Schwarz IT Will Make It Happen: The Unique Opportunity to Join the Bulgarian Agile Coaching Team - the Story of Evtim Bitrakov
Evtim Bitrakov has graduated from Kingston University with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science. Until his first job testing video games, Evtim had not even considered the IT industry as a career option. At that point, however, it was clear that this was the field he would challenge in the foreseeable future.
What is the path you have followed in the company?
I started working at Lidl Digital about four years ago. I was hired as a manual QA. Previously, I had just under four years of experience in this field and was very excited to start on the ground floor of a promising young company that also benefited from being an established brand.
What was the first thing that impressed you at Schwarz IT Bulgaria?
During my first three years with the company, I was lucky enough to work with the most good-natured, mercilessly funny and dedicated teams ever. Both the Bulgarian QA department and Battery Acid, the front-end development team, made going to work a real adventure. But it was not just those two teams that captured my imagination. I was absolutely blown away by every single interaction with the amazingly experienced Agile Coaches, who often conducted training sessions, educational games, and team-building events for us. Just being alongside Ralf Kintrup, Aleksandar Tsonkov and Kaloyan Petrov inspired me because they all seemed to get to the core of any problem so effortlessly and then come up with a plethora of solutions. They were genuinely having fun working with us and we genuinely loved working with them.
What has been your greatest achievement at the company?
I was very clearly intrigued by Agile, and it didn’t take long for these three experienced coaches to notice my interest and to encourage me to change career paths. I seized the opportunity and started preparing for such a transition, but the more I read the more I realized that becoming an Agile Coach would be a much harder battle than I thought.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned on the job?
What is special about Agile Coaches is that the main requirement isn’t a diploma or demonstrating encyclopedic knowledge of the Scrum Guide – its experience.
What challenges do you face and what helps you to overcome them?
How do I started in a field that only requires me to have experience in that field? I had almost given up, but then Kaloyan Kurtajoff (the QA lead for Bulgaria) and Ivan Lanzov (the Agile Coach lead for Bulgaria) stepped in. They organized a meeting for me, an interview, to see if I met the knowledge requirements for an Agile Coach, and I remember very clearly what Ivan said to me after that interview: „We will make it happen. Not “we will see” or “we can try” or “maybe”.” And indeed, the next time I had a vacancy as an Agile Coach position, I was offered a unique opportunity to join the Bulgarian Agile Coaching team.
What motivates you to develop?
Now I can pursue my future goals and improve as an Agile Coach. I am very excited to have been given this opportunity and I can’t wait to gamify any Agile process I can get my hands on. I am very grateful аnd I want people to know that Schwarz IT offers a number of unique opportunities to its employees and I am living proof of that.