Nikolay Stefanov: From Codesprints to Mountain Sprints

BGO Software
27 Aug 2023 5 min read
Nikolay Stefanov BGO Software

Upon meeting Niki Stefanov in 2017, I was genuinely taken aback by his modest and composed demeanor. His communication is concise and direct, making you feel heard and encouraged. Niki {Nikolay = Niki, in Bulgaria we usually have a lot of nicknames ): } has been an integral part of BGO Software for the past 8 years, making indispensable contributions to numerous projects. With his extensive expertise in software development across diverse sectors, particularly in Open Source technologies.

Now, let's delve into what insights he has to offer.


Yana: Who is Niki Stefanov in BGO?

Niki: The others should say who I am, but let me tell you what BGO “in Niki” is. It's like my second family because of the amazing friends I work with. It might sound cliché, but it's true. Working with caring and dedicated colleagues brings me joy, and the responsibility I feel toward them keeps me focused on achieving what we have defined together😊. I have high expectations when it comes to teamwork, both at work and in my personal life. There's no "your job" or "my job" mentality for me. It's all about being “a team”. Helping each other, growing together, and appreciating everyone's efforts are essential to me and to the people around me. So, to put it simply, Niki is just one of the many fantastic individuals at BGO who make it a great place to be.

Yana: You have various hobbies and also I know you are into sports. How does sport reflect your work? Is there a common thing between hiking and leading?

Niki: Absolutely, I'm a person with a wide range of hobbies and interests into sports. I used to do 14 years of full-contact karate…skiing, biking (then become father and got some pause), later engaged rock climbing and free diving… 5.5 years I am obsessed with CrossFit, and for the last 2 years I coupled it with trail running (with my wife).. I like practice very challenging things, since they test my mind and body. I actively seek out things that others tend to avoid, and that's what I consider my way of gamifying life. I constantly look for challenges that push me beyond my comfort zone and the sport gives me that thrill.

Engaging in sports enriched me with the ability to set ambitious goals and accomplish them through unwavering determination. This not only enhances my personal life but also has a positive impact on my professional endeavors. Not on a last place the sport allows me to “switch of” from the pretty “mind intensive” working days and gives me many shared emotions with my family (the real one :D)

Yana: Tell me what is like to be working in the digital health sector.

Niki: It's always nice to know that my work has a positive impact on people in need. While this brings a significant level of responsibility, it also serves as a strong motivator for me to pay meticulous attention to even the smallest details and maintain precision in everything I undertake.

Furthermore, the digital health sector is full of potential, offering countless opportunities for innovation and creativity, where technology plays a pivotal role. It's a field where we must be able to "glue" several opposing aspects - high security, critical performance, very large volumes of data... all that while ensuring reliability. Taking all these factors into consideration, we are akin to versatile "Swiss knives" in the tech domain, constantly embracing new challenges and never succumbing to boredom.

Yana: You are leading the Open source department at BGO, leading eHealth and AI projects. If I was a junior developer, what advice would you give me that would help me in my career?

Niki: In my early days as a young developer and a new father, I received a valuable life lesson from one of my initial CTOs. He shared with me the following wisdom: “Putting in endless hours of work may bring you income in short term, but if you shift your perspective and begin investing that time in your own growth, you will increase your value and knowledge, making you beneficial in every company” …It was worth pondering… So I stopped my “spare free lancing" and started spending my “free time” in thinking and reading about the problems in mine main job – in 1year I had a team of almost 10 people…
So I would advice you: “Don’t waste your time or wait someone to give you time to learn – it is all about you!”
Committing to self-investment and personal development demands perseverance and self-discipline. These qualities are crucial not only in our personal lives but also in our professional endeavors. We all need to continuously learn and strive for improvement, never settling for complacency.

Yana: What is the most important skill a leader should have, per your experience?

Niki: I can’t say it is a single one, but the skills that helps me on daily base are:

  • Be able to listen and be able to do all the “dirty” job with your colleagues.
  • Having a problem-solving mindset is a fundamental aspect of who I am. I derive great satisfaction from assisting others to the point where it has become a joke that difficult tasks should be assigned to me.

However, I perceive them not as burdens but as exciting challenges. By consistently setting ambitious goals and approaching every situation with a willingness to help, I have earned the trust of those around me, fostering a sense of reliability and dependability.

Yana: What is the most valuable thing for you at BGO?

Niki: At BGO, there are two invaluable aspects that hold great significance for me. Firstly, it's the empowering freedom to make decisions and be accountable for them. Secondly, it's the trust bestowed upon me by the management. These individuals embody openness and demonstrate a genuine willingness to support the growth of each team member, provided they not only express their aspirations but also actively work toward them.

Author: Yana Neycheva, Technical Recruiter at BGO Software - the digital health lab

What’s your goal today?

Hire us to develop your
product or solution

Since 2008, BGO Software has been providing dedicated IT teams to Fortune
100 Pharmaceutical Corporations, Government and Healthcare Organisations, and educational institutions.

If you’re looking to flexibly increase capacity without hiring, check out:

On-Demand IT Talent Product Development as a Service

Get ahead of the curve
with tech leadership

We help startups, scale-ups & SMEs create cutting-edge healthcare products and solutions by providing them with the technical consultancy and support they need to break through.

If you’re looking to scope and validate your Health solution, check out:

Project CTO as a Service

See our Case Studies

Wonder what it takes to solve some of the toughest problems in Health (and how to come up with high-standard, innovative solutions)?

Have a look at our latest work in digital health:

Browse our case studies

Contact Us

We help healthcare companies worldwide get the value, speed, and scalability they need-without compromising on quality. You’ll be amazed of how within-reach top service finally is.

Have a project in mind?

Contact us