As part of a yearlong celebration of our 40th anniversary, Progress would like to introduce you to some of our fantastic longtime employees who have made us who we are today. In this post, meet Rumen Zhekov, technical support manager.
They say change is the only constant in life, and for longtime Progresser Rumen Zhekov this seems especially true. Based in Bulgaria, Rumen started off as an employee at Telerik before Progress acquired the company in 2014. Over the course of his career at Telerik and Progress, Rumen has held different positions, traveled to new places, and worked with professionals from all around the world.
From witnessing the expansion of the Progress family to building a family of his own, Rumen has taken all the changes in stride—and has accomplished a lot along the way. Read more about Rumen’s time at Progress below:
I started working at Telerik in 2004—17 years ago. While both Progress and Telerik share a similar culture and strive to be No. 1 in their field, the positive difference comes from the fact that we now have clear company and personal goals for the future, follow company maxims, and apply objectives and key results and inclusion and diversity best practices.
We now have new products and a bigger portfolio, and year after year, we see a bigger profit and better results. We’ve been able to attract new talent to join our team, which is awesome because everybody wants to be surrounded by great people—not only for the opportunity to work alongside specialists in the field, but also to make friends and share interests.
The office amenities are also a lot better than when I started. We have a new office, and I’m looking forward to going back and collaborating with my team in person.
Knowledge-sharing and constant development are strong parts of our company culture and I am very thankful to everyone across my teams. If I had to name somebody, I would definitely acknowledge my managers, Pavlina and Genady.
Pavlina and Genady consistently demonstrate what it is to be a successful team, and they’ve taught me a lot about cross-team collaboration, strong leadership and product-minded development skills. They keep me motivated, inspire me, and often help me make the right decisions by sharing knowledge from their broad experiences.
If I had to pick a single memory, I would say the time I had to debug a partner’s application at their booth during a popular Microsoft conference. The debugging was broadcasted live on a big screen, which attracted a crowd of visitors. Pretty soon, I was surrounded by developers from all corners of the world. At the end of the unplanned session, I was able to pinpoint a bug in one of our UI components and provide a workaround for it.
First, our company culture and employees are amazing—it’s no wonder that we’ve been named employer of the year for so many years. We’re also always striving for improvement and looking to apply best practices to everything we do. We’re pioneers and number one in the industries and fields we operate, and our customers are very loyal—they love our products.
I like my current role a lot because it is so vibrant and dynamic. My responsibilities include managing my team and the product, taking part in the roadmap creation and marketing initiatives, development and bug fixing, as well as writing blogs and triaging the feedback portal and backlog. I’m able to combine both technical and managerial skills when doing my job, allowing me to develop both technical and soft skills.
Definitely for the better. I’ve learned so much, I’ve held different interesting positions and I’ve worked with so many professionals around the globe—some of them are the creators of Microsoft .NET (Web Forms, MVC and Core). We’re currently working with customers and partners like NASA, Microsoft, Boeing and others, and it is a great honor to have this opportunity and to be on top of the technology wave.
On a personal note, my little baby-girl Eliza was born—she’s 10 months old now and so cute! Working from home with her during COVID-19 lockdowns has helped me to be even more organized and focused on completing work tasks so that I’m able to spend more quality time with her.
Good question! I am still driving the same Mitsubishi Lancer car that I had when I started at Progress.
I would tell myself to remember that time is precious and to stay concentrated and focused on what is most important. It helps to try and see problems from a different angle in order to find the best solutions for them.
Of course, I would also mention the great company culture. I’m surrounded by so many smart people, and everybody tries to stay on top of what’s new in the technology field—which is great, because things change faster year after year.
One major thing that I didn’t know was that this company would become No. 1, both in terms of our products and in terms of our culture. We’ve become the number one vendor for UI components, which is great. We’ve been named employer of the year for a few years in a row, not only in Bulgaria but also in the Netherlands. We received a similar award in Boston. I'm very proud.
To get to know other Progressers like Rumen, read more of our Progress employee interviews here.
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Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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