Our partners from Leanplum more than doubled their Bulgarian team last year and plan on keeping the growth for 2019. To learn more about the company, its goals and culture, we sat and talked with Vassil Yordanov, Senior Product Designer at Leanplum.
Vassil joined Leanplum almost a year ago coming from Telerik (now Progress), where had spent almost a decade. His responsibilities today cover the full spectrum of design activities a product might need - from conceptualizing and preparing initial low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes, through customer validation, to high-fidelity UI assets.
What does Leanplum do and what is the focus of the Bulgarian office?
Leanplum is a mobile engagement platform. We develop solutions for mobile marketing automation — aiming at user growth, engagement, retention, and personalization. This helps global brands like Tinder, Grab, Tesco drive long-term, and meaningful customer relationships via customized campaigns and deep insights into users’ real-time behavior. The ultimate goal is to accelerate product innovation in areas such as machine learning, cross-channel automation, 1:1 personalization, and build the next generation marketing cloud.
Leanplum Product Design Team enjoying ice cream @ Google Hardware Store SoHo
Leanplum's Bulgarian office is primarily focused on providing predictive, exploratory and actionable analytics in three main categories — Omni-channel Insights, Campaign Insights and Audience Insights (User Segmentation). The autonomous teams called “Pods” follow a methodology (inspired by best practices from companies like Spotify and Amazon) and create a collaborative environment where one can develop with ownership and innovate at scale. On average, we work with 80M active users, generating petabytes of data and 23B actions per day.
Why did you choose to partner with Telerik Academy?
Leanplum shares Telerik Academy’s passion for knowledge, talent development and community building! The partnership between Leanplum and Telerik Academy looks quite natural to me as both organizations are examples for Bulgarian startup ecosystem’s success stories.
Telerik Academy graduates are among the best junior specialists in the region while Leanplum as a company can offer them an individual career path, world-class working environment, and challenging product development problems.
Together with colleagues from Telerik/Progress I have actually been teaching a couple of Photoshop and UX courses at Telerik Academy between 2013 and 2017. It was quite exciting for us to create practical courses and meet passionate students who face the world of design for the first time. As challenging as it can be, it is satisfying to see how front-end specialists step into the shoes of designers and rediscover what is possible.
Vassil Yordanov at Telerik Academy
Is Leanplum’s culture different compared to other companies in the industry – and if so, how?
I remember my first day at Leanplum! I arrived quite early at the office just to find out that most people were still at home. Amused in the beginning, I quickly realized that Leanplum has a culture of its own that puts people first and lives by the key values — Lead Humbly, Be a Doer, Push Innovation, Skip Politics, and Show Gratitude.
A year later, I can surely say that culture is deeply rooted in Leanplum’s DNA! The company invests a remarkable amount of time, efforts and resources into developing practices (such as Big Talk Lunches, weekly Unwinds, Culture Buddy and Coffee Chats, Donut-be-strangers initiative, etc.) that help team members build meaningful relationships both personally and professionally. I truly appreciate the opportunity to work from home whenever needed and the strong focus on execution that empowers us to get things done.
Leanplum Sofia Team
Transparency and diversity are another two factors that strongly differentiate Leanplum from other companies. Team members represent a unique mix of more than 26 nationalities, personalities, and professional backgrounds, who passionately work from six offices around the world. Every Monday we get together for an All-Hands meeting — presenting past week’s results, openly discuss company's strategic plans, welcoming new employees, announcing Peer bonuses, etc.
Another example that stands out and speaks about how Leanplum supports productivity and creativity is the Odd Week. It takes place at the beginning of each quarter and provides Product Development team members with time and resources to work on new/own ideas. Every employee has the freedom to choose a project and the opportunity to develop a direct impact on the overall product.
Alexander Georgiev is a passionate gamer who used to work in the gaming industry, coaching others and commenting on tournaments. At the age of 23 and with no previous programming experience, Alexander joined Telerik Academy Alpha in order to pursue a new career - this time in IT. Just a month after successfully completing the program, he joined Experian as a Junior Software Developer.Read the story
Telerik Academy Alpha is an-depth practical training for a successful career start in IT. Our number one goal with every Alpha program and cohort is to prepare our students to land their first jobs in IT and help leading tech companies grow and scale by sourcing master junior talent.Read the story
An alumnus of the Harvard University and the German Film Academy in Berlin, Ivan Ivanov had a film directing career. When he decided to come back to Bulgaria, however, he realized he needed to pursue a more steady occupation. With previous experience in tech but no real-world programming skills, Ivan joined Telerik Academy Alpha to bring his personal story to a happy end.Read the story