Victor Smirnov at Rugvista: Here's what I know, insights from a senior Fastdev developer.
When speaking with Victor, you can sense his confidence in his field of knowledge and his abilities as a senior developer. However, despite working in software development for twenty-four years, he is not cynical, tired, or apparently bored. Here we present his journey with his client and some key insights from a senior developer.
The founding of Rugvista: an ideal position for success
Victor has worked with Rugvista, an online retailer, for the past five years. The founders of Rugvista were fortunate to be in an ideal position when establishing their online retail business. They possessed the drive and determination of entrepreneurs, combined with the necessary technical knowledge, allowing them to launch their business at a time when many were still exploring the potential of the web.
Challenges of rapid growth: the need for Fastdev’s assistance
This is where Victor’s story begins. Although they had the entrepreneurial mindset and an excellent idea for an online retailer of rugs and carpets, the two founders of Rugvista faced the common challenges encountered by successful startups. The company was experiencing rapid growth, which posed specific difficulties. This was the reason why Fastdev was called upon and assigned Victor to assist them. Despite having a functioning product, sustaining and managing it became a challenge.
Addressing legacy issues: the magic touch of Victor’s expertise
The application at Rugvista shares the well-known issues of a legacy application, with performance problems and resistance to change being the most critical concerns. The existing application architecture was unable to keep up with their expanding needs. Rugvista needed a touch of magic to ensure the application could handle the new business requirements.
“Working with legacy code requires special skills that come with experience and continuous self-improvement. RugVista needed a developer who possessed these skills, and my 20+ years of experience in IT allowed me to shine. They required a significant piece of my expertise.” Says Victor.
The task went beyond mere PHP programming. Victor had to maintain servers and routers, conduct software archaeology, and make program fixes. Ultimately, a robust and agile solution was built to support the business.
It was a long journey from facing troubles every Monday, with nothing working, to a point where complaints about any issue became rare.
Embracing continuous development and improvement
Victor soon realised, as we often do at Fastdev, that the key to making lasting and impactful changes at RugVista, improving their efficiency, relied not only on his technical skills but also on his ability to have an open dialogue with colleagues. He needed to identify problem areas, understand what was causing delays, and implement better solutions to expedite product delivery to customers and enhance overall efficiency.
By closely collaborating with a specific colleague, Victor managed to continuously update and improve the system, ensuring it worked well for those “on the ground.” This approach prevented a developer from second-guessing their needs or waiting until it was too late to fix things. According to Victor, this feedback loop is essential.
Thinking independently – developers taking responsibility
As a senior developer with extensive experience, Victor has noticed an area where many junior developers may lack the necessary experience and confidence: the ability to think independently and take full responsibility for their work. There may be instances where the suggested solution doesn’t align with your belief in the best approach. Victor encourages you to trust your instincts. If you are certain that your solution is better, more effective, and resonates with you on a deeper level, go for it.
“If you know, for sure, that the solution you have is better, will work better, and even feels better, then go with it.” Says Victor. Similar situations have occurred at RugVista between Victor and his colleagues, and he’s pleased to say that they have yielded positive results.
Despite this Victor adds, “If your solution does not work, you must be courageous to admit it and make work on your mistakes. You build your intuition by trying and failing. However, learning from your mistakes is the most essential step. Embrace your failures as fixing them is the shortest path to becoming a better version of yourself.”
Developing trustworthy intuition: embracing failure as a learning opportunity
It is of course, far from true that your intuition is always reliable. It can be disheartening to realise that despite trusting your instincts and experience you can still be mistaken. Developing what Victor refers to as “trustworthy intuition” requires embracing failure as a learning opportunity.
Embracing change: understanding mistakes and evaluating other opinions
In a team setting, it’s important to acknowledge that others may be right. It’s crucial to collaborate with fellow developers, maintain an open mind, and explore alternative ideas. This allows you to understand why their perspectives may be better than yours. Embracing this approach is key.
Improvement comes through change, and change happens when we understand our mistakes. Therefore, it’s necessary to constantly evaluate and consider other opinions, even if they conflict with our own thoughts and feelings. By doing so, we can grow and evolve as developers.
Victor’s impact on Rugvista’s growth and success
Victor is happy at Rugvista, and as they continue to thrive as a business, they are not only pleased with his contributions but also recognise the invaluable impact he has made on their growth and success. With his dedication to continuous improvement, his ability to foster collaboration, and his commitment to embracing failure as a learning opportunity, Victor has become an instrumental part of Rugvista’s journey towards excellence. As they forge ahead, Rugvista remains grateful for Victor’s expertise, and Victor himself takes pride in being a vital catalyst for their ongoing achievements. It’s a truly rewarding and fulfilling partnership that exemplifies the power of teamwork, resilience, and continuous growth in the dynamic world of technology.
Victor began his career as a software developer in 1999 and transitioned to his role as a senior developer in 2009. He possesses extensive experience in back-end development using Node.js, TypeScript, PHP, and GoLang, along with front-end development using the React stack. Additionally, Victor is proficient in DevOps for the AWS Cloud. Throughout his professional journey, he has collaborated in diverse, multilingual teams, taking on roles as a software architect, developer, and DevOps engineer. Victor maintains a commitment to coding standards, prioritises test-driven development (TDD), and places value on comprehensive documentation. He possesses a deep understanding of standard software development processes.