From “Hackintosh” to mobile mastery: 20-years сareer story of Vasyl Krychun, Mobile Engineering Director

Career story of
Vasyl Krychun
Mobile Engineering
Director

Meet Vasyl Krychun, a seasoned IT professional who experienced the transformation of the tech industry and adapted to numerous technological shifts. In this interview, Vasyl shares his insights on how IT experience proved invaluable during his military service, the evolution of mobile technologies, and his advice for aspiring tech enthusiasts. 

Vasyl, you have been working in the industry for 20 years, 12 at Avenga. You saw how Apple was being created and how technologies were being transformed. When we look back, it’s a completely different industry. Tell us a bit more about this. 

Yes, indeed. Lots of things have changed over the past 20 years, and what I can especially single out is that the entry threshold into IT has been reduced. It used to be very difficult to enter the IT field, and not so many people knew about this industry, but now we have a number of information resources. 

Also, when it comes to software development, it used to be something called ‘rocket science’ for the majority, while now there are a number of tools and constructors that allow the creation of software products even without specific knowledge in the area. For instance, creating a website with a few clicks today is way easier. Besides, AI has come into our lives, and it’s really a game changer. Many relatively simple tasks can be done quickly and easily without spending many years of gaining experience in IT. 

However, nowadays, we face some stagnation in the IT market. But hopefully, it’s not for long.

Over the last twenty years, you have changed technologies many times, changing your career and development path. How was it for you? 

Well, my case is nothing unique – I simply got down to learning. How did I change technologies? I’ve been interested in programming since my school years. I started programming using a programming language called Basic, and later, I learned Fortran. 

I was always curious, and eventually, I focused on mobile development, namely iOS. Since this direction is constantly developing, it’s never boring. At the same time, I am also interested in other technologies and tendencies, what’s new there, and what can be used later at work. 

It is interesting indeed since every new technology requires new training. How and where is it best to learn? 

If you are programming in a certain language and stop catching up with the latest trends, you might quickly realize that this technology is outdated already, and so are you. Talking about iOS development and Apple technologies, they are rapidly improving. That’s why you will perhaps never get bored in this direction – you will always see and hear something interesting.

As I’ve already mentioned, it’s easier to start learning new technologies nowadays due to the abundance of online resources. But usually, it begins like that: you look at some examples, start with a simple “Hello World,” and then write something complex. Now, the development tools are powerful enough that one can do simple things with just a few clicks, and this motivates people to move forward.

When I started, Apple products were less accessible and much more expensive in our country. The majority began using “Hackintosh,” which allowed them to run macOS on non-Apple PCs, to learn the Apple ecosystem. I started this way as well, but now it’s much easier to get started with Apple technologies.

It would be good to hear your advice for the entry specialists. Let’s give some advice to the young version of yourself. 

Well, maybe not to give up. It often happens that on the way to some goal, there are a lot of obstacles. People interested in IT frequently give up after initial failures: they can’t manage to do some test tasks, don’t pass the job interview, or maybe try to work on a project, and something goes wrong there, and so on. If you see yourself in IT, persist even after failing once or twice. Trying a different company or project might work out better, or you might find another technology that excites you and will be interesting for you to work with.

Vasyl, you spent almost a year and half serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, tell us about your service.

I was mobilized at the beginning of spring 2022 and demobilized in late summer 2023. My military path lies from the Chernihiv region to the Donetsk region (Bakhmut) as an infantry officer. Many things happened during this time, but when it was calm, I tried not to lose connection with IT. 

By the way, I prepared and completed the SEI course and gained a Software Architecture Professional Certificate thanks to colleagues from Avenga, who supported me and helped with learning materials and tips. They even sent me a laptop that I used in both military and IT ways. Avenga helped me a lot when I was mobilized: equipment, finances, and just good words. I am extremely thankful to all specialists for their support.

Did your experience in IT help you in any way during your service?

I led a platoon of 30 people. These were individuals with significant life experience, ingrained habits, and points of view, so making them into a team was quite a challenge. Therefore, my experience as a project manager on large IT projects proved very useful. Overall, I believe that the main rule of a good leader is to organize everything in a way that maximizes the use of people’s skills and doesn’t interfere with them.

Skills in systems thinking and process optimization also helped me. Contradictory commands negatively affect the unit’s morale. Therefore, I always tried to ask or understand the expected result before making decisions for maximum efficiency.

Vasyl, could you share some practical advice for navigating the transition to civilian life?

Regarding adjusting to civilian life – I can’t say it was hard because, for me, it happened smoothly, so to speak. As for advice on how to help others adapt – it’s hard to say… Everyone has their own “baggage” brought from the war, but one thing I can say is that it’s probably important to feel needed and be involved in work or other activities. 

Anyway a lot has changed during that time, but when I came back, the Avenga team welcomed me well. They haven’t forgotten 🙂 I kept in touch with many while being at the front, so I was somewhat aware of what was happening in the company.

Vasyl, after returning, you became a co-founder of Brave IT, a non-profit organization that provides free IT training for the military, veterans, their families, and the families of fallen defenders. Please tell us more.

I know everyone is actively involved in supporting our Armed Forces, but there is another side to this war. Many veterans have already suffered serious injuries and will no longer be able to return to their civilian occupations. Considering this, along with other co-founders, we decided to create Brave IT to provide free IT courses and assist with further employment. There have already been cases where active military personnel could transfer and serve in IT units of the Armed Forces after completing our education program. 

Currently, we have launched courses in HR, Marketing, Java, Python, etc. However, a bunch of other courses are being prepared based on potential students’ interests. Among them is an iOS course that I helped prepare.

As we know, you have shifted careers at Avenga to the global role of Mobile Engineering Director. What is your main focus area in this position?

It’s a new role for me, but as a Mobile Engineering Director, I see my responsibilities in developing and promoting our mobile competency globally in our international and multicultural company. Our mobile teams possess significant knowledge and experience in developing comprehensive mobile applications in different business domains, but that knowledge has been somewhat isolated geographically so far. I aim to dissolve those boundaries so people can work together and share knowledge and experience that would allow working more effectively. On the other hand, there is no point in the fact that we are strong in something, but nobody knows about it. So, I’m working on increasing our involvement and recognizability through better presenting our capabilities and skills.

Vasyl, why Avenga?

Because a lot of really interesting people work here, people from whom you can learn a lot and grow up professionally along with them. When I first came to this company, what impressed me – was the fact that many high-level professionals work there. Through the years I still find a lot of really interesting people with whom you can collaborate, solve difficult problems, and from whom you can learn a lot.

And last but not least, what are your goals and plans for the future?

At this moment, all dreams are aimed toward Victory. Others are postponed so far. But my big dream has always been to learn to fly. I started to implement this even before the war. On February 24, 2022, the day it started, I was supposed to take the final private pilot license (PPL) exam. The war broke all plans and dreams, as it did for many others. However, I hope to return to this matter someday.

 

Vasyl, thanks for the interview! Your career story is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the importance of continued innovation. We are sure that your dedication to both the IT field and our country will inspire many specialists not to give up, to try again and again, and to keep their passion for the technology world despite any circumstances.

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