Life at Hyperscience: Ivo Strandjev, Director of ML

Ivaylo (Ivo) Strandjev has been at Hyperscience since 2016. In addition to being involved with virtually every project in the company, he’s generally the first to welcome new hires, wish you a happy birthday or celebrate your hyperversary (Hyperscience work anniversary). Known for his guest lectures and presentations across the Sofia machine learning and engineering community, we reached out to Ivo to hear about what it’s been like to watch Hyperscience grow, how he develops professionally and all things #LifeatHyperscience.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions! Who are you & what do you do at Hyperscience?

I’m a Director of ML at Hyperscience. The teams that I manage are working on two lines – making our existing solution even better and adding support for more diverse and complex documents and data types.

The best part of my day is no doubt working with my awesome colleagues. They are very skilled and also fun to talk to and a pleasure to work with. Although remote working right now makes communication slightly more complicated (or requiring advance notice), I learn new things practically every day. What I miss the most now is meeting my colleagues in person!

What’s it been like watching Hyperscience grow over the last few years?

When I joined Hyperscience the Sofia office was 6 people in an apartment near the city center. This February we had our 2020 Kick-Off where more than 120 people attended! More people join the company each month than the total headcount back in 2016 when I first started.

When I heard about the company, I thought that it sounded too good to be true. After I joined, my doubts were quickly dispelled. I was going home at 9 or 10pm because I did not feel the time passing. When I went home I was already looking forward to the next morning and being able to continue the exciting experiment I was working on.

What advice do you have for someone looking to join the Hyperscience engineering team?

In general (and not just on the ML team), Hyperscience is a wonderful opportunity to learn new things. We have great engineers with solid experience that have taught me a lot over the past several years. The job is a rare combination of theory and practice. Our products serve some of the world’s largest organizations, so it’s a unique opportunity to work on a real-world application of machine learning.

What’s a typical “day in the life” for you?

Right now, I spend most of my days in meetings, as we are busy planning the following releases and prioritizing all the features we want to implement. The current situation is not slowing us down, and we are as ambitious as always to deliver new and exciting features.

We place an emphasis on research & development – how do you ensure you’re constantly evolving as an engineer?

Arxiv, Twitter and the latest academic and scientific research papers are often sources of interesting news and updates. We try to attend most big conferences in ML and AI, such as NeurIPS. Both the presentations and the networking part are useful for learning new techniques or ideas. Every machine learning engineer contributes with interesting research that they see in various other sources.

Hyperscience is deeply involved in the local ML and engineering community in Sofia – what’s been your favorite event or initiative to date?

We did two editions of a series of lectures that we called Hyperscience Learn. The first one was held in Sofia University, and we held the second one in our office building. The second edition was extended by a few lectures and also featured two guest lecturers, and in my opinion, both were quite successful! Attendees shared with me that they were able to learn a lot of things, and at the same time, the content was very engaging. In addition to the actual lectures, those events were very good opportunities for networking and meeting people with similar interests from Sofia and the region.

Hyperscience’s engineering team is growing around the world! Connect with Ivo on LinkedIn or reach out to our People team for open opportunities. Bonus: Follow Hyperscience on LinkedIn and Instagram for more behind-the-scenes peeks at company events, culture and more!

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