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People and Culture

Meet Daniel Yordanov: A Lead Software Architect hitting personal and career goals with Zühlke’s Growth Mindset

Daniel-yordanov

  • Explore how Zühlke’s Growth Mindset has helped Daniel advance
  • Learn the unexpected applications of the skills he’s developed
  • Discover the key differences before and after applying Zühlke’s Growth Mindset
5 minutes to read
Author

Daniel Yordanov currently works as a lead software architect in Zühlke’s Porto office. Alongside his deep technical expertise, Daniel is known for being an engaging speaker, an inspiring coach, and an active member of the wider Zühlke community—but it’s been quite a journey to that point.

“I joined Zühlke back in 2018 as a senior engineer in the Sofia office. I was attracted by their approach to technical innovation but I've since come to learn that their approach to employees is even more innovative.”

Below, we dive into Daniel’s experience of Zühlke’s Growth Mindset (ZGM) and the unexpected discoveries it has led him to.

The right place to learn and develop

Daniel made an immediate impact at Zühlke and his technical ability soon saw him offered a promotion. This was a pivotal moment in Daniel’s Zühlke journey, but not in the way that most would expect.

“I actually asked if I could wait before being promoted. I wanted to learn the full context of the business before taking my next step forward. The way Zühlke treated that request confirmed I was in the right place to learn.”

Zühlke gave Daniel the time and space he needed to develop and feel ready—something he really appreciated.

“It’s vital you feel challenged but not pushed, otherwise a Growth Mindset approach could be terrifying. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with Zühlke. You feel inspired and challenged but always nurtured and supported.”

A clear development path

While Daniel’s technical ability was clear, he wanted to improve his communication and presentation skills.

He sat down with the Zühlke team and, working collaboratively, they created a structured development plan. The first step was to lay the foundations for future learning by ensuring any crucial knowledge or skills gaps were closed.

“It became clear I had to develop a new mindset. With coding there’s a right way and a wrong way. With communication and public speaking, there are many right ways…and even more wrong ways.”

The ZGM approach worked to sharpen Daniel’s strengths whilst also developing those areas he found more challenging. The personal approach, and mix of guidance and autonomy, is something that particularly appealed to him.

“The approach is guided by solid principles but is adapted and personalised to each individual.

Zühlke knows that some people will need more autonomy, some more guidance. They find the best approach for yourdevelopment, not just development in general.”

Further training - Developing everyday

The next stage was finding projects in which Daniel could grow towards the goal that he and Zühlke had set together. 

“I was given loads of presentation opportunities. At first these were internal so I could build my confidence, but soon became client-facing, allowing me to continue my growth.”

For Daniel, the key to unlocking continuous learning was the effectiveness of Zühlke's feedback culture.

“When we identify areas for improvement, it’s always outcome-driven and based on a specific event. For example, we might take a past situation and explore how a more desirable outcome could have been achieved. But it’s never about blame. It’s about exploration and equipping you with the tools you need for the future.”

As Daniel continued to develop his skills and knowledge, he was promoted to lead architect, joining the Porto office in 2021.

Surprising applications

Once in Portugal, Daniel’s learning continued and unsurprisingly he was soon working (and presenting) on international assignments. But the benefits of his new skills continued to appear in unexpected places.

“I regularly lead presentations now but the application of these skills keeps surprising me. I’ve used them when talking to prospective employees as the first point of contact at Zühlke events and they’ve helped me deepen links with the wider community within Zühlke. But they’re also invaluable for the Zühlke away-days I volunteer on. I was negotiating over a hotel event space and I suddenly realised I was using all the skills I had been developing. This is a meeting and I want outcome X. How can I use my skills to make it happen?”

Daniel found that coaching other employees as part of his development path, honed his communication skills even further.

“I learned that coaching is a two way street. I help develop others by sharing my knowledge and experience, but I also develop through the process of doing it.”

The before and after

For Daniel, there are some clear differences from before and after working with the Zühlke Growth Mindset program.

“Compared to before Zühlke, I have so much more confidence, and feel very assured in my communication and presentation skills. But another crucial difference is that I am now able to give and receive feedback really effectively. I think that’s the key which changes it from a growth path to a growth mindset.”

Daniel’s journey with Zühlke has been truly inspiring. His advice to employees starting out with the ZGM program? Make the most of it.

“Zühlke is such a positive place to learn. The confidence I’ve gained here has helped me in both my career and my personal endeavours. My advice is to embrace it and make the most of every opportunity. You never know where your new skills will come in handy.”

Daniel-Yordanov
Contact person for Portugal

Daniel Yordanov

Lead Software Architect
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