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 Alterra.ai 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 Alterra.ai 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.
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?