An interview with kondakovdmitry

Read about our TCO18 Finalists.
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How did you get to where you are today in the developer world?

I think it was my grandfather who gave me a jump-start, teaching me math and simple electrical engineering from my early years. When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I met a computer for the first time. It was my cousin's Apogee BK-01 – one of the earliest Russian personal computers. From that time I really fell in love with programming! On Apogee I started with BASIC language, and then I even tried to write a simple game in machine codes for it, although I hadn't ever managed to make it work ;).

When my father bought me my first own computer – ZX Spectrum – I felt to be the happiest child in the world! There was also BASIC, but I wanted to go deeper and learned its Z80 processor instructions from books, so Assembler was my favorite development language at that time.

After this goes a long story of meeting with IBM PC computers in my school, continuing at Moscow State University, my first jobs as a programmer, working for Samsung Electronics, then being full-time self-employed competing on Topcoder and ending up with company where I am now!

What is your best strategy for tackling a project or challenge?

I am not sure why it works, but I usually fist spend long time thinking about a project and writing some a code. Then I suddenly find that there is almost no time left until deadline, when I just have to finish everything very fast and submit my result at the last minute!

How do you keep up with current trends and advances in this field?

I like to read IT news on our Russian "Habrahabr" site, and watch videos from IEEE Spectrum Automaton blog. Now I just managed to join team, whose wonderful guys always keep me up with trends and so many things I still have to learn from them!

What are you most looking forward to for the TCO Finals?

I would really love to meet everyone in person on the TCO Finals. Always competing behind the display and then just seeing all those legendary guys and gals in person – this is what really excites me!

Tell us what achievement you are the most proud of.

I am proud of taking 1st place in the IBM Castle Blitz after just starting actively competing on Topcoder in a new area for me (I had to learn JavaScript and Node.js development during that time). And of course I am proud of my 2 wonderful sons!

If you wrote your own developer profile, what would it say?

Love programming, that's it!

Offline, what is your favorite thing to do?

Bicycling and flying on planes 🙂

We asked the Finalists to use emojis in response to the following questions.

How do you feel about the TCO18 Finals?


How do you feel when you win a Topcoder challenge?


What is your spirit animal?


What's the weather like at your house right now?


What are your hobbies?




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