Radoslal Petkov is one of the youngest developers at Sirma. He is 21 years old and started at the company when he was in 10th grade at the Sofia High School of Mathematics. Now he is a student at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridsky and study Computer Science, works on a big projects at Sirma, has his own product (Chat Bot Melinda) and his own team.
When did you get interested in IT and how long after that you wrote your first code?
When I was 9 years old my father led me to his office. There were a lot of computers around and the only thing I could do was to play some computer games. I think that was the moment that gave the spark to my curiosity about those ‘strange’ machines. Later I had the chance to have personal computer at home and I was able to spend more time on it.
How long have you been working for Sirma and what was your first position?
I have been working at Sirma since I was 17. Actually it was my birthday on my first day as intern. Before Sirma I was doing some Competitive Programming and game development but neither I had habits of writing clean code nor I had deep understanding of design patterns and coding conventions. When I started at Sirma, I went through a Java course organized by the company, with the great help of my mentors, few months later I was able to land a part time job as Junior Software Developer.
When was the moment you realized Sirma is the right place for you?
Immediately after I started my work as a Junior Developer. Sirma made a great impression with its flexible working time and the understanding that my education was top priority. Back then I was still going to school in Sofia High School of Mathematics and Sirma was kind enough to provide me with the required school-work balance. I graduated with flying colors even though I was working. Moreover the friendly atmosphere was very good and I made a lot of friendships through the years at Sirma. That definitely confirmed that Sirma was the right choice for me to start my career in the programming world.
What were your goals when you started and have you achieved them?
To be completely honest I did not have any plans when I started. I was just passionate about learning more and more about programming. However in the next years I started to create a list of technologies and fields of computer science that I was really curious about. I was interesting about cutting edge tech stacks such as UI frameworks, microservices, graph databases and machine learning. Sirma was kind to give me the opportunity to explore, research and work with them. I definitely achieved all the goals I had setted up. Sirma also gave me the unique chance to lead some of the core projects that are part of Sirma’s AI platform called SENPAI (https://sirma.com/cognitive/senpai.html). Also they gave me the chance to be a presenter in two internal tech talks dedicated to Machine Learning basics. I am еxceptionally grateful for the provided opportunities for personal development not only as a software professional but also as a public speaker.
What more you want to achieve in your career for the next 10 years?
In 10 years, I’ll aim to become a better professional and а leader that motivates people. I would also like to get myself to entrepreneurship and eventually to create my own successful business as Sirma is.