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Telerik Academy’s Trainers Advice: How to handle the current situation

Alpha
21/05/2020
Students in a hall during lecture by Telerik Academy trainer


Are you ready to learn some secrets?

We are entering the homes of four of our trainers to learn how they are doing during the COVID-19 outbreak. As you know, we transitioned all of our training from an onsite to a 100% online format at the first signs of what was to come.

We did it swiftly, and despite not being able to work next to each other, we are in constant communication.

The first secret is that we don’t always talk about work. Yes, shocking, we know! We share useful materials, we ask each other for help and advice. We organize Friday after work beers through Zoom.

And you know what? This helps a lot. As we wrote in one of our previous blog posts (among other ideas how to be productive), keeping the connection with your colleagues, schoolmates, and friends is of the utmost importance.

This inspired us to share with you how four of Telerik Academy’s trainers are handling the current situation. We hope that their advice will help.

(The second secret is that we are not entering their homes physically because we are keeping social distance)

Meet Petya, Edo, Boyan, and Vladi

First, a short introduction is required!

If you are a past or present student of the Academy, you may already know them, but let us introduce them for the rest of you.

Petya Grozdarska is a soft skills trainer. In Telerik Academy, we don’t teach you only the technical side of the programming, but we dedicate 20% of our Alpha programs for the development of soft skills like teamwork, giving and receiving feedback, preparation for work interviews, etc.

“For me, soft skills are the secret sauce that can make an employee into a professional and a professional into a true leader”.

Petya always says that she is so happy to have the opportunity to work with such a motivated and determined bunch of people - the students and the team. A true soft skills trainer, right?


Picture of Petya in the lobby of Campus X
Petya Grozdarska, Soft Skills Trainer, Telerik Academy

“You can see me delivering lectures to our students, coding, and doing the thing I like the most - front-end”, Edward Evlogiev or Edo, as we call him, shares with us.

Outside the Academy, he likes playing pool or chilling near a mountain spring. Well, it’s bad that right now this is kind of forbidden, but at least he has more time for his other hobbies - playing Age of Empires II and Heroes III.

Boyan Hadjiev is also a soft skills trainer and he also teaches International Relations at The University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

“I’m a professor by calling. Soft skills trainer by trade”, as he likes to introduce himself. We believe him.

Lastly, meet Vladimir Venkov. He leads the technical classes in our Alpha Java and QA programs for more than two years now. He is the one who prepares our students to become successful Java developers.

“For me, programming is like solving everyday situations – it is much easier if you focus on “What is the most suitable solution?”, rather than thinking about a way out of the situation”, shares Vladi.

Interestingly, Vladi was also a trainer in the field of practical psychology. No wonder he is so good at training the Academy’s talents!

Now that you know them, we can start asking questions.

What was the hardest thing for you after we started operating 100% online?

Edo: Maybe not the answer you were expecting, but the hardest thing for me was to stop waking up at 6:30 a.m. My biological clock was not quick to adjust, but now everything is fine, and I’m waking up at 9:00 a.m.

Picture of Edo in the lobby of Campus X
Edward Evlogiev, Technical Trainer, Telerik Academy

Petya: I think that the hardest thing was the sudden decrease in person to person communication and doing every meeting online.

I would be lying if I say that the uncertainty of the situation didn’t bother me at all. What helped me was how quickly we organized the work and training processes. The clear measurements at work helped me feel secure and put a much-needed order in my everyday life.

Boyan: In the beginning, the hardest thing was to do my work tasks without the in-person interaction with the rest of the team. I missed the office atmosphere, the colleagues, and sometimes the stable internet connection.

Vladi: Taking regular rest breaks during workdays. We had to prepare the transition from onsite to 100% online format expeditious and in a way that we can ensure our students, applicants, and partners that the quality remains at the same stellar levels. And we put a lot of work in a short time to make sure everything runs smoothly. I’m happy that we succeeded to do it the way we wanted.

How did you tackle this?

Edo: Well, I don’t think that I can take credit for this - it’s just that my biological clock finally started working the way I wanted from it to (laughs).

Petya: What helped me the most was my previous experience working from home. I did it for nearly two years, and I knew that the most important thing is to set a tight schedule and to follow it. As we all know, working from home can be great, but it can also be unproductive.

So, I’ve set time frames for waking up and going to bed, I’ve built little rituals for kickstarting the workday, scheduled small breaks during the day, a quick exercise in the afternoon, and something crucial - turning off the laptop once the workday is finished.

And one other thing - don’t cut your connection with friends, family, and colleagues. Friday after-work drinks with colleagues, online quizzes through Teams, even dancing with friends - all of these are small moments that invigorate me.

Vladi: Morning stretching! I start the day with some push-ups, and I spent some time on the stationary bicycle. It’s simple biology, something I learned a lot of time ago in practical psychology. Stress and unrest are nothing more than adrenaline. There are a lot of ways to deal with adrenaline, but the most effective one for me is to sweat it out. And the beauty of it is that you can do it from your home!

The setup of a dedicated workspace helped me a lot as well. It doesn’t have to be something complicated or a whole separate room. For me, a chair and a table were more than enough.

Boyan: Simple, I visualized that soon all of this will be over and we will be together again.

Picture of Vladi in the lobby of Campus X
Vladimir Venkov, Technical Trainer, Telerik Academy

Can you share your secret weapons for dealing with the situation - sport, apps, something else?

Edo: I must admit, there are moments that I am aggravated by the need to stay home. My secret method of dealing with this is to stop what I am doing and focus on a favorite book, watching how professionally John Oliver blasts Trump, or how good Ronnie O’Sullivan is at Snooker. The idea is to ease my mind.

Petya: Three things are helping me deal with the current situation.

The first is cooking. I found out that I can eat more healthily when I plan my meals. The great thing is that this way I combine the benefits for my health with the creative process of food plating. To manage the balance, I follow Yana Petrova from CoKitchen, Michaela Beloreshka, a nutritionist, and Ani Klasanova, co-founder of Roobar/Roo Brands. As it turns out, I “eat” a lot through my eyes.

My second weapon for mass destruction of the difficult situation is yoga. I’ve been doing yoga for the past 5 years, and it helps me to stay fit physically and mentally. I follow the classes of Vio from Yoga Vibe Sofia and Mytray from Santosha Yoga.

And last, but not least - meditation. It helps me be more focused, balanced, and relaxed. I can recommend this podcast. Check it out.

Vladi: Apart from sport and workspace, my “weapons” include notebook, sticky notes, and task management software. Also, I use a timer not to forget to take short breaks. Taking care of a pet is also very helpful.

Boyan: Board games with the kids (5 and 2 years old) and taking care of the garden - before I’ve never had time for planting flowers!


Picture of Boyan in the lobby of Campus XBoyan Hadjiev, Soft Skills Trainer, Telerik Academy

What is the most important advice you want to share with our readers?

Edo: I’m afraid that I don’t have anything particularly wise, but I want you to remember that we can save the world by staying home and watching TV. Don’t screw this up. Joking aside, invest the additional free time in learning a new skill or build upon your expertise.

Petya: Settle into a routine that will be your solid ground in the uncertainty of today’s world. Find yourself a hobby that will help you relax and let go - it’s best if it is something physical. Socialize, share with your friends, and don’t forget that this will pass.

Vladi: Don’t forget that you are the change in your life. If you feel tired, find a way to relax. If you are worried, find a way to calm yourself down. If you are overwhelmed by tasks, try to organize and prioritize.

It’s not easy, but the result is worth it. Trust me.

Boyan: Focus on the things in your control and don’t think about those that are out of your reach. Value all the small things and be grateful for what you have.

Those are just four of Telerik Academy’s trainers. They can be your teachers and mentors. Check our Telerik Academy Alpha programs and seize the opportunities ahead of you.

Alpha
21/05/2020

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