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After all my years here, I believe that the people at SAP are truly the greatest asset that the company has, and I am very happy to be part of those people.
Silviya Dicheva has been with SAP for 13 years and is a Development Manager at SAP Labs Bulgaria working on Business Technology Platform Core. We spoke to her about her SAP journey and why she’s still here 13 years on.
I heard about SAP from my roommate while I was still doing my studies. At first, I didn’t think that I would be well suited as I didn’t have Java coding experience, so I started my career elsewhere. Later on, SAP had a big hiring campaign and my now ex-roommate recommended me for a job, and that is how I landed at SAP.
I still remember my interview, it was a very friendly conversation with the recruiter and then the hiring manager, and they offered me the position almost immediately after that. I started as a Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist and have since held a number of roles in my 13 years here. I was Team Lead for a team of QA Specialists and after that I became a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and finally Development Manager. Over the years I have had the opportunity to work on a lot of different products and topics in addition to the positions I held. But what I consider the most precious experience is the great professionals I met along the way and had the luck to work with. After all my years here, I believe that the people at SAP are truly the greatest asset that the company has, and I am very happy to be part of those people.
My role as a development manager is easy to explain – I support my colleagues to do their best and achieve their personal goals as well as our company goals. Our business is related to Site Reliability Engineering for our Business Technology Platform, so we are dealing with outages and stability issues as well as implementing auto-remediation and observability capabilities for our cloud services. I have this joke that because of my work, now also in my personal life I am the person who always has a plan B, a way out of a disaster, explores all possibilities for a catastrophe to happen and how to avoid them. Although it is not the most reassuring information that one wants to hear when planning a long-distant vacation or a mountain hike with the family it surely is helpful.
I feel most energized when the work that I do has an impact and meaning for somebody, and as a people manager this goes hand in had with my job responsibilities.
In that sense our company’s mission resonates very well with me. Let me tell you a story about that. Last year my team was involved in supporting few solutions that SAP developed overnight to help fight the pandemic. One application was helping Governments bring citizens back home when the borders were closed, another one was helping hospitals manage their Covid beds better. Everyone in my team was committed to support on short notice, no questions asked. I was truly touched when we received a “thank you” email from a colleague, saying that thanks to us she was able to welcome her son home safe. In moments like this one realizes that our mission is not just nice words on paper, it is real, SAP is helping the world run better and improving people’s life.
Success for me is to find meaning in the job, to grow and to learn, to contribute to achieving a goal that is bigger than just one person. SAP helps me a lot in that sense, as already mentioned, to contribute to building a better world around us. Also, our company is very social and we as employees have a lot of opportunities to take part of socially responsible activities, charity events and others. I don’t want to mention specific people, I want to say that all the great people that I worked with throughout the years have taught me something. Starting with my first manager, and the team I joined, all the teams and managers I worked with afterwards, I learned something from every one of them, and I like to think that I also gave them something from myself which enriched them. The last couple of years I am especially proud and happy with my team –almost all of them were new hires and I am very happy how they integrated in the company and the great results we achieved together.
Culture is one of the topics that I am most passionate about. I am part of a team in SAP Labs Sofia, formed completely on voluntary basis by leaders in the Lab, that is celebrating and showcasing the great culture that we have in our location. I like the teamwork, the wiliness to work together, to help each other, that we recognize and appreciate the good examples among us. I like that we have a growth mindset, the colleagues around me never stop learning and develop themselves and the products that we build and support. Also, I like a lot that we are open minded and honest, and we are not afraid to share openly our opinion. We have many open channels to the different management levels, up to the Board level, where we can provide our open feedback and get relevant responses.
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