“The variety in GIS programming is interesting and develops many skills!”

Interview with Miroslav Mitkov, a participant in the “Spring Intern Program” of Esri Bulgaria.

Miroslav seems laconic and purposeful, but in fact, one of his favorite moments of the internship is that when they solve work problems with colleagues, they always have something to talk about. And if you stay longer to talk with him, you will discover that apart from the fact that his childhood dream was to become a game developer and in his free time he engages in extreme, adrenaline-raising activities, he also feels deeply connected to the Bulgarian soulfulness.

miro intern

Here’s what else Miro shares.

Why did you choose our company for your internship?

I was looking for a place where I could gain practice and new knowledge. I learned about GIS by accident actually. I was looking for a javascript job and found an ad, applied, and one day they called me, asked me a few questions, and then gave me an assignment – to do a search engine on the Esri database. So I read about Esri – what it does, and I got super curious because one of my interesting subjects in school was geography.

I didn’t have any special expectations related to the field of GIS when I applied for an internship at Esri, but then everything about these technologies grabbed me. I am particularly intrigued by the applications of GIS in real estate and agriculture. From a young age, I grew up next to the tractors of my grandfather, who is a farmer.

Everything I want to learn, absolutely everything related to Esri, I want to master the entire process: from creating the maps themselves to including them in a site that has the necessary functionality!

Is the internship useful?

It is quite useful for me. At first, I was dealing with configuration files, which I had no idea about. I’m starting to get into GIS programming as well. I am currently working on the attribute tables and some other functionality. This is a new subject for me and I have a lot of difficulties, which inspires me.

I am facing completely new challenges because until now my programming skills were limited to creating simpler developments – and now I have to deal with GIS and maps, and map services. But… I love challenges and I’m highly motivated to do it!

The team, the company, the field of activity… what motivates you the most?

If I had to put one, two, three, the order would be – first, the team, then the Esri software, and finally the GIS. But I wouldn’t rank them in order of importance, because for me all three factors are of great importance.

I really like the team and the work atmosphere. The team is very cool, colleagues are helpful and talkative. Sometimes when I call about a problem and we solve it, then we talk for a few more minutes and it’s really fun. We worked together and get along pretty well.

The other thing that motivates me is the Esri software – how is it possible to work with GIS so easily?! Within about a week, you can create a working site with quite good functionality. And I’m very intrigued to find out – how did they manage to do it?! And that’s why I’m interested in getting into the code part of Esri, of their whole system.

And GIS – what motivates you about them?

GIS is a new field for me. As for programming, I got into it because I love playing computer games since I was little and I dream of becoming a game developer. But programming in the field of GIS turned out to be very interesting. The applications of this technology are so numerous that when you start a project, you immerse yourself completely and have a lot to learn, and when you finish it, you have to start something totally different, in a completely different direction. Certainly, variety beautifies the work and makes it interesting. And besides being interesting, the variety of GIS applications and programming in this field also develops many more skills than doing the same thing every day.

 miro_folklore fest

Tell us more about yourself and your favorite activities…

I have a hobby – snowboarding, I love snowboarding, I love winter, I love the mountains, and I also love walking in the woods and along the rivers. Also, I really like adrenaline-pumping activities. The next thing I want to do is buy a bike and learn to ride it.

In addition to adrenaline, I am fascinated by everything related to our family and homeland. Folklore itself and everything related to it is very close to my heart: folk dances, costumes, traditions… I danced for 12 years in a folk dance ensemble, and when I first visited the Folk Costume Festival in Zheravna – literally something in me overturned. By regulation, people who are not dressed in some kind of national costume are not allowed there. It was late in the evening and they had already lined up in the meadow… and seeing so many people in folk costumes – I got goosebumps all over and that night we played folk dances until 5 in the morning…

And if the new and unknown excites me and provokes me to explore it to the end – just as I don’t stop “breaking” and fixing codes, so does the past, the past and the essence of our kind, albeit in a way that is inexplicable to me – it gives me strength and zest to move on.