Victor Milchev wants to solve problems and make the world a better place. In our interview, he recounts how he got into the IT-world, describes why he has found his dream job at GARAIO and names his currently favourite books.
Did you have a dream job as a child?
For as long as I remember, I’ve dreamed about working with computers. I’ve always wanted to have a computer when I was younger. Back then, I mainly wanted to play games on that device, later on I also got into programming. In 8th grade, I was introduced to computer science technology and worked on my first little project. I loved it, and my whole focus has been on computers ever since. That transition from gaming to programming just came naturally to me and I’ve never wanted to do something else from then on.
What fascinates you about tech?
I’m a person with a broad range of interests. I like many things and am especially intrigued by topics regarding our society like psychology, history, medicine and even politics. By now, you’ll be wondering why I chose to be a developer. In fact, it’s quite simple: I realized I was skilled in programming and other technical stuff. So I went to the Technical University here in Sofia, got my Bachelors degree and started working as a developer. I love the fact that I can work in almost every field – developers are needed everywhere. That way, technology opens the world to me and allows me to solve many different problems. This is how I can improve society through my work. Personally, that is the aspect that fascinates me so much about tech. It allows me to have an impact on whatever part of society I choose. Apart from that, I just really love to solve difficult problems every day.
"I just really love to solve difficult problems every day."
How did you end up working for GARAIO?
I wanted to find a position where I could constantly learn and improve my skills while solving important problems. I applied for several different positions and accidentally stumbled upon the open position at GARAIO. I then had a really nice interview here and thought I’d accept this new challenge. After these six years I can honestly say that this adventure turned out to be a dream job.
"This adventure turned out to be a dream job."
What do you like working at GARAIO, why is the position a dream job for you?
Working at GARAIO helps you grow technically and personally. GARAIO is a quite big company and has really interesting customers and therefore challenging problems to solve. My urges for development are fulfilled here every day. I love working on the project for reka, a big non-profit organization with a mission that’s also close to my heart. That way I can use my skills to give something back to people who aren’t so fortunate as I am.
"I can use my skills to give something back to people who aren’t so fortunate as I am."
In what way is GARAIO different from other tech companies you’ve worked for?
In addition to the work itself, I’m a fan of the GARAIO culture. People really trust you and the everyone communicates well. In these six years I’ve never felt bad vibes when communicating within the company. I’m convinced that this culture is the main reason why we are able to keep the good employees here in Sofia, where many companies try to poach employees. Our team has stayed together since three years – nobody wants to leave GARAIO Bulgaria.
You are the head of our international team in Bulgaria. How does the cooperation between Sofia and Bern look like?
For me, it’s perfect. The secret really lies in an easy formula: non-stop communication. I don’t write e-mails to teammates, I call them directly. That way, there are way less misunderstandings.
Of course, we are constantly improving our cooperation and had to learn many lessons since starting to work so closely together six years ago. The culture here in Sofia is a little bit different from the one in Switzerland. In the beginning, it was hard to call somebody for support because we were so used to working everything out between ourselves. When we started in 2015, there was no leading developer here in Sofia and therefore, the communication was way more complicated. Now, this role is clearly defined and we can communicate in a straightforward way.
"I’m a fan of the GARAIO culture."
Do you feel connected to the team in Switzerland?
My team is very close to me, I feel valued as an important part of the team I work with every day. However, the integration into the whole company is way more difficult. We are in Switzerland for a few days every year, but in my opinion, these are not enough to really get to know the people. That’s why I sometimes feel detached from the people who aren’t in my core team. But as I said before, we are always working on getting better and learn from these challenges.
Explain your job to a child.
Look, I’m solving problems.
Do you have daily routines?
We have a daily meeting with the whole team. Generally, I like getting a feeling for my tasks that day and set my priorities.
What are the biggest challenges you face daily?
I think the hardest part of my job is the direct communication with our clients. They usually don’t have the same deep insight into technology as we do, and therefore we have to translate what we think is best for them so they can understand.
What do you enjoy doing besides working?
I’m a really social person and love hanging out with friends and family and going to the theater. As mentioned before, I have many interests and am generally curious at life. I’m also a fan of bar culture here in Bulgaria and love exploring the country.
"I love reading – it gives me the opportunity to look at life from another humans’ perspective."
What is the last book you read and can you recommend it?
The last book I read was “Sapiens” by Noah Harari and I really liked it. Right now, I’m reading “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan B. Peterson, that’s also a very good book. I love reading – it gives me the opportunity to look at life from another humans’ perspective. That broadens the horizon and shows how you can improve personally.
What is your goal in life?
I would like to fulfill as many of my dreams as I can and consequently make myself and other people happy.