How to go from Newbie to IT GURU
Tell us about yourself
Hi, I'm Martin, a Senior Mobile Developer at App Streams. The IT world has always been the place where I wanted to develop myself and that was the reason, after graduating from SPGE John Atanasoff High School, to continue my education in Sofia University’s Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics. During my 3rd year there I applied for an iOS academy done by one of the biggest IT companies in Bulgaria (MentorMate), where I had the pleasure to meet Stoyan Simov - at this time he was the leading lecturer for the academy. After 3 months of training and successfully completing it, I was given the opportunity to start my career as an intern. During my stay there I had the chance to work on real projects and gain practical experience, which I think is the best way to start your career and make the first steps in the IT industry.
Being eager to learn new things and always open to change, after one year I took the opportunity to become a part of a small Canadian startup. For 4 years we developed numerous mobile applications (including an end-to-end encrypted messaging app, a video chat platform, dating application).
Since when have you been part of the App Streams team and how did you start in the company?
I’ve been part of AppStreams for almost 2 years now. The decision to continue my career here was somehow expected, since I knew Stoyan for a long time and we both shared the same vision for the company and our mutual growth.
Tell us about the projects you have worked on and the current one of which you are a part :)
At App Streams, I had the chance to work on different kinds of projects which allowed me to enhance my knowledge, learn new technologies, and become an expert in my fieldwork.
My first project was a collaboration with a small US-based startup. Their video/image editing platform was already widely known - having more than 1.5 million user base. We developed the iOS native application, where one of the key features was the ability for the user to bring life to static pictures and create motion art out of them.
Currently, I am the main developer working on Avtoikonom`s mobile applications.
It’s a platform for the digitalisation of the user experience for car maintenance and enabling a direct connection between the car owner and the service provider. Being somehow an equivalent of Uber for servicing vehicles, it helps people and companies to maintain and service their vehicles, by reducing car repair and maintenance chores for their owners.
What are the challenges you face in the project?
As with any other project, this one came with a long list of challenges to tackle.
AvtoIkonom project is related to a whole new type of service provided to the end user. Creating UX and architecting a solution to something new is a big challenge on its own. Considering that the platform includes Client and Driver applications, Web Admin, and a Backend, we have to carefully synchronise everything across all components. In addition, the solution is offered worldwide and should be localised accordingly.
What new knowledge and skills did you acquire as part of this project?
Being a part of a small dev team I had to take a more project management-related role, dealing with people from different time zones and cultures. It takes additional effort to guarantee a smooth and effective workflow. Part of my day-to-day responsibilities includes non-tech activities such as research of new functionalities and client-facing topics (data privacy, data security, GDPR compliance).
The start-up environment gives me the chance to evolve not only my technical knowledge but also to improve my soft skills. I'm in the role not merely of a developer, but also in the оne of a person, who has to make decisions, think outside the box, makes research on different topics, and communicate effectively at all levels.
What technologies do you work with?
The current tech stack I’m working with right now is iOS (Swift, Objective C), Android (Java), and React Native/JS. Following my passion for technology was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I'm really happy that at App Streams I have the chance to work with different technologies and broaden my knowledge and skill set.
How does it feel to be part of the App Streams team?
In startups, you have to adapt and move from one set of duties to another as it grows. You can gain a lot of experience not only in the software development part but in team collaboration, business analysis, and client needs. It gives you the opportunity to express yourself and to make your opinions valued.
Here at App Streams, I’m a part of a team of experts, driven by a mutual passion for achieving the best results for the company and its clients.
On top of that - you spend your day surrounded by people with great personalities with positive attitudes.