That’s Mike — Frontend Developer at our Innocode Kyiv WordPress team.

Long time ago, he studied to be a Lawyer in one of the best Universities in Ukraine… But somehow, even before graduating he ended up in tech.

Mike learned Frontend, won DevChallenge, encouraged and taught his wife to become a developer and joined our Innocode Kyiv WordPress team.

Pretty straightforward, right? But was it really that easy?

I’m not new to tech, but I was studying to become a lawyer. On the 3rd year of studies my friends from Computer faculty went to work in TemplateMonster and asked me to help as a sales manager. I had no experience, but a good English, which allowed me to both study and work.

Frankly I was always into computers, but never thought it would become my profession. After a year + as the sales manager I realized that programming was really something I want and became a Flash Dev. This technology was very popular in 2000s and I had a lot of people around to learn from. By the end of 4th year of studies I no longer wanted to be a lawyer. In 2012 Flash died and I switched to Frontend (at that times it was markup).

Was it hard taken your legal background to learn programming?

Flash is a very easy technology. Right, there were no courses or Youtube videos, like now, but I studied at home and kept asking questions. It took me half a year to make some progress. But I loved computers from childhood.

Ah, you were one of those who could disassemble the computer and then successfully put it all together with no parts left?)

I didn’t have computer and in my childhood computers looked a bit different — they were with audiocassetes. But I attended informatics courses for kids, where we learned to draw squares and circles in Basic :) Yeah, it was long time ago..

I studied at the affiliate of Kyiv Mohyla University in Mykolaiv. They had a very nice computer base. And even on my law faculty we studied HTML and used tables. Mohyla University was very good also because after each year we had to practice at different organizations: the police, a court, prosecutor’s office etc. I looked at it and realized my beliefs about being lawyer and the reality differed too much. I didn’t want such future for myself. By the end of graduating from Uni, I had a stable job and I loved it.

What are you doing now?

It’s been almost a year since I moved to Kyiv and started working at Innocode. In general I’m 13 years in tech, 5 out of which doing mostly WordPress markup before i got here.

Aren’t you bored with Frontend?

No! I try to challenge myself all the time. 2 years before moving to Kyiv I decided to participate in DevChallenge. First one was a total fail, I even wasn’t selected. But the next one, in 2016 I got the 3rd place.


Fun thing, imagine — my wife joined me in this learning process (and we were able to upgrade each other). Now she has been working as a frontend dev in Kyiv for half a year already — and I’m so happy to see that progress!

Do you have time for hobbies?

Now It’s mainly reading books. Plus, active winter sport — snowboarding, skiing. The last thing was Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, before that — The History of Ukraine by Did Svirid. I can easily read just anything, not to get bored. Each author has better and worse works, and I don’t have my favourite one — just a lifetime long list of books to read:)

How did you find Innocode?

After I became a prize-winner at DevChallenge I started to search for a new job. I wanted to move to Kyiv and grow as developer. Innocode gives me both.

And how do you learn?

With each new task :). Now I want to become a master of CSS Grids :) and of course, JS. Not everyone likes markup — all these crossbrowserness, constant tiny issues popping up here and there etc. But for me it’s fine, I like it.

Do you plan to participate in other challenges?

I love to see the difference between whom I was before the challenging task and after. But currently I have enough to do at work :)

Can you suggest any resources for self-learning?

CSS Tricks for sure. They are constantly being updated.

A-book apart — short books up to 100 pages, easy to understand.

Of course, Сodeschool and Codecademy — these are rather for beginners but I like these interactive courses.

The above are in English. The earlier you start using the original terms the easy it will be later.

Any advice you’d like to give the beginners?

Yes, it can be hard to stay constantly motvates when you study on your own.

Not everyone may survive so-called “the valley of death” — period when you know something but not enough, and you fail to see visible results.

You’ll need a lot of willpower. As I said earlier, I’d recomment starting with Codeschool and Codeacademy. Plus, there’s a Russian resource called HTML Academy, but maybe better to stick with Engish versions of interactive cources.

You just have to serch for what’s trendy now.
You have to learn frameworks and JS.
You always have to pay attention to self development.
Start, challenge yourself and don’t be afraid!