Head of Open Source
At Melon, I like the people and the balance.
What do you do at Melon?
I’m a Python developer and a TL. Also, I try to help other Meloners to get to know the company better and to keep learning. I try to take care of internal reading resources, to assist others in choosing courses and then I ask them to summarize what they’ve learned. I’m part of the decision-making committee about the performance evaluation policy and a mentor in Coding Pirates – an IT-creative workshops for kids at Melon HQ and in Django Girls – a free and open source workshop for girls.
How long have you been at Melon?
I started as the first Python developer here in 2011 but in 2015 I left for the USA and came back after a few months.
How many people are in your current Python team?
What did you study?
Mathematics and Informatics at the Sofia University. I studied to be a Math teacher. Unfortunately, in Bulgaria it’s very difficult to support a family as a teacher. As a little kid I was inspired when I saw a very small and retrograde computer – just a keyboard connected to your TV set, to draw a spiral on the TV screen. Ever since I’ve been into computers and the second best choice for me was to become a software developer.
What kind of projects do you work on?
Diverse. Recently, we had two start-ups that make use of the social media data for marketing purposes. For one of them we built a platform via which companies can hire influential social media stars to advertise their brands. It connects the influencers’ profiles with their bios, rates, etc. with the companies and they can directly engage in social media campaigns of their design.
Another one was very interesting too. An Italian company produces measuring tools and for them we developed a software platform that gathers all the data and their clients, let’s say a factory, can visualize and monitor machines’ temperature, speed, motion, etc.
Which is the biggest project you’ve worked on at Melon?
It was for a US gaming company. We developed a portal and the game client. The logic was written by mathematicians because it’s about actual poker and alike games so we had to guarantee that there won’t be any deception and malfunction.
And which is the most interesting?
All are intersecting. I like the most the ones that come with an IT team on the client side because they know what they are doing but lack the resources to achieve the set goals.
What kind of clients have you worked for?
Currently, from the UK, previously the USA, Switzerland, some Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and many more.
What did you learn at Melon?
A lot. Including there are more important things than work.
People. If the people feel all right, everything will be all right. If we are working on a project that the developers or anyone involved dislike, it’ll cost us much more in the longer term than we’d expected.
What else would you like to learn?
Technical skills. The projects we work on are not that different. Or at least there are very similar ones. When we start a new one but similar to a previous, how do we cut the initial phase of analysis, etc.? How do we use the accumulated knowledge and skills and directly transfer it to the new ones and start from there?
What kind of clients do you prefer working with?
The enterprise companies come with a lot of bureaucracy. Which can be both bad and good. For example, before implementing a change in their software, we have to fill in a detailed questionnaire so that they can assess the risks, negatives and assets. This is both pain in the neck and helpful.
With start-ups, we’d rather work as a partner, not as a subcontractor. And definitely they are more intriguing and thrilling. And if they have an IT team, things are most likely to happen. If they don’t compromise on quality, it’s my preferred type of projects.
Which is the most valuable skillset you have acquired at Melon?
Soft skills. Anything related to communications – with clients, team mates, anyone. When I look back at old emails for example, I can see what a big change I’ve achieved.
What do you do in your free time?
I read. At the moment: “If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy?”, “The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life” and “The Last Lecture”.
What do you like at Melon?
The people. The fact that if you want to change a thing and it’s reasonable, you can do it. And the balance.
What would you change?
Nothing from the top of my mind. If I have to think deeper, there will be something, but if I have to think so hard, most probably it’s not that important or frustrating.
How would you describe Melon to a friend?
A bright and pleasant place. It shouldn’t be defined by the place but this is the first thing that comes to my mind. It’s just one of the most pleasant offices I’ve been to.