In a recent interview, we sat down with Nikolay Stoyanov, a Full-stack developer and a Manager at one of our partners HedgeServ
. As a graduate of Electronic Systems school (TUES) with a bachelor's and master's degree in Radio Communication from the Technical University of Sofia, Nikolay has over 15 years of programming experience, from microcontrollers to full-scale Java-web applications.
We wanted to learn about the technologies Nikolay and his team work on and gain insight into HedgeServ's job interview process and what sets Telerik Academy junior talent apart.
Building solutions for experts
As we previously learned from our interview with Irene Kelleher
, HedgeServ's Chief Information Officer, the company was founded in 2008 with a vision to be a leader in innovative fund administration for the financial service industry. Today, HedgeServ
provides expert client service teams, advanced technology, and market-leading solutions to its clients. It continuously invests in developing its dynamic and diverse global workforce to expand its service offering.
The local office in Sofia, Bulgaria, was established more than 10 years ago, focusing entirely on technology - from network and system engineers to support teams and software developers.
Nikolay Stoyanov is part of one of those teams - Investor Services Development.
"As a team, we are practicing pair and extreme programming. Our primary responsibility is to develop and support three Java-based web applications," he explained.
The solutions Nikolay and his colleagues build help professionals create complex reports on the fly for the investors without sacrificing controls, oversight, or scale.
"In my work, I'm trying to split my days between coding, coaching, and keeping the work fun," adds Nikolay.
This aligns with the company's internal culture. Since its establishment, building a sense of shared purpose and belonging, working together, and sharing knowledge and skills have been key pillars in the development of teams.
The qualities the company and Nikolay himself seek in the junior talent joining the team.
Not a typical job interview
Talking to Nikolay, one interesting thing catches our attention - the interview process at HedgeServ
. At the moment, Nikolai's team is expanding and is seeking Java developers, and the company is always looking for fresh talent to bolster its teams.
"Our interview process is somewhat unique," explains Nikolay. "Applicants will have the chance to work directly with the team and gain firsthand experiences of the team dynamic, work responsibilities, and even participate in pair programming."
How does it look in practice? Well, it's exciting! Nikolay explained to us that it's one interview. Still, it goes for almost a whole day, which is a great opportunity for the applicant to meet with different team members, experience the atmosphere, and get a taste of the solutions the team currently works on.
It's an informal simulation of the work process, different from a short meeting and task.
"We are an agile development team that practices pair programming so that a junior developer will work with the rest of the team on all projects and daily tasks. This includes Java/angular code development, code reviews, writing unit tests, SQL queries, infrastructure support (CI/CD), tracking production issues, etc."
Working with Telerik Academy Alumni
Diving into the topic of interviews and hiring new colleagues, especially junior talent, we spoke with Nikolay about the qualities they look for in candidates. "On the soft skills side, I would say teamwork combined with a positive and proactive attitude," he shared. "In terms of hard skills, I would say knowledge in Java and maybe some experience in mathematics."
Qualities that we also believe in. And speaking of the Academy, we asked Nikolay how he sees our alumni.
"The Academy's graduates are more prepared for the actual product development environment. They understand teamwork and collaboration, which are extremely important in today's multinational distributed teams. Additionally, they have more specific technical knowledge in areas like version control, spring framework, database, etc."
Nikolay's advice to all of you
"Be proactive, eager to learn, and always aim for the most difficult tasks. To fight the fear of failing and jump at the chance to do something nobody wants."
Do you want to change your life and start your journey in the IT industry? The fastest path to becoming an in-demand software developer is waiting for you. Apply for Telerik Academy Alpha Java