Hristo Todorov: Don’t follow paradigms, keep learning! Don’t be a mushroom
In his mind and soul Hristo is a developer. Today he is part of the Tick42 team, where he leads the development of UI enterprise applications for one of the top 5 finance institutions in the USA.
However, Hristo hasn’t always been a professional software engineer. Three years ago, he was an entrepreneur and finance consultant with a focus on business models and equity trading. He studied Economics in Vienna and International Finance in Portsmouth, England because his childhood dream had been to be a financial broker. Over time he realizes this is not where his true passion is and starts over. At 30, he successfully applies to Telerik Academy, and soon after graduating, he joins Tick42.
A new beginning
Hristo dives into software development without any previous experience. Realizing he needs change, he follows his friend’s advice and applies to the Academy. With every new course he acquires new knowledge and confidence in his own abilities. And most importantly, among the lines of code, he builds many new friendships.
„Since my very first days at Telerik Academy, I realized I am among a lot of young, driven and good-natured people, which was inspiring. I am not going to lie and say it was easy. But, it was definitely worth it. Having the support and mentorship of the trainers was indispensable to my success at the Academy.”
Hristo believes there’s nothing in this world someone can’t achieve, if he or she puts their mind to it and works very hard to make it happen. With this mindset, Hristo successfully graduates from Telerik Academy and soon after, he is invited to a job interview at Tick42.
„Telerik Academy introduced me to the perfect company. Leaving the interview, I knew this was the right place for my next chapter. I signed my contract the next day. Good things happen fast. Joining Tick42, it was a great feeling back then, and today – a year and a half later - I feel excellent.“
Looking back on his previous job, Hristo associates it with working under constant stress in an outdated environment. Today, he feels very happy, both with his work and the team.
„My life changed so much I can’t even believe it. Working with such positive and interesting people is great. Going to lunch with my colleagues re-charges me every day. On the team there are a lot of interesting people with diverse backgrounds. One of our teammates was a semi-professional football player; another one – a sports kinesiotherapist, certified in England. Having both of them on our football team is a great advantage.”
Hristo continues to apply what he’s learnt at Telerik Academy on daily basis. The tech and communication skills he acquired at the Academy are priceless to him – more specifically writing high quality code because of the dynamic nature of every new project and the need to scale, test and improve the code quickly and effectively over time.
According to Hristo, Tick42 is a company that highly values the acquisition of new knowledge and skills.
„Keep learning“ is one of our core values together with „Don’t be a mushroom“. These are my two favorite principles because they encourage us to always improve, be creative and think of new ideas that we can share with the founders. Can it get any better than this?”
The two projects Hristo is working on are being used by hundreds to thousands of bankers every day, making his job extremely important with no room for mistakes. But his previous work experience and everything he’s learnt at Telerik Academy provide the perfect mix to help him cope with his multiple responsibilities – from writing and testing code, scoping the work and assigning it among his teammates to onboarding new colleagues and working with customers.
„My previous experience as an equity trader has taught me how to manage my time extremely well, be able to focus and remain calm under stress. Having also been an entrepreneur for 5 years I know that it’s critical to have a clear split of responsibilities in the team and invest in the development of our talent.”
„I take part in the on-boarding of new colleagues, all of them Telerik Academy Alpha graduates. The fact that they’ve survived an intensive 6-month program guarantees that they will start delivering very quickly, following best practices and completing their work on time. On their very first days on the job I try to engrain in them that they should not follow paradigms blindly but always think what the best tool and solution is for the specific case they’re working on. And not to be afraid to make decisions.”
Final advice to the current students
„Telerik Academy will give you as much as you’re willing to take from it. So try to get as much as you can, you’ll be impressed by the final result.”