Leonid Shusharin and Best Practices in Software Engineering
What is your role within Transcenda and what does your typical working day look like?
I am a Python Developer, and most of my time is devoted to engineering with an occasional team meeting in between. Usually my day starts with a coffee, checking my email, and ends soon after client meetings in the evening.
How did you initially get interested in technology?
The first time I had the opportunity to dive into IT specific problem-solving was when I was a fourth grader. I broke my father’s laptop and needed to fix it before he returned home. At that time we didn’t have the Internet, so I attempted to fix the laptop myself. Unfortunately I failed, but looking back, this was my first effort at brute-forcing.
Later in school, I took part in a number of programming and web development contests. Then I proceeded with a degree in Information Technology Security, and since my third year at university I have been a full-time developer.
Why did you choose Python as a programming language?
I joined my first workplace as a PHP developer, although I didn’t get the chance to apply my PHP skills. On my first day, I had to realign and learn Python. Since then I’ve added other languages and environments to my skill set, but my main specialty stayed the same.
What advice would you give to a beginner in software engineering?
- Explore your interests and find your place in the team. The crucial step here is to define professional interests and understand in which direction you want to develop.
- Learn persistence and patience. Be ready to face a lot of rejection, especially as a junior professional.
- Cultivate your curiosity. The engineering industry is incredibly fast-paced and if you don’t keep up with the latest advances, soon enough you will find yourself out of the competition. My math professor always said “no day without a line”, when he gave us a task at the end of each study session. Now his words serve as a reminder to learn and practice daily.
What do you feel are the keys to success in your role?
The ability to get out of your comfort zone. Practicing new things, even those – especially those – you feel uncertain about.
The main thing is to be honest with yourself and identify a moment when your skills become a well-known routine. It may start to seem like you are a master of everything. As I said earlier, the industry is changing rapidly, and almost certainly, by the time you learn a new approach or technology, there will be another one on the list.
How do you continuously improve your professional skills?
Usually, it comes naturally when the project’s or client’s priorities change – this is the way I got to learn Google APIs not so long ago. I also keep Mark Lutz books on my table for reference. Mark is a pioneering figure and his readings are considered to be the classics of Python development.
In my opinion, it’s crucial to connect with people in your industry. Chances are their knowledge of certain nuances will come in handy. A few years ago, a friend of mine organized PyCon in Kyiv and invited me to join. Since then, I have attended a few times and the overall experience proved to be valuable.
What do you consider to be the most rewarding part of your job?
My current responsibilities involve the same kind of creative thinking as quizzes and riddles. I was quite fond of them when I was a child. The goal is to invent a pattern in which every piece of the puzzle is accounted for and works perfectly within the overall picture. This has a lot of similarities with my current tasks – so the process of finding the most comprehensive and elegant solution is what I enjoy the most.
Which Transcenda value resonates most with you and why?
We are definitely on the same page when it comes to at least two values – Keep It Fun and Always Finding a Better Way.
What are your hobbies and how did they shape you?
All of my hobbies have one thing in common – all of them are related to motorcycles. I am a mechanical guy. It all started when I got a scooter as a gift from my father when I was 7 years old. Now I adore my Harley and like to ride, fix, and mess around with it.
I am also a dog person, especially when it comes to Corgis.