iOS Team Lead
2011 - Currently
Melon gives me a lot of freedom and trusts my choices.
Nikki joined Melon in 2011 as a junior iOS developer. Following the evolution of both the company and the team, he is now the team lead of the iOS department, senior iOS developer, and project manager.
Nikki got his bachelor's degree in Computer Science in Sofia. In the summer after his freshman year, he sought job opportunities in the IT industry, sending his CV to companies, including Melon. He remembers that he had a friendly interview at Melon, and soon joined the team as a junior iOS developer.
Nikki's first project was on-sight with Coca-Cola. With almost no experience, he dived headfirst into a serious project. The experience gave him a real boost in his technical knowledge and soft skills.
Being an early bird in a software development company
Nikki wasn't like this at first. But gradually he started to appreciate coming early at work - around 7:30 am. As a Project manager, he first begins by following up on the projects. Nikki looks for road-blocks and how the team should manage them, what is the status of the project, etc. “It is essential to prioritize your work,” Nikki says. He then goes through his emails. Naturally, the inbox is a cluster. He answers the urgent ones and then prioritizes the others. Afterward, he starts with the tasks he had planned the day before.
The team's wellbeing reflects how good a team leader you are
At meetings with the client, Melon management and the team, Nikki is the mediator. “I want my team to be happy with their work,” he says. There is a lot of human resources and psychology in being a team lead.
A healthy balance is the key
Nikki likes the fast pace of his work. However, he knows that balance is essential for staying sane. Fortunately, in the software development industry, some months are highly demanding, and others allow you time for self-improvement and self-reflecting. “Melon gives me a lot of freedom and trusts my choices,” he notes.
His motto: “I need to do better.” He says that seeing the result of his work is the best feeling ever.
MapToSnow – an award-winning project
So far, the best project for Nikki's is MapToSnow. Via the application, athletes can track their performance measuring top speed, distance covered, altitude, etc. On the other hand, the gamification layer turns the slopes into a real playground. Users win badges for their activity on the slopes and compete against one another. The app received an award at the Bulgarian Web Awards. He liked the client as much as the application. “They were mindful and friendly towards our work, which is very important,” Nikki says. At some point, he and his team had to spend their workday at the mountain testing the application.
Melon attracts like-minded people
One thing he likes about the company is the way it hires people. “We are always looking for like-minded people,” he says. "Technical skills are important, but we also value people who are smart, nice and make things happen. That kind of a person asks questions. If they have a tasks, they won't just deliver from the list of specifications, but also will ask why we do it and how to do it in the best possible way. This mindset is typical of the family spirit in the company, not only in the iOS team."
Melon has a flat structure
“Not everywhere you can kid with the CEO of the company,” Nikki says. “Newcomers should fit like a piece of the puzzle. And it works. You can see it at our parties. Of course, people are leaving. However, when you see our gatherings with current employees and alumni, the energy is there. They all appreciate the company. So, my conclusion is that the best thing about Melon is the people. You see people talking about sports, politics, astronomy, you name it. We don't enjoy the culture where you come to work, put on your headphones and after 8 hours, you just leave. We like interacting with each other.”
We still need improvement
“In my opinion, what our company needs right now is more aggressive sales department, so we can get the projects that fit our vision and expertise. The company knows it and is increasing efforts. We still have to improve our marketing and employee experience, but I can see we are getting there too.”
New York hip hop, folk dances, nature, and friends
Nikki used to play a lot of basketball. He loves underground hip hop music but that’s not all. He's also a big fan of traditional Bulgarian folk music and has been attending folklore dance classes for two years now. He also enjoys hiking and spending time with his friends and family. Nikki is super excited about physics and astronomy. When he was little, he wanted to become an astronaut.