Written by Alexandra GavrilaAug 13, 2019

Today’s star? Yuri Khrustalev!


Who is Yuri? 

I am a comedian who failed to find his way to the scene and instead has chosen to make money with IT, with hopes to get back to the dream later. 

Three interesting things about you?

I am not a very interesting person, there are much better examples around you, but if you still want to know the answer, here you are:

- Failed three interviews with Google, still wants to join them

- In 2008 predicted that shell tools would become part of MS-Windows

- My first public joke was told in 2015 that “senior” nowadays is a young man from Eastern Europe, not an elderly person from Spain. 

Where's your favorite place to work?

My favorite place is my sofa, in my kitchen - it gives tactical options to control all aspects of remote life. 

What's your favorite productivity hack?

It is simple: concentrate on a task and complete it! In English there is a “do or die”, in Russian there is “die but do it”. I follow this and suggest everyone do the same! Please note: death is not an excuse. 

What influenced you in becoming a developer?

As a fourth-generation engineer, I had no other opportunity rather than to enter a modern engineering field. Also, it was clear in 2008 that the next economic rally would be based on the internet and the clouds, thanks to my old friend, Jezz Bezos (we never met in person, and he is not aware of my existence) who released S3 in November 2007.

Can you tell us about your experience so far as a software developer?

A long journey from C/C++ to go via JS, python, php, ruby, and other things I am not proud of. Once I have been doing SSH session over remote desktop, with a virtual keyboard on a screen, to get into VPN of an enterprise customer, it is not clear enough, but I tend to think that was in North Korea while it was said it was US.

What's your favorite element in the work you do?

I love when things start finally to work, and the system becomes robust, but my favorite part is naming objects and functions, coding reviews, and getting paid. Getting paid has nothing similar yet. I suppose owning a share is a bit better. 

What qualities do you think are most important in a developer?

Being a communicative person, talk to people, being able to find relevant experience around, and help others. 

What barriers have you fought within your experience?

Often, I deal with poor manager competence, which happened many times, and I suppose it will continue to happen unless I become a manager and stop it.

How you have overcome those barriers? Do you have any advice on how to be a better and better developer? 

There is only one way I was able to find: read a lot, practice a lot, work is done when it works not when 8 hours past. But you might have a better option - a rich uncle who will grant you money, and you succeed. I hope that is your case. 

We know that you are passioned about investments. You talked about it in an Upstack Connect seminar, but I would like to know from you the answer to some curiosities that I have:

How did you discover your passion for investment?

Thanks to the Russian Central Bank and currency rate that has a downtrend for 25+ years, it clearly shows the path. Also, I would like to thank the modern economy for making millennials in developing countries to lose their pensions. Other than that, I wanted to become rich quickly, but without an uncle. 

In a few words, why are investments important from your point of view?

They are not. Brushing teeth every day is important. Investments are optional. Still, if you are going to live longer than Kurt Kobain, and you don’t own a share in Nirvana’s legacy, investments are a way to build personal capital.

Top 3 things to consider before you make investment decisions?

- Do you understand what you do? Read how it works; there are a lot of sources on the internet.

- Are you comfortable losing this amount of money? Risk is entirely on you.

- What is your goal? Depending on the horizon, there are different strategies.

The best book you read related to this?

It is not possible to name just one, but I can suggest looking at:

- W.Sparpe, Investments

- J.Murphy, Intermarket Analysis: Profiting from Global Market Relationships

- Edwin Lefèvre, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

We were happy to hear that you agree to be our Brand ambassador. Please, tell me:

Why do you feel you want to be a brand ambassador for us? 

I was asked, and I could not refuse, very pleased about everything Upstack did to me.

You are not afraid of exposure?

Of course, I am, people may know that I am not a real comedian and find out that I practiced php in the past. 

What makes Upstack different than other companies?

I haven’t worked with many, but I can see that now there is an internal job board, that gives an insight on what is going on. One more point Upstack gets for the rates; they are based entirely on the skill, not on your location.

How long have you been part of Upstack's Community?

It must be more than a year, a long time ago when my friend Bezos was still married the first time.

Why would other developers join our network?

The will to work remotely without limits and being paid regularly twice a month, I consider that to be enough. Others may find that the company is flexible and doesn’t enforce installing spyware, at least not today.

What's your favorite way to relieve stress?

Good wine, gambling, science.

What's your favorite joke?

My favorite one is not appropriate for a public speech, but there is the one I can share: 

In Soviet Russia, a Man Goes to Buy a Car... He goes up to the owner and asks for a car, to which the owner responds:

You know there is a 10-year waiting list?

The man then answers, 'OK,' and after some time he then agreed to buy a car. So, he pays for the car in advance, and just before he leaves, he asks the owner:

Can I pick the car up in the morning or afternoon?

It's 10 years away, what does it matter?

The plumber is coming in the morning.


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