A Conversation With Godel’s New Head of Python

Godel has been delivering Python skills for its clients since 2017. The language’s popularity, in relation to others, has continued to soar since then and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. It offers a simple and flexible way of building solutions that can support complex tasks such as machine learning – something which is becoming a necessity for many industries. As a result, Godel has opened a dedicated Python division, and appointed Yury Stsiapanau as its leader. We interviewed Yury to find out more about his new role…

I began my journey with Godel three years ago, back in 2017. My first ‘chapter’ at Godel saw me join a new client team as a .NET and Python developer, for a client in the automotive sector. The work involved building critical software to support a machine learning solution that would help the client make better decisions in their vehicle operations. This was the first full Python engagement at Godel, so it was valuable for me to be involved in the company’s first commercial delivery experiences with the language.

After just over a year working in this team, we delivered a solution to the client, and by that time it had become clear Godel’s Python skills were in growing demand. At this point our Python developers, including myself, were part of the Godel .NET division – many of us have experience in multiple languages. Python’s a very popular language for data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning projects, which are very important components for a growing number of our clients.

At this point my experience was growing beyond being a developer into team management responsibilities, too. I was involved in hiring new Python developers to the Godel team, and also became a Talent Manager for them. Talent Managers at Godel support career development of individuals long-term, which I could do for the team based on my own experiences. We reached a tipping point of team growth where it made sense as a business to separate a new Python division which would operate outside the .NET division. However, this of course did not happen overnight, and was simply a process which derived from Godel’s continuous growth.

I personally believe that one of the responsibilities of Godel’s Python function is to be responsive and pro-active towards the evolution of technology and learn about how it can improve our work. Since it is a relatively straightforward language to learn, many Python developers will endeavour to develop their knowledge in areas which are cohesive to Python (architecture, other languages, product development et cetera) to support what they can achieve with the language. In my opinion, a good developer will always have some understanding of other elements which are related to his work.

In recent years, we have seen a fast-growing trend in data science and machine learning for various applications. Python is in a very unique position in relation to these trends. It’s a relatively simple language that is easy to learn, and so it’s easier to work in complex machine learning models to Python programmes, compared to other languages. For a Python developer this is why it’s important to have a wide skillset beyond just the language, like I mentioned. At Godel knowledge sharing is really important – my team often works closely with teams in our DevOps and Data divisions to help build solutions by working together.

Currently we are delivering Python solutions for clients in complex industries – one is in the banking sector, for example. To deliver the best solution, the Godel Python team has gained a real business understanding of this client and its wider market context, which supports context-driven development. It’s important to understand that Python is not always the best language for every solution, however – such as it often does not perform with high-traffic systems. One of my responsibilities is identifying when this is the case at the earliest stage, and helping clients choose the best technology stack for their requirements.

I am still involved in onboarding new Python developers for Godel, but now, as a result of my new role, appointments are based on my own judgement of interviewees, and who I think is the best fit for Godel. Sometimes I find this a difficult task as I am responsible for the future success of the Python division. Often, I will approach Victor Nekrasov, our VP .NET Engineering, to help me make an informed decision – I am so grateful that I can rely on his expertise!

With any change, there is always a challenge, and I think the biggest challenge associated with my new role is helping people to expand their knowledge and keeping this in line with their own career development wants and needs. In addition to this, I sometimes find it challenging to distribute my time equally throughout the team, allocating an appropriate amount of time to helping each individual within my team. Still, I feel closely supported by my colleagues and excited by the prospect of this challenge – I know that my division will grow, and like our other divisions at Godel that have many more people, it will be successful.