I appreciate working coordinated, and constantly improving the skills and potential of young professionals.Stamen Delikostov, R&D Manager.
How would you describe yourself?
– Expert in BC/NAV. I have been in the field for over 23 years, I have come across all kinds of cases, and there are almost no secrets for me. In front of me, many young people have grown up and have become real professionals. A perfectionist. Husband and proud father.
What are the biggest clichés about this position?
– Cliché #1: Programmers cannot communicate. This is far from true. A lot is required from programmers, and they, in turn, require a lot from the people they work with. Also, the tasks we deal with are unfamiliar to people outside of the profession, and they do not understand much of the IT jargon.
Cliché #2: Programming is for men. This stereotype has been around for decades. In our team, women are not inferior to men.
Women have been involved in coding since the early days of computing. No matter if they are involved with household and kids, as for the work schedule, many IT companies are much more liberal and do not require a strict work schedule from 9 am to 6 pm. This gives more opportunities to combine professional and personal commitments compared to other professions.
Cliché #3: Programmers are paid high salaries. Part of them are, but not all of them. Everyone’s remuneration depends on how much they know, how many responsibilities they take on, and how they cope. When you are a young programmer, it is more important to find an environment where there is someone to teach and guide you, where you can work, and you find it enjoyable and interesting. The more a person grows in knowledge and skills, the more expertise is valuable, and, accordingly, is among the highest-paid and sought-after staff.
How do you and your team stay abreast of the latest technology and developments in the industry?
– Mainly by reading professional information on the internet. We are subscribed to multiple blogs, which are followed daily. We participate in conferences, mostly online, but there are no exceptions when we go on-site. As a Microsoft Inner Circle partner company, we are always up-to-date in the field and one step ahead in the rapidly changing world of technology.
What is the right balance between innovation and quality in the software development process?
– The essential things of software are to work correctly, have reliable performance, and be user-friendly. The program code updates are also of significance – in case of any correction when a code is written in an easily readable and standardized format, the changes take less time. Whether it will be achieved by old and proven programming or by various innovations is of little importance. Of course, any innovation that gives more technical possibilities in programming is particularly valuable and should be used.
What are some of the projects or features you are most proud of and why?
– I have always said that being good at math is an advantage in the profession. Not that equations and formulas are used daily. On the contrary – they are not used at all. The commonality with mathematics is that both use knowledge of different methods to solve a given problem. For this, mathematics teaches the logic of solving cases, which is especially useful in programming. I am pleased when I am can implement a programming solution using a mathematical model. Such a solution, for example, is finding the best allocation of Rent-a-Car reservations with available cars, implemented in one of our projects.
You deal mainly with projects in the auto industry. What do you like most in this field?
– Our DealerBox module is special to me because I was involved in both the design and the actual development. The team knows a large part of the business specifics in detail. I am glad that we were able to implement them in a system that simultaneously covers various activities of each company and, at the same time, connects these activities in one homogeneous system.
I am proud when key users reach out to me with a request for advice about extending the scope of the system with additional functionalities and integrations, as well as changing or improving their business processes.
What kind of challenges and success stories have you had in working on auto projects?
– The challenges were many and of all kinds. For example, when there is a large set of nomenclatures – parts, pricing policies, and service history, tools are developed to import and process this data and optimize the work time.
Major tasks for smooth system performance are striving for no delays and quick action processes. After years of operation, the system accumulates a huge amount of data – documents, records, and nomenclatures. Working with this data should not take longer than usual.
Ease of access (user-friendly) is of immense importance in the projects we develop. We have achieved maximum intuitiveness so that users can quickly navigate the various functionalities.
A challenge can be the manufacturer’s supply of auto parts – typically thousands at a time, from small bushings to fenders and engines. We have reduced the paperwork to minutes. We have made it easy for warehouse workers to receive, check, and stock items in the fastest way possible.
What do you imagine achieving in the coming years?
– I would like the entire team of programmers to work coordinated – the different teams helping each other with the projects and training each other. Emotional intelligence and mutual understanding between colleagues are essential in office work.
I look forward to “young people” successfully replacing me in the work on projects and administration of the department.
What advice would you give to young people just starting their careers in software engineering?
– To be patient and thirsty for knowledge. To give extra effort in the fastest way to improve and learn the tips and subtleties in the field in which they have focused.
How do you envision the evolution of Intelligent Systems projects in the next 5-10 years, and what technologies do you think will play a key role in driving this evolution?
– Nowadays, it is difficult to discover completely innovative technology. For example, it takes a lot of effort and resources to position yourself in a market where a lot of products are offered. I wish we paid more attention to phone apps. Smartphones are now an indispensable part of our daily life. To a considerable extent, they replace work with computers or laptops. It is much more convenient for people to check the news or follow social networks on the phone because it’s smaller, faster, etc. By the same logic, the use of phones at work can be developed and improved.