Women in IT: Meet Desislava Tsvetkova

What is your favorite technology? – It is my belief that having a favorite technology can only be harmful and can make you biased. Technology is constantly changing, and we should follow it. That’s part of our job. There is always something new to learn.

Introduce yourself
Hi! My name is Dessy, 24, and I am a software developer at Astea. I am currently doing my Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, after having done my Bachelor’s Degree there, too.

Tell us how you started working at Astea?
I really wanted to gain some hands-on experience that I couldn’t get at the university. And… it worked! Astea is a wonderful place. Here, I have the opportunity to combine work with education. I’ve noticed that at most companies that’s almost impossible. However, at Astea, personal development is strongly encouraged. The company allows us to have a few hours every day that can be dedicated to studying, or to a hobby, as well as additional days off for my exams. Astea is unique in this aspect. So, I’ve never had to compromise, on the contrary – I have been given the opportunity to do all the things that I’ve wanted.

What would you say about your current work at Astea?
I’ve learned a lot at Astea, both from my colleagues and from the problems we’ve encountered – not only in technical terms but in a social aspect as well. I am deeply thankful to everybody that I’ve worked with here and who has taught me something. I am also thankful for all the support that I’ve been getting here. Astea is a company with many ambitious and inspiring people, and role models who have a lot of knowledge to offer.

What was the most challenging problem that you’ve encountered in your work here?
We face many challenges on a daily basis. I find it most exciting to be working with people in general, regardless of them being clients or colleagues. I will let you in on a simple, yet clichéd, trick, that has helped me a lot – never forget that our work is, first and foremost, a collaboration, not a competition. That makes the whole team more efficient, and I know that they would always support me if needed.

Last year was your third internship at Google. Tell us about your experience there.
Google is a mixture of individuals with different nationalities, cultures, and customs. It’s a very different environment. And the work there is diverse, with hundreds of projects and offices. Everything there is on a completely different scale.

Are there any similarities between Astea and Google?
Actually, the two companies are quite similar. They both focus on their employees and go by the idea that only employees who are happy and content can achieve success. Therefore, they both put a lot of effort into this. The difference is in the size of both companies, and at Google, there is a strict chain of command, whereas, at Astea, people are more “equal”, strangely as this sounds, and there are no barriers, let’s say, between an intern and the CTO.

What compels you to come back to Astea?
My desire to learn.

What is your favorite technology?
It is my belief that having a favorite technology can only be harmful and can make you biased. Technology is constantly changing, and we should follow it. That’s part of our job. There is always something new to learn.

What inspires you?
I find inspiration in many things, but most of all in the people who have made it in our line of work. And I don’t mean the rich and famous people like Bill Gates or Elon Musk. I mean the ordinary people that I get to meet every day. What makes them extraordinary to me, is the fact that they’ve started at the bottom, they’ve achieved a lot, and that they still keep on fighting.

What would be your advice to the newcomers at Astea?
My advice to them would be to never stop being curious and asking questions. Asking questions is crucial to learning. It is never too late and there is nothing wrong with asking a question or seeking help. Just know that there would always be someone who’d be willing to help.