Team's Stories: Career Path of 20 Years in Tech

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Team's Stories: Career Path of 20 Years in Tech

Today programming is increasingly popular as it means working from anywhere, stability, development, excellent working conditions, and a good salary. There are also dozens of opportunities to try if programming is close to your heart. But what convinced people to choose programming in 1990, when computers were not readily available? Let's read a story about ALLSTARSIT team member Ievgen Klymenko.

Ievgen Klymenko: I had a technical mindset from early childhood, so I decided to connect my life with code. I started to study at Kyiv Polytechnics University in 1996, and from that time, I fell in love with programming. I chose between radio and programming specializations before entering the university. Interestingly, in the late 90s, nearly 95% of our groups were males, and only a few females studied my major. Now I am happy to see that tendency has changed and the percentage of women in IT is growing.

I remember how in the 1st grade of university, my parents bought me my first computer. I was very popular among my group mates as I was the one person who had a computer in my group.

I experienced a language barrier during my career path as I studied in school and university in the German language. That is why I had to prioritize learning English in 2005-2007 and learned it from scratch till the Upper-Intermediate level.

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Yuliia Shogan: Can you tell me about your first job?

IK: I started to work in 2002. My first job was a half-state, as the orders were from different state authorities. From my perspective, it was a remarkable opportunity to gain some skills in commercial programming, but in reality, I had no mentor and had to enter the IT industry alone. As every newcomer, I wanted to understand if I was doing everything right and moving in the right direction. 

In the early 20s, we could only dream about cloud storage. If I make a retrospective back at my first job, it's amusing that I saved all my code on a rewritable CV disk. Can you imagine?

I changed seven companies in my 20 years working in the IT industry. My most extended stay in one company was 6.5 years. I have worked at ALLSTARSIT for two years as a Senior C++ developer on the cybersecurity project Imperva, a comprehensive digital security leader on a mission to help organizations protect their data and all paths to it. Imperva protects all digital experiences, from business logic to APIs, microservices, and the data layer, and from vulnerable, legacy environments to cloud-first organizations. My direct manager is from Israel, and I like working with him and the team in Israel as it's a great cultural fit for me.

YS: How do you enrich your knowledge now?

IK: Honestly, I did not use online education. From scratch, I used books to gain new knowledge, and the same I do now but with e-books in pdf format. For me, this is the best way to absorb knowledge.

YS: If you could rewind time, would you connect your life with tech?

IK: After 20 years in tech, I think it was the right decision. Most of all, tech is all about stability. Never mind economic slowdown, crises, and wars, the IT sector stays strong and maintains workplaces for people. Many continue switching to IT as this knowledge is highly valued on the market.

YS: From your perspective, what are the top 3 programming languages now?

IK: As far as I know, the most popular languages are Java and JavaScript, but you need to consider the threshold of entry and project stability. For example, JavaScript is easy to learn, but this language is generally for short-term projects. If we speak about C++, it is more about long-term and stable projects. The second option is better for me. That is why I code in C++; it is my asset as this programming language remains popular and needed in 2000 as now in 2023. C++ developers are still on the market, as many old projects were written in this language, and companies need people to maintain it.

YS: What about your career ambitions?

IK: I have been a Senior C++ developer for a long time and have solid knowledge. But I never wanted to be a Team Lead as I have no high level of soft skills. But I am sure I am a great fit for the Tech Lead position as I am fond of working with hardware, which is my strong side.

YS: What do you think are the top 3 skills for a C++ developer?

IK: To know great tech English, to be eager to explore OS internals, and to like working with hardware.

YS: What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

IK: Life is a tricky thing. Everything is in your hand.

YS: Do you feel the difference among the different generations of people at work?

IK: My team is quite mature now. I like to communicate with other teams from my project and share my deep knowledge with younger colleagues. Speaking about differences, there are different millennials and different zoomers. The difference in people, from my perspective, is more in the industries they work in and their lifestyle, but not age. It is always possible to find common interests with people – work, hobby, leisure – to have a great time chatting.

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