Since childhood, Nikolay has been keen on gaming and technologies. However, his high school studies tipped the scales in favor of civil engineering, which also became the direction of his higher education but not for long. The IT world is where Nikolay felt that he would fit best, and he turned out to be correct. Today, after nearly five years of training and working in the IT sector, he is one of the Senior Software developers at Resolute Software.
The engine of change – programming tasks
One of Nikolay’s earliest encounters with programming was at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy. Although learning code from a blackboard “cannot awaken interest in anyone,” as Nikolay says, he decided to give programming a chance. He enrolled in a basics course at SoftUni, to see if he would like the subject and to lay the foundations for his future development. “I learned the basic constructs, and what lit me up were the assignments. The feeling when you manage to solve a problem is great”, says Nikolay. So, in his second year, he hit the restart button, dropping out of university and leaving his job to devote himself to programming. He enrolled in the 6-month Telerik Academy Аlpha program with C# and jumped into the unknown.
“I like difficulties; they challenge me, and the harder it is, the more interesting it is. Software development gives me that challenge, and that’s why I love it. If you give technology a chance and really enjoy what you do, I think it’s not hard to move from any other sector to IT,” he explains.
After successfully graduating from the academy, Nikolay quickly started working as a software consultant in an IT company but admitted he was unsure about his skills. “In the beginning, I struggled with doubts, wondering if I was good enough, if I had made the right decision, but after a few months, I calmed down. Because of the foundation and knowledge, I have obtained at Telerik Academy, things took off right from the start. I entered a project, and everyone was very happy with me. I progressed to the point where the client wanted to work specifically with me”, says Nikolay about his experience before becoming part of Resolute Software.
Lunch invitation or a job interview
At that time, Nikolay decided he needed to change the company and started preparing for job interviews, but one LinkedIn message changed everything. “Hristo Georgiev, CEO of Resolute Software, contacted me on LinkedIn. We had a business lunch, which turned out to be a job interview with Veli Pehlivanov, CTO, and Bulent Karaahmed, VP of engineering. They ambushed me”, Nikolay smiles. So, after the interview and the mandatory personality tests, which Resolute Software also relies heavily on for proper selection, Nikolay joined the company.
In his first project, he worked with Alek (check out our interview with Alek here), with whom they studied together at Telerik Academy Alpha. The project they are both working on is helping to develop a system that allows police officers to enter and manage information about incidents. “The client wanted to modernize an old system, a desktop application, by making it possible to be used on different devices. The client has started working on a solution on their own, but at some point, they realized that they were not doing it right, and then they turned to us for help. So, we rewrote the system on a technology that allows this – now it’s on .NET Core,” Nikolay explains, adding that currently, he continues to work for the same client but on a different solution.
The project he is currently working on is also about modernizing a master system that brings together all the smaller applications used in a police station. “The project is very interesting. Our job is to bring together the huge database the police have so they can find the information they need about people and incidents quickly and easily. The system will also help with the communication and collaboration between the police officers. In addition, it will also show their working hours and location”, Nikolay added. Inspired by his work, he says that one of the best things about Resolute Software is the freedom to choose the projects you get involved in. “This is very important to me because I often like to challenge myself with something new. I’m always looking for a way to get out of my comfort zone.”
“IT is the future – it’s good to watch its development from the front row”
Currently, Nikolay is a Senior Software Engineer at Resolute Sofware, but he doesn’t feel any different because he has been given enough autonomy from the very beginning in the company. However, the most significant change he sees in the challenges on his way now. “In the beginning, it was very difficult for me with new projects because I didn’t know where to start, but now it’s much easier. I already have steps in place that I follow to get into a new project, and it certainly takes a lot less time,” he explains.
Another challenge he faces turns out to be learning, or rather building that habit. However, defining himself as a curious person, Nikolay now cannot imagine going a week without learning something new or solving a problem.
“Learning is a crucial part of our job, and any professional in the industry can confirm that. That’s why the company is currently focusing on having more experienced people make guides for those who want to learn or deepen their knowledge of a specific technology”, says Nikolay.
“We have incredible professionals with 15-20 years of experience in IT. It’s great that I can work closely with such professionals and discuss any ideas I have with them. Discussions occur very casually, sometimes over lunch or in other small conversations. Often when I come up with a solution, I want the opinion of the other senior people in the team to see if I have chosen the right approach. This is another way of learning and improving every day”, he commented. According to him, when you decide to enter the IT world, the most important thing is to give it a chance. “If you like it, you just need to take that first step forward. It’s always hard in the beginning, but it’s definitely worth it. IT is the future, and it’s great to see its development from the front row”.
Nikolay is convinced that to develop and be successful in IT, you need a combination of several qualities. “You should be able to adapt easily in any situation, not fear big challenges, and definitely you should not perceive difficulties as an obstacle. You just have to roll up your sleeves and start from somewhere. And don’t stop developing – just because you graduated from an academy doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end of your studies; it’s just the beginning.”