Rostyslav Kylymchuk, Java Software Engineer: “Innovecs does everything to make me happy”
Rostyslav Kylymchuk, Senior Java Software Engineer: “Innovecs does everything to make me feel comfortable at work”
The next guest in our inFocus rubric, where we have heart-to-heart conversations about everything that matters the most, is Rostyslav Kylymchuk, Senior Java Software Engineer. We learned a lot about Rostyk’s childhood, his views on proper upbringing and support, as well as what he dreams of and how he sees his happiness.
— Who did you dream of being as a child?
Probably a football player. I had no dream of becoming someone, I just lived for myself and everything was fine. I studied, played football, but never thought I would become a professional player in Barcelona. I thought that my passion was still to come.
— How important is the support of the family in the formation as a person and a professional? Were you supported in choosing a career path?
It’s hard to say in terms of professional growth, however, support is crucial as far as personal development is concerned. To make it easier for you to walk through life, it is desirable to grow up in an enabling environment where parents take care of your development, try to guide you, find what you like, rather than send you to school, or a сlass and get this over with. It occurs to me that parents need to provide a child with everything, and have an impact in a way that encourages learning. In my opinion, that is all that matters.
— Has your family been supportive?
I was raised by my mom and grandparents. Thanks to them, I am who I am now. I’ve read a lot since I was four. From the very beginning, my family did their best to make me love learning, so I don’t ever stand still but evolve. My parents influenced me greatly. I grew up in a rather small town, where the atmosphere is not very conducive to development. Who knows what I would have been if not for them.
No one ever forced me to read. One day I was just offered to learn, and I agreed. To my mind, someone has to present the first interesting book to draw attention. I remember as a child we went to the library every week and picked up books. In seven days everything was absorbed and I asked for more. Therefore, it is necessary to instill a sense that a child is the one who decides. In fact, the parents correctly show what to do. Coercion does not fly with kids at all.
— What was the last book to impress you the most?
Considering the most recent books, I was impressed by “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”, by Yuval Noah Harari. Actually, I would love to read it once again. It is an awesome literary work that I highly recommend to everyone. I have started reading his second book, “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”.
There is another book, a work of fiction, that my grandmother presented to me — “Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I liked the book so much that I went and bought some other books he had authored. Therefore, apart from technical literature, I really enjoy reading some good fiction. I even decided to re-read old books, which is why bought “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I believe conscious age will make these books more interesting.
— Why did you start doing what you do now?
Since childhood, I liked mathematics. This is what I did best. I also did well in the rest of the subjects but without enthusiasm. As far as math is concerned, I was excellent at it. Of all the possibilities out there, I was most attracted to programming. I enrolled in the mechanical and mathematical specialty, where, unfortunately, I had less programming than promised. In my dissertation, I even did not like scientific activities as much as programming which makes everything work. So when I graduated from university, the choice was obvious. I understood everything for myself and immediately got a job.
— What are the most important qualities in your profession?
The ability to not be distracted by all these alerts, lots of content, meetings, and chats. In my opinion, the biggest problem is to focus on something. Also the desire to learn something new. You need to be interested in your area to develop. The rest will come over time.
It is important to be a good person. After all, it is teamwork, but not a freelance job where you are your own boss. That’s why I work in an office, not remotely. Without normal communication, there will be no good work. You can always get in touch in chat, send an email, but tete-a-tete communication is totally another level.
— Did you have burnouts?
I did when the pandemic began. Several factors converged: I worked in one place for two and a half years, there was nothing new. I just sat, did my job well and nothing changed. Although I had different projects at the time, they were all like twins. When the pandemic hit, we were transferred to a remote format, and at that time I was still living alone. It all came together, I couldn’t pull myself together. I went into depression. Then I decided that something needed to change.
I moved from Dnipro to Kyiv, found Innovecs and everything turned out great. This is probably one of the best decisions in my life. That’s why burnout is a symbol of downtime for me when nothing happens.
There were also moments of burnout when there were harsh deadlines and we had to work overtime. We lashed out at each other. When you do not keep this balance between work and personal life, you are guaranteed to burn out.
— Was moving to Kyiv easy for you?
It was wonderful. I very quickly found an apartment next to the office. I also had a week to rest, adapt, and work things out in the new place. So when I showed up for work, I was ready. Plus, I immediately found the company where I was very comfortable. Innovecs was also very helpful with the relocation: our Care department provided me with rental options that partly covered the cost of moving.
— Do you see the connection between team cohesion and the end result?
In my opinion, you cannot do without cohesion. I am quite a social person and I think there should be a great atmosphere in the team where everyone can express their opinions to each other, not offending anyone, but simply pointing out certain disadvantages. We all learn together. The most important thing in this life is to be able to talk.
— What is the role of the leader in building a team?
The leader plays a key role. I have worked in a few teams and I already have something to compare with. I saw various approaches, however, I overall have been lucky with the leaders. It is necessary to have a person who will encourage everyone, organize team building, resolve conflicts. This could be any role from the highest positions: a senior, lead, or an architect.
— Where do you look for inspiration?
When there is harmony and balance, everything goes smoothly. If something is wrong with you, it affects your whole life. If I don’t complete a task, I will think about it all weekend and I won’t be able to relax. If something happens in a family, the work will suffer too. For me, inspiration is a short-term thing.
— How do you manage to achieve harmony?
My reflective self helps a lot. I try to devote time to analyze how things are in all aspects of my life. So this inner conversation works for me. It’s always nice to talk to a smart person:)
— What would you like to change in the future?
Almost everything, because there are no limits to perfection. I want more certain technical knowledge, managerial skills — I would like to develop in this area. I would like to replenish my vocabulary so that I do not use English words. Basically, changes are about work, personal development, and hobbies.
— What do you like to do?
I like to watch football, play football read about football — this has been my main hobby for over 16 years. I also play guitar and started practicing table tennis. I really like humor, I’m trying myself a little bit. Our TikTok is one of the opportunities to evolve in this regard. When you read feedback, when a thousand people leave likes and comments, there is a feeling that can hardly be expressed in words. This is definitely one of the main things I will put my energy into in the near future. Maybe soon I will write my first standup.
— What are you laughing at?
I like Louis C. K. I bought a ticket to his concert two years ago before the pandemic. I really hope to see him this February. I also like Jimmy Carr, Bill Burr, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Donald Glover. In the case of the latter, he is good at everything.
— What kind of music do you listen to?
The older I get, the more I start listening to pop. I used to listen only to rock — Green Day, System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn. Now I am more into the soul, indie rock, and some modern pop like Dua Lipa. Thanks to sanctions — 70% of music on the radio must be Ukrainian — our domestic industry began to develop rapidly, there were many cool Ukrainian performers. I really enjoy Latexfauna, I highly recommend it.
— How does one start mastering your profession?
Without mathematics or technical education, it will be pretty hard. Although I use no knowledge from the university, the most important thing is the thinking approach. You need to take a minimum course, such as CS50, that has ten basic lessons: what programming is, how and what to work with. All of these courses and videos provide pretty general things one will have to deal with. To get a job and be successful, you need to absorb literature.
For Java, I would recommend “Head First”. The book is quite simple and suitable for those who have not encountered programming before: it uses simple language and illustrations. It is also desirable to find a mentor with whom you will evolve a hundred times faster.
— What do you like most about Innovecs’ corporate culture?
Innovecs’ corporate culture is totally different from other companies. There are a lot of different events, communities, where you can find people with common interests, and it’s super cool. Imagine: my previous boss had his own elevator, so in five years, none of the employees have ever seen him. And here we are all on the same level. Innovecs does everything to make me want to come to the office and feel good. Everything our Brand & Communications team does is truly unique.
Most companies run their social networks rather dryly. Innovecs has memes, a non-trivial approach, and personality. All this creates the feeling that the company is alive.
— What motivates you to stay here?
Innovecs gathers interesting people and cool professionals, I really like it.
— What makes you a happy person?
I might sound boring but it is all about harmony. When there are no bottlenecks at work, I do not get stressed on the weekends at home. When everything is good at home, I do not feel tension at work. The health of my family makes me happy — I acutely felt it due to COVID-19 when my grandmother fell ill. Mental health is vital for happiness.
— What are you dreaming about today?
I dream that everything I do would go well. I have very big plans for my technical profession and hobby. I really want to fulfill myself in all this while I’m young and healthy. My biggest dream is that my work benefits everyone: the environment, the company, the client, the project, my family, and me. When all goes well, I get chills.