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Reneta Nikolova / Software Developer, Sirma Solutions

Reni is our beautiful flower in the Dev team. Always smiling, always hungry and still skinny, and the only person who has always supported the marketing team with pictures from the company parties. In addition to her personal qualities, Reni is a very quick learner and a good example for a young and motivated person.

Reni, you joined our company as a trainee, tell us what do you think about our internship program?


Right after graduating as a Software Engineer at Sofia University, I started looking for new job opportunities. Highly motivated and passionate about technologies, I found Sirma and my journey began.

The internship at Sirma Solutions was not what I really expected. In the first month, I was involved in a real project. That meant a lot to me since it was my first job as a software developer, but everything happened very fast. Thankfully, I had great teammates, and they were always happy to help me and guide me.

In the first 3 months of my internship, I was mainly occupied with Java and the Spring Boot framework. I was studying, exploring and diving into the world of OOP and the RESTful WEB services. Later, on the agenda came Front-End, and particularly React JS. At the beginning, I felt like it was not my cup of tea, and I was not confident. Managing both, back - and front-end, was definitely not a piece of cake for someone who has just started. However, I decided to go for it. I invested a lot of effort and hard work, and it paid off.

At a later stage, I realized that being involved in the development of the Front- and Back-End gave me a lot of perspectives. Now I am able to see the whole process and I am completing the missing pieces of the big picture.

I appreciated the real-work environment during my internship. Usually, the trainees are isolated from the real work and occupied with solving unreal problems from a book, or making dummy projects. Happily, it was not the case with me as an intern in Sirma Solutions. I learned things and enjoyed the work, and I am really thankful to my colleagues for the time they invested in me.

How old were you when you wrote your first-ever piece of code?


In the 3rd year of my education, I decided that I need to get into the IT world. I also decided to take all my exams and to graduate the next year. This meant that I had to start learning to code as soon as possible. It happened, with a lot of dedicated time for coding spent after work, studying for exams, limiting all distractions. Of course, none of this would be possible without the huge support I received back then. I could say the interest came with the practice.

How did you know that Sirma is the right place for you?


I didn’t know it until my face-to-face interview, I left with a smile and I was looking forward to their phone call. Eventhough I had some doubts at the beginning of my internship, maybe freshers uncertainty, how things would work.

What part of your job you enjoy most?


The dynamic of our life requires us, as programmers and creators, to be agile and to always use innovative solutions in our work. Therefore, our job is to be up to date with the newest technologies and to be able to apply them in the best way in our code. I would like to think that every line of code I create, matters, and that the result of my work would be useful in some way. That could make someone else’s life much easier and comfortable.

Which technologies do you use in your daily work?


I try to make beautiful things using the library ReactJS and some CSS. For the logic build behind I am using Java and the Spring Boot Framework. For the data storage, I am using PostgreSQL. I could say that for the latest projects that I’ve been involved in, we are using this stack, and I am really happy about it. Although, I am always ready for new challenges.

Where do you get the information that helps you stay up to date in your field?


I usually read articles in Medium or watch videos on YouTube about a subject I am interested in. By my opinion, personal development is one of the most important things. So, I am trying to be “up to date” not only on technical topics. Some of the subjects I’m interested in are connected mainly with maintaining body and mind condition. Which diet is healthy for me, what kind of exercises I need to do, how to sharpen my brain are some of the brief examples I could give.

Luckily, the company gives us the opportunity to attend different tech events and conferences. The last one I visited and I really liked was Hack Conf 2019 because it is about software development in general. Most of the topics are presented abstractly without getting into details, but still giving you enough to get interested in and to find out more by yourself. Attending tech events gives you a chance to meet people with way more experience than you have and an opportunity to compare your skillset.

What do you think are your personal qualities, which helped you to grow in your career path?


Diligence, patience, and commitment are the qualities that help me to grow personally and professionally. As I mentioned earlier, I am always trying to go further. I am putting efforts to push myself out of my comfort zone. Also, I am trying to take more responsibilities.

For the last 2 months, I earned the privilege to work on a large scale project for a worldwide known company. My responsibility for our company is now higher (as being part of this important project).

Did you find friends in the company?


I have the privilege to be in a team with young, fun, and motivated people. I see how important it is to get along with the people you work with. It is helpful for all of us. If someone has a problem, there is someone to help you, and we always support each other. Fortunately, my teammates are great people and I can say that with most of them we became friends.

What’s your favorite recreation in your free time?


As I mentioned earlier, training my mind and my body is important for me. I always feel good after I read a good book. I mostly read non-fiction.

Also, I am an active person, I love doing sports. At the weekends I usually spend my time with my family and friends. We explore our beautiful nature - the mountains and the seaside. In the work days I do several cardio workouts, the one I am most passionate about is dancing Bulgarian national dances.

I also love cooking. I really miss all of the sport and cooking events our company used to organize before the quarantine.

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