Meet Rosen Vladimirov, Manager, Software Engineering at Progress

Meet Rosen Vladimirov, Manager, Software Engineering at Progress

October 29, 2021 0 Comments
Rosen Vladimirov Employee Q&A_1200x620

We’d like to introduce you to some of the people from around the world who make us who we are at Progress. In this post, meet Rosen Vladimirov, Manager, Software Engineering at Progress.

A tech geek with a great interest in personal development, Rosen Vladimirov joined Progress in 2012 as a Junior Support Engineer. Following his passion to help others with his work, he switched from coding to people management. As a part of the Developer Tools’ Innovation team, he’s currently leading the engineering team behind Fiddler Everywhere, Progress’ web debugging tool. In his spare time, you’ll find Rosen reading about the latest tech trends or a good fantasy book. Find out more about Rosen in the following interview.

You’ve been part of Progress for nearly 10 years—that’s quite impressive. What made you stay this long?

I love working at Progress! I started out as a Technical Support Engineer, then I moved to a Software Engineer role and I’m now managing a team. In the past years I’ve realized how many opportunities the company offers, the vast knowledge my colleagues have and how ready they are to share it. At Progress, I know I can achieve whatever I set my mind to, so why go someplace else?

You’ve held several different positions at Progress. Tell me some more about them, and what did you learn about yourself as a person and as a professional in the process?

Looking back, I realized that the most important thing for me is to help others. When you are a support engineer, you help customers resolve their issues. In the software engineering role, you're working on some tasks, but you do not see a reflection of your actions on the business of the customers directly. I did enjoy doing pair coding and explaining to others what I’m trying to achieve. That is when I realized that whatever I was doing, I wanted to be of help to other people.

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Was this desire to help others the reason why you decided to become a manager?

That’s part of the reason, yes. But it’s also because in my previous role I worked with multiple managers simultaneously. I saw differences in how they approach the situations with their team, so I started asking myself what I would do if I was in their shoes. I also love a good challenge. If it’s a new technology, I will spend as much time as needed to learn it, but when it comes to managing a team the situations are so different and sometimes unexpected, so you have to be ready to react and adapt quickly. I find that exciting.

Sounds like it’s a never-ending learning experience for you. From your point of view, what advice would you give to someone who is interested in taking on a managerial role?

The best advice that I can give is to never think you are fully prepared. There were many cases when I thought that I was ready for a given conversation and then when I entered the room everything changed. You need to understand that whatever you do, you will never be prepared for the situation that might happen and that is okay. You just need to learn to handle a given situation on the go, depending on the circumstances.

What has been your favorite memory with the team?

Last year, we were tasked to entirely redesign an existing product. Within five weeks, we wrote more than 30,000 lines of code. I never thought that this would be possible in two or even three months, but we made it. We managed to release Fiddler Everywhere on time, and it’s all because the team worked together and understood the importance of this project. It was an exhausting period, but it was amazing to see what we’ve achieved.

That’s impressive indeed. Tell me some more about the team, though. I know you like to have a good mix of experienced professionals and people who are at the beginning of their careers. What motivates that strategy of yours?

Yes, I insist on having junior people on my team, because I remember the time when I was looking for my first job. Back in the day, I went to multiple interviews where I was being told that I was not a good fit because I don’t know a certain technology, for example. I wanted to prove to them that I could study whatever they gave me, so I started asking about the areas I should improve on in order to become experienced enough for the job. I did some more learning and eventually I found my first employer, who believed in me and my abilities and gave me a chance.

This is what I want to do now as a manager—to lend a hand to junior talent and help them grow. It’s interesting to watch how they work and think—they understand the tasks in different ways, which makes the process interesting and unpredictable, but also an enjoyable one.

That’s a great approach. Everyone deserves to have a good mentor and manager to learn from. Is there anyone who you would identify as your mentor that you can turn to for advice?

Yes—my current manager Svetozar Toskov and one of my former managers, Iliyan Iliev. I see them not only as managers, but also as friends. Whenever I have a problem, be it personal or professional, I can turn to them for advice. Iliyan was actually the person who helped me prepare for the managerial role. He gave me a lot of tasks that took some time to complete, but this way he made sure that when the opportunity arises, I would be ready for it.

Now that you’re a manager, do you still do some coding?

My time is entirely dedicated to managing the team. I code very rarely, and it’s only at times when there’s a critical task and my teammates are occupied with something else. In the beginning I missed coding, but now not really—I care about the people and the problems they are resolving. That is my main focus.

What was your dream job as a child?

I wanted to become a football player. Then when I went to high school I wanted to work in finance, but once I was introduced to the idea of programming, I quickly gave up on that and immersed myself in the world of technology and never looked back.

To get to know other Progressers like Rosen, read more of our Progress employee interviews here.

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Tsvetiana Zaharieva

Tsvetiana Zaharieva

Tsvetiana Zaharieva is part of the Global Communications team at Progress. Inspired by technology and its impact on society, she is passionate about sharing good stories and know-how in the most efficient way. She is interested in the influence of psychology on communication and the role of the entrepreneurial mindset in a corporate setting. In her spare time she enjoys singing in choir as well as going to cultural and business events.

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