My story, Part I. Automotive. Quick start and ramp up

When I started my third year in the University, I had the chance to start also my career. In 2003 Bulgaria was still in a stagnation period which followed the big inflation. The software industry in Bulgaria had nothing in common with its growth nowadays. The students (and not only they) had hard times with limited monthly budget.

I had a great background from the high school of mathematics and natural sciences in my hometown and the first two years in the Technical University of Sofia. Actually I missed some dynamics in my life, needed more learning experience and so, during my internship in a French university, I applied for the job of automation validation of embedded software.

It was a small company called Borg Instruments Ltd. that experienced by this time its acquisition by the big corporation Johnson Controls Inc. They were both suppliers of big automotive OEMs. Lucky me, the company called me right away.

I still remember myself smiling during the interview when receiving the kind proposal from the CEO to join the company saying “If you decide to accept…”! I was so happy.

So I joined a team of 60 software and hardware engineers, all of them selected with caution and care about the team, the products and the customers. Those were great professionals willing to share their knowledge and grow. And I was eager to learn. We talked openly to the small company CEO that became managing director of the big company in Sofia. The other leading department in the company were considered as clients.

The company in Sofia started a tremendous growth and in a year and a half, it doubled its size. During this time I got my Master degree in Electrical Engineering.

The increase of headcount in my company created a pressing need for restructuring. I was nominated for leader of the biggest team of 9 test automation engineers.

The dynamics were constant. Soon I accepted the opportunity to lead a testing department taking care of the test strategy and teams for a list of OEMs. Those were GM/Opel (by this time together), Ford, all internally build products and components, as well as the newly acquired VW.

By the way the process of getting a new and such a big customer as VW was pretty exciting and I learned a lot on how to present your strengths.

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