Sergey Maskalik

About Me

Hi, I’m Sergey Maskalik. I live in Thousand Oaks, CA with my lovely wife and daughter. I really enjoy the craft of software engineering, identifying business problems, and designing optimal solutions. I like to think outside the box and see where things can be improved or automated to save time or money. In my career, I have been fortunate to work on all types of business and customer facing systems. Recently, I’ve been privileged to assist a team of talented engineers by leading their efforts in building a globally distributed payments system.

I strive for continuous learning and growth to the point where if I’m not improving I don’t feel content. I also enjoy reading and spending time with my family, and I hope one day to build my own product and create a company where people would be very happy to come to work.

How I Discovered The Best Career Ever

The day my father got me my first video game console, Attari, I became hooked on video games. Subsequently, my fascination progressed into PC games, which were more involved and offered the ability to play with other people. And to play computer games in the 90s you had to learn how to put together a decent PC and become good at troubleshooting. Eventually, I was fixing computers for friends and family.

Because working with computers was fun, it was an easy decision for me to pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems. Unfortunately, while I was getting my degree, I did not get inspired to become a programmer, even though I did pretty well in programming classes. So I followed my father’s advice to go into finance, earned a postgraduate degree and got a job as a Financial Analyst at a bank. I quickly learned that at an entry level you basically just put together reports and make them pretty in Microsoft Excel. After about six months at the job there was nothing else to learn, and I started to get really bored. Around that time, the bank had multiple rounds of layoffs, and my three-person team was reduced to just me. Because I knew a little bit of programming, I was able to automate the reporting the former analysts used to produce, and I had leftover spare time. My bosses were impressed and offered me a promotion, but I could not see myself continuing what I was doing.

After working for two years as an analyst, I learned that this type of work wasn’t for me and decided to take a shot at my original idea of becoming a programmer. I picked up an 800 page C# book and read it in a couple months. And fortunately because I still had my web development and database knowledge from college, I was able to pass an interview and become a Junior Developer at a music record label. Since got my first programming job, even to this day, I have never stopped learning. Learning was definitely a lot more intense in the beginning, and it took at least six months before I even felt comfortable writing code.

I have loved every second of learning and solving problems with software; it was totally different than what I imagined. It wasn’t dry and boring. Software Engineering is actually a lot of fun. You get to solve problems by creating solutions that make people or businesses more efficient. And because there is no limit to how much you can learn, you will never get bored. And that fits my personality perfectly. The more time and effort I put into it, the better developer I become.. My seniority is not judged by how many years I have been with a company, but by the amount I actually know and can achieve.

Looking back, I’m very grateful for the experience working at jobs that I didn’t like and for the opportunity to be able to start from scratch and find something that I truly enjoy.

Why Blog

For the most part I blog to improve my communication skills. I think it’s also great to document my thoughts and what I am working on, so I can refer to it in the future. Unfortunately, based on past experience, I am not sure I can blog consistently, even though I know I should.