One couple’s journey to successful IT careers with Alpha C#


How one couple kickstarted their IT careers with Alpha C#

Мeet Yana Doneva - а Data Scientist at Theoremus, a Bulgarian tech company, focused on creating solutions that address urban development challenges and offer efficient optimization alternatives for modern cities, including Sofia. A programming job that she loves, but wouldn't be able to do a year ago.

What changed?

It happened because of Yana's motivation to change her career and be a successful developer. It all came together with the help of our 6-month Alpha C# program.

After studying at the American College of Sofia, the University of Glasgow and the University of Cologne, Yana decided to follow a new professional path and kickstart her IT career. And what better place to do it than Telerik Academy Alpha C#? But there was something more - she didn't do it alone.   

Along with the tech and soft skills trainers, team mentors, career coach and the rest of the students in the program (around 40 other like-minded people), Yana shared the whole journey with someone else, someone special. Her husband - Dimitar Donev, a software developer at Wize Solutions. 

Yana and Dimitar successfully graduated from the Telerik Academy Alpha C# program in June 2021.

How did their journey to a successful IT career go?


We invited Yana to share with us more about their story and how they decided to switch careers. Keep reading, and don't forget, that you still have the chance to follow their example and transform your life – apply to the Alpha C# program until 11:59 pm on February 4!  

Hi, Yana! Let’s take you a little back - when did you decide you wanted to pursue an IT career? And how did you choose Telerik Academy Alpha?

My husband and I spent most of the pandemic locked down in Glasgow, Scotland. During that time I realized that the academic career as a PhD student in Math I had been pursuing since 2017 would require me to relocate every year or two and thus, spend most of the time away from my loved ones. Having said that, the search for a highly-qualified technical job, which does not require one to move between countries every few years, began there. I enjoy solving complex tasks analytically and conducting research. Add up one’s passion for new technologies to the equation and it is easy to see that programming is the most optimal career choice for people with a professional profile like mine.

Dimitar had similar considerations, and right after we decided to switch careers, our good friend and former classmate from the American College of Sofia - Teodor Peev, recommended us to sign up for the 6-month Alpha program with C#. This is the perfect opportunity to publicly express our gratitude towards Teodor Peev - Thanks, Tedou.

Why did you choose C# for your IT career start? Do you use any other programming languages in your work? 

To be honest, we applied for the Alpha C# program as it was the next scheduled one at the time. In retrospect, I can safely say that no matter the language, the Telerik Academy experience would have been equally challenging and useful. Every graduate is sufficiently prepared to start working as a junior developer and in my honest opinion, to even fully switch to a different language or framework within a year or so. Consider myself as an example - I graduated with C#, I currently work with Python, but I am also starting to use Java.

Can you share with us more about your work at Theoremus? What are you currently working on? How do you spend a typical workday? 

I started at Theoremus in March 2022. The team consists of 15 people, which was one of the main reasons I was super excited about joining Theoremus’s team. The smaller the company, the more responsibilities and opportunities to learn about different components and technologies. In order to introduce me to the ongoing projects, my colleagues assigned me to work on an individual project for the public transport platform.

Currently I am constructing an automated algorithm for calculating origin-destination matrices - objects, which allow for the analysis of the movement of people based on their commute within the day. The algorithm is written in Python, but in order to integrate it with the rest of the software projects, I started working with Kafka, Cassandra, Java, Airflow, Conduktor, Kubernetes.

What I love in particular about the job is the freedom to conduct research and to improve whatever can be improved. A typical day at Theoremus consists of grabbing a coffee (or 3) and having nice conversations with my awesome colleagues, reading and researching academic papers published by members of the public transport scientific community, coding, debugging and reading documentation - after all, 4 hours of debugging can always save us 5 minutes of reading documentation, right?

One of the best things about working at Theoremus is the fact that we do not waste precious time in pointless meetings, which is not the case in larger companies and especially in corporations. It is definitely a first for me, but I am proud to admit that I wake up excited every morning to go to work, knowing that I have the opportunity to improve the quality of life of the people who live in the same city as I do. 

What are the most valuable skills you learned during Alpha C#?  

That would definitely be the solid foundation of technical & programming skills. I use most of the concepts we covered in the Alpha program on a daily basis - including, but not limited to OOP, REST-ful APIs, data structures and algorithms. However, it is also extremely important to recognise the soft skills component of the program - I managed to significantly improve my communication skills.

Furthermore, I learned a lot about interesting practices and experiments, conducted within the professional environment, which enhance the workflow efficiency.

And what is the most important lesson you have learned in Telerik Academy Alpha C#?  

Undoubtedly, the most valuable lessons are those shared by the people we encounter - the trainers, the mentors, the career coaches, the coordinators, the classmates - everyone. The guidance and support they offer is incredibly helpful throughout the whole Telerik Academy journey and beyond. I want to thank Kiro, Radko, Boyan, Snezhi, and Tsveti :). Your help and efforts are greatly appreciated and made it possible for me to land my dream IT job.

Thank you for this conversation. We wish you the best of luck, and before we say goodbye, we have one last question - what advice would you give to our new Telerik Academy students?  

The following is a message to all of you, who are afraid of taking on challenges with mathematics and/or algorithms - maths is just a language, typically used to express relations between quantities and phenomena. Think about it as you would think of any other language. The most important skill you would need in order to be successful as a developer, is the ability to conduct precise keyword search. There is a high probability that whatever you are currently trying to do, someone else has done before you. Hence, search engines like Google and platforms like StackExchange and StackOverflow will be your new go-to places.

Programming is more similar to solving a puzzle, rather than solving algebraic or geometrical problems. The anxiety or fear, induced by the thought of facing maths again, are purely products of your imagination and have no projection in reality whatsoever. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Best of luck!

Are you ready to take on your journey to a successful IT career? Then don’t hesitate and apply to Telerik Academy Alpha C#

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