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From student at Telerik Academy to a career at Amazon

Alpha
12/06/2017

Vassil Dininski, Amazon Web Services - Telerik Academy Alumni

Vasil Dininski is a web developer at the Amazon Development Center in Edinburgh, UK. A few years earlier, programming
was just a hobby for him. He studied “International Economic Relations” at the University of National and World Economy. Driven by his love for information technology, Vasil applied and was accepted to Telerik Academy. As soon as he graduated from the Academy, he started working as a junior software developer at Telerik, and since the beginning of 2017, he is now part of Amazon’s team.

Learn directly from him how, with the help of Telerik Academy, a lot of effort and perseverance, he managed to turn his hobby into a profession that has taken him to one of the leading technology companies in the world.

Tell us more about your work in Amazon? How did you start and what are your main tasks today?
Interestingly enough, Amazon contacted me, not the other way around. At first, I was a bit skeptical about the LinkedIn invitation, but I decided to check whether it’s real and if I’m “a good fit for Amazon”. I replied, and this is how my adventure begun. The application process is lengthy and thorough – there are several rounds of interviews. One of the driving principles in Amazon is to hire people who can raise the bar in the company. Also, they are looking for people who want to contribute to and enhance Amazon’s technical culture and knowledge. That’s why I wanted to show my best.

The effort paid off. At the moment I work in the internal staffing systems in Amazon, where each solution must be built to work for 10 users as well as for 10 million users. Amazon works with millions of users and billions of orders daily, so it’s normal that every solution we built must be scalable to work for thousands, millions and even billions of customers at once, and the experience must be the same every time. This alone is a great challenge.

How did your training at Telerik Academy contribute to your professional development?
In my view, the practical orientation of the courses is one of the fundamental factors for success not only of the program, but of the students too. That’s why the training is extremely useful – for students and people with formal IT education, for people with engineering interests, as well as for everyone with logical thinking, who are looking for their calling. Don’t get me wrong – the Academy will not give you everything. You need a lot of hard work and love for whatever you choose to do.

Telerik Academy not only teaches modern technology, algorithms or best practices. It also teaches critical and logical thinking. It teaches to not be afraid to ask when you don’t know something, and to trust your teammates. Those elements are an integral part of the work of the software engineer. For me personally, the Academy gave me the necessary skills and knowledge to turn my hobby into a profession. It introduced me to a lot of active people with common interests and created a friendly atmosphere of open communication, which is a key element in our profession.

What are the most valuable skills and knowledge you received at Telerik Academy that you use today?
I’d say that the most valuable skills are not directly related to programming, but rather connected to the work culture in the IT industry. Everyone can read several programming books and lay the foundations. They can even get good. But the Academy teaches much more than this. It creates a community of the learning people. It helps you understand that very often the problems you face have already been solved by someone else. And this motivates you to search for and learn new information. Constantly. Last but not least, the Academy teaches you how to learn effectively and how to solve even the most complex of problems.

As for knowledge, the JavaScript and C# courses which introduce two different paradigms to the students were incredible useful for me. Object-oriented programming and functional programming – two radically different ways of thinking. This is only a small part of what the Academy teaches and develops as ways of thinking among its students.

What advice would you give to the people who want to apply to Telerik Academy?
I’d advise them to dedicate themselves completely to their future. If you plan to attend Telerik Academy, then you must believe that software engineering is your thing. Do your best. I’ve noticed that the people who perform well at Telerik Academy, also perform excellent afterwards. The more effort you put and the more you improve, the more advantages you get to reap at the end.

Alpha
12/06/2017

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