Ready to Move: Young Coders Share their Career Experience

IT research in the most international city in the world

Ivan Samborsky, Second-year Master’s student, follows an internship program at National University of Singapore.

Ivan Samborsky

I received a Bachelor’s degree at the Computer Technology Chair. My supervisor offered me to submit an application for National University of Singapore. The lab in which I work now is the largest one in Asia focusing on social media. This area correlates with my Bachelor’s and Master’s theses.

My graduation paper is devoted to studying of individual and group characteristics of social networks’ users. For instance, analyzing photos from Instagram and Twitter’s texts one can determine demographic characteristics such as gender, age, marital status and so forth. This kind of research works helps companies fasten and automate various processes: client searching, for example. In my research I use different methods such as genetic algorithms for model setup or top-of-the-line natural language processing ways applied for texts.

I have never researched this issue before joining the internship program. Moreover, this field is new one that is why one only starts to present such papers at conferences.

I discuss this field only with my supervisor and the lab’s professor. However required knowledge for providing this research I have received at ITMO.

I feel like having a full-time job when do my research as an intern. It doesn’t look like studying. I am staying in Singapore till the end of summer. After that I plan to receive Master’s degree at ITMO U and then start working as assistant research fellow at National University of Singapore. The professors who train me here support this idea.

I like working in Singapore. Representatives of various cultures come here from different countries to live and work.  Everybody here is very kind and sociable. I had some problems with communication when came because of lack of English speaking practice. But now I don’t meet any difficulties. Furthermore thanks to skype and telegram I easily communicate with my family and friends.

Startuping is better than working at a large IT company

Grigory Tkachenko, second-year Master’s student, works at Machine Learning Works.

Grigory Tkachenko (on the right)

I started working in Yandex when became a second-year Bachelor’s student. A position in a large IT company provides the job stability. However very soon I understood that this kind of employment is not my cup of tea. When one woks in a tem he or she doesn’t realize the personal responsibility completely. It leads to loosing drive and enthusiasm. As Anatoly Shalyto, a wonderful ITMO University professor, noted, if you want to work at Google, imagine that there are thousands applicants who want the same. That is why I looked for other job position.

I read about Looksery on Codeforces, a platform for sport programmers. It is a mobile app, which offers users to apply Instagram filters for videos online. After a job interview I was hired by Looksery. Its’ office is in Sochi but I couldn’t leave St. Petersburg because had to prepare for defending of the thesis. Viktor Shaburov, one of Looksery’s investors offered to develop a startup, which he was ready to invest in. But during six months my colleagues and I didn’t create any fresh idea. That is why I started to prepare for a Facebook’s internship – I took part in all required job interviews, received a visa and even bought tickets to California. But two weeks before I had to leave Mr. Shaburov called me and offered to join a startup project. I didn’t hesitate and agreed. Now I work on it in Sochi.

In short, the project is a search snapchat. I cannot deep into details before the official release. I can only share that the app will be presented by App Store. Our team consists of 27 members, 23 of them are coders. I agree with the investor who supposes that the main stakeholders of IT business are developers. They are good in calculations. It means that they also can provide business analyses. If you are a good specialist who like to communicate and learn about new technologies you may launch your own business. Google is not the only career path.

I also continue to study at Master’s program at ITMO. Fortunately I have an opportunity to come to St. Petersburg very often. I have no problems with colleagues and professors. Studying at ITMO University is very useful. Apart from new knowledge I meet friends, future colleagues and startup partners.

A university gives everything that a specialist needs 

Dmitry Bobrov received Bachelor’s degree at the Computer Technology Chair, was hired by Machine Learning Works.

Dmitry Bobrov

Last summer one of fellow students told me that Machine Learning Works looked for developers and offered to try. Back then I already worked in a large international company and before that in a small startup company. Machine Learning Works’ offer was very attractive and after clarifying several details I moved. All skills that I had were enough solve all tasks at a job interview. Then when I started working I needed some extra knowledge connected with SRE such as secure system operating and expertizes of database internals.

The company deals with machine learning and data analyses. We also use neural networks. I am not involved in research activities but assist colleagues who do that by choosing techniques that are used as a base for server infrastructure – from a system software to program frameworks.

Most of my colleagues are winners of ACM ICPC, skilled mathematicians. Fortunately I’ve never met problems with communication. We discuss not only work process - sometimes spend free time together. All my friends live in other cities but I often leave Sochi to visit them or to take part in conferences.