One Developer – a Thousand Passions. Teaching, beekeeping and many more

What we are most proud of at Strypes are the great people that we have on board. We are lucky to work with some of the most skilled professionals and to be able to support their personal goals, interests and hobbies. One of the best examples of а colleague with numerous talents, skills, and passions is Aleksandar Tankov, Senior Developer and Technical Lead at Strypes. Last year he was invited to teach at the Technological School “Electronic Systems” at the Technical University – Sofia and to contribute to the development of the future IT talents in Bulgaria.

Alex shares with us what inspires him to teach and why this is a serious challenge and responsibility.

Alex, how did you end up being a teacher at the school which is part of the Technical University in Sofia?

I have always wanted to share knowledge and help children learn and grow. However, this opportunity found me just a few days before the beginning of the school year and I had no time to consider the proposal that much. I just knew that it would be a great challenge but also a big step towards achieving my personal goals.

Why did you decide to accept the challenge?

Because of one of my fears. I have been a speaker at events for the DEV community. I can talk in public at work, but speaking in front of dozens or hundreds of people that I don’t know has always frightened me. And I looked at this invitation as a wonderful opportunity to fight against it. Leading a class of 30 students sounded like a good beginning to me.

Tell us a bit about the challenges that you came across.

First of all, this new initiative was a challenge both for me as a person and as a professional. Teaching requires a lot of time and energy. At the same time, I needed to take into account my job and my other side activities. Fortunately, Strypes and my manager gave me full support and encouraged the idea which was an additional stimulus for me.

What about teaching? How did you manage the progress of so many students?

Beside the challenges, I would like to mention the satisfaction and the reward you gain from teaching.

When you notice the result from your efforts – high students get new knowledge and develop new skills and become ,more confident in themselves after every single class – this is what really matters
Of course, it is not easy to balance the progress that different students have. They all have their own learning habits and personal rhythm to be considered. It is a challenge to find ways to make everyone motivated and entertained to keep learning and doing. In a situation of teaching and studying at home this was even more challenging, since I was not able to get real-time feedback about the way my students perceived the lessons. To me, online education increases the gap between the most ambitious students and the ones that need more time and attention to grow.


Did you find a solution to this challenge?

I did my best to bring the highest possible value to all my students. I was always available for those who had additional questions. My mission was to help them learn and get the most out of our mutual work. Part of my approach was also to stimulate their proactive work by giving small rewards or gifts to everyone who was involved and showed their motivation or put in a little extra effort.

Now the school year has come to its end. Will you continue teaching in future?

Teaching turned out to be so rewarding for me when I see many young students with great potential of turning into wonderful developers. Strypes is giving me another opportunity to continue teaching and contributing to the development of a Python community in Burgas where our new office is located. Together with my colleagues, I will be working on building a full, brand new Python course for the “University “Prof. Dr Asen Zlatarov” – Burgas”.

We know that public speaking and teaching is not the only thing you are passionate about. Tell us about your hobbies.

I am the general honey supplier in Strypes as I am a passionate beekeeper. In addition, I am keen on any kinds of sports and I have my own camper which allows me to travel and work from anywhere.

How does all of this go with your job at Strypes?

I am lucky to have my company supporting not only my work but also my side projects and hobbies. We are flexible both for working hours and location. For me this means spending more time with family and friends in my hometown Vratsa or being somewhere on the road.

One last question. What do you try to teach your students apart from IT and development skills?

Today students have greater potential and are much more advanced in technologies than we were at their age. They will soon be able to outperform our own IT capabilities and skills, I believe. My idea is to inspire and make them approach every problem with a can-do attitude and to stay motivated. Last, but not least, every project they do, every solution they find, every job they take, must bring them personal fulfillment and satisfaction.

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