Tushka Dermendzhieva – Technology Manager Java & Integration
This is Tushka, a Software Engineer, Technology Manager, traveler, and a person who maybe knows how to bend the time-space continuum.
1. On your background
Hi, I am Tushka, and you are about to know the person that grew into the professional that I am today. It all begins with mathematics. It was the subject that somehow clicked with me. To study it, I had to move out of my parents’ house and go to Blagoevgrad. Originally, I am from a village near Gotse Delchev. So, imagine an 8th-grade girl at Blagoevgrad’s Mathematics High School that learned programming and how to take care of herself simultaneously. In conclusion, this experience made me very independent.
At the end of my last High School year, like most youngsters, I was hesitant about what was next. For a moment, I thought about leaving abroad and maybe studying International Relations or Business. But I stayed here in Bulgaria. The easiest choice was to apply to a university with mathematics.
Then, logically, I transferred to Sofia and continued to delve into the depths of informatics. To be honest, I did not have the goal of becoming a programmer, and with the risk of bringing shock to the readers – neither was I the best student… I started to work on a full 8-hour day in the second year of my education. We know the story. I got the friends and the theory from the university and the practice I got from working.
2. On your role at Scalefocus
My career path began with me being an intern. Then I was a junior – afterwards, mid, senior, and so on. When I was capable enough, the leader’s roles came.
But the constant dynamic keeps me going and enthusiastic even after so many years. The opportunity to be part of so many diverse projects stimulate me to learn and adapt. The new things don’t frighten me. Quite the opposite – they spark a thirst for more.
I came to Scalefocus 7 years ago. For that time, I took everything that was on my plate for me. All kinds of technologies, not just Java, all kinds of projects and this led to the expansion of so many qualities of mine.
I meet and work with a lot of people, and I travel, I adapt. It’s such an exciting journey. And to balance things out, I will share that not everything is sugar and spice. I miss the actual coding and being involved in a specific project. But without the technical background, I wouldn’t be able to do the work that my role requires now. Still, the essential is to make the right decision – to hire not just someone but the right fit for the team, to find the suitable people for a project, to construct a specific career path for someone else. I am in the phase where I think about the development of my people, not just mine.
3. On your team
The Java and Integration team is more than 100 people. Every group of 6 to 8 people has its Team Leader. What’s interesting is that 70% of the Technology Team Leaders on the team have never been managers before. It’s because I believe that chances should be given, and the potential should be stimulated.
I strongly stand for the belief that the manager should not be the best programmer of the team, but rather the one who managed to develop their own soft skills, too. Because being a leader requires a lot of communication and working with real people, not digits on your display.
The truth is that some of the problematic situations at work usually are rooted in something from personal life. That’s why it’s extremely important to know your team and be close with each member.
4. On who are you looking for
The first thing is the cultural fit. The second one is motivation. For example, we’ve hired people not having the complete skillset, but because of their motivation and character, they’ve managed to flourish and show their potential. If you have a desire, everything is possible.
The secret to outstanding achievement isn’t talent. Instead, it’s a special blend of persistence and passion. If you are eager to take it, we are here to give you the know-how and will gladly do it. Just be proactive. That way, you’ll effortlessly show what you are capable of. And be sure – you’ll be noticed.
If this sound like you or you are motivated enough, check the open positions here: https://www.careers.scalefocus.com/open-positions
5. On why Scalefocus?
Of projects, of people and opportunities.
For example, if you don’t feel good about working on some projects, you can transfer to something else.
The dynamics of the work excites me – the international projects and the freedom to collaborate with people from all around the globe, too. As part of my job, I’ve met with people from the US, Canada, India, China, and Singapore.
Most recently, with the opening of our latest office in Istanbul, I had the pleasure of welcoming the local professionals to our team. It’s such a multi-culti environment, and yet it’s symbiotic. It’s fascinating, but one must experience it. You can’t feel it just by reading about it.
6. On the best advice for new software specialists
It’s simple, yet effective – just like our company values.
Don’t settle and don’t let your comfort zone limit you. It doesn’t matter if it’s about learning a new technology, language, or a new role. Embrace the unknown, challenge yourself.
7. On when last Tushka crossed her comfort line
A couple of months ago, I applied to be a speaker at Java2Days, and it was challenging. I had to prepare myself while I was doing my everyday tasks. I had to take a vacation to manage all the work – I know it sounds weird, but it all worked out well. On top of that, I started to take additional English classes just to improve my level of knowledge. And of the above are my proactive actions. It’s who I am, and, I believe that it sets a good example.
8. On your everyday work life
Here is the time to thank my best friend – the Calendar. Without it, I would be lost. Every evening I check what’s upcoming, and I do it again every morning to ensure I am on track. I do that a dozen times a day because everything is so dynamic.
Beyond that is the actual work that includes a lot of meetings. With the people what I work with, with potential and present clients. Strategic meetings also, where we discuss initiatives, roadmaps and so on. The context switching is the reason why time management is crucial to my role.
9. On your life outside of work
Traveling is what keeps me going. As you already know, I enjoy meeting new people. I am curious about learning new things about different cultures and places. I find pleasure in changing the surroundings. Cooking and trying new things are also hobbies of mine.
Also, I do sports and I am very proud with the fact that I manage to visit the gym at least 3-4 times a week. And that’s all about me – just a normal human like everyone else.