time for gaming.”

What makes you unique?

“I would rather someone else answer that question! 😀

But I would say that I have a really indestructible motivation to lead other people, as well as teach and share experiences with everything related to IT and tech in general.

That is one of the reasons I co-founded a company. I wanted to replicate the enthusiasm I have in a new and fresh digital agency that will slowly build meaning and a name within the community.”

What inspires you?

“The city I live in, definitely, as I am really faithful to Split. After that – the mindset that I got by being part of the DUMP Association of Young Programmers for 5 years.

This is where I found out exactly how much I love doing all of this.

Nevertheless, the state of the industry, the university here in the city, and other things in the country overall also inspire me very much to try and be on top of my game and keep pushing things in the right direction.”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own company?

“Go for it! You have nothing to lose, you work in an industry that has a chronic lack of manpower, so even if you fail you will definitely not be unemployed for long.

Besides that, it is my opinion that it is always better to have something of your own than to work for someone else.

However, if you have something entirely your own in some different aspect of your life outside of work, then that is also great!

Last but not least, be ready for a lot of administrative and other types of work that will eat away the time you wanted to spend on development or design or whatever it is you do. This is especially true during the initial stages of your company.”

Why is now the best time for CodeMage to exist?

“Because we want to give the local IT scene something new and different.

Most of us come from working in corporations, so we wanted to work in a completely opposite environment in any way imaginable.

The majority of companies have also established their foothold in the community several years ago or more, so our goal is to be the new kid on the block and bring something fresh to the market.

We are also completely ready to be an add-on for existing projects in other companies if they need help with something specific. We see this as something that should be beneficial because, in our opinion, most companies work on projects on their own.”

What is the most interesting thing about CodeMage?

“The people! We are a small team and all of us have years of experience in the industry, as well as colorful backstories. So when you see any of us, feel free to stop us for a chat anywhere – we will surely find a mutually interesting topic to discuss.”

What do you love about your team?

“The fact that we have known each other for a long time, and can trust each other implicitly.

Trust is one of the most important qualities for us.

Especially when you have a problem and know that the other person will do everything in their power to help you out with it.”

What are your expectations when it comes to the people you work with?

“The main thing is good communication. No matter what the partner or employee knows and does if you keep getting lost in translation the entire time, it doesn’t make sense to keep on doing so.

We don’t pressure people to be overly ambitious but are glad when someone shows they are willing to go the extra mile.

We put our trust in everyone and expect to also be trusted and respected in return.

After all those things, we don’t put too much emphasis on previous knowledge and experience, but require that someone inexperienced can learn quickly and has the enthusiasm necessary to progress.”

What kind of people would you avoid working with?

“People who like to manipulate and who gossip too much. Mutual respect is very important for us, and there are, unfortunately, a lot of people who would just like to use you. That is something that we definitely want to avoid.”

What is the only thing you would change about CodeMage?

“We still don’t have an office. Therefore, I would like to work on that in the near future so that we can work from our own space when the need arises.”

What are you the proudest of when it comes to CodeMage?

“That we are still here! One and a half years is already a good amount of time, and let’s hope we will manage to keep being here for years to come.”

What makes CodeMage unique?

“Our people have extensive experience, not only in day-to-day job tasks but also in education and volunteering. So it’s not surprising that we have a lot of ideas and processes that stem from those parts of our lives.”

What were the reasons behind the fact that CodeMage was founded right here in Split?

“We were born here, so our choice is only natural. We didn’t see any obstacles to staying here or felt the need to go to Zagreb or some other city.”

As a city, what does Split do well and what can be improved?

“Regarding IT? I really can’t think of anything. Overall, the biggest problem is probably business space which is basically nonexistent, and which definitely will not be solved by a single tech park that is currently being built.

There are a lot of coworking spaces available right now but they are all privately owned, and a lot of companies need an office that they can call their own.

Split is, like many other cities, oriented mostly towards tourism and neglects the IT industry, even though this industry has shown that it has massive potential and power and is one of the main actuators for the local and national economy.

Another thing is the educational system which is unfit and outdated. It fails to prepare people for work in a real company, so it needs to be modernized as soon as possible and carried out with much more passion and thoughtfulness from the academic community.”

How important was the local tech community for you?

“Paramount! There would be nothing without the community and networking.

It is always easier to solve a problem when you have someone to solve it with, and the same goes for many other things.”

Where do you see Split in the future?

“I see it as one of the biggest IT centers in the Balkans and perhaps even further! Despite the problems that the city has, it is still a very attractive location with a pool of good quality engineers.

Each year there are more and more foreign companies that decide to found a development center in Split which should be a good enough indicator that the city’s IT perspective is looking very good.”

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About author:

Nikolina Kukoč

Researching is woven into my DNA, but I am a musician at heart. Interested in too many things and always curious. Forever in love with Split and enchanted by people who teach me new things. When I am not creating content about Split's tech community, you will find me in singing rehearsals, somewhere in nature, in the theater, or with my head stuck in a book. I do my best to live by the verse from the opera "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano: "Love forbids you not to love."

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