It\u2019s always fascinating to share stories of Symphonians who have been with us from the earliest years, coming a long way with Symphony Solutions. They\u2019ve stayed with the company through all the hurdles and achievements, and grew alongside the company to become true experts in their field. We have talked to Oleksandr Hrechnikov, React Software Engineer Lead at Symphony Solutions, about his professional journey, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and always challenging yourself and your team to strive for more. 1. Oleksandr, you've been working at Symphony Solutions for 11 years already. What surprised you the most about your journey so far? I was surprised by the journey. Symphony was the first company I started to work for. So even after 11 years, I can say it\u2019s always a tremendous continuous journey with many changes, team buildings, bright and flaming phoenixes. The majority of ex-Symphonians and ex-ex-Symphonians I know, also share the Symphony vibe as a great company to work and meet people for many years so far. It\u2019s a pleasure when I see how many of them are back. 2. When did you first decide to be a developer? What lead you onto this career path? I fell in love with computers when I was 6 years old. The first time I saw a computer with a black and white screen, I realized that\u2019s the beginning of a journey. Over the years, I have tried many different activities related to computer science: OS\/Network administration, hosting after-class workshops at school, gaming events, design, video and audio montage, hardware setup, programming. In university, the journey continued to open new paths in software engineering. After 4 years, it smoothly transitioned to Symphony, as I joined the company as a ASP.NET developer. 3. You're working as React Software Engineer Lead on one of the biggest projects in the company. What is the most challenging in your current position? In short, keeping the agile balance between work and life might be a problem when you don\u2019t realize it. In situations where you \u201cwork hard\u201d always remember to \u201cplay hard\u201d as well. Be carefull to keep the balance. Another challenge may be keeping in mind updated references to continuous information and evolving technology as it requires additional time. 4. When it comes to work with the client, in your opinion, what's your team's biggest achievement thus far? What work are you most proud of and why? It\u2019s always a pleasure when there is two-way communication with the client and Symphony team. Lessons learned on our previous biggest project allow us to think a step or two ahead. Despite many issues with data providers, additional request changes, and not planned features, we deliver even more. At the same time, we have a flexible CI\/CD process and infrastructure. It makes the deployment process for build artifacts easy to use with any configuration per country and environment. 5. What advice would you give to young specialists who are at the beginning of their career path? Always find something to do that is interesting, terrifying, revolutionary. Please share your ideas with your colleagues, do it together. Enthusiasm is mighty, and shared team enthusiasm is much more powerful. And doing things with passion always results in outstanding achievements. 6. What technologies do you work with on your current project? (the team in general) Everything stands on three whales: React, Angular, Java. There are much more details in GCP and CDN networks and other specific areas in infrastructure. But in general, three FE apps (mobile, desktop, CMS) that are managed in one mono-repo (NX workspace) communicate with BE designed as micro-service architecture by several communication protocols. All these are wrapped into CI\/CD with parallel builds, quality gates, automation testing, integration into slack and bitbucket. Build artifacts for BE and FE are ready to use with any configuration. CMS is designed as a framework on top of Angular 13 and supports multi-language 3 platforms configurations per many countries. Last but not least, an Android wrapper on top mobile FE application is also in use already. 7. What do you enjoy about your job as React Lead the most? Is there something you would change about it? I enjoy seeing how the project evolves, step by step, when input from me and the team matters. It\u2019s a pleasure to work in self-organized teams where product mindset is not an option but default behavior. Change? No. Improve? Yes. As the project grows and Symphony grows, new roles might be coming into the organization. 8. What do you think is crucial in order to grow as an expert? Use your super power. Problem solving skills are ultimate. Always give and receive feedback. Finding passion might not be so easy after many years, but excellent team spirit increases chances for sure. 9. How do you follow trends in your profession and industry? Any tips for good resources? I\u2019m not a big fan of reading technical books. I get much more fun when I have a sandbox, technical documentation, and my imagination. I like IT-related podcasts, medium articles, hot discussions in topic threads. Live fresh information is better than examples with deprecated APIs and old school patterns. What to learn more about Symphonians? Check out some of our previous Symphony Personas interviews, like the one with Martin Kubelka.