What is the better place to develop your Python skills – A university in the Netherlands or a Bulgarian AI company?

Picture for post regarding the better place to develop your Python skills

Svetoslav Ivanov has been part of Cosmos Thrace for almost two years. He joined the company as a student in a Dutch university where he is studying Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence. He applied for the job of Python developer as he had already been taking Python courses but wanted to gain some real-life experience in the area and develop his Python skills. 

Two years later and on the verge of his university graduation, many colleagues would argue that he has become one of the best Python professionals in the company but also a great friend, colleague, and often the funniest guy in the room. 

The journey to becoming part of Cosmos Thrace

The path to becoming part of Cosmos Thrace was pretty straightforward for Svetoslav. He was looking for a job to complement his studies when he found out that we were hiring. From the first interview, it was obvious that we shared common values and common goals. 

Regarding the hiring process and the incentives behind applying for the job he says the following:

“I was very passionate about Python programming in particular, which was one of the main languages used in Data Science and AI, hence in my university program, so I was very familiar with it. I found out that there was an open Python Developer position here at Cosmos Thrace, so I just wanted to try it out and get real-life programming experience. Looking at it now, I think that it was a great decision.“

The current working environment in Cosmos Thrace

“Being part of the company for almost two years now, I can say that everyone in it is open to a lot of changes and suggestions. Both on a project basis and on a company basis, you can propose a lot of things and your opinion is always heard. Another big benefit is that you have access to people who are higher up in management and are always open to assisting you with any issues that you might have.” 

On top of that Svetoslav mentions that the environment within the company is very friendly, but at times can be competitive, leading to minor project disagreements. However, he took this as a learning experience, stating that it helped him improve his managerial and soft skills.

Professional and personal development in the past two years

“Honestly, I develop my Python skills way more at Cosmos Thrace than at university. I got involved in projects that demand really advanced knowledge and that made me grow a lot in terms of Python development. The projects were harder than what I have been used to but also the colleagues were more knowledgeable and were always open to helping me , while leaving the space for me to be more independent.

“However, in the future I see myself developing more on the management side rather than on the software engineering one. I had the opportunity to do it a few times in the past year and I really enjoy it. I feel like I am good at delegating tasks and also having an overall view of the state of the project and what needs to be done for it to smoothly move forward.” 

Life outside Cosmos Thrace

Being both enrolled in university and working professionally has its downsides as well. As Svetoslav mentions, currently he does not have enough time to practice his favorite hobbies. He is generally a very active person as most of his hobbies are in the sporting sphere. Before having such a busy schedule he was often in the gym doing some weightlifting training or at the boxing gym, sparring. 

“Also I used to love running – I have actually completed the Sofia marathon three times. So I have a lot of kilometers behind me. Actually, programming is a lot like running a marathon – it takes a lot of time and effort but you are always satisfied with the end result. I can also mention gaming as something I like – I would say that most of the people my age fell in love with programming because of computer games.” 

Take a look at our careers page in order to be able to develop your Python skills as well!

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