Project Management Officer
2007 - Currently
We hire people who are diligent, eager to grow their knowledge, and stay at Melon as long as possible.
In 2015, we interviewed our then .NET Project Manager Mario Berberyan who had been working at Melon for eight years. In 2021, Mario is already a Project Management Officer, and we asked him how he has grown together with the company the last six years. In our development offices in Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, and Skopje, we have 10+ dedicated PMs who are also business analysts. We do not simply work on clients’ projects, but also on optimizing internal processes and practices. The team is continuing to grow.
Prior to applying for a job at Melon in 2007, Mario used to work as a junior developer for a smaller software company of no more than 10 people. After two years there, he realized he would like to start in the outsourcing industry so he can dive deeper into different projects and expand his knowledge. While he was pursuing his master’s degree, some of his friends had just joined Melon, so Mario decided to give it a try too.
.NET was the technology he started with at Melon.
A lot of time had passed since then, and he has realized that every software project, no matter big or small, has its challenges. “With the small projects, it is hard to find the right niche for the client. With the bigger projects, the challenge is to finetune the software, so it works better or faster. Everything teaches me something new.”
Six years ago, the biggest challenge for Mario was the communication with the clients. Now, he is working with people who are in charge of various projects and his job is to find the best way to help them manage their tasks. The challenge Mario is facing as a Project Management Officer is to find the balance between automated processes and customization. He often asks himself whether he should set a process or tackle the issues individually case by case.
When managing teams, the qualities he needed to acquire were slightly different and he had to become less self-focused. Another question for him is: “Should I do it how I want it to be or as it would be better for the team?” He says that developers are used to finding solutions and making things work. Team managing does not have a strict model that works every time.
It was easy for Mario to become Project Management Officer.
He is an outgoing person, and he knew the people from his new team. He remembers that when he joined Melon 14 years ago, Project Managers had neither a specific role at the company, nor strict powers and responsibilities. In 2017, the PMO team got set goals – to atomize processes, to create KPIs, to analyze and act upon strengths and weaknesses.
“The pretty flat structure at Melon allows the middle management to make enquiries to the senior management who are quick to answer.” Five years after his first interview, Mario still thinks that middle management acts like an idea-generator which is an incentive for development. “If you want to do something here, as long as it is useful for the company and the team, you always get the freedom to try.”
He also loves that he finds a lot of people he can “borrow” knowledge from, and that everyone is motivated to learn from their team-mates. “At Melon, there are people that I am still learning from. I am happy that they are expanding their knowledge, so I am continuing to learn as well”.
Mario has never had problems with balancing his work and personal life. He says that at Melon, overtime is not a common practice – employees strive to take as much information as possible from the clients, so the result is quality on time. This allows them to create a work-life balance. When Mario is searching for a new person to join his team, he evaluates their assets, potential, and mindset. “Here, we do not hire people for one project. We hire people who are diligent, eager to grow their knowledge, and stay at Melon as long as possible.” Mario laughs. The right balance is crucial to make this possible.
“I have been with Melon for 14 years and I have spent more time with my colleagues at the company than with my wife and child. If my relationship with Melon was not healthy, this wouldn’t have been the case.”
Three years ago, Mario found his new passion – cricket. The game is not that popular in Bulgaria, but he loves meeting new people from different countries that have chosen to live here. Mario enjoys playing cricket because the game teaches him gentlemanliness and fair play. It completes his character perfectly.