Meet the team: Alexander Kirillov
Alexander Kirillov's career in technology is a rich tapestry of experiences and roles. During our interview, we explored the depths of his professional journey and the diverse hobbies that shape his life outside of work.
Your career in tech is quite extensive. Can you share more about your roles before joining Aknostic?
Well, my journey in tech began as a backend developer, where I was involved in a variety of projects. I've worked with banks, developing secure and efficient systems, and also in the insurance sector, focusing on data processing and management. My experience in gaming was particularly exciting, as it combined creativity with technical skills. Before transitioning to cloud engineering, I was deeply involved in developing robust backend systems for these industries, which laid a solid foundation for my current role.
Your current role you say. How could that one be defined?
At Aknostic, my role is quite diverse and engaging. Currently, I'm deeply involved in expanding my knowledge in cloud engineering, particularly focusing on Kubernetes. I'm working towards certifications in this area, which is both challenging and exciting. Knowledge sharing is a key part of our culture at Aknostic, and I actively participate in this. Whether it's learning from others or contributing my own insights, it's all about growing together as a team.
In addition to the technical side, I'm also handling aspects of project management. This involves overseeing various projects, ensuring they run smoothly and efficiently. It's a role that requires a good balance of technical know-how and organizational skills.
Interacting with clients is another significant part of my job. My background and soft skills come in handy here, allowing me to effectively communicate and represent our team's capabilities to clients. It's about bridging the gap between technical expertise and client needs.
So, we learned you’re Ukrainian. What’s your ‘nomad’ story?
I started my life in Eastern Ukraine and wasn't initially aiming to move to Europe. Instead, I was moving westward within Ukraine, step by step. With each move, I experienced improvements in my life, including new cities, friends, and cultures. This journey of moving westward was driven by my desire to fully enjoy life and explore new environments.
Based on my experience, the mentality in Ukraine was more focused on earning money and gaining experience, rather than enjoying life. The work-life balance I was looking for wasn't fully achieved there. As I was getting more west, I began to see the benefits of moving beyond Ukraine.
It was then that I started to consider other countries, including Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Eventually I chose the Netherlands because of its relaxed lifestyle and the enjoyment of life I observed there. This was influenced by my experiences during brief visits to these countries, where I found the Netherlands to be more relaxed and enjoyable compared to the Nordics.
Seems you know exactly what you want on a national cultural level. But what is it you’re looking for in a working environment?
In my search for the ideal company culture, there are a few key elements I always look for.
Firstly, a flat hierarchy is crucial. I thrive in environments where questions are welcomed and there's no judgment, regardless of how simple they may seem. This openness fosters a culture of learning and growth, where everyone feels comfortable being themselves.
Knowledge sharing is another pillar for me. I believe in a workplace where experienced individuals are approachable and willing to share their insights. It's not just about holding knowledge but about disseminating it for the collective growth of the team.
Responsibility is important, but it should come with a sense of balance. I admire cultures where people take ownership of their work not because they are asked to, but because they feel a genuine responsibility towards their clients and projects. However, this shouldn't come at the cost of personal well-being. Work-life balance is essential.
Diversity and openness are also close to my heart. I see myself contributing to creating an environment where diverse perspectives are not just accepted but encouraged. It's about making everyone feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions and questions.
Lastly, I believe humor plays a vital role in any workplace. A bit of sarcasm or light-hearted humor can significantly enhance the work atmosphere, making the daily grind more enjoyable. It's about creating a space where work is taken seriously, but there's always room for a good laugh.
And does Aknostic tick any of these boxes?
Everyone at Aknostic is amazing in their approach to team dynamics and knowledge sharing. Here, I've found a culture that values curiosity and encourages asking questions, no matter how simple they may seem. This openness has fostered a collaborative and supportive environment, which I believe is crucial for innovation and personal growth. And yes, my colleagues seem to be able to cope with my sense of humor haha.
Balancing a demanding tech career with personal life can be challenging. How do you manage this?
I have a variety of hobbies that keep me balanced and fulfilled. Running is a big part of my life; I often go for what I call a 'relaxing run' during my lunch breaks, covering about 13 kilometers in an hour. It's not just about fitness for me, but also about clearing my mind.
Yoga and Pilates are also integral to my routine. They help me maintain a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. I believe in the importance of keeping the body and mind in harmony.
Photography is another passion of mine. Capturing moments and scenes allows me to express my creative side. It's a hobby that I find both relaxing and rewarding. Hiking complements my love for photography. Being out in nature, exploring new trails, and capturing the beauty of the outdoors is something I deeply enjoy.
Singing, though more of a personal amusement, is also something I indulge in. It's a fun way to express myself, even if it's just for my own enjoyment. In addition to these, I enjoy visiting cinemas and museums, and just engaging in activities that add fun and learning to my life. For me, it's about having a well-rounded life where work, learning, and leisure coexist harmoniously.
Wow, that’s a lot of hobbies. What kind of coffee do you drink to perform all these?
For my morning coffee, I keep it simple and straightforward. I prefer it black, no sugar, no milk, just the pure, rich taste of the coffee itself. But after 12 o'clock, I switch it up a bit and go for a flat white. It's a nice little transition from the basic to something a bit more indulgent as the day progresses.