In a series of interviews, we are introducing our colleagues who you can hear at “Back to the Source” event in London on October 24th. They will share their perspectives of what it feels like to be back home after years of building life and career abroad. Take the chance to ask questions, engage in open discussions and gain insights “from the source”.
Teodor has over 10 years of software engineering experience in three EU countries – France, Belgium and Bulgaria. His deep interest in computer science developed during his university years in France has naturally led him to a career path at VMware’s R&D site in Sofia.Teodor’s passion for cutting-edge innovation is put to good use at VMware where we explore the emerging synergies between technologies, such as Blockchain, AI and Cloud computing. Our ambition is to transform those promising technologies into reliable, enterprise-grade products and services.Teodor holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering focused in Computer science & Avionics from the French Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique (ENSMA). His complementary degree in Business Administration and experience on complex enterprise projects makes him a valuable team asset, capable of assuming leadership roles whenever required.On his free time, Teodor enjoys computer & board games, reading and travelling. He channels his untapped teaching energy into a very successful “Cloud Computing for Children” summer camp organized together with a group of like-minded colleagues, fully supported by VMware Bulgaria and the Minu Balkanski Foundation.
Teo, when did you leave Bulgaria and why?
I won a scholarship with the Minu Balkanski Foundation when I was 18 and left for Paris to study “Computer science and avionics”.I spent my childhood in Bulgaria, but it was abroad that I matured as a grown-up.
How did your career start?
With an internship at Airbus. The transport sector is very regulated and experimenting with new technologies and implementing innovations was difficult, so I decided to switch to the corporate world and began a full-time career with the French consulting company Capgemini. There I gained first-hand experience with large-scale software systems and could spend time on innovations.
How did you make the transition between Paris and Brussels?
For a family reason. I followed my wife, who is an architect and found a better career opportunity there. I switched offices with the same employer.
Were you aware of what’s happening in Bulgaria during this timeframe?
Yes, we always kept on eye on how Bulgaria is developing from an economic and social perspective and had it in the back of our minds that we may go back.When we started planning our life and career longer-term, this decision popped up again. We are both French graduates, we managed to build careers in two different countries, which gave us confidence that we can succeed anywhere.
How was your experience job hunting in Bulgaria?
Actually, things in Bulgaria were much better than they looked on the outside. I chose VMware among other proposals because it has a good reputation as an employer and is also a product company with a forward- looking vision. VMware has a long-term commitment to developing the office in Bulgaria, which was important for me. I am grateful for all the support I received during the process of relocation.
How would you evaluate your decision to return?
The software industry in Bulgaria is very advanced even compared to some Western European countries. The fact that I am still in Bulgaria five years later in the same country and the same company is indicative of the opportunities that exist here. My attachment to family and friends also plays a big role in keeping me here.
What differentiates VMware from other employers?
In addition to career development, the company gives you the opportunity to make a difference in society. As part of the VMware’s volunteering program, I started a kids’ summer school in Cloud Technologies with the Minu Balkanski Foundation. It has run for four years now attracts kids from all over Bulgaria and mentors from the VMware team. This is a great way for me to give back to the foundation that helped me at an earlier stage in my life and positively impact the community.People who consider returning to Bulgaria should know that here they can develop only professionally her but also contribute to the development of the whole society.
Do you still have that passion to innovate?
I dealt with many technical challenges here over my 5 years with VMware. I worked on a platform for data collection and analysis with state-of-the-art analytics technologies and deployed AI to make VMware products more autonomous. VMware gives employees the opportunity to step out of their daily work and experiment with a completely new project for three months. I am currently developing a new blockchain based product of the company with interesting security and data transparency features. VMware is powered by the latest cloud native technologies, with the greatest achievements in AI and distributed systems. It’s like working for a Silicon Valley company, but in the heart of Bulgaria.