From Taxi to Taxfix: "Taxfix gave me something I had been missing — a huge tribe"

Marian Jarzak
Mar 3 · 5 min read
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Tichomir Rangelov is one of our React Software Engineers and recently joined our Taxfix team. Previously, Tichomir was driving a taxi and owned his own company. Read on to find out how he joined Taxfix.

Tell us a little about yourself — what is your background? What did you do before joining Taxfix?

The first time I saw a computer was when I was a teenager in my home country, Bulgaria. It was a Pravetz 8 bit — and later a Pravetz 16 bit. Pravetz computers were a line copy of IBM computers during the Cold War. I became involved and interested in computers quickly — and was soon able to print make simple lines and circles, and create some polygons on the screen — I did some gaming as well.

My family could not afford to buy a computer, so I used to work occasionally on the one at my school. It was not until early 1999 I was able to buy my first computer here in Berlin, Germany.

In 2007, after my daughter was born, I decided to expand my knowledge of computers and try my hand at web development. That was the period I got in touch with HTML, CSS, and of course, JavaScript ES3. I also became inspired by all the crucial inventions: jQuery, Chrome and V8 (2008), Node.js (2009), Webpack (2012), React, and the rise of single-page applications (2015+), etc. And eventually, in late 2016 — early 2017, I decided to continue with React and focus on SPA development.

During this time, I was freelancing a lot in Germany, the USA, and Bulgaria. I started a small company in Bulgaria in 2010, and for about three years, (since 2017), I have been on the board of the Berlin Taxi Union e.V., that has hundreds of taxi members.

Why did you drive taxis and own a taxi company for so many years?

I started driving a taxi in 1997 while I was a student of mechanical engineering in Bulgaria. For me, taxi driving became part of my culture, a relationship to society, and a way to support myself financially when my primary idea would not work out. In early 1999, after coming to Berlin, I proceeded in the same way — I also had a limousine service. There were lots of government and celebrity rides — I’ve had people in my car like Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Sir Bobby Robson (four times), and many others.

Driving taxi supported me for many years and allowed me to achieve my dreams and goals.

Honestly, I hate traffic jams. I decided that using a computer could make me even faster. Having said this, during the day, I would work on my computer, and in the evenings I would enjoy taxi driving. It turned out to be a good working symbiosis.

How did you learn React?

Bulgarian friends of mine influenced my decision to focus on React. They introduced it to me, helped me get started, and kept me involved. The study and training I did by myself by taking online courses, reading books, and documents. This allowed me to start my first React projects at the Taxi Union.

How did you end up at Taxfix?

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It’s a funny story. It was late one evening, and I was at TXL with my taxi looking for my last customer before going home. A smart looking guy jumped into my cab — he worked on his laptop during the ride. When we arrived at his destination, he insisted on paying by card, so I turned on my dashboard iPad to accept the payment — and my iPad started to play an Udemy video about React hooks and TypeScript. I stopped it immediately, however, my future friend instantly began to ask me what I was doing when I was not driving a taxi. And look at the screenshot on the left to see what happened.

Why did you decide to accept an offer to work at Taxfix?

Months before I had ever heard of Taxfix, I started a project about double-entry bookkeeping (stuff like SKR03, SKR04) to help entrepreneurs to calculate their future taxes during the business year. It proved to be fun and helpful for my small taxi company. I became passionate about managing the different kinds of taxes, and for this reason, Taxfix appeared very attractive to me — a natural extension to my previous ideas.

At Taxfix, you are in the Product Growth Group — what does this mean?

For me, it means development as a programmer and growth for the company. My job is to listen and analyze customer feedback, process improvements, introduce new features, and even more — like welcoming new smart people to our community.

What does a typical day as a React engineer at Taxfix look like?

I do my sports early in the morning. Then I am available for my team and my colleagues — resolving requests that come to us, understanding the legacy of the code base, and contributing through continuous development. As for the React part, it’s not only about React or JavaScript; these are only a small subset of the tech stack. And then there is the team, the environment. We share and discuss ideas, and are even able to argue about best practices and solutions.

What is your favorite part about working at Taxfix?

Oh, that is a complex question. The people inside for sure, the international environment, the challenges we’re facing, the knowledge we’re sharing, and the need and motivation to understand and learn more and more — or just to be better than yesterday.

Thank you so much, Tichomir.

Are you interested in joining our team? Have a look at our open positions here.

Team Taxfix

Taxfix company blog

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