Meet our family members:
Also we have a cat, Moorchick, and fish. We were all (except for pets :)) were born in a charming city in Ukraine by the name of Poltava. In December 1999 we moved to the USA and now we live in San Jose, California - arguably the best places in the world!
We are quite big enthusiasts of photography and home movies. We also love traveling, camping and backpacking. California gave us a chance to explore gorgeous mountains, beautiful caves, deep green forests and the mighty Pacific Ocean. So when we have a free day or two we always try to spend it outdoors. And we always carry with us our photo and video equipment, just in case there is something beautiful to record. And there is always something to record… ;)
We have taken a lot of photos and some of them even look
good (or at least we hope so). You can see a few samples of our best photos
taken recently here:
We started our family in December 1990 when Marina and me (Vlad) got married. It was a quiet “warm” day for December in Ukraine: about to 0C (32F). We both were young and a lot of people could not understand why we are doing this. Though we did not mind - we were mature enough (as we thought) and we did not care what they said. We already knew each other for almost four years and spent a lot of time together even before we started dating.
In the next four years our two beautiful daughters were born. And in 1995 Marina and me graduated from Poltava State Technical University.
In August 1998 we lived in Poltava City, Ukraine. I was working with small workgroup for a US Company where my friend, Igor, worked at that time. It was an interesting job. I learned a lot about new technologies there and got a relatively good salary by the Ukraine standards. Life was beautiful! One thing that disturbed me was that it was very unstable and a bit dangerous to work in Ukraine. The other thing I thought about was "why am I working for the US Company and still sitting here?
I knew that I if I worked in the US, I would better off, and more importantly, I would have much more interesting and challenging job. Because we had a good job, a home and plenty of friends in Ukraine, we didn’t do anything to move to another country just yet.
Suddenly the crisis in Russia happened. Even though Ukraine was not a part of Russia anymore, the two economies were still very tightly integrated. The exchange rate of Ukrainian currency had dropped about two hundred percent. It was the last straw for us, and we decided to start searching for a job in the US. It was time to move!
First, I tried to create a resume. It was really hard because nobody at that time in Ukraine nobody used a "resume" to find a job. It was still a completely different economic system. The other problem was that my English skills were not all that good. The first version of my resume was a disaster because I hesitated to write about my skills. It might sound strange, but in ex-USSR it is considered rude to say: "I am the best". People were taught to assume that they are part of the big team and individual skills are less important than team skills. With help from my friend Igor, who lived in California, and after reviewing a bunch of resume examples, the first "good enough" version of my resume was created.
This resume was much better but it still wasn’t perfect. After several attempts I got my resume in good shape. So the next step was to find a company that would provide me with an H1B visa. Unfortunately, I didn’t know where and how to search. Nobody among my friends knew how to do that. The only way I knew was www.yahoo.com, so I started to search there for software development companies. Because I was alone in this venture I had to learn all my lessons the hard way. I started to send emails to every company I found in the Internet. This meant that every day I sent about 15 to 20 emails with my resume inside. After several months of such “hunting” I sent more than 1000 letters. Because of my poor experience of selecting right companies a lot of letters were addressed to the companies that did not hire H1B workers. I kept going. I posted my resume to several job servers and subscribed for several hot job lists.
In December 1998 I got my first phone interviews with multiple different US companies. Soon, I got my first job offer! A few days later another company offered me a job too. Suddenly I had a choice! I picked the first company.
The company I had signed with promised to make an H1B visa for me in six to eight weeks. The waiting was unbearable! I could not work on long-term projects anymore. I stopped my "job hunting" and started preparing for departure. Eight weeks passed but I still did not have any news about my new job. I asked the company about my visa, but they told me that my documents are filed with the INS and all I could do is wait. In late April I realized that my visa for FY1999 could not be processed due to the limited number of H1B visas available. I sent multiple letters to the company that filed my documents with INS but did not get any answer. They just stopped responding to me. It was over.
I started my job hunt again. Fortunately my previous experience of 2000 letters and multiple phone interviews brought some good results pretty soon. I got a lot of contacts and in May 1999 I started to work for another US company: SiberLink. I led a small software developing team in Ukraine. It was a very good opportunity to make some money for the future move. After one month of the resume sending process, I received another contract with Metamor, which later became Comsys. My experience in internet job hunting really helped me get a much better contract.
In October 1999 I got my H1B visa documents from INS and got the visa. In December 1999 I took a flight to the US. My family shared this amazing and adventurous trip with me. I started working for a Comsys. We moved to the Portland, Oregon and started experiencing a new life style. It was very good, even though I didn’t yet know how to do the shopping or even use a pay phone.
After completing my first assignment in late April 2000 I got a new "contract-to-hire" from Comsys to Informatica. I had to go to Silicon Valley, California! This is a place every Software Engineer wants to go (I know, it is a bold statement, but I believe it) because the Silicon Valley is the place where most of worlds software was designed.
California is great! Especially the weather! It’s also very exciting to see huge world leading companies like Sun, Oracle, IBM or Intel that I read about a long time ago when I was back in Ukraine.
I started working for Informatica as a Software Engineer, and in five and a half years advanced to Architect, leading 20+ people teams developing complex projects that lasted up to 18 months. Informatica was an interesting place and I learned a lot while working there.
In November 2005 I joined a small but proud company MetaIntegration (MITI). It was my long time dream to work for a small company where my experience and energy could make a real difference and where my career can grow further. It was a right move! I feel like at home at MITI.
In recent years we picked up a couple
of new and exciting activities: shooting sports and scuba diving. We like both
of them and now have to share our free time between camping trips, backpacking,
trips to shooting ranges and ocean diving.
(c) 1998-2012 Volodymyr Butsky.