Nikolay Stefanov is a Research & Development (Open Source Technologies) Manager at BGO Software. He manages the processes of creative technology development and helps to link business strategy with the company’s product portfolio. It takes into account the dynamics of open source technologies and new possibilities they can provide in all parts of the product life cycle.
In short, Niki is responsible for analysis and improvement of product and technology planning processes.
- Niki, please tell us a little bit about your professional experience
11 years ago I started as a regular web developer in a small-sized company in Sofia (by the time I had to deal with my job, finish my Master’s degree in Computer Science and technologies …and get used to being married :)). Six months later I was given the chance to work for another company where I spent almost 7 years – starting as a developer, through becoming a TL of 4 people to finally turning into a Software Architect & Web/Mobile Solutions consultant. After that, destiny brought me back to my home town – Plovdiv where in a time-period of 2 years I was working as an R & D Manager of a newly born sport-betting company. But now I can definitely say that I have found the right place to be – BGO Software.
- How long have you been working for the company and how did everything start?
I can say that I am one of the most recent “additions” to the office as I started working 9 months ago. It was almost as a joke for the date was 1st of April 2015 – April Fool’s day. It all happened like in a movie – only 10 minutes after I told my previous boss “that’s the end, I quit”, I called an HR friend of mine and 5 minutes later we scheduled an interview with Ivailo Ivanov. The rest of it is history.
- What are the biggest challenges in what you do?
Keeping myself positive all the time. Also, multitasking without losing focus. Actually this is not exactly a challenge but something that motivates me and helps me stay productive at the end of the day.
- What are the most fundamental skills you should have for your current position?
Being open-minded, ready to listen and understand the point of view of others. As a friend of mine said once “Nobody is smarter than the other. The only difference is found in what responsibilities we have.” Respectively, it is impossible to work with people effectively unless you consider them as equal.
Being pedantic in following all the details so that everything can be done in the best possible way.
Being able to delegate and trust coworkers.
Demonstrating enough knowledge in all related aspects and being ready to respond adequately if something is going wrong (or when something has already gone wrong).
- As a Research & Development Manager Open Source Technologies, tell us what it is like to be one.
In general, there is a lot of reading involved (nothing is meaningless). Everyone who has such position should know that working with people is like a soup with hundreds ingredients and tastes cooked on a daily basis. There is always something that surprises you, something that grabs your attention and something that you don’t like, but the spoon is in your mouth and you have to swallow.
- My favorite moment of the day is in the morning when I arrive at the office and all sorts of interesting things are waiting to be done
- The first thing I notice about a person is his face and if that person keeps an eye contact when speaking
- The 3 things I cannot work without are: My daily TO-DO list; my headset that helps me be focused (even though in many cases I forget to play music :)); the flames in eyes of my colleagues (my motivation is to make others motivated)
- My 3 favorite online places are: Few cars-related sites, sitepoint, the sites reachable from the google search results 😀
- When I am offline, I am somewhere with my family, doing stupid but fun things with my 2 kids or just relaxing at home
- I love my job because it surprises me every single day
- I get inspired by positive and pro-active people
- If I had a superpower, it would be that of making everyone positive and optimistic
- On my nightstand you will find a clock and my phone
- I come to work full of energy
- I learn the most from my mistakes
- If I had to describe myself in 3 words, they would be enthusiastic, with an eye for details and friendly
- The strangest thing I believed in as a child – I can’t remember, probably everything used to be strange back then
- One person I consider a genius is – sorry guys, I said “nobody is smarter than the other”…
- My favorite quote is (no quotes by Paulo Coelho if possible) “The things that happen are those you believe in.”
- If I win from the lottery, I will build a free school where kids can learn not according to the “strange” government rules, but according to their personal advantages and interests (or more than just one school… aaa, how much did you say I’ll win?)
- If I have to describe to my grandparents what I do for a living – working with IT guys
- My philosophy in life is – There’s always a way