Yuriy Kushla joined N-iX exactly 6 years ago, on October 10, 2013. At that time, the company had 6-7 clients and around 100 people. Now, Yuriy is a Delivery Director at the company with more than 900 people and over 100 projects. Besides his main job, he finds time for his multiple hobbies and travelling.
We talked with Yuriy about his six years at N-iX, his career, and his passions.
How did you start working in the IT industry?
I’ve always loved programming. I programmed at home since I got my first computer, took part in school olympiads, then studied computer science at the university, and eventually, got my first job as a programmer in a software development company in 2001 during my university years.
What attracted you the most to N-iX 6 years ago?
I’ve always liked that N-iX is based in Ukraine and owned by Ukrainians. All the decision-making happens here, and you can be a part of it. Also, I was inspired by the people who work here, their vision, goals and values. I could always see clearly how I could use my experience and build my career in the company.
What was your position when you joined the company?
At that time, management positions in Delivery were not clearly defined. I started my job as an Engagement Manager who would help attract new clients, take an active part in presales, customer engagement, business development, and organizing the delivery process from that point. Soon, we’ve got a couple of new clients and my unit grew by about 20 people. That was the moment we separated the delivery and engagement departments, and I continued as a Delivery Director.
How did the company change throughout all this time?
N-iX grew from 100 people to almost 1,000 in 6 years, but it managed to save its “small company DNA”. Of course, the company’s structure is now more complicated but the processes are still dynamic and free from bureaucracy. This allows making decisions quickly and easily. We’ve also managed to enter new markets and obtained quite interesting partnerships which drive the company nowadays. I’m happy to see this transformation now.
What excites you most about your work?
I’m really driven by the work that changes the world. We spend most of our time in offices, so I think the jobs we do should be really worth it. At N-iX, we value such partnerships and have a number of such projects. For instance, we partnered with a US-based biotech startup that helped cancer patients and doctors access advanced treatments in oncology. Also, we’ve got agritech projects which help feed the world’s growing population and increase the efficiency of agriculture using the latest technology such as drones and satellite imaging, machine learning, cloud systems, etc.
It is amazing how modern information technologies can influence the businesses around the world and bring global problem solving to the next level. For instance, such trends as Data Management and related disciplines can be applied to literally every project we deal with nowadays. Big Data, Business Intelligence, Data Science and Machine Learning are the key areas for our company and they are among the fastest-growing ones today. Our clients in the airline business, industrial logistics, fashion, internet providing, and telecom have already trusted us to build the Big Data and Data Analysis solutions for them. I’m really excited about all this stuff and proud we have created this solid competency from the ground up. And now we have the strongest data expertise among all the companies in Lviv.
Next time you fly anywhere for a vacation with a number of leading airlines, buy clothes from the famous fashion brands or just surf the Internet, you should know there are high chances the devs from N-iX helped to make your experience better with that.
Besides work, what are your main passions in life?
Photography, music, and sports - these are my three religions.
I’ve had this craving for photography since childhood when I helped my father process the photos in the darkroom. Taking pictures calms me down and brings me aesthetic pleasure, especially when it comes to nature and street photography. Usually, I publish my pictures on Instagram, the service that transformed the photo industry making photography available for everyone.
Also, I’ve played the guitar since my school days. When I was a student, we even had an amateur rock band with my friends. I am self-taught. I do not play professionally and usually do it home alone now, it’s a kind of meditation for me. These days, I’m into playing the main theme of the Games of Thrones for multiple guitars.
As for sports, I used to practice martial arts, cycling, climbing and mountaineering. Now I regularly visit the gym to keep fit.
How do you keep your work-life balance with all your passions and job responsibilities?
I strongly believe there should be the right balance between work and life so both are healthy and effective. It’s hard to switch off from work and my passions help me not to get crazy. They fulfill me. And when you are fulfilled, you are happy. Happiness makes your mind clean, and clean mind helps you to be more effective at work. It’s simple and all about commitments to yourself. For example, I know I must be in the gym for a workout three times a week with no excuse. So I need to leave the office at 7 pm and ensure the job is done till then. Tuesday evenings are for playing the guitar. On Saturday, I get up before 6 am to take pictures somewhere in the surroundings or go to the mountains. I make plans even for the days off. I believe personal time-management, discipline and demanding more of yourself are very important in everyday life.
How do you start your working day?
With a cup of coffee, of course :) Then I check emails and answer them. Ideally, I do not come back to emails anymore during a day. Also, I spend some time planning my whole following workday. It makes the workflow organized and effective.
If you weren’t in IT, what would you do?
I’d be a scientist. Besides programming, I also loved maths and physics at school. But when it was time to decide on my future profession, I realized that the scientific career didn’t give a lot of opportunities in Ukraine. Still, when I see scientists talking about their work, they have this spark in their eyes and huge excitement. I think that the IT industry often lacks such inspiration and passion.
Do you have a motto?
I’m a perfectionist. I think the work should be done well or not done at all.
Which books would you recommend to read?
I’m a believer that fiction books can teach us more about work and life than modern business literature everyone hypes up. So I’d recommend these two:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Empire of the Angels by Bernard Werber.