In our weekly series we chat to members of the Redgate Product Development team to find out what makes them tick. This week we caught up with Maya.
- Your name and role
My name is Maya Malakova and I am the technical lead of one of the product development teams at RedGate. My team is working on a suite of tools that removes the pain that companies go through when making changes to databases.
2. How long have you done this, what did you do before?
I started in this role at the start of 2019. It is my first management role. Before that, I was a software engineer for more than 10 years. I started my first job as a junior developer back in my home country Bulgaria while still studying informatics at uni.
3. How did you become a tech lead?
I started with programming while still in school. Then I studied Informatics at Sofia University and the next step was to get a junior developer job and progress in the ranks of software engineering.
When I moved to the UK I got the opportunity to be a scrum master for my team. This was a big shift for me and taught me to think about communication, team health and effective processes. I can say it was a stepping stone towards becoming a tech lead.
Then last autumn there was internal recruitment for a technical lead position here at RedGate and I applied for it.
4. What sort of things did you do to prepare you for the role?
I actually applied for the tech lead role twice. My first application was not successful but it gave me a better idea of what is expected from a tech lead and got me in this mind space. I started observing other tech leads more closely, I read a few books, went to an agile conference, got experience in people management by being an intern manager. The second time I reviewed the feedback I got from the first attempt and thought of how I have progressed on it. I also checked my notes from the “giving difficult feedback” taring I did earlier in the year. Giving feedback is very important for a successful line manager.
5. Did you always know you wanted to become a tech lead?
I wanted to be an artist back in kindergarten. That did not last long. I still do some drawing as a hobby though.
I knew from early that I want to be programming. I was not so sure about doing anything that involves people management. It took me a while to agree with myself that this is the natural progression for me.
6. What’s the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning?
The thought of good coffee and breakfast… Other than that I am looking forward to making things — baking some bread, planting tomatoes, adding a new page to an application.
7. What’s the thing that makes you want to put the alarm on snooze?
I rarely use an alarm to wake up. Something what makes me want to stay in bed is a calendar full of meetings.
8. What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking to do your role?
Give it a shot. If you don’t succeed the first time don’t give up but take the feedback you get very seriously and apply again when you feel you have progressed.
9. Best advice to give to someone looking to join Redgate?
Knowing your stuff will be important, but it is equally important to be ready to learn, take initiative and be friendly.
10. Where do you see Redgate in 5 years’ time?
I hope the company will continue to grow year after year, but it won’t lose this great feeling of comradery in the office.
11. Describe what Ingeniously Simple means to you.
Ingeniously simple is a small clever solution to a large problem. A solution like that is easy to understand but is usually difficult to get to. Getting consistently such solutions requires the courage to try things, a drive to simplify and wide-open senses.