Meet the team: Ivan Deskov, Staff Engineer
Written by Ivan Deskov
Born and raised in Ruse, Bulgaria, I moved to the UK at the age of 23 to advance my career as a software engineer. I was keen to learn about and experience different ways of working, so I changed jobs frequently and always tried to extract as much knowledge as possible from my co-workers. Fast-forward 6 years, I'm back to Bulgaria, in Sofia, still passionate about tech and the unknown.
I joined SumUp in 2020 as a Senior Engineer in the Bank Tribe. There was this 'Business Account' product no one seemed to know about, and my team was supposed to make it possible for merchants to move money in and out of their accounts. 2 years in, we're processing thousands of euros worth of transfers daily. I have now assumed the role of Staff Engineer, and apart from doing my best to ensure smooth transactions, I'm also trying to make friends with more engineers from the tribe and potentially make their lives easier.
It may sound silly, but I was a bit worried about the future of my career when moving back to Bulgaria. London and the area around it is a massive hub for the tech industry, and from what I'd gathered, Sofia's tech sector mainly involved outsourcing jobs, which wasn't ideal for me. I was looking for a long-term commitment with a meaningful product that I could give my best and check if I could make it work. SumUp met all my expectations for a product company - we see tech as the core of our business, and there's no unnecessary meaningless process typical for larger enterprises. Plus, the job gives me a sense of purpose, which is great.
I keep meeting people who have worked at SumUp for 7, 8, or 9 years and hear their stories. Back when there weren't any large offices and fancy titles next to their names, people just worked day and night (literally) to build a fantastic product which brought real value to customers. Being around such people feels great as they still carry this vibe. It helps you do what makes sense and always reminds you why you're doing what you're doing.
Apart from the obvious challenge - being responsible for people's money - I think getting to know all the different ways people can operate with their funds and trying to build good-enough abstractions in my code to cater for all of them is what really pushes me to my limits.
We're a very young organisation that has grown a lot over the last year, and we're still trying to figure out how to collaborate best and solve problems. We've got teams in Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, and Lithuania, and most of us haven't met in person. Things change a lot, and it may sound demanding, but I'm actually enjoying it. There's always room for improvement, so people have the opportunity to shine and save the day. I've never felt like I can't freely express my opinion and higher management is always open and approachable, which is a big bonus. Most importantly, I've built great relationships with my co-workers, and I feel we've always worked together.
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