Developing Mobile Applications


Last year Vadim Drobinin graduated from the Bachelor’s Degree Program in Software Engineering. Now he works in London in an ambitious startup, which promises to turn over modern ideas about search on the Internet.

Contrary to the stereotype of a programmer-interovert in a stretched sweater, which “disappears” all night long, Vadim travels a lot, keeps a blog with recipes of dishes from different countries, teaches and participates in major international conferences.

About the developer profession and the advantages of small companies

When I chose a job after graduation, I had a successful interview with Uber in Amsterdam, but then I declined the offer. Uber is a huge and not very swiveling machine. Working in such a team is harder than working in a small company.

At Uber, I can’t go to the CEO and tell him, “Look, this is nothing. Let’s not do that. Now I work in a small British startup. We want to rethink the online search as more and more people use their voices.

So far, we’re doing well, and there’s a lot of well-known big investors – people who invested in Google and Airbnb, when they were still small companies in garages. In our small company, I can influence the decisions made by the CEO. It’s a priceless feeling I don’t want to lose.

Development has always been about creating new worlds for me. I do with my own hands what can then be used by millions of people in different countries. It comes to life at the click of a finger in my hands.

I have always loved developing sites, for example, because you write a couple of lines of code and you see the result at once. If you write a server, you can see the result after a while – when someone else writes a mobile application and it will communicate with this server.

I also really like the way developers look at the world. I understand what happens when a person clicks on a link in a browser, and the people I interact with in the team, too. I think I was crazy about Vyshka because most of the people I studied with shared my passion for learning new things.

What the Tower taught and what students need to do to succeed

Course on resource-efficient combined algorithms contains the necessary basic approach, which I use daily. We were also given English at an excellent level. Now I speak it even more than I write code.

All the courses related to work in a team were useful: a course of psychology, project management by Scrum. We had an amazing optional course from Pavel Manakhov and Sergey Pronin on designing mobile interfaces. It consisted of two parts: the concept of user interfaces and Swift development.

Showed how even a developer who does not work with the interface, but simply programs what the designers gave him, can design the interface in the process. This is very important. In my company, I not only do programming, but I also “glue” product development, server development, and design in parts. Thanks to my knowledge, I can communicate freely with designers in their language.

How to expand the consumer audience and the freedom to work anywhere

Work on foreign projects gives, first of all, scales. The Russian-language project, which has not been translated into twenty languages, has an audience of twenty million at best.

When you develop an English-language project, the default audience exceeds several hundred million. Simply because it is in English, and there are media opportunities to reach foreign producers.

Another plus is that it’s becoming more and more accessible. There are people in our team who were born in Germany, studied in America, and now work in England. They know each other both there and there. This allows us to find contacts very quickly. It is often joked that IT bubble – the environment of people connected with the world of information technology – has no limits.

Interviews with mobile developers are almost identical, the working language is mostly English. You have packed your bags and you are already working at a new place in another country. I am very lucky: thanks to the hackathons I travel a lot. Working remotely with foreign companies, I have adopted the culture, approach to programming and communication in the team and do not feel a big difference between the mentality.

As a programmer, I am not tied to any country or programming language. Even if tomorrow the world is taken over by robots and they suddenly need a completely new programming language and people to write this code for some reason, I can handle it.

What kind of experience you can get on a foreign project and how to get there

The first major overseas project I found on the Upwork website. This is a platform where people who need developers place their orders. Then the customers started writing to me and asking me if I could make an application for them.

In 2015, my classmate and very good friend Alexander Zimin and I won the WWDC Scholarship competition and received tickets to California to the largest conference for mobile developers Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and went.

My first major hackathon was HackTrain in London in 2015. The participants were put on three trains, and we travelled all over England for three days and wrote the code. The WaveRoll project was born out of this experience, which we then developed with friends for another two and a half years.

Having experienced the problems of the railway industry, we created the B2B system, which is built into the mobile application. With it, the company collects data on the use of traffic in each of the trains that travel throughout the country.