From Law to Java development, the career story of Engineering Director Andrii Petryk

Career story of
Andrii Petryk

Engineering Director Andrii Petryk

Andrii’s story is a great example of how it’s never too late to make a career change. By following his passion for programming and being open to new opportunities, he changed his professional path from law to IT. Andrii became a successful Engineering Director for Java, Big Data and Mulesoft directions at Avenga. Keep reading the interview to get more insights about the reasons behind his shift, the role of Java in his career, and the current state of Java programming.

Let’s recall your story a bit. Tell us please, at what point did you realize that you actually want to step aside from the law and enter the IT sphere?

I graduated from the law department at Lviv University, and in 2013, I got my lawyer’s license. And at some point… All those films where it all looks so cool, they really create a certain impression about the work of a lawyer in general, and the impression they create is extremely distant from reality. And then I woke up one day and realized that it’s not what I want to do my whole life. 

Back at school, long ago, I was programming at home on the assembler, “programmed” is too much to say, of course, I tried to write something, read books about it, I always loved math, in fact. So it happened that in my surroundings at the time there were a lot of people who worked in IT, so I thought, why not?

In principle, there exist so many technologies, so many programming languages. How did it happen that you chose Java?

When I was thinking about entering IT, I looked into what was popular there, and at that point, it seemed to me that Android is a very popular thing and it has a big future. And I decided that I want to develop something for it, and at the time, it was based on Java. But later, I happened to get into the back end, and I liked it. And in fact, I don’t regret that decision. 

Full interview with Andrii is available on YouTube!

In this video, Andriy shares his inspiring career story, detailing how he followed his passion for programming. Whether you're interested in Java engineering or simply looking for motivation to make a career change, this video is a must-watch. Andriy's journey shows that it's never too late to pursue your passion and find success in a new field. So, why not head over to YouTube now? You won't regret it!

Engineering Director Andrii Petryk
Andrii Petryk
Engineering Director

You know, we also don’t regret it, and we are very glad that you made such a decision. Tell us please, how do you see it, in what direction do you think Java is going?

The only thing I can say, the main thing to my mind, is that Java is moving in the right direction, especially now as they upgraded to fast releases of Java itself. For example, the things that appear in Java, the issues that are being addressed with the new releases of Java, give certain optimism. 

What doesn’t add to the optimism is how the people are upgrading to new Java, including the people not only in sense of the businesses. Also, the engineers themselves don’t even bother to read the “changelog”, like what they added in new Java, where it is going. That is, a problem like that exists. 

One of the topics which we are trying to explain in our Java community, that the work of an engineer, if you consider yourself a person that solves problems, presents solutions and is not just a programmer, who simply writes code, those are different professions – then yes, you have to be interested. You might not have the 11th Java in your project, you can still have the 8th version, but it should not in any way prevent you from trying to learn something new, from wanting to learn something new.

Andrii, talking about the growth of the community, the main problem that you see is the problem of talents or that we don’t have enough resources for learning?

No, we have more than enough resources for learning, and taking into account that nowadays, the internet is a totally self-evident thing – it’s just there, completely available, one doesn’t have to make an effort to get it. I think that unless you study constantly, at some point you’ll find yourself in some kind of stagnation, you’ll fall behind the top talent that is there, and I want to be exactly on that level of the top talent, I’m not satisfied with some mediocre level. Either do the best or don’t do it at all then.

My life motto is that if I haven’t learned anything new during the day, then this day passed in vain. I want to wake up with the thought, and I do wake up with the thought that somewhere in the world, there is a person who knows 15-20% more than I do, who is better at programming, management, at something else, being at a better level than I. And I want to surpass that person, every day.

Tell us please, is it hard for you to find, choose and bring up talents?

Well, to bring them up is not hard, to look for them and to choose is difficult. The problem is rather the quality of the talents, and what people think they need to know, and the fact that they think it’s enough for them. It’s my opinion. 

Apart from some solely technical skills, the engineering culture as such is important for me. Some soft skills show that the team will work, even if on different projects, on different accounts, but still it will work as an integral organism, it will go forward in the same direction. Yes, it complicates life personally for me, in the sense of the selection of candidates and the number of interviews, but I wouldn’t agree with something different, so it’s the way it is.

Tell us what you like the most and how you manage to combine coding and leading the team. Do you need to give up something at some point to become, say, a more successful team manager, you need to give up writing the code, or vice versa?

Well, actually, there’s no way to combine that. For now, for the last year, I hardly wrote anything, in the sense of some commercial code, if only for myself at home to remind myself of some things or just not to lose some basic skills.

I have to be up-to-date, let’s say it that way. And how am I supposed to do it, just read about that? Well, I need to try how it works, what kind of snags there are. And it’s interesting for me, after all. 

Well, and when you lead a team, you need to make explanations because our team at Avenga consists of around 100 people, and there are different projects, different accounts, different domains of these accounts and projects. Therefore it’s a constant context switching.

Sometimes you have to help with the architecture, sometimes you have to help just with the management, sometimes you have to go to a call with a customer or something like that. So there’s physically no time left for enterprise coding. 

But generally, maybe that’s what I was aiming at consciously, and for me, management and working with people, with the squares of the architecture, with the customers, I like it more than writing the code as such.

And now our traditional question to everyone: why Avenga?

Why Avenga? Well, in principle, why Avenga – because it’s cool. Why Avenga exactly in my case – because for me, Avenga is a great project that I can work on, that I can be proud of, even just for myself. It’s not that important for me – well, honestly, the opinion of others on my actions is important to me only relatively, what’s really important is to stay responsible to myself. And from this view, Avenga is for me a great, interesting project, where I can try, and I keep doing it, to build a certain community, a certain team that is able to solve various tasks, which is capable of being really great. And this is what I’m interested in.

Thank you so much for such a great and interesting interview. We really want more cool people like you to come to you, the people who are ready to challenge themselves, to discover new abilities in themselves. And let all the genuine talents be here at Avenga.

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