Serhii Kukunin: Programming is an art for the mind!

The world of high technology is constantly evolving. Perhaps there is no industry where IT specialists do not work. All modern technologies require programming, so it’s not surprising that the profession of a programmer is one of the most in-demand specialties. Many people want to make programming their life’s work. However, even those with good starting opportunities and a certain amount of knowledge do not always succeed in the profession. This cannot be said about Serhii Kukunin, an expert, software developer, and technical leader of large-scale international IT projects.

Serhii is only 30 years old, but more than half of his life has been devoted to programming. He became interested in computers when he was still in school. It was then that he became interested in writing programs. In eighth grade, I installed the Linux operating system because I was curious to try something different, and I was proficient in the English language. He began writing code even before he had his own gadget. And when he finally got his own device, he started looking for ways to make money online. Not everything worked out at first, but it was an excellent opportunity for deeper learning of the profession and the development of necessary professional skills. At the age of just under 15, absorbed in freelancing, the young man began to make his first successes in this field and even participated in a web forum, discussing semantic layout on equal terms with other more experienced participants.

While studying at Vinnytsia National Technical University on the faculty of Computer Science, Serhii landed his first full-time job as a PHP programmer at the well-known Ukrainian company IT-RIA. When he felt like he had outgrown the project, he started searching for more promising job opportunities and eventually transitioned to international freelancing. His first international client on the then-platform oDesk (now Upwork) was an American entrepreneur named Aaron Schiff from Los Angeles, who later became one of the co-founders of Matic Insurance Services Inc. in 2014. Not only did Schiff hire Serhii as a senior engineer, but he also offered him the opportunity to become the first technical employee in the office opened in Lviv. Interestingly, the opening of the office was entirely on the shoulders of the Ukrainian.

If previously, in freelance, Serhii played the role of a one-man orchestra (finding designs, coding, implementing, hosting, and configuring servers), then at Matic, he learned to interact with a team, delegate, plan and distribute development, and lead a team. In addition, there was significant progress in his skills as a programmer. In freelancing, all programming skills were honed on a small scale, while at Matic, the scale of tasks and solutions grew by orders of magnitude.

Business trips to the United States, launching a new product – a digitized insurance broker for the real estate market, full control over the technical component of the project – his work in the insurance company lasted several years until September 2017, when another entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, the founder of the media startup Spotlight Media Labs Inc, invited the promising software developer to help implement his business idea. As the lead full-stack engineer-programmer, Serhii developed almost all of the software for Spotlight, except for the mobile applications. He was the company’s first technical employee, starting as a single developer and responsible for the entire API, web application, and infrastructure.

Remote work allowed the programmer to periodically switch to freelancing, participate in local developer communities, where he often gave presentations, volunteered in events such as “hour of code,” and taught free courses for beginners. Through mentoring and willingness to help others, in addition to high professional skills, valuable personal qualities of the young man were revealed.

In 2019, he won one of the nominations at the largest European IT championship, DEV Challenge Backend for software developers, served as a jury member for the European blockchain competition UtonHack, organized the technical aspect of Dev Challenge in 2021, and also authored a dozen scientific publications in prestigious national and international journals.

Since February 2021, Serhii Kukunin has been working as the lead engineer at Easy Health Inc (Beverly Hills, California), a startup in the medicare industry co-founded by the previously mentioned American entrepreneur Aaron Schiff, who serves as the COO. Easy Health is the first AI-powered platform that integrates medical insurance and care. As the second technical specialist, Serhii is responsible for all engineering aspects of one of the company’s two major projects. And it’s also impossible not to highlight the victory in StartupBus (an international competition held in Texas) in 2022.

Serhii Kukunin’s career as a software developer in the United States is successfully planned and implemented thanks to a well-chosen strategy. His expertise is a result of hard work combined with exceptional abilities. Conscious practice and perfectionism do not allow him to just do his work well or even just qualitatively. For him, it is important every time, using the pretext of the current task, to dig a little deeper, understand a little better, try something different so that it remains in a long-term perspective. Programming, for him, is like an art that requires mastery and inventiveness to create beautiful objects. Art for the mind!