Back in June we announced that New Relic was opening a new European Development Center in Barcelona, expanding the office we established there with the acquisition of Ducksboard back in 2014. This week our European Development Center officially opens, and to celebrate we sat down with Senior Software Engineer Alexander Kudryashov to ask him about his background before coming to New Relic, his role on our team in Spain, and what makes Barcelona such a special place to live and work.
New Relic: What’s your background, Alex, and what were you doing before New Relic?
Alex Kudryashov: For most of my professional life I have been doing programming things around the web. I started with small projects, launched a couple of startups, and eventually moved to high-load websites and complex applications. These applications offer lots of challenges to keep you on your toes.
New Relic: What brought you to New Relic?
Alex: New Relic is a perfect mix for me, just like Barcelona. It’s a product company (which appeals to engineers), it’s full of very smart people, and it’s located in Barcelona—almost too good to be true.
New Relic: How long have you been here and what do you work on?
Alex: I mostly work on backend components implementing features for products. This means that on a daily basis I have to interact with code, databases, Docker containers, tests, caches, and other moving parts. Since I’ve only been at New Relic for two months, I also spend a lot of time learning and understanding how everything works.
New Relic: What’s your favorite part of working at New Relic?
Alex: I have always enjoyed working in product companies, where you have the opportunity to create things that you can be proud of. And here at New Relic we’re building products for fellow developers, so I feel connected to our customers and really understand their needs. Also, the team is probably the best I’ve worked with—my colleagues are both highly competent and also very nice and easy to communicate with. It’s a somewhat rare combination in our industry.
New Relic: What are some of the challenges of your job, and how have you overcome them?
Alex: The biggest challenge so far is the amount of knowledge I have to absorb. Fortunately, my colleagues are open to helping me with the more complicated issues, patiently answering all my questions.
New Relic: What made you relocate to Barcelona?
Alex: Barcelona is one of the best to live in that I’ve encountered in Europe. It has an attractive climate, beautiful beaches, and a wonderful food culture. It’s very international, has a booming technology scene with many established as well as growing companies. And since it’s always nice outside, people tend to have a healthy work-life balance, spending a lot of time doing things like hiking, playing beach volleyball, or paddle surfing.
New Relic: What do you like about the Barcelona tech scene, and how do you feel you are contributing to it?
Alex: The Barcelona tech scene is diverse, and you can find meetups for any technical topic that interests you. This gives you endless opportunities to learn and share ideas with some of the smartest people in the industry. I attend a number of professional meetups and even give occasional talks. And I hope that New Relic will attract even more talented and interesting people to Barcelona.
New Relic: How you think New Relic is different from other tech companies you’ve worked for?
Alex: I would say that for its size, New Relic is a fast-moving company where an employee can make a significant impact. It’s a great feeling when you are passionate about something and have the opportunity to make significant contributions. In addition, the company’s emphasis on work-life balance was a pleasant surprise, because from my experience this is not often the case in large American tech companies.
New Relic: What are your career goals and how is working at New Relic helping you achieve them?
Alex: What I really appreciate about working at New Relic is the flexibility and variety of options it offers: you can switch between projects, choose a management path or continue developing as an engineer, solidify your existing knowledge or explore a new domain. At this point in my career I am passionate about becoming a better engineer, and New Relic provides me with tons of learning opportunities as well as exciting challenges.
New Relic: Is there a person or company in the technology industry that you admire, and why?
Alex: I admire companies that are revolutionizing the educational sector: Coursera, edX, and especially Khan Academy. Before them only a handful of universities published a small amount of educational materials. Now anyone with an Internet connection has access to free, quality educational content.
New Relic: What’s it like to work in a satellite office of an American technology company?
Alex: There are definitely challenges with time zones, communication, etc. But, at the same time, you’re given the chance to work in the biggest, most interesting market. It’s a great opportunity to take the best from both European and American culture, which produces an interesting mix.
New Relic: What’s your favorite thing about the city of Barcelona?
Alex: If I could name only one thing, I would say the fact that it’s so bike-friendly. The mild climate allows you ride your bike all year round, and on the weekends there are plenty of options for both road and mountain biking. And if you don’t like riding your bicycle, there’s always the beach!
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