Brooklyn resident Miroslav Shubernetskiy, 25, says he’s surprised at how much he loves the vibe of engineering software at Dealertrack.
When he finished school in New York, at City College, he was quite sure he didn’t want to go into the big, corporate development scene. Still, when he met what would be his team during his interview process and saw how they embraced the best parts of the tech startup culture, all that changed.
More than a year and a half later, he’s now finding ways to challenge himself at Dealertrack, in leadership roles and the open source community, which he contributes to frequently.
And he still makes time for ping-pong with his team members, the Djangsters – named for the Django framework written in the programming language Python, which the teams all work with.
In a recent interview, Miro talked about his surprising find about working at a big company, and the shift that comes from being hired in your first programming job right out of college.
1) Briefly describe your role. What are your primary responsibilities?
“That’s a good question. Hmm. The abstract answer is, to solve hard problems. The more practical answer would be, lately, reviewing code. We’re helping previous build masters to review code, those guys are senior engineers and architects, so they’re kind of grooming us for what they do.”
“Usually the job description would be, ‘do something fun with code’ or ‘to solve fun problems.’”
2) What are some bigger initiatives that you’ve been able to work on?
“We are writing a data conversion for all of our customer’s purchasing information to transfer it from the classic system to a new one. We started at the end of November and we’re just now wrapping it up.
This data migration is one of the cool ones,” he said. At first, his team, the Djangsters, were wondering why they’d been assigned to do the onerous task – instead of the company keeping the legacy system. The answer came when they had to work in it.
“There were inefficiencies in the original..It’s not that there were issues, I wouldn’t call them issues, but the system was 14 years old. You add a little feature, and add a little feature, and then there’s like 5,000 new features [as the years pass].
“Some of the design decisions you would make are different over time.
“Now that we have interacted with the legacy system, it explains why we exist. Instead of continuing to expand in the legacy system, why did they decide to start from scratch.”
3) What’s one of the most challenging parts of your role?
“Time management. So right now – we’re reviewing a bit of a code, and every once and awhile I have to write new code, and then they ask questions, there’s meetings in between, and it’s figuring out your time. When to do what.”
4) What attracted you to Dealertrack?
“This is my first job after college. And I usually hate big companies, and I hate pretty much everything that has to do with enterprise. When I interviewed here, while it felt very enterprise-like, when I met this team, it felt very much like a startup.
“Our manager is awesome,” he said. “AJ is like, ‘If you have a better solution, do it.’ He’s pretty cool… it feels like a startup, which attracted me.”
5) What’s your favorite tech tool? How do you incorporate this into your workflow?
“StackOverflow, you could consider that a tool,” he said. “But I think Github is pretty awesome too. We’re using Github enterprise…I’m pretty much staring at Github every day right now,” throughout his work day, to document his work.
6) What industry blogs, RSS feeds or technical forums do you follow?
I follow Django bloggers on Twitter. Ars Technica is another big one. At PyCon or DjangoCon they’ll post their videos on YouTube…so some of the conferences are really awesome resources lately.
7) Are you active in the Python community?
“We’re trying to develop a Long Island Python meetup, called li.py, and biweekly we have hack nights. People from outside of Dealertrack come here and work on some code. Sort of a bunch of people are working together in code, so you can ask questions. My manager also likes to do code when they can.”
This is going to be my third DjangoCon, Austin. I was in DjangoCon D.C. in 2012, DjangoCon 2013 in Chicago, I missed Portland. But this year I also went to PyCon.”
Miro’s team even submitted a talk for consideration at DjangoCon, but it was not accepted. According to DjangoCon’s website, the conference had 139 submissions for talks this year, and could only accept 40.
8) What inspires you?
“In Chicago Docker had a big presence there,” he said. “Docker is a platform that packages everything a software application needs in order to run using a filesystem underneath. “They’re looking at integrating the Docker,” he said – which was cool to learn about.
Miro also loves photography, and previously worked at a photo studio. For company parties, he likes to bring a setup and take portraits of his coworkers, then blend them later on into crazy backdrops using Photoshop.
Also: “I like our team. First of all, the name is awesome, how can you go better than Djangsters?
“And Greg Armer is our team lead: He knows everything. Like, everything, he is pretty educational, pretty much anything you ask him, he knows the answers. We have two developers on the team, and they’re pretty cool, and I’m learning a lot from them.”
9) What advice would you give a new hire, or someone joining Dealertrack right out of college?
“Pretty much after I started working here, I realized I don’t know anything in terms of practical stuff and programming,” he said. “When I started working here I realized that I knew nothing. Once I started really doing something, I realized school was not anything real.”
Still, Miro’s managed to make himself a crucial part of his team, and as a new programmer, how does that happen?
“I’d say be passionate,” he said. In one of the work groups he’s in, made up of build masters, or developers that look at other peoples’ code, he saw something they all had in common. “We all pretty much do something on the side. This isn’t a job for any of us. I find all the people who are most successful, all my friends I deal with in the company, are those type of people,” he said.
“If somebody’s passionate they could always learn,” what they don’t come in the door knowing, he said. “It doesn’t matter at they know beforehand, they’ve got to always be willing to learn.”
10.) Where do you want to take your career in 10 years?
“I don’t want to be a manager. I read this biography of Steve Wozniak, he’s so right on. I like to tinker with things, if you’re a manager you have to do the boring stuff. I don’t want to do the boring stuff. As long as I can still do cool stuff I’ll be happy.”
If you want more stories like this one, please follow this blog or our Engineering team on Github using the tools above, or on Twitter. Want to join our team? Check out our openings and please, reach out.