Bilger (Billy) Yahov is a software consultant at Resolute Software, focused on building Cloud solutions, but also doing a lot of full-stack software development. After a rigorous but exciting time at Fontys University of Applied Sciences where he earned his Bachelor’s in ICT and Software Engineering (and was also honored with a Best Student Award!), he returns to Bulgaria to seek a new challenge and a great workplace to devote his energy and enthusiasm to. We asked Billy a few questions about his experience with Resolute Software and why he decided to move back to Bulgaria and start anew. He tells a bit more about his life philosophy and what made him passionate about programming.
What made you passionate about programming?
“It’s all about the Challenge for me – with a capital C, something that I always look for.”
Why did you choose to study in the Netherlands?
When I was 13 years old, I moved to a larger city near my hometown to get my high school education. Five years later, I thought I should do something to get myself out of the comfort zone once again. I’ve always wanted to be independent [as much as I could be at that age]. I got a “green light” from my family, who’s always been very supportive throughout my challenges.
I wanted to study in a place where life is healthy, people are happy and cheerful, and the culture is very open to foreigners. That’s how I ended up living my college years in Eindhoven. 😊
How did your formal education go?
Fontys offered me lots of hands-on practical experience. That probably helped me decide what I wanted to focus on.
During my first year, I served as a Student Ambassador. I had to attend a lot of open doors events and do a lot of presentations to promote Fontys ICT internationally. That really helped me build a good set of soft skills. When I started the second year, I decided to switch to a more practical role by taking up the position of an assistant. I was helping junior students with projects, assignments, as well as assisting the lecturers during their classes. This is how I became versed in mentoring, which I still love doing to date. Besides, there’s a lot you can learn from junior students and teammates, too.
Are there any professional achievements that you feel proud of?
I believe that one should be continuously learning by doing what they like most. For me, it all ties back to AWS Solutions. I’ve been hands-on with this technology since the beginning of my career, so a couple of years ago, I decided to dig deeper into the theory to obtain my AWS Solutions Architect certification.
What made you come back [to Bulgaria]?
I started work during my first year in college. I worked as a dishwasher for about a year and a half to afford the small apartment I lived in at the time. Fortunately, after the first year at Fontys [Fontys University of Applied Sciences], a company that organized a hackathon in which I took part, offered me a job as a Junior Software Developer. For some time, I had to do both – dishwashing and programming, just to be sure I don’t end up jobless if my contract as a software developer does not get extended. What happened was that I even got promoted two months later to a Backend engineer at Studyportals. In short, by the time I was about to graduate, I’ve managed to gain quite some experience and I knew this offered a great opportunity to go back home, find a good job and be close to my family again.
You seem to have been job-hopping in the past couple of years since you came back to Bulgaria. What were you looking for that your previous employers couldn’t offer?
It’s the culture. When I was in Holland, I enjoyed working in a family-like atmosphere. Both Progress and Fourth were great employers, offering me the opportunity to work with amazing people. The only thing that bothered me was the corporate culture. Everything was much slower. You do not have much freedom to express your creativity or unconventional ideas.
“At Resolute, we are all committed to one goal. We stand as one fighting different challenges every day.”
How did you hear about Resolute Software?
I used to work with Veli Pehlivanov [CTO at Resolute Software] at Progress. I was really impressed by him! At a young age, he was already leading a team of more than 80 people, and his attitude to work and building work culture was fascinating. One day, after the launch of Resolute Software, I had a coffee with him. He told me what they are up to, and we thought, why not work together again? And here I am, part of the team now. 😊
What did you think of the recruitment process?
It was quite neat. Different than what I’m used to, but interesting. All the personality tests, and Resolute’s attention to the candidates’ soft skills, were quite impressive. I believe that’s what matters when deciding if a person can fit in certain company cultures.
“Technical skills can be acquired, but it’s difficult to change someone’s attitude.”
What impression did Resolute’s management make on you?
We had a great conversation before I started – they told me more about what they focus on, what their background is, and what their plans are for the future. As I said, a company’s culture is of great importance to me. I wanted to understand how they see the Resolute team moving forward, and how I can fit in the picture.
Why did you choose Resolute Software? What made you accept the offer?
I’ve always wanted to be part of a smaller team to be able to see the results of my own efforts. I take pride in seeing that everyone on the team pulls in the same direction, and I feel empowered by the people around me. The more we work together, the better we get. You can see this at Resolute.
“Day in and day out, we fight the challenges together, and we never forget to cheer the wins properly!”
What are your responsibilities at Resolute Software?
They vary as I often wear different hats. Today, I might be preparing a solution proposal for a customer, tomorrow - architecting a solution on Azure. Don’t be surprised if you find me building some cool UI using Angular the day after. Finally, I’m famous for cracking jokes from time to time… 😊
What would you say is your core competence? What are you good at?
What’s your goal in the long run? What difference are you hoping to make at Resolute Software?
I joined Resolute with the commitment to see this company become the leading Professional Services provider in the tech world. My ambition has never been to be a great programmer.
“It is to deliver value to the world using what I am good at – crafting software, and of course – helping and encouraging people to take the lead and help them grow.”
What’s the biggest challenge for you at Resolute? What’s easy?
I haven’t seen it easy yet. As the saying goes, the sky is no longer the limit. I accept whatever challenge is in front of me. One day it might be tackling a complex codebase, another - mentoring a junior team member. Let’s not forget working with customers! That can be quite challenging at times, too.
Who’s Billy outside work?
I am not really a hobby type of person; I rather like doing chill stuff in my free time. This often takes me to quiet places in the countryside. I try to visit different places in Bulgaria during the weekends. I like driving, listening to good music, and enjoying nature’s beauty.
What are you working on at the moment?
Recently, I’ve been mostly focused on building a cutting-edge web application for a company producing and marketing office system furniture. The challenge here is to preserve the complex business logic that drives the app yet offer a unique UI presentation. I’m also quite busy shaping up the Continuous Integration and Delivery consulting package in collaboration with our biz dev team.
Do you see any shift in demand now that almost every single organization would need to go digital and undertake modernization and transformation to stay in business?
Worldwide, most businesses would need to revise their budgets for entering a survival mode. In the light of the current situation, however, the catch is that digitalization is no longer a fad; it’s a necessity. That’s our position, and we continue business as usual: we keep focused and do our best to help customers keep thriving.
What’s next for you?
I have a few goals for 2020. On my roadmap is becoming a two-time certified solutions architect and this time for Microsoft Azure. I am quite busy these days with day-to-day work, as well as blogging, so I hope I can start prepping for that soon.
“Everyone should have a dream. It’s important to visualize this dream as a target. Once you start aiming at it, sooner or later – you’ll get there. It just takes patience and hard work.”
We at Resolute Software are shaping concepts into superior quality software solutions. We believe that it is teamwork that creates the magic to achieve exceptional results. We take pride in our team, and we respect and learn from each other.
This is why we started the “Resolute Team Spotlight” series – to help you get to know our exceptional team of experts and get inspired by their zest for what they do. Stay tuned!
Curious how Resolute Software can help your organization modernize and get ready for the new digital era? Get in touch.