A successful transition to Java Developer: 2 Alpha Alumni journey


A successful transition to Java Developer: 2 Alpha Alumni journey

Transitioning to a software development career has many advantages, such as growing demand, various career options, and endless opportunities to learn and grow. The IT sector is also among the highest-paid industries and offers an excellent work-life balance and job satisfaction. 

So, if you've been thinking of making a career change and joining the IT sector, there is no better time than now. 

Just like Raya Minkova and Dimitar Petrov did.  


Today they are both software developers at EGT Digital, a company part of our partner network, but 6 months ago, they were in a different roles.  

What changed?   

Raya and Dimitar took a decision that changed their life and career. A decision that led them to Telerik Academy Alpha Java

Raya and Dimitar are one of our Alpha alumni who showed us that regardless of their background, they can complete the journey "from zero to hero". And they did!  

Learn more about their life-changing journey toward an IT career and how Alpha Java helped them do this! 

Hi, Raya, Dimitar! Let’s start from the beginning – can you tell us more about yourself and what were you doing before Telerik Academy?  

Raya: I am Raya Minkova, 24 years old. I am studying business administration in Bulgaria, and before that, I graduated in business law in Vienna. Before the Academy, I worked in a different field from programming and was technical support. 

Dimitar: My name is Dimitar Petrov, and I’m 35 years old with an economics degree. My previous experience before Telerik Academy was in a completely different field, and I managed technical and customer service teams. 

You both didn’t have any previous programming experience. What were the first steps that you took? 

Raya: I prepared for the Alpha program with the free programming fundamentals course before Alpha Java. In addition to the sessions in it, I also spent extra time solving problems, reading theory and additional information so I could be ready for the exam. 


: Just like Raya, I started my preparation with the free fundamentals course. I took the early bird exam before that but was not accepted, so I joined the free course, which helped me prepare for the final exam. The fundamentals course gives you the basics to ace the Alpha Java entrance exam. 

So, the next step after the free fundamentals course is Alpha Java - you apply for the program and get accepted. What was the biggest challenge for you during the program, and how did you overcome them? 

Raya: From the first day in Alpha Java, we dived straight into the deep. The program was very intense, so I had doubts about whether I would be able to cope and whether it was for me. What helped me a lot in this situation were the conversations with my colleagues, with whom we studied in a buddy group, and the consultations with the great trainers. The technical and soft skills trainer told us that the program is designed to replicate the real-work environment where we won't have all the time to understand a concept. Still, it will teach us to find our way around quickly and to sift through the necessary information quickly. Once I believed and trusted them, things took off, and I started moving at my own pace. In the beginning, I was comparing myself to other students who were more experienced with programming and were further along. I wondered if I wasn't falling behind, but it turned out this was another precious lesson. I realized we should only compare ourselves to who we were yesterday. 

Dimitar: My experience at the beginning of Alpha Java is similar to Raya's experience. The whole structure and organization of the program are well thought out. During the entire time, you have someone to rely on, and you don't feel alone. The teamwork in buddy groups helps you realize that you are all in the same situation, so you help each other as you share this experience. 


Your final project at Alpha Java is to create a real-world web application from scratch. Can you share more about your projects? 

Dimitar: The final project is one of the best things the Academy gives you. You apply everything you have learned in the last couple of months into an end-to-end web application. It shows you what skills you've acquired and what knowledge you have now compared to the beginning when you probably haven't even imagined this. 

Raya: The feeling of making a whole web application after only 5-6 months is amazing. I realized that I had learned so much in such a short time. The final project in Alpha Java is quite similar to the projects we are working on now in my work. So, it was a good preparation for the real-work environment, and I wasn't so stressed and overwhelmed when I started my first IT job. 

How was your experience finding your first job after graduating from Alpha Java?

Dimitar: Only 10 days after graduating from Alpha Java, I had 6 interviews, from which I received several jobs offers. The whole process of finding a job was fast and well organized. I chose to continue my professional development at EGT Digital - one of the Telerik Academy partner companies. 

Raya: My job search process went similarly. Within 2 weeks of graduating, I found a job and accepted an offer. During this time, I had 3 interviews and got 3 job offers. Choosing where to start my career was difficult because all three companies were top employers, but I accepted the offer from EGT Digital.

What did you find most valuable in the Alpha Java program? 

Dimitar: The program is 100% focused on practice. Before joining the Academy, I wondered if I could apply what I'll learn in the program afterwards in a real-world environment. 6 months later, I can say that Alpha Java was completely practical and mirrored the work I do now. Besides the technical and soft skills you learn in the program, you get in touch with top employers looking for new employees. They introduce themselves and present to you their own companies and teams, allowing you to get an insight into the IT market and choose the best place for you. 

What's your advice for someone who wants to transition to a development career? 

Dimitar: My advice to you is don't hesitate to try! Because, after a while, you'll probably regret not trying it. If you start your journey with Telerik Academy, you will make it. The Alpha program is designed so that every person can succeed on the path to an IT career. During these 6 months in Alpha, there will be a lot of learning, but you will acquire technical and soft skills that you can't get anywhere else in Bulgaria in such a concentrated way. 

Raya: In addition to what Dimitar said, I would encourage you that it doesn't matter what field you come from, what you've done, how old you are, or even if you have IT experience. If you are interested in programming and willing to put in the time and effort, Telerik Academy Alpha is undoubtedly the right place to start. 

I can compare the Academy with the following metaphor: the Alpha Java program is a rocket in which everyone who gets on is a beginner. Still, the moment the rocket takes off and 6 months later, when it lands on the planet of programming, the people who get off that rocket are already well-prepared talents for an IT career. Telerik Academy can give you a lot, but you also have to be willing to put in the necessary effort to take all it gives you. 

Now it’s time to follow your dreams - apply for Alpha Java and launch your successful IT career in 6 months! 


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