Step into Strypes Lab 2024: Ready to Dive In?

As a busy professional and a father already, Krikor’s time is limited and the schedule is always busy. However, he is a true example of the saying that one should make time for their interests and not look for excuses.

  • Tell us a bit about your life before you joined Strypes.
  • I used to work as a jeweler for a short time, then I changed the sphere and mainly worked in the design and prepress field. Over the years I became more and more interested in IT, so I took two programming courses and then applied for Strypes Lab – the free programming courses that Strypes offers. I knew about the company from a friend, but once I decided to change my career path, I built a clear plan in my head – that I would gain some knowledge, enroll in Strypes Lab and give my best to be one of the “students” who, after completing the course, would start their career at Strypes. And this is exactly how things turned out for me!

  • And what were your hobbies and interests back then?
  • I do not know where to start with (chuckles). But let’s mention music. I still use it as a way to let off steam when needed and play the guitar from time to time but in high school I used to do it way more often and in a more professional manner, as I was part of two bands back then.

Growing up and changing his career paths on the way, some of Krikor’s hobbies have also changed and new ones have emerged. To start with, Krikor is into hiking. He found that love of his through another past hobby – Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) – a game, organized in nature, where all the participants portrait certain characters they’ve created. So this is how Krikor discovered that he loves spending time in the mountains and started hiking. His favorite trail is to Karadzhov Kamak, a place that is believed to be energetically charged and is part of three such energetic localities in Bulgaria together with Belintash and Krastova Gora. Krikor enjoys both exhausting long-lasting hikes where he and his group spend the night in the mountains – with tents or sleeping in local huts, as well as short one-day routes around Plovdiv.

Hiking not only is a physical activity but it charges your soul and senses as well. When one walks in nature they just cannot pass on the amazing landscapes that reveal on the way. Landscapes that deserve to be captured in a photo! And yes, you can guess right – Krikor is also into photography. A few years ago he got hooked on it, took a beginners course and bought himself semi-professional equipment. Krikor’s favorite things to take pictures of are… nature landscapes, the stars, figurines (we will get to these later)… and his daughter, of course! If you are interested, take a look at some of the photographs he has made by checking out his portfolio here!

  • Tell us about your other hobbies and interests.
  • My wife and I love board games. We have tons of those at home. I remember when I was a kid I used to play chess with my grandfather and enjoyed that time so much, so maybe this is how I can explain my board games “addiction”. When I go to the office, I usually bring a few that we can play during the breaks or after work (quick games that do not take up more than 20-30 minutes of gameplay). I am also way into 3D printing! It all came from the board games interest, actually. I needed 20 stands for one game that would make it much easier for us to play it so I bought a 3D printer. Now I am printing tons of things – from little souvenirs to objects that we need at home – hooks, cup holders, guitar picks, phone stands, laptop stands, etc. It turned out that a few colleagues in the office are into 3D printing as well, so every time I go there we exchange experiences. It’s crazy (laughs). I often 3D-print figures for board games as well as miniatures and not only that… I love painting them! It’s a tough process, having in mind the size of these figures/miniatures but this is how I build up my patience (laughs). My father was a jeweler and I believe I’ve got the dexterity with my hands from him! Now, speaking of that, another activity that I enjoyed in the past was chain mail making. When I used to play LARP I decided to sew my own armor, but I didn’t want it to be a leather one, so I made it from metal. I also used to design jewelry by using different types of metals.

Strypes has its internal Charity Club, fully organized and run by volunteer employees and some of the events include charity lunches in the offices where people cook various dishes beforehand and gather for a lunch supporting a charity cause in the office. Krikor is one of the main participants in the cooking initiative.

“My love for cooking can be explained by two things: number one: when I came to Plovdiv as a student, there was no one to cook for me so I had to learn how to do it. Number two: I have weird tastes and prefer to cook things by myself so I can experiment with the ingredients and spices. When I come upon a certain recipe I try it and modify it according to my taste. Many people ask me why I do not take pictures of my dishes but I focus on the taste, not so much the arrangement – it’s not my strong side, definitely.” shares Krikor as he adds that his family’s “go to” recipe is scrambled eggs and one thing that they always have in the kitchen’s cupboards is pasta. “I am also a fan of homemade pizzas and different types of sandwiches – cold, baked, etc.”, adds Krikor.

  • How do you manage to combine your hobbies and favorite activities with a full-time job in Strypes?
  • I usually work from home, which saves me around two hours a day that I can invest in activities other than commuting to the office. Plus, the home office gives me the freedom to grab the guitar and play a song instead of take a 10 minute break to chit-chat with colleagues or scroll social media. So I find time for the things I love!

  • And do you have a favorite moment at Strypes so far?
  • Every time I visit the office or get to see my colleagues is a special day for me. I love the fact that Strypes offers this home office and hybrid mode option – that way I can balance my personal and professional life… and my hobbies, as you see.. I have a lot…

  • Describe your Strypes adventure in 5 words:
  • A wild roller coaster ride!

To sum up, Krikor thinks that boredom is a choice today and even if you work from home and spend more time at home rather than somewhere else, you still have tons of things to do that can boost your mood. It’s truly a choice! And if you see Krikor in the office, know that you can also discuss video games with him as well as fantasy books, Star Wars (he is a huge fan), and puzzles!

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