The String and Key Crew: Andrey Grechko
As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Andrey Grechko.
Company Role: Senior Software Engineer
Most likely to: Have a notebook
Secret talent: Competitive sports orienteering
A well-rounded software engineer with marketing experience and IT chops to boot? Yep, that’s Andrey. Starting his career as an IT professional, Andrey’s deep knowledge of a ton of programming languages saw him go from entry-level web developer to director level in just a few short years. A man of many talents, his journey has seen him develop skills in many areas across the business world — from marketing to finance and more (we weren’t kidding when we said he’s well-rounded).
Born in Germany and raised in Ukraine, Andrey traded Europe for the US about seven or so years ago, and he’s been with us for just three short months (or three long years if we’re going by pandemic time). A veteran in the industry, but a newbie to the Crew, it’s pretty obvious that he knows a thing or two about a thing or two.
So read on and see what a fresh face has to say about working at String and Key.
What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
My day always starts with a cup of coffee and our morning stand-up call. During this call, each team member describes the previous day — from what was accomplished to what problems they have and if there are any blockers. After that, I review my tasks and prioritize them. On any given day, my to-do list will definitely include coding and reading some specs. One of the most important (and interesting) parts of my day is reviewing code from other team members. It’s interesting to see how a problem was solved, the logic behind it, and the methods used. It’s very beneficial when somebody reviews the code with fresh eyes and potentially finds errors or bugs. Outside of my tasks, I also communicate with my team members regarding current work or issues. And lastly, I try to finish all my work by the end of the day and not roll it to the next.
What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
Firstly, I find the project we’re working on super interesting. Secondly, even though I’ve only been with the company for three short months, I’m very impressed with how sharp, professional, and helpful people are. I know that if I need anything, I can contact my team members without hesitation — people are very open, outgoing, and ready to help. The communication between the team members is also excellent. And management is awesome, too — I can dive into my tasks without being micromanaged. Finally, I love the company culture because of the work/life balance.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
Before String and Key, I’d always worked in-office, so I know how important it is to communicate with colleagues face-to-face. You can complete tasks more efficiently when you can get together and brainstorm the issue. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we don’t have this luxury. It’s challenging and often time-consuming to solve problems using tech to communicate. Despite this, I do enjoy my work and hope that we’ll be able to return to the office soon. That way, I can finally meet everybody in person!
What are the values that drive you?
One of the values is dependability. I try to write thought-through code that others can rely on. Another one is consistency. I aim to deliver consistently good results with my work. I also value efficiency. In my opinion, the code is supposed to not only solve problems but do so efficiently. My goal is to create code that is effective, quick, and simple to read.
What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
I purchased four different types of hot pepper plants last spring: habanero, cayenne, Hungarian hot wax, and jalapenos. And just this previous fall, I harvested my organic home-grown peppers. Within the past month, I’ve tried several different recipes for homemade hot sauce. My favorite ended up being a Belizean habanero sauce. It was so exciting to learn how to grow and care for pepper plants and eventually taste the product of my labor.
If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
I would swap with somebody from the UI/UX design team. The fact that they work on improving visual and functional aspects all day is very appealing to me. And, I think it’d be very interesting to work on designing better interfaces. Overall, it’s been really cool seeing how their work helps our projects grow and improve.
What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
Something related to active tourism. For instance, how to read terrain maps or topographic maps. Or how to survive and navigate your way around in a wild environment without any appliances like a compass. Or white water rafting 101 and how to be prepared for unexpected obstacles while doing it. I could even share secrets and tips on how to learn to ski or anything else. Yeah, I know a lot about active tourism :-).
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I love working on various house projects. I also love hiking with family and friends, fishing, playing soccer, and doing other seasonal outdoor activities when I have time (and the weather allows).
Can you share any fun or interesting facts about yourself?
I have diverse athletic interests! Most of them are competitive sports such as soccer (I’ve played in semi-professional teams), extreme marathons (I’ve participated in and won annual marathons), and rafting (I’ve done 3-week long rafting in NW Russia). I’m also an avid skier and love sports orienteering where I’ve taken part in numerous multi-day competitions.
Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#Determined #Loyal #Consistent #Outgoing #ThrashMetalLover
Fiction or autobiographies?
Arcade or laser tag?
Late or early?
Sweet or salty?
Snowboarding or surfing?
Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!