Hello world! My name is Vladimir, an Engineering Manager, Software Engineer, and a slow and lazy writer. I have Master degree in Computer Science and background in Content Management Systems, Web Development Agencies, and Product Engineering from small start-ups to large global scale-ups.
Currently I write mostly about:
- Managing Software Engineering teams
- Architecture and Systems Design
- Coaching and productivity
You can find some of my older posts on this site about:
- Building and maintaining backends with Node.js and NoFlo
- Technical leadership in small teams and keeping agile projects on full sail
- Full-stack web application engineering
I started programming back at school in 2001. As youg boy I was captivated by the process of creating something out of thin air. Many years later I still find this exact feeling the most precious about programming, except for solving real people problems of course.
My initial coding experience was highly inspired by DemoScene and included programing graphics, but in 2002 I released a CGI web programming library for FreePascal as my first Open Source project and built a small community around it. Back in the days we used CVS (and later SVN) instead of Git, and we exchanged emails instead of pull requests.
My amusements at the University (from 2005 to 2011) consisted of many things including C/C++, C#, Prolog, Go, UML, hardware design, machine learning and what not. But the most affecting was FPGA hardware design put together with Systems Analysis models and applied to software engineering - this is what my Master Thesis was about. Around the same time I discovered Flow-based Programming and joined its community.
Open Source has always played a big role in my life and in 2007 I joined Cotonti Content Management system and framework to lead its development and support the community. Currently the project is not actively developed, but back some 15 years ago I wouldn’t imagine that it would still be in use today by many people.
Meanwhile I continued to earn money as a freelance LAMP specialist and around 2008 gathered a team of like-minded people to found my own development agency called Kodigy. Mostly we built and maintained websites for customers and collaborated on both sales and implementation. Sometimes things at the agency went well, sometimes they didn’t. By 2013 I realized that I have a lot to learn from other people who do many things better than I, and changed to a full-time technical position in an Advertisement and Digital Production business.
I grew from a freelance contractor to the (only) Director of Engineering in that company, overseeing a group of 7 engineers. My responsibilities changed from writing code and getting the job done to running projects, communicating with customers, hiring new developers, and making high level technical decisions. This is how I found my self realizing that my technical expertise was becoming outdated and irrelevant. Something I thought too early to happen at the age of 25. So I left the advertisement market and went for a product company as a Software Engineer again.
This is how I joined The Grid - a pioneer in AI-designed websites. For me it was a rare opportunity to run Flow-based systems in production and be a part of bright international team. The story of The Grid was very bright and exciting. What we managed to do as the team is revolutionize the market of website builders and make AI assistants a steady trend there. What we didn’t manage to do is to establish a sustainable product for The Grid itself. And at some point the project was over for most of us in the team.
When my journey with The Grid was over, I finally moved to Berlin which was my dream for a long time.
There I started working at HelloFresh, one of the fastest growing companies in Europe at that time, and the world’s #1 meal kit company today. I joined HelloFresh as a Backend Engineer when the technical team (called HelloTech) was based entirely in Berlin and consisted of around 150 people. Then I was wearing multiple hats as an Engineer, Technical Program Manager, and Engineering Manager while witnessing the engineering and product team alone to grow to around 1000 people as of 2022.
As an Engineering Manager at HelloFresh I’ve worked with tens or even hundreds of talented people with diverse backgrounds, led creation of customer-facing features across the whole stack (Android, iOS, Web, Backend), built 3 autonomous teams (2 cross-functional and one Backend), and supported tens of people on their career path as either their manager or their mentor.
Behind the scenes, I’m a family guy who loves his wife and little (or not so litte, OMG they are growing so fast!) daughter.
I enjoy cooking, good food and good music (hit me up, audiophiles out there!). In Winter my sport is cross-country skiing, in Summer it’s fun to ride a bicycle around the town.
All cover photos on this website are also by my own, including the shot of my lovely cat on the cover of this page =(^.^)=