Building a solution is very much like building a skyscraper. The foundation and architecture are the key basis for making sure that the structure will support any fancy features that could be added later. Today, we introduce one of MaxBill’s most pivotal figures, a person behind our product core functionality and all the unified standards that come with it, Oleksandr Slobodianik, the System Architect.
What was your professional journey before MaxBill, and how did you start with the company?
I worked as a senior Java developer in a small company, when their management decided to switch the technological stack, making the entire Java department redundant. After treating myself to a small holiday, I put my CV online and soon got noticed by MaxBill. Through the course of my two interviews, I got the impression of MaxBill being an organized company with well-established processes. As my previous experience was mostly startup-like, it seemed interesting to challenge myself by working in this new kind of environment. By the time I joined [the company], Java was not the main tool for business logic implementation in MaxBill, so I came up with a personal agenda of bringing it into the limelight. Fortunately, this idea was fruitful as it fell in line with the company strategy.
What makes MaxBill special for you?
It has always been important for me to have opportunities for self-improvement. In other words, a certain amount of freedom in decisions is essential. On the other hand, any persistent company has to establish solid regulations. I think, MaxBill manages to maintain a perfect balance between employees’ creativity and corporate standards and procedures.
What is the most challenging part of your job and which one is the most rewarding?
As a developer, I need to be able to fully concentrate on my current task. As a system architect, I have to constantly interact with a lot of my colleagues and immediately respond to different events. The most challenging is to combine those two contradictious activities without compromising any of them.
Speaking of the most rewarding part of my job, I would name several things. While working on some architectural tasks, occasionally I get trapped in a problem so complex and vague, that I can’t come up with a satisfactory approach. And then, after days, sometimes weeks or even months of struggling, an idea presents itself. And this idea not only gives a perfect answer but also helps to articulate the right question. When it results in a solution both elegant and efficient – this is when I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
Another situation to talk about is when you’ve been developing new functionality for several days already, then you launch it for the very first time – and it works just as expected.
The third rewarding thing is when people approach me with a request to develop some new features, and I can say that there is no need since it is already available via configuration.
Let’s touch a bit on your passions unrelated to the workplace. What do you do in your spare time?
My biggest passion is reading. Sometimes I develop a sudden interest in a particular field of knowledge, so I educate myself in that area to a certain extent. Such topics can emerge from physics, history, art, linguistics and other more or less expected studies. I enjoy travelling; I always consider it fun to learn some basic vocabulary and then try my skills with locals.
I also find great joy in photography. I think that its artistic beauty can be similar to the creative side of programming.
Do any of your hobbies influence your work and if yes, how?
The more spheres you discover, the more knowledgeable you become, which is always useful while acting upon diverging issues. In that way, any non-related activity can influence your work performance by providing a different vantage point. But the main benefit a hobby can give is that it clears your mind and helps to stop overfocusing on hindering details of your day-to-day work.
What were the most interesting and fun situations at work?
At MaxBill, we usually have several whole-company events during the year. The most memorable to me was the New Year party in 2015. The theme of the evening “The Great Gatsby” was carefully worked out and resulted in a marvelous atmosphere.
What is the most special moment with your teammates?
Sometimes we work on a strict schedule rushing to a release or preparing a demo. Starting from some point, you notice that the team is working as one, and everybody is giving their 110 %. This is the time when you feel a special connection with your colleagues.
Do you have any tips and/or wishes for MaxBill newcomers?
Starting your journey in a new position, be patient. Give yourself time to absorb information about the industry and our company itself. Allow us to get to know each other better. And then together we will be able to shape your role so that you can make the difference.
We thank Oleksandr for this very inspiring and insightful interview and invite you to stay tuned for more success stories. By knowing each other’s journey, we learn to understand the world and people around us better, which is the key to growing personally and professionally.