It’s good to be back!

Hi, I’m Andrey and you may have heard of me before. I worked at Wildbit for 3 years before I left in 2008 when I moved from Russia to Austria. It was a hard decision to make, but looking back, I do not regret it: I found my wife here and together we have a 6-month-old son Philipp. But in terms of work, I missed what I left at Wildbit. After working on a few pretty interesting projects in Austria and Germany, I was still looking for a better fit when I saw the job opening for Front End Developer and Product Designer at Wildbit. Imagine how thrilled I was when I got the job!

Photo of Andrey
That's me wearing "Borsch" T-Shirt holding a can of beer called Vienna — the city where I live.

Let me tell a bit more about myself. I’m an engineer with a Master's degree in Computer Science, but I’m also a designer. I love solving complex problems, no matter if it’s a design or technical challenge. When not working I like spending my time riding mountain bikes or snowboarding (I love mountains), going to live music concerts (I listen to everything from classical music to avant-garde), cooking food and drinking good wine, and going out with my friends.

I was born in Russia, where I went to school and university. My fascination with computers and programming started in the 8th grade at school. It was a no-brainer to study Computer Science at the State University. At the same time, I realized I’m interested in designing stuff in addition to programming. I became a “web designer”, as it was known back in the days, and was mainly drawing pictures of websites. I pretty soon encountered pictures weren’t enough for the web, so I started learning HTML and CSS to turn images into real web pages. I and a few friends of mine have built a few successful web projects, and I even wrote my bachelor work on the process of building websites.

By doing lots of design work, I started seeing how people use websites and I became interested in a new discipline: Usability. After graduating, I moved to Moscow where I started working as a User Interface Designer for a big enterprise company, applying all my design and user knowledge. I designed a few software products and led usability tests, but the overall process was slow and very bureaucratic, which affected end product quality.

This is also the time I started writing JavaScript. In my notion of creating the best user experience, I was struggling with non-interactive mockups. Each time they got implemented by developers, they weren’t quite where I wanted them to be. Each iteration took a few days and I was very frustrated by the process. So I started creating very simple user interactions with HTML, CSS and JavaScript to verify my ideas before passing them to developers. These prototypes were much more detailed and looked much better than wireframes (which I also used to do my work) and everybody loved them: developers knew exactly how some UI should work, and clients were happy to see something working without using lots of imagination.

When I started working at Wildbit a few years later, we actively used this approach in all our projects. It was so successful, that pretty soon most of the JavaScript code was shipped to production. And this is how I became a “Front End Developer” — a job title not very commonly used, to say the least, back in 2005.

Now, after 10 years, “Front End Developer” is a very common role and requires even more knowledge than before. There are new modern tools we could only dream about back then and there is finally no IE6 (I’m so old, I even remember testing for IE5 and IE5.5!). Lots have changed in terms of technology, but the main principle remains the same: we still build software that makes other people’s lives easier and better. It turns out, that’s exactly what Wildbit has been doing since the beginning and that’s why I’m so excited to be back. I’m honored to work together with the team of very talented people at Wildbit, and I’m looking forward to building even better products.


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