For a long period of time working from home was something not so common, some would say privilege even. Some employers were using it as a part of the company’s social benefits. A couple of days home office a month sounded very tempting in job ads but it wasn`t a common practice. This came to an end with the Covid 19 pandemic – working from home became something that we had to adjust quickly so we can adapt and continue working. For some IT companies home office was something familiar with clear existing processes and expectations, but for others was something new with quite many unknowns.
So, how we can work when 50 to 70% of the company’s employees are not in the office?
Let’s be honest – after the happy feeling that you don’t have to waste time in the traffic on your way to the office is gone, it is clear that working from home can affect quality and efficiency and can have a demotivating effect on some people. The comfort of the home atmosphere can make you less productive compared to working in the office.
That is why we have put together some tips on how to keep your productivity level high during the home office.
Make a working space.
A big part of working from home effectively involves making a space where you can feel like being in the office. It is one thing to work from the kitchen table and completely different if you have a desk with a monitor, keyboard, and all other office staff. It is important to recreate a working environment. More and more researches prove that the way you are dressed has its impact as well – if you dress office-like and don’t spend your day in your pajamas (I know, it is very comfortable) it will affect your productivity and your motivation. Try to make yourself feel like you are in the office, even though it kills the charm of the home office, it is important for the course of your working day and you’ll be able even to turn your camera on during online meetings.
Start and finish work at the usual time.
We know that sometimes there are unexpected tasks that take longer and you need to start work earlier or finish later. Sometimes we cannot control it. Maybe you have noticed that when working remote you turn on your laptop with the first sip of coffee and you turn it off after the 7 o’clock news. Lunch breaks are also very floating, usually lasting about 15-20 minutes, enough to eat, and still take the usual working position. Since you are not traveling to the office, you may decide to start earlier or continue later, but it is better to stick to your usual work schedule.
Don’t forget that even though you are working from home it is your right to use a lunch break. Rule number one – don’t eat at your desk. If it possible use your break to go eat outside or have some time with your friends or colleagues. If you prefer not to do all the above, just a nice and relaxing lunch at home is enough. Why not even a short, invigorating siesta? You can use your lunch break to sign up for an online course or listen to a lecture. Don’t feel guilty for spending time for something different than work. This will make you more creative and more focused when you continue with your task later.
Keep in touch with your colleagues online.
One of the most difficult things working remotely is communicating with colleagues. Now it is not possible just to go to their desk to ask them something or to check the progress of today’s tasks. Just a few months ago you were coffee buddies every morning, talking about different stuff, playing football together. You were recharging each other’s batteries. One of the best things about working in the office is now one of the worst things about working remotely. The lack of social contact in such circumstances is by no means beneficial. Luckily today’s technology world allows us to communicate with whoever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want.
When you work in an office, corporate culture and interpersonal relationships occur spontaneously in the physical space. However, when you work remotely you have to find new ways to maintain some informal office practices. The jokes, the greetings, the harmless gossips, sharing personal interests, the attention to your colleague – all these things are now happening in the digital world through communication sources that allow spontaneous and free information sharing. One such source is The Donut app for Slack. It randomly selects a colleague you haven’t heard from in a while and arranges a meeting for both of you. A big plus is that it allows you to choose the people you don’t want to be connected with (your team colleague for example with whom you talk every day, sometimes twice or three times a day to talk about work tasks).
Keep a low social network profile (Reduce social networks).
They are easy to access and are constantly tempting you to open them. But that is not the way work will be done on time. To be productive we advise you to log out from all your social network accounts and remove the shortcuts on your internet browser. If you use Chrome you can go to the “Incognito” mode. This will keep you away from your account for a while and signing in will be slightly more difficult. Your virtual socialization can wait until the end of your working day.
After reading all these super valuable tips on how to be productive when working from home, the most important thing remains – to apply them. Or at least some of them.
With the dynamic development of the technology sector and in particular the IT sector, new opportunities for professional realization have naturally raised.
Software companies are entering new markets, the demand and supply of services follow the rapid trends in various fields and businesses.
The change is natural, but it is challenging to be always 100% aligned with all the new trends and innovations, to offer the best solutions, while maintaining the high quality of services provided. And in order not to be experts in everything, in recent years several new professions have raised.
Here below we will try to explain short and simple some of the roles in our team.
Software quality assurance (QA) – In general, these detail-oriented professionals are responsible for the detection and resolution of problems, and the delivery of satisfactory outcomes. A software quality assurance person’s main responsibility is to create and enforce standards and methods to ensure the quality of the code and to prevent bugs from ever occurring.
Their work is to find problems escalate them. It`s strange because usually, people try to find a good thing in the situation, but QA tries to find the problem – this makes them quite different and difficult, but deep in their souls they are nice people.
UX/UI designer – UX and UI design are two different elements of the consumer experience. UX refers to the user experience and focuses on how people interact with the application. UI, or user interface, focuses on the look and layout. Why are they so important? Without a specialist in that field, you can have the best application with the greatest features, and absolutely useless to customers. User experience is more and more important nowadays and users are more and more demanding and sensitive in that area.
Database developer – Database developers ensure that database management systems can handle massive quantities of data. Database Developers usually work as part of a software development team, modifying and editing database queries, troubleshooting issues, and designing and developing new databases. They are well-organized as personality and love to put the things in order, and by color, and by size. Also never insist to them that excel is or can be a database – this makes them angry.
DevOps is short for Development Operations. Those guys manage the IT infrastructure as per the requirement of the supported software code. That requires knowledge in computer networks, virtualization, cloud technologies, and automation of processes. They are very patient. This is a role designed to help a company’s cross-functional product team operate as effectively as possible.
ProdOps is short for Product Operations –People in that position have responsibilities similar to DevOps, only for the environments facing the customer. That usually means that every error they make costs money. The ProdOps Engineer understands the Application Maintenances and Production Support needs and brings mature experience to the Production space. They are brave, experienced, and smart. And sometimes they smile. The ProdOps Engineer is hands-on and will be challenged to design and implement continuous improvement in the Production environment.
The missing part of the puzzle – Software Developer and Software engineer –the processor and the brain of the product development.
A software engineer, a developer, and a coder walked into a bar. Here are the programmers – The bartender said.
A programmer is a collective term for the entire array of jobs that requires programming languages.
Software Engineers are responsible for the system as a whole. They build the software applying engineering principles to the creation of the product. They evaluate the needs to conceptualize a software system with the requirements. They observe the entire development life cycle knowing from one side the big picture and also having a strong background in engineering and taking into consideration the specifics of the different programming languages. In the end, software engineering means using engineering concepts to develop software. They have strategic thinking, they are precise and analytical they have the knowledge and the experience, and they know how to use them.
Software developer works with the clients to figure out what they want and also understands the software engineer’s instructions and translates them into lines of code. To do this, developers need a working knowledge of the software to be able to balance what the client wants with what the software can actually provide. The developer should be fluent in a few programming languages and different technologies, as well as can read and write algorithms. They are logical and calm as persons.
As we all know the gear wheels can`t move with a missing cog. It`s the same in software product development. In Grafixoft we have more than 90 professional software engineers, QAs, and ITSM consultants – our Great team. We are great in software engineering, we can give you the best advice for your business using ITSM and we can also guarantee excellent QA services.
Two first prizes were awarded to Komitet.bg and Kelvin Health teams!
BGN 10 000 provided by the Municipality of Gabrovo and the Gabrovo companies “Scientia” AD, “Grafixoft” and “Stemo” ltd. won the Komitet.bg team with participants Martin Pavlov and Stoyan Berov. They developed a mobile platform that helps citizens to share and apply good practices and ideas, to discuss them publicly, and refer them to concrete institutions. Komitet.bg received support directly from Silicon Valley and the software engineer Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who was their mentor.
Innovation Starter Accelerator awarded another BGN 10 000 to Kelvin Health. This very ambitious team of Hristo Stoyanov, Georgi Kadrev, and Georgi Kostadinov reached the finals of #GabrovoHackathon with a mobile application that can scan the human body through thermal imaging and show the suspected areas of infection through different colors. “For me, their work is extremely important and relevant to the fight against COVID-19 in the current situation in the country and around the world,” said their mentor Iravan Hira, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Bulgaria.
The jury ranked second EcoCulture team https://ecoculture.bg/. The application aims not only to stimulate separate waste collection but also to enforce environmentally friendly behavior.
The third prize deserved the team “Gabrovo is the Best”. Their project in the challenge Tourism @ Gabrovo offers the mobile application Explore Gabrovo.
# Gabrovo hackathon brought together 20 organizations – businesses, media partners, cultural and educational institutes, and public authorities. With the success of the initiative, the organizers from the Municipality of Gabrovo and the Regional Information Center – Gabrovo received the assurance and trust to continue to develop the startup ecosystem in Gabrovo.
Today everyone is talking about digital transformation and how important it is. Digitalization is not a new topic, it has been on the table for a long time, but it is also a fact that social distancing, the home office model, and the quarantine have definitely catalyzed the need for fast changes in different areas in our lives.
Many businesses had and still face difficulties trying to adapt to the new situation, market, and business environment. It is a well-known fact that not the strongest but the most adaptive survive the crisis, so in this complicated situation as the solution to any problems appeared the digitalization. Everyone started talking about the digital transformation of businesses as a float that can help survive.
Regardless of the type of business and its scale – the solution to everything became digitalization. But did the corona crisis actually pushed us in this direction or put also a psychological brake on businesses that are not absolutely ready for this step?
A lot of questions appeared – Is there a way to improve the services and products that our business offers and thus increase our market share? How and where to start, what are the processes that can be digitized in your company, who can do this to make more painless the forthcoming months of crisis?
Probably many of these questions, at first sight, can be simply answered, but the truth is deeper. What exactly does digital transformation mean and why it is so important right now?
Who can help us understand its benefits and how to best apply what we have learned so far to move to a digital environment?
Digital transformation will look different for every business but in general, it is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers.
Beyond that, the transformation sometimes means distancing from long-standing business processes with which we are really common and start building new from scratch.
If you want to make your company processes easy, traceable, and transparent, ITSM consultants can help you reach your full potential and during all stages of the project, building requirements precisely, planning time and cost, assisting you in improving your business processes.
The key ITSM capabilities include:
ITSM Consultancy Services, implementation services including project management and full-lifecycle implementation, administration services provided either on-premise or as a remote service, Remedy custom applications development, integrations with third-party applications.
In the end, one thing is sure, each company has more or less room for digitalization, which could lead to an increase in the performance, simplification of processes and supply chains, reduction of costs and staff, improvement of the services in terms of time and quality. But if we don’t know where to start, we can trust ITSM (IT service management) consulting professionals who will help us to see the big picture and the areas of improvement. With the power of IT Service Management, you can transform your business.
If you want, you can contact us for any information regarding our ITSM services and team.
Clutch, a ratings and reviews site connects service providers and buyers through data and verified research. Central to this process is client reviews. In this unique process, analysts have spoken directly with many of our clients and learned more about the services we provided.
With an overall 5.0 rating, we’ve seen strong results from Clutch’s extensive research process. We are thrilled to be recognized as a top developer in 2020.
Our client’s participation made this award possible, and we want to thank them for their time and honest feedback. Excerpts from recent reviews can be found below:
“Their attention to detail, responsiveness, and willingness to support our business are all greatly appreciated.” –CEO, Zegami
For Zegami, we conducted QA testing. We integrated with the internal development team and worked to ensure that their product was fully-functional and bug-free.
“The reason that this relationship is so strong is due to their integrity and honesty.” –Global Director for Services, FusionGBS
For FusionGBS, we provide IT consulting on a wide range of subjects.
We are grateful for everyone who has contributed to our success. We look forward to collecting more reviews and continuing to serve clients with the best services possible.
ICT Media published the official results of the prestigious ranking – Top 100 Technology Companies in Bulgaria 2020.
We are more than happy to share that our position in the overall ranking is significantly increased – from 77th place in 2018 to 62nd in 2019.
Ranked by revenue we are on the 31st spot among 50 software companies and the excellent 8th position of IT consultancy providers.
Grafixoft is on the leading 5th position in the annual growth ranking with 67.8% growth and 15th spot in the category “Most dynamic IT companies”.
2019 was a good year and we succeed to pass through a lot of challenges and to continue our improvement. 2020 is challenging for now but we hope to keep the right direction with precise steps, stable partnerships, and sustainable development.
All Grafixoft rankings in the ICT Top 100:
5th in Top 50 IT companies with highest growth YoY
8th in Top IT Consultancy providers, by revenue
15th in the 50 most dynamic IT companies
25th in Top 30 Software developers, by revenue
31st in The Top 50 Software companies, by revenue
38th in The Top 50 exporters, by revenue
40th in the Top 50 most profitable companies
*Source – ICT Media. ICT TOP 100. The ranking lists the best-performing companies in the IT sector based on their financial results in different areas.
The registration for the annual Innovation Camp organized by the Municipality of Gabrovo, Innovation Starter, and the Regional Information Center – Gabrovo started on June 10.
It is held for the fifth consecutive year and will be organized as #GabrovoHackathon.
The grand prize, which will be awarded to the winning team is 10 000 BGN and is provided by the Municipality of Gabrovo, the companies Grafixoft Ltd., Scientia AD, and Stemo Ltd.
The participants in the hackathon will develop innovative mobile applications addressing a specific problem, shortcoming, or potential of the municipality of Gabrovo. Three thematic
challenges are addressed to them: CODE GREEN, CITIZENS.NET, and TOURISM @ GABROVO.
On September 12, the teams, mentors, partners and sponsors of #GabrovoHackathon will gather for the first time in Gabrovo, for the official presentation of the innovative mobile applications and awarding the winners.
In addition to the financial support, Grafixoft and Scientia assisted in providing one of the mentors to help the teams. Mr. Tsvetan Tsvetanov is a co-founder of Grafixoft until recently was VP, Software Engineering at
VELO3D – the leading SpaceX supplier of Additive Manufacturing Tools and Processes. Before that, his career path went through Apple, where he worked as a senior software engineer.
He has 11 years of experience as a Principal software engineer at Autodesk.
All stages of #GabrovoHackathon will be announced in the official Facebook event of the initiative, you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1687640741386253/
Outperforming, Outstanding, Outreaching – Outsourcing.
The common thing in the words above is their prefix – “Out”, but it is also the meaning that speaks of success.
The word outsourcing is gaining popularity in the last ten years and is often used in the presentations of the IT sector as a key part of it. Outsourcing a project and thus freeing up available resources in your company is a strategic and often good decision because it allows you to grow with an evaluated risk.
Like any strategic decision, it needs time and detailed research and requires answers to many questions. Some of them are – Which is the place where you can entrust such an important and valuable task? Who are the people who would do the job as well as your team does? Where to outsource – offshore or nearshore?
We will deal with these questions, and hopefully strengthen the opinion that Bulgaria is an unexpectedly good combination of conditions that can give a good advantage to anyone who decides to trust it.
Bulgaria is an EU, NATO and the WTO member with a strategic geographical position.
Its membership in the European Union strictly regulates the legislation and the laws. Bulgaria is economically stable, with growth in GDP for 2019 of 3.4% and amount of 60.7 billion euros (preliminary information of National statistical institute). The country is also with one of the lowest corporate tax in Europe – a flat tax of 10%. The economic environment and good indicators give it a stable, long-term rating. From S&P – BBB A-2, Moody’s – Baa2 and Fitch – BBB.
The population at the end of 2019 is almost 7 million and is concentrated in the large regional cities. Almost 28% of the people between the ages of 25 and 64 have a university degree and almost 50% use at least one foreign language – mostly English, but also German, French, and Russian.
Due to its geographical location, Bulgaria is practically on a three-hour flight from anywhere in Europe, and air transport is well developed, convenient, and accessible.
Thanks to the technical universities and IT academies, Bulgaria prepares highly qualified specialists in the IT field, producing intellectual labor for the world markets. This attracts large, foreign companies that open offices and development centers here and benefit from the workforce. Currently Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is one of the largest software centers in Europe.
The good digital infrastructure, fast access to the Internet, and the 5G network give us a reason to claim a serious place in the field of high technologies.
Bulgaria is one of the fastest-growing countries in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of outsourcing. According to GSLI (Global Service Location Index of A.T. Kearney) complete ranking is in the top five European countries for 2019. This is due to the factors above but also because of the high quality of the service that companies provide.
In the Global Competitiveness Report, Bulgaria surpasses many other EU countries. The IT sector is still one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy and represents 2.9% of the GDP for 2018.
The IT sector employs more than 40 000 people in various fields – analysis, design, architecture, implementation, development, QA, support, a consultancy. The level of payment in the sector is estimated at 3-4 times above the average for Bulgaria.
Apart from the low taxes and fees, both for individuals and corporations, the real estate market in Bulgaria has been very well developed in recent years. It is actively investing in the construction of modern office buildings and business centers, which provides excellent opportunities for opening offices or shared office spaces.
As conclusion, we can say that Bulgaria is also well known for its unique nature, culture, and cuisine. An expectedly good combination. And it`s not necessary to believe us, because you are more than welcome to visit and see for yourself.
We live in interesting and dynamic times and tomorrow seems more or less unpredictable. But we try to think and act in perspective.
Last month SCIENTIA our subsidiary company officially launched the project “Software Engineering in Gabrovo”. For that investment, SCIENTIA has been certified by the Ministry of Economy with a Class “A” investor certificate.
“We stick to our commitments and deadlines, so we didn’t postpone the first sod,” said Mrs. Tsvetelina Stoyanova, SCIENTIA.
The event happened in the presence of a very narrow circle of attendees, but to go everything smoothly, some important traditions were followed. SCIENTIA will build a state-of-the-art IT business complex designed to attract IT companies, start-ups, and R&D centers as well as development centers.
The business complex will consist of two neighboring buildings located right next to the riverbank of Yantra in the heart of Gabrovo. The unique river views and the completely renovated, rich in greenery infrastructure will add value and comfort to the employees working in SCIENTIA buildings. The complex will also provide training halls, meeting rooms, canteen with catering options, huge loggias on each floor and shady terraces on the roofs, spacious fitness, and outdoor tennis playground next to the buildings. Underground and aboveground parking lots will be available for the companies that have chosen SCIENTIA’s buildings as the home of their business.