Cover Story: Ruslan, .NET Developer
Cover Stories
15 February 2022
Cover Story: Ruslan, .NET Developer
Cover Stories
15 February 2022

Here at Opinov8, Opinov8rs represent our culture. Cover Stories portray the richness within all of us, the differences that make us who we are. 

In this edition, we will talk with Ruslan, R., our .NET Developer. We talked about how to start a professional career in IT and how various hobbies can help to improve your productivity at work.

Get to know Ruslan a little more through this Cover Story, and don’t miss the opportunity to join us and be part of this gr8 adventure too!

How did you become part of Opinov8’s team? What has your career path at Opinov8 been like? 

My classmate, with whom I study at the Academy in Odesa, told me about Opinov8. He said this is a great company that has good internship programs and invited me to apply. My friend also got an internship at Op8 and has been successfully working in the company for about a year. At that time, I had a few projects that I was working on as a freelancer, but it was a good opportunity for me to start a career in such a company, and it seemed very tempting, so I decided to give it a try. 🤞

I was a little nervous, but the interview went pretty well, and I was hired. I remember my first day at work, which I completely overslept 🙈, it was funny and sad, but I had never overslept again from that day on. 😉

As I joined the company, I got to the Opinov8 Academy, where I learned, trained, interacted with other Opinov8rs, and got lots of new skills relevant to me. I didn't study only technology there. I got support when needed from my mentor, Practice Lead, L&D team. During the onboarding to Opinov8 Academy, I got to know about Opinov8r flow and Skill Matrix for my practice, which gave me a clear picture of how I can grow and develop in the company.

We are learning to think and find solutions, instill a passion for independence and a project-based atmosphere.

Like every teammate at Op8, I have my Personal Development Plan (PDP). A PDP is a set of goals that Op8r creates with a PM or Mentor to help target future professional levels based on the skills matrix. I followed it and continued to work hard, studied a lot, read various materials, and watched many training videos. 🤓

In 3 months, I went through an internship, where I learned a lot of the necessary new information. We worked on various internal tasks, and these were real projects, which made you feel that you bring your share to the company’s work. 🚀 After the internship, I was hired for the Junior (J1) position when I successfully passed the performance review. ⚡️ For about the next 3 months, I grew to a strong J2. Now I continue working and studying to grow to the next level. 👨‍💻

It's great that the company has such a system that will allow you to grow and develop and not standstill. This is very important for me, as for those who are just starting their careers, it is nice to feel that the company supports and helps you develop professionally and personally. 💙

Ruslan, .NET Developer

How did you start your professional career in IT? Why did you decide to try yourself as a Developer?

To be honest, I decided to become a developer quite by accident. 👀 In the last years of my studies at the high school, I thought about where I should study next for a long time. I even considered not going to university at all. I really love to cook, and actually, I thought of working as a chef on a cruise ship. 🙃

But one late evening, I stumbled upon developer video tutorials on the Internet. It became interesting to me, and I thought that this was it and I should delve into it. After that, I agreed to get higher education in technologies. Of course, my parents were incredibly happy about this exciting news. 😅

I entered the Odessa National Academy of Telecommunications, where I have already begun to study programming. They give a good knowledge base, but the education was quite superficial. I understood what I liked the most and independently began studying those aspects. After that, I did an internship at one IT company as a .NET Developer, and then I ended up at Opinov8. 🔥

Here I met amazing people, our teamwork environment has an atmosphere of friendship. These relationships motivate us to work harder, cooperate, and support one another. Working together, we learn each other’s strengths and correct each other’s mistakes. When I have a problem and don't know how to solve it, I can always ask for help and find a solution with my teammates. Sharing differing opinions and experiences can help make effective decisions faster than alone. Individuals starting their careers can benefit from such workflow, as it helps them feel comfortable and adapt to the new role more quickly. 🙌

If you could give some practical tips to people starting their profession in IT, what would you say?

I would recommend starting with these points:

  1. English is an international communication language. Knowing language increases your information sources, as most of the information available online for professional use is in English. That will help you code software efficiently and accurately. Also, IT firms usually deal with clients located all over the globe, and the majority of them use English as their medium of communication. 
  1. Soft skills are essential for improving one’s ability to work with others. As more and more job activities become automated, soft skills, which machines cannot yet replicate, have become more important. Soft skills are critical for project success, as you must communicate and collaborate effectively with your teammates. Honing your ability to solve problems and provide excellent client service can build stronger relationships with the team and other professional contacts.
  1. Learning and developing your skills provides significant advantages. Today, even entry-level roles in many industries require base-level qualifications. Not all of us have the opportunity to go to university or take expensive courses. Still, thanks to the Internet, all information is available to learn online for free. Courses are information available on the Internet, collected in one place. For example, you can find the course you like and watch its program. Then independently, step by step, search and study this information on the Internet, watch free video reviews and find the necessary literature at your own pace.
  1. Time management will help you work smarter, not harder, ensuring you get more productive work done in less time. Improved time management increases your focus, allows you to plan your time more effectively, and achieves your goals faster and easier.  
  1. Mentorship can provide numerous benefits. Mentors encourage and enable mentees' professional or personal development. They can provide unbiased advice or opinions using their relevant knowledge and experience. When mentees struggle to perform their job, they can turn to their mentor for support and feedback. With these insights, the mentee can better understand what steps to take and whether to pursue the idea or walk away. Mentors always motivate you to keep moving forward despite challenges. For example, they offer instructions on how to perform particular tasks, develop useful skills, and even how to pass a job interview successfully.
  1. Job interviews on entry-level jobs can provide you with experience and learn new career skills. If you have a job interview but don't have experience, preparation and motivation can help you perform successfully. Even though you don't have a ton of work experience, the more interviews you go on, the better you'll be at talking about yourself. The way you communicate is just as important as what you say during a job interview. You need to practice your communication skills. Also, networking connections with people already in your target profession, such as your alumni or friends, is a good place to start. You can learn from their experience about the guts of the job, challenges this work throws and how to deal with them.

All these aspects above can be obtained and developed in our company. I think Op8 is one of those companies that build employees' skills and encourage development, training, and creating a high-quality, productive workforce. Here I found my first mentor, he is super cool! 🤘 My Op8 mentor helps me track progress, stay focused, gain confidence, and move towards the goals essential in anyone’s career journey. Having a mentor leads to self-discovery and helps me continue growing my career. Through his feedback, I feel how I grow professionally and personally. ⚡️

What is the biggest challenge or most innovative project you and your teammates have had to face so far? 

Of course, different things happen, and various challenges arise from time to time, this is part of our job. 🙃 A while ago, I had a challenge with one task. Remember that I spent a lot of time working on it, but nothing worked out. I asked for help from my teammates, but no one could understand anything either, and no one succeeded. As a result, it turned out that there was no need to do this task. 😑

I was a bit disappointed then, but I realized that it is better to ask as many questions as possible at once, and there is nothing wrong with that. It's a sad irony that when we most need to ask for help, most people are reticent in doing so. All of us have likely hesitated to ask a question at one time or another for fear that we will look stupid or weak.

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

It's always better to ask whether you want clarification on something you don't understand or need help with something than waste time and do wrong. 😉

What would you say if you had to explain your job to a little kid or granny?

In short and simple terms, I make the computer do what I want. 🤖

What motivates you to do a good job?

I am motivated by professional growth. Knowing that hard work and perseverance will help me achieve professional success keeps me going. When I know that my efforts are following the correct path, it encourages me to push more. 💪

There might be instances of failure or stagnation, such as a difficult task or when something does not work out, but it does not demotivate me anyhow.

Every challenging moment is a part of development.

I am always looking for ways to teach myself new things, find something I do not know, and study it. Success after a failure keeps the fire going within me, no matter the circumstance. 🚀

Do you have any hidden talents or surprising hobbies? 

I am a person who believes in holistic development. Moving on to the same principle, I think the mind and the body also need exercise.  🤓 I like learning new skills, and recently I have been interested in exploring different languages. I studied Spanish and German online some time ago, and I have already cleared the beginner level.

Some time ago, I liked to play video games to get a little kicked out and switch from studying and working, but I realized that I needed something more lively and real. Now, I am getting started playing guitar. Learning to play the guitar greatly improves your hand-eye coordination as it requires very specific muscle movements that your body is not quite used to doing yet. I'm not doing so well yet, but it will become easier and easier to perform if I stick to it and keep practicing. It is a challenging hobby, but it keeps my brain and learning faculties from getting lazy. 

Moreover, I absolutely love cooking. I find cooking very therapeutic and try to plan my meals every day to eat healthily. I add jogging to my weekly schedule to feel more energetic and focused.  I practice standing up working, it improves my mood and productivity, as standing increases attention and encourages completing the task you are working on with fewer distractions.

Also, I am considering trying skydiving. Free-falling through the sky and deploying a parachute creates extremely pleasurable feelings for thrill-seekers. Just the thought of jumping makes my heart beat faster. 😁

What’s one thing you’re learning now?

At present, I am actively learning English. It excites me that I will read original texts and connect freely with people from various areas. There is so much information and meaning that is lost in translation. 

I am studying English on my own through a learning app on the phone, and also we have Op8 Speaking classes. I try to connect to our online meetings twice a week and practice talking with the guys. Our teammates from other countries often join us. Native speakers know what sounds right and doesn’t and can help correct you. I need more practice, as I plan to pass the IELTS exam in the near future. 🤓

Which 3 books would you like to recommend to Opinov8rs?

I enjoy reading and have always been a voracious reader. Although I prefer reading fiction, I make a deliberate effort to read at least one non-fiction book in a couple of months.

So, my list will be:

  • “The Pursuit of Happyness”, book by Chris Gardner
  • “The Lost World”, a novel by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “The Pragmatic Programmer”, book by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas

What is the greatest advice you have been given?

“Never give up” — recently, my friend reminded me of this when I was working on something, and nothing worked out. I believe that this piece of advice is always relevant for everyone. 🙌

Life is challenging, and when you face some setbacks or problems, it can get very hard to stay optimistic. Sometimes you may lose the drive and motivation — giving up always seems like the easiest option. What you need to do is think about why you decided to get it started in the first place. The reason you started and its significance will make you persevere and not give up. Always remind yourself that you are strong and can get through whatever problem you face. 👊

If you could say only one phrase to people starting their professional path at Op8, what would you say?

Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions (as much as possible). If you’re going to be afraid, be afraid of what might happen if you don’t.


If you wanna join our super-cool Op8 Team, don’t hesitate to check our open positions or send your CV to careers@opinov8.com.

Be curious and driven to explore new horizons and technology areas with us. Let’s innov8 together!

#BEBOLD #BEHUMAN

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