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3 min read

In our ongoing series featuring influential personalities from the technology sector, we are delighted to present Vadzim Zylevich, who stands out as a leading Microsoft Certified Developer at Maersk. This interview aims to peel back the layers of Vadzim's professional path, offering a glimpse into the milestones that have marked his career.


Can you share a little bit about yourself and how you got into software engineering?

I'm Vadzim Zylevich, a Microsoft Certified Developer, currently leading a team at Maersk, one of the world's leading shipping companies, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Born and raised in a small city in Belarus, I have been fascinated by science and technology since my childhood.

However, the pivotal moment for me was watching the movie “Hackers,” directed by Iain Softley. Since then, my obsession with computers has begun. To me, they were like portals to another life, reminiscent of the science-fiction books I adored, where nothing matters but your curiosity.

What notable software engineering challenges have you overcome?

In the early stages of my career, while working with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), I encountered a notable challenge: the scarcity of documentation. Mastery in this field demands a robust understanding of both software engineering and electrical engineering. I was particularly proud of completing a project developed from scratch that enabled large manufacturing machines to generate electricity from burning car tires.

Another significant challenge was working with the Java Access Bridge while developing a program for Robotic Process Automation, also known as a No-Code tool. This library presented many undocumented features and behaviours, necessitating extensive research and engagement with the open-source community.

Lastly, many of my recent projects have required various communication frameworks or libraries. For these, I often turn to the MassTransit C#/.NET library, a powerful tool with its nuances. Each transport method, such as Azure Service Bus, Kafka, or RabbitMQ, introduces its unique features, prompting further investigation of this framework.

What did you learn from these experiences?

Firstly, patience and persistence are crucial, as the learning curve can sometimes be quite steep. Secondly, never hesitate to seek help or ask questions of your colleagues or the community. Particularly at the beginning of your career, you might worry that asking questions will make you appear unqualified, but this is far from the truth. Most developers are helpful and willing to answer your questions quickly, saving you hours or even days of searching for solutions independently. Finally, while new technologies constantly emerge on the horizon, what truly matters is your solid foundation in Computer Science and your attitude toward the job.

What inspires and energises you within your work?

What inspires and energises me the most are new challenges and technologies. I consider myself fortunate to work in software engineering, where each completed project brings a profound sense of creation and the satisfaction of solving problems that initially seemed insurmountable.

What advice would you give to someone wishing to start their computer science career?

To those aspiring to start a career in computer science, my advice is to remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint. Learning to manage your time and resources effectively is crucial. Recognizing that there will always be new things you don't know is part of the journey. Sometimes, it's essential to know when to pause and rest. A new day brings new perspectives, and with it, solutions to any problem you might face.

What are some of your favourite programming languages and emerging technologies that you are enjoying working with currently?

My favourite programming languages are C# and Go. C# is my primary language, which I particularly enjoy for its constantly evolving ecosystem and substantial community support. Go, on the other hand, I find it easier to start with. It's excellent for building small services, which are highly beneficial in a microservice architecture. Currently, I'm also fascinated by recent advancements in AI technologies, such as Semantic Kernel, which facilitates the development of applications using Large Language Models. These technologies enable the creation of more functional applications with less code.

Is there anything specific to your industry that affects your role as a software engineer?

Recent developments in AI are affecting all industries, but software engineers may feel the impact most acutely. Even the most advanced AI products cannot replace software engineers; however, they can significantly boost productivity. This is precisely why I was chosen to be one of the representatives for the AI development initiative in our organization.

How do you use log and metrics data to improve your workflow?

Logs and metrics play a pivotal role in both our user and development workflows. We leverage the OpenTelemetry framework to manage data, including traces, metrics, and logs. Tools like Grafana are instrumental for us, enabling the exploration of issues, configuration, and fine-tuning of resources for running applications. They also provide insights into how we can achieve cost savings and foster better product development.

What book are you currently reading?

The technical book I'm currently reading is 'Data-Oriented Programming' by Yehonathan Sharvit. On the non-fiction front, I'm reading 'The Culture Map' by Erin Meyer.

If you enjoyed this interview then why not read our articles on New Relic dashboards or version control tools next?

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