Anthill has established itself as a leader in enabling scale-ups and corporations expanding internationally to set up product development centers and provide them with faster access to tech talent. For the past 3 years, the company has helped more than 10 enterprises to develop their teams in Bulgaria. The professionals here are some of the drivers of success for Uber, VMWare, and others. Engineers are redefining how the products of corporations work by using some of the latest technologies.
Today, we meet Stanislav Kotev, a Senior BI Engineer, who joined Anthill’s team a few months ago. He has been developing his career in the analytics domain for more than 10 years. He shares his reasoning for becoming part of Anthill, the different opportunities this new position offers, and the importance of building products with global impact. Stanislav also sheds some light on the gaining of knowledge in different business domains to have a successful career in the Analytics field.
Q: Can you share more about yourself?
My name is Stanislav Kotev, and I’m a Senior BI Engineer at Anthill. I have vast experience in the IT industry as I have been involved in various job roles connected with Analytics.
In my spare time, I enjoy being close to nature and practicing different physical activities. Apart from that, I’m a music lover, it’s an integral part of my daily life.
Q: Can you share with us more about the role of a Senior BI Engineer? How have the responsibilities changed throughout your career?
Senior BI Engineer is a technically oriented job and the responsibilities include usage of data analytics to solve particular business problems. The primary objective of the role is to communicate and work closely with business stakeholders and product owners to deliver technical solutions that serve end-users. Data analysis can be viewed from two perspectives. The first one is supporting end-user systems to ensure the availability and accuracy of the information. The second one requires an understanding of data analytics and business domain to model information in order to solve a business problem.
Q: How does a day in your life go?
Having a daily routine is significant for every one of us. My day always begins early with a cup of coffee, sometimes even two. Next on my list are my parental responsibilities – driving my son to kindergarten. A thing I found beneficial for my personal health is to dedicate one hour a day for any kind of physical activity either a walk in the park or a quick gym workout.
After that, I start my work day by reviewing my inbox for overnight emails from colleagues in the United States. Due to the time difference it is important to find a time slot for the general meetings that include both sides. Most of the time this is between 4-7 pm when the majority of sync-meetings happen. In the meantime, I’m focusing on my projects that should be finalized and delivered.
Q: How did you get involved in Analytics? How did your passion for it come up?
My interest originated from the power of using data to better understand various business processes. What kept my interest was the ability to constantly help solve business problems with data and forecast different outcomes. Throughout the years I gathered rich experience in a wide range of roles in the business intelligence field within the IT sector.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you previously faced when looking for a job?
The biggest challenge was finding the right industry and company in which I can develop my career. My desire for change was triggered by the rapid pace of development and the increasing popularity of technology and computer software. My professional experience has always been connected with business analytics, thus I decided to search for a more technical position to understand the other side of the business intelligence industry.
Q: Why did you choose Anthill?
Anthill provides the unique possibility to be in touch with different software companies that offer a wide range of products and excellent opportunities that take you closer to your career goals.
For instance, some products are created for internal use of the business to make it grow. Whereas, when a product is made entirely for the end-user and has a larger deployment range, the impact for the people is bigger. It might not necessarily solve a complex business issue, but it provides a solution for many individuals.
Q: Throughout your career, you’ve worked for a few companies and taken different roles. What is the most interesting or memorable project you worked on? What is unique about it?
I have been involved in many memorable projects in my professional career, and it would be hard to distinguish only one. I have managed to learn something from every single one. A project I really enjoyed was related to tracking the results of marketing campaigns promoting a software product. It was quite a complex case because we had to find the proper business solution and gain a deep understanding of the whole business domain. The interesting part was that it required the knowledge and expertise of professionals in different business departments, such as marketing, customer advocates, data warehouse engineers, BI engineers analysts, etc. In order to successfully complete the project, not only we had to create a BI product (dashboard) but also to team up with the software engineering team to change the functionality of the underlying business system. This is how we met the client’s needs and expectations.
Q: You’ve taken managerial/leadership roles in the past few years. What are the principles you follow when you’re in charge?
I have a couple of philosophies that guide me through the process of leading and managing a team. One is to create a workplace that helps all people to develop. Understanding the employees’ aspirations and needs is an important part of helping and motivating them to grow in their career. Another thing worth noticing is that as a leader, you should provide guidance and coaching to the team members based on their development stage.
Q: What are the necessary skills that a potential employee should have?
A prerequisite for me is the ability of a person to be open to acquiring new knowledge and skills. For me, the desire to be informed is not only crucial to learning new things, but is also connected to extending the skills in a job role outside of a person’s comfort zone. Another thing I am searching for in a candidate is the ability to embrace diversity. Diversity is the range of similarities and differences each person brings to the workplace. The key is to be open to understand other people’s perspectives and approaches to solving a particular problem without regard to their origin or culture, especially in today’s multinational work environment.
Q: How do you empower people you manage to excel in their professional lives?
My primary approach is to give people the freedom by asking them questions about how they think a task should be best approached. I believe it’s vital for a person to communicate and respect others’ perspectives to be a successful manager.
I always give my team the latitude to think, make decisions, solve problems, and take action on behalf of the business. As a manager, I’m always there to support and help them. Throughout the years, I came to the conclusion that providing my team with the freedom to exercise their knowledge and skills is what helps them develop in the long run.
Q: What do you want to achieve in the future?
My goal is to keep flourishing and growing, while helping other people in addition to keep working on developing new products and solutions for problems our customers encounter.