How To Navigate Change In Tech
At DraftKings, connecting with our global partners is crucial to our work. Recently, we took some time to chat with Radoslav (he/him) in Sofia, Bulgaria, and learn more about his role. He has been an engineer with DraftKings since 2018 and currently works on our Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) team. Keep reading to see what Radoslav finds meaningful in his work and why change is the only constant.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and when you joined DraftKings.
My name is Radoslav, and I have been a Linux System Administrator/DevOps/Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) for more than eight years now. However, I have been working in this industry, specifically with Linux OS, for more than 15 years. I was fascinated with Linux and started working with it in 2006, and it has become an integral part of my life. Not a day goes by without me configuring, reconfiguring, installing, reinstalling, and so on for Linux OS and other programs.
In 2014, my professional path pivoted to a Linux System Administrator. Since then, I’ve worked through almost all levels of this job – from customer support, trough system administrator, network administrator, DevOps, and now SRE. I’ve been with DraftKings since 2020, but I technically joined in 2018 under SB Tech before DraftKings acquired it in early 2020.
How was the transition to working for DraftKings after the acquisition of SB Tech in 2020?
The acquisition was exciting in many ways - we changed the way we think and the way we view our work. Suddenly, we started to see the bigger picture, how our work affects our customers and customer journey, so we doubled down on our thoughtfulness and dedication to what we were doing.
There were some growing pains in the initial transition phase, but that was expected, and it involved important and necessary changes to better move us forward. I’ll admit, it felt challenging at first because we switched to working with global colleagues, and we came from different parts of the world. We had to learn how to work with each other, communicate, deal with time differences, etc. But all those changes led to some critical milestones.
We were agile and we adapted. We now partner with intelligent and open-minded professionals across the globe daily - this alone gives me a lot of motivation and provides a deeper sense of purpose. Looking back, I’ve realized that change is a blessing and critical to long-term growth. I’m challenged every day to bring my best self to this community and I can’t wait to see where DraftKings takes us.
That’s amazing to hear. What do you work on now at DraftKings?
My current role at DraftKings is Senior Site Reliability Engineer, primarily focusing on Linux. We work on the B2B part of the company, and we make sure the company's infrastructure, on which all services are hosted, is running smoothly and without any issue.
We build virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters, Databases, actively supporting the B2B JumpHost infrastructure, On-premise, and Cloud deployments and access. Additionally, I work on improving our automation, building a shared framework across several infrastructure teams, and streamlining our work across several teams.
You clearly have a passion for building things. What helps you succeed and thrive in your job?
I think what helps me succeed and thrive are several things. First, my sense of work satisfaction. If I see a problem, I can’t rest easy until I solve it. It's not just the problem-solving that gives me a sense of purpose, but seeing how it helps others do their jobs easier and better. This can sometimes be exhausting, but it's worth it. The other factor that helps me succeed is my team. My teammates are some of the best people I've had the pleasure of knowing - I am so grateful that I have the privilege to work with them and know them. Without their help and support, my work wouldn’t be as meaningful. And lastly, of course, the company atmosphere and culture – it just feels right to work here with amazing people who are just as passionate and eager to help those around them thrive.
What has helped you through roadblocks or engineering issues?
Ah, roadblocks. They are part of the daily SRE life. And again, what helps me is my sense of work satisfaction and impact, which pushes me forward constantly and keeps me engaged whenever I have an issue to solve. My teammates provide support and trust, which fosters a very collaborative environment. We rely on each other for motivation to push out the best work.
Love the teamwork! Can you talk about the growth opportunities at DraftKings?
I believe the growth opportunities in a large company like DraftKings are infinite. With so many different teams, even beyond engineering and technology, team members have the chance to explore and personalize their career development. DraftKings understands there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to growth and the company will arm you with the necessary tools and mentors to succeed here.
How would you describe DraftKings’ culture?
The culture at DraftKings is a unique blend of ingredients. I think what makes it most remarkable is that it feels like you are part of something bigger - working on several continents, with many different people and embracing their cultures. It’s difficult to put this precisely into words – it just feels good to make my impact here.
Any advice for someone who’s looking to join the DraftKings’ Engineering team?
My advice is this: do not hesitate. DraftKings' Engineering team is THE place to work if you want to develop yourself in this direction. We are working with cutting-edge technology across the organization. You’ll get to solve unique and challenging tech problems - isn’t that what every engineer dreams of? I obsess over solving these puzzles every day, and this is what keeps my work interesting at DraftKings. The camaraderie on this team is unparalleled - we all jump in to help each other. No questions asked.
If you're interested in joining our Engineering team, follow Radoslav's advice and don't hesitate to apply. Be part of the next big thing at DraftKings!
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