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From Intern to Head of Tech: The Story of Our Kostadin Kadiev


Every techie has a story of their first steps in the tech industry – but how many of them can say they’ve gone from start to top in one place? Not many, that’s for sure. But our Head of Technology, Kostadin Kadiev, is not your regular techie. From the day he first came through the doors at IT Labs, he sta- well, we’re not going to tell you the whole story because it’s not ours to tell.

Just keep on reading below.

How did you start your

I started with IT Labs in July 2010, when I had my second .NET internship. It was an excellent experience for me – I had a very knowledgeable mentor who wanted to share his know-how and explain, clear goals that I had to achieve on a daily/weekly basis, and I liked the overall culture of the company. The talks in the kitchen about various social issues, the inside jokes, the fun meetings, the loud lunches, the people in general – I enjoyed it from the get-go. We were around 20 in those days, and I immediately had a sense of belonging in this community.

Why IT Labs?

It’s a funny story because my mentor from my first summer internship in 2009, who was with another company, joined IT Labs in 2010. When I reached out to him about opportunities, he recommended IT Labs, and I applied immediately with my roommate – Tome. There was another one on that internship, Bojan, and today all three of us are working at IT Labs.

What was more important for you and your development - work or mentorship?

I have to say both were equally important, simply because it works both ways. I had some great mentors during my career and learned a lot through their guidance. Still, the mentor-mentee relationship is successful only if the mentee is equally invested in it.

What advice would you give?

  • a. -“Remain Open-Minded” in terms of technology. Our world is beautiful and full of twists & surprises, creativeness, and experimentation. Get excited and try to utilize that in your everyday work. 
  • b. -“Software Engineering is a lot more than programming” – the reality of the software developer job is that it requires other skills like communication, proactivity, and knowledge sharing. It is never too early to start improving these. 
  • c. -“Think in milestones” – whatever you set your mind to, no matter how hard it seems, you can do it with a proper plan consisting of clear goals and milestones. Even the most complex, epic goal can be “divided” and “conquered” with more minor and reachable milestones.

The biggest challenges and how you overcame them?

When the pandemic started, I was just reassigned as Technical Lead to a new project with fixed scope and deadline. After a few years on one project, I relocated to my hometown because the kindergartens were closed, and I’ve recently become a father. The project’s biggest challenge was that I had to work fully remote with a new team coming together for the first time. At the same time, I also missed my previous team and hanging out with them in the office. So, I overcame these challenges by thinking about milestones and the support from my wife and family. In retrospect, I’m grateful for the opportunity because we grow the most when facing such challenges.

As the Head of Technology, what competencies do you value most among your team members?

a. -Engagement – always an important trade, becoming even more critical since going fully remote due to the pandemic. People’s driving force may be technology, but the relationships and how engaged we are in them keep them in the company. b. -Lead by example – I’m all for “Lead by Example,” as I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words and that this is the best way to inspire people.

What do you find to be the most exciting aspect of IT Labs?

The company is constantly evolving and becoming more open to change. Everybody can contribute to the company’s growth in terms of technologies, processes, and innovative ideas. The company, and vice versa, is committed to contributing to people’s growth via training, certifications, conferences, and other ways. Proactivity and radical candor are encouraged, providing an excellent framework for development on both ends – personal and professional.

How do you define success in life?

To be healthy, fulfilled and loved. I’m happy to be alive and to possess the ability to pursue goals, whatever they may be in different stages of my life.

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