Illia Chaban moved to the United States a few years ago and came across the software industry in Atlanta. To speed up his knowledge growth, Chaban decided to jump into DigitalCrafts’ full-stack immersive program, where he has built several projects including a real-time conference whiteboard application and a social media planning dashboard.
Chaban understands the importance of a mentor this early in his programming career so he’s looking for a startup or mid-size company that will invest in him as an employee so they can make an impact together.
“Sometimes it might be extremely frustrating, especially when you’re stuck on a problem for a few days or weeks,” says Chaban. “That’s why I believe it’s extremely important to have an experienced mentor that can guide you through those tough times.”
What is your previous education?
I have an unfinished degree in enterprise economy. I had to move to U.S. before I could finish it, but I’m still glad I had this experience because it broadened my horizons and helped me make some lifelong friendships.
I decided to try a bootcamp because I wanted to speed up things a little bit and it proved to be a right decision. I’m glad to be a part of software industry culture that most of all values your skills, ideas and hard work, encourages change and rewards passion.
Why the interest in the technology field?
I love solving complex problems. I always looked forward to my math classes and enjoyed challenging tasks. The feeling of joy you get when you find a solution to a task that seemed impossible to solve in the first place is priceless. Something that can bring tons of value, connect millions of people and do things that were hard to imagine. That is to say, I think that coding is a fundamental skill that multiplies any other talents you have.
What tech projects have you worked on?
I currently have three major projects — BrainstormMe, an online whiteboard where users can draw real-time and join a conference call. We used Twilio API for this. The next one is Griddle, a unified dashboard of text, images and videos to help users develop their ideas before posting on social media. It includes implemented speech recognition, drag and drop, and users can post to Facebook and Twitter from the website.
I have also worked on Tanks using Pygame. It was supposed to be just a learning experience to get familiar with an object-oriented programming. It was probably one of the most challenging projects. I wanted to go the hard way and implement rotation, which led to a lot of complexity and trigonometry. I honestly spent most of the time in my notebook trying to remind myself all the formulas and transform them to Pygame coordinate system.
What tech or tools are essential to you as a developer?
A good written documentation has always been the most essential tool to me. GitHub comes a close second. It’s vital technology for collaborating. At this point I can’t even imagine how people lived without it. Special thanks to Stack Overflow for its community answers that are often pretty detailed.
I also utilize Chrome DevTools and the React Developer Tools extension because they make debugging somewhat enjoyable while Trello helps to keep track of current goals and priorities.
How do you stay informed and on top of emerging trends?
I try to consistently read new articles and go through tutorials about new technologies that interested me, like machine learning, data science and ethical hacking. I have a lot of friends who are also developers and they are building cool stuff on their own or at their jobs. I always learn something new when I talk to them. I love staying up-to-date and broadening my horizons when it comes to what can be done with technology.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I like to break down problems to smaller pieces and solve them step by step. Organizing your code and keeping it clean takes some time upfront, but in the end, we write code for people and not for machines.
I always think about the user first when working on a project and try to determine what brings the most value to the table. I feel confident with both front-end and back-end development. I’m always up for a challenge and that’s how I picked all of my previous projects. I have always found a way to implement the feature one way or another and I’m extremely glad I challenged myself.
What’s next on your list to learn?
I want to learn more about blockchain technologies, machine learning and data science. Also, I enjoy playing around with graphic design and I’m planning to take a course on that too. Another topic that interests me is ethical hacking, Ruby on Rails and PHP — this will not only help increase my niche knowledge, but multiply my value as a developer.
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
I’m interested in the best learning opportunity and making an impact. I’d like to tackle a wide range of new and complex problems and learn as much as I can. The most suitable place for it is probably a startup or a mid-sized company. Mentorship is incredibly important to me and I will fully invest myself in the company that is willing to invest in me.