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'I Enjoy the Challenges of My New Project. Such Difficulties Help You to Grow'

Nikita Barsukov graduated from the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science' in 2019 and the Master's programme 'Big Data Analytics for Business, Economics and Society' in 2021. During the senior years of his Bachelor's, a minor course helped Nikita to find his calling in software development. He is currently building his career in this field. In his interview, Nikita talks about his student years, finding a job of his liking, and the corporate culture of Tinkoff.

'I Enjoy the Challenges of My New Project. Such Difficulties Help You to Grow'

Photo courtesy of Nikita Barsukov

Does HSE University differ from other universities in terms of education? Is there a certain image of an HSE University graduate?

— I completed my Bachelor's and Master's degrees at HSE University. Based on my experience and that of my friends, I can say that the education at HSE University is always about topical knowledge and brilliant academic staff. Besides, there are well-educated and versatile students at HSE University, which makes the atmosphere there eventful and interesting. As for the image of an HSE University graduate, I would single out discipline and responsibility as characteristic features which each of us has. This is an achievement of the university's strict requirement to follow all deadlines.

— Tell us about your current work and duties.

— Now, I am working for Tinkoff as a senior front-end developer. More specifically, I take part in creating the design system at Tinkoff. This company has a great number of various applications, and each of them is developed by a certain team. However, to make all the applications look uniform in terms of design, they are developing a general technology. I am working to create such a unified code which various teams will be able to use afterwards.

What do you like about your job and which tasks do you enjoy most of all?

— While working at Tinkoff, I participated in different projects. For instance, I worked for the product teams, where we were developing a code for the final product which the customers saw. At the moment, I am working in a core team, which means I create products for other software developers, not the end consumers. From the technical side, our current project is rather hard, as we have to think carefully about the written code. Reliability and flexibility of decisions are very important. I really enjoy this difficulty, this challenge of the new project, as they help me to grow as a professional.

What do you think about the corporate culture at Tinkoff?

— I take part in the process of interviewing and selecting new candidates for our project. That's why I know what the requirements for potential employees are—they are very high. In general, there are very experienced specialists at the company, so while working with them, other employees are developing as well. Tinkoff contributes to the career development of its employees in every possible way, for instance, by providing opportunities to attend fee-paying courses or conferences. During difficult times, the company also tries to help by offering legal and psychological support.

Is your education related to your current career?

— To be honest, my Bachelor's degree is not connected to my current job. I received a general social and humanitarian education, which shaped me as an individual and taught me how to study. In general, it was character building. As a Bachelor's student, I understood that I was into software development. I had a chance to choose a minor course related to this field. I also had some courses in analytics, which involved working with technical tools. The Bachelor's degree helped me to find my calling and define the direction for self-development, gave me motivation to study something I am interested in. That is why I entered the Master's programme on Machine Learning and Software development, in general.

Do you think that people should change their area of focus during their master's degree?

— I think that a lot depends on concentration. If you understand on your bachelor's degree that you are passionate about something else, you can completely change the area of your focus on a master's programme—the main thing is to enrol. I enrolled with the help of the Olympiad I had prepared for. If you are ready to train for a new profession and prepare for the admissions process yourself, why not?

What helps you to relax after a hard working day?

 — My lifestyle is not very correct in this respect. I don't know how to relax properly because I develop software at work and I do the same in my leisure time, learning something new. Perhaps I should find a hobby which is not related to my day job at all (laughs). The most important thing is to have another activity and know how to switch to it. In general, I relax very simply—I watch my favourite TV series and eat something tasty.

What TV recommendations do you have?

— My favourite TV series are 'Friends' and 'The Big Bang Theory'. I love sitcoms, as they are the best way to relax after a busy day. Sitcoms have no complex meaning, mostly humour.

What three things do you most associate with HSE University?

— Environment, freedom of thinking and development.

The interview was prepared by Evgeniya Bol'nyh, 2nd-year student of the Bachelor's programme 'International Business and Management Studies', and Eva Snisarenko, 2nd-year student of the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science'.