Founder Tips. Oleg Balbekov, Director of Evrone and founder of

    On "Megamind" once again, "Founder's Tips . "

    The conversation with Oleg Balbekov, CEO of Evrone and co-founder of the service , turned out to be interesting and long. Partly because Oleg and his team really have extensive and deep experience in developing products and projects on the network, partly because we have already crossed paths at various conferences held in Moscow and beyond.

    Any company engaged in custom development, "dreams" one day to start making their own products. Everything is pretty thematic for us, that is, we do projects using the main technology (for us it is “Ruby” and “Ruby On Rails”), we hold a conference dedicated to this technology (“RailsClub”), and we make products for programmers, which we “suffered”.

    At some point, we simply realized that we had a huge number of internal projects that help us in software development, some of which gradually begin to “budge” and form into full-fledged products. We have several such products: the first test of the pen was within the framework of the projects (a ticket drawing system for task managers) and (a system for monitoring progress in development), after which we launched three projects in parallel: Vexor .io, which we are spending a lot of time and energy on, paying it the maximum possible attention, (a service for gamification of development processes), and another product that we are about to launch on the market: (cloud test servers for developers).

    This is our concept: we create software, we make products that help us in creating this software, and we support conferences that help us to “pump over” and develop not only our own development, but the community of developers as a whole began as an OpenSource project, and it became a product and a commercial product primarily when it was transformed into a SaaS solution. Any of them requires investment of time and effort, that is, payment of those resources that were spent on its creation. And since this is a Continuous Integration service, it cannot become free, since each test loads our servers, which cost money. is good primarily because it does not limit the user to the allocated resources and is able to give them quickly and in the required volume with a per-minute payment.

    After all, the intensity of development varies from project to project. There are projects with a huge number of tests, there are projects with a small number of tests. There are projects with a huge number of tests and which need a lot of resources for testing, but these projects are no longer being actively developed, and these resources are needed only 2 times a month when bug fixes are introduced into the project.

    Imagine that every Friday evening, about 3 hours before the end of the working day, a huge flow of testing begins. Everyone wants to lay out their features and go on vacation.

    Vexor was just created for such tasks, when you need to allocate resources for testing right now, a lot and for exactly 10 minutes.

    And, on the other hand, you do not test at night and on Sunday (for obvious reasons) and you do not have to pay for unused capacity.

    Startups are good and interesting, but at this stage we are not refusing custom development, as this is primarily understandable and predictable money. Own products, especially at launch, are unpredictable. And you have to live ...

    In Evrone, in 2012 - 2013, it happened so that, on average, we got out of our fingers on a “startup” once every 3 months. The guys just made food because they liked it. On the weekend, in fact, for fun. It's cool to take and “gash” a quick SAAS product that even proves useful inside the company. We have gathered a dozen of such products for the entire existence of Evrone.

    At some point I stopped it. First of all, because it is a waste of time, nerves and resources. I have been skeptical or humorous for all ideologies such as lean-startup, testing ideas, validating them, prototyping a product, validating a market, pre-testing business concepts, and so on. We did not fully understand and did all this and did the products first of all because we can. Why check ideas? “This is probably necessary for those who cannot write code,” we thought. Thus, startups with smoothies in coworking who only know what to write presentations in keyote.

    At some point, we grew up and realized that we can’t do this anymore and we won’t. We really started testing products before we create them. Stop experimenting for yourself, you need to experiment in the market. With an understanding of the idea, its validation, then prototyping, checking conversions, trying first sales and so on. Indeed, in the modern market without all this, it is simply impossible to make a successful product. The waste of money on coding for pleasure has stopped.

    By the way, having been in IIDF, we saw a huge number of people with exactly the same problems. People make a product, but they don’t have an understanding of either the domestic economy, which should “converge”, they don’t have an understanding of the consumer and why he wants to pay money for it, etc. At the same time, all the guys are talented, with straight arms and good programming skills. This is a good experience, as a result of which you will never motivate yourself again with just “it's fun.”

    All these years there has been much debate: which is better? PHP or Ruby, languages ​​/ platforms / solutions and so on. Now the market has changed and everyone understands that “what” is better, that “better” is suitable for this specific task and allows it to be completed

    For example, it is already impossible to convince me and force me to take a different point of view from the fact that Ruby On Rails is an ideal tool for creating web-oriented projects, and first of all MVP, where it is sometimes necessary to painlessly change development directions, etc.

    In doing so, I agree that Ruby is not good for everything. Functional programming languages ​​we and I personally are now even more interested in, which is why we are organizing a new conference

    Practical functional languages ​​such as Erlang, Scala, Clojure are well known and widely used. The exceptionally academic Haskell is rapidly gaining popularity. The critical components of highly loaded systems are written in these languages, everything that should work reliably, in parallel and quickly. In one word - effective.

    And the community now understands that you won’t be full of one programming language. That is, you will be full, but you will not solve the problem. There is a suitable solution to each individual task. Therefore, FPconf today collects and attracts even more attention, as the audience and its professionalism grows.

    In my opinion, if you are a company that makes a product and makes money using some kind of technology, such as Ruby On Rails, then you must give back part of your income and energy to the development of this technology and community

    These are the “foundations” that we live in Evrone - that’s why we make conferences, invest in OpenSource projects, help thematic resources and podcasts. By the way, we are very grateful to companies that think in a similar way. During the existence of RailsClub, we have many regular sponsors and partners who help us in organizing the event. It's nice to know that in Russia there are companies that care about community development.

    The current platform, , with which we work for financial transactions, had to change our own infrastructure and work model so that we could work together (for example, for recurring, direct, direct debit of credit cards)

    It seemed that doing an international startup from Russia was suicide. But now, Vexor and I do not feel any problems that prevent us from developing. So far, there are not even any “reputation risks” associated with the country of our origin. A tool is a tool, and if the level of quality and service suits the client, then he will be calm and will not worry. Yes, we do not scream that we are from Moscow, which is in Russia, but we do not hide this fact.

    Whenever I communicate with friends on professional topics, they twist at the temple and say: “Why do you need to build a business in Russia, open an offshore and don’t worry”, “Drop into Europe, you have nothing to do here”, “You have no place in this country. "

    In fact, I do not have any principled position, they say, I want only in Russia, not at all. We are not at all afraid to "climb onto the tractor" and dump. At the moment, building a business in Russia is first of all our curiosity in finding the answer to the question: “Is it possible to make a successful international company here, here, or not?” And faced with a huge number of rather "strange" problems, like Russian accountants who refuse to work with invoices, and continuing with Russian payment systems that do not work with sites in English, we understand that this is not so simple.

    In general, I think that it will take me a maximum of a month to “become a European”, register some offshore and stop having problems with Russian reality. But now we are really just curious, and we took a couple of months to understand and understand in detail whether it is possible to build an international IT business “in this country” or it’s time to bring it down.

    During acceleration in IIDF, we mainly tested various techniques and approaches to the development of our service, various hypotheses. Now, of course, we already understand what we want and are actively moving towards our own goals

    When you have a business in which you make good money and are in a comfort zone, but also have projects that excite you, but are in a state of uncertain prospects, you can spend 3 months in a mode of full concentration on this idea (or product ) and after this time to understand, "takes off" or not. IIDF helps to do this first of all - to focus on the product.

    IIDF has given us knowledge, investment and “acceleration”. and I really closed the white spots in our own knowledge, and looked at everything else in a different way.

    One of the coolest tools of IIDF is “public censure”, when once a week I had to report on my own successes to my colleagues in the shop. Which, unlike the general public, is difficult to "deceive" or "mislead," even with such a goal. One way or another, when you talk about what you did for a whole week, you don’t want to look like the idiot who beat the bucks. And the numbers do not lie at all. Therefore, there is no option to get into the IIDF and sit back.

    A programmer should not be a manager and should not be an analyst. But he should not be completely enclosed and should be able to talk with colleagues or a client

    During my work in the industry, I realized that there are two types of “rubists”, but perhaps this applies to all developers as a whole. They are either fixated on themselves and their own inner world, or not. There are even entire companies and teams of such fixated developers. At the same time, people do not go out, do not read, do not "open source" and do not attend conferences at all. There have been several episodes in my life when, for example, an employee comes to you who has sat in one position in a bank, say, for about 5 years. We’ll specify a Ruby developer. And he takes offense at you for not taking him to work: “I have 5 years of experience!” He says. But it turns out that the person rules the form and picked RedMine, did not hear about three new versions of the language, etc. This is very sad and very bad. Need to look around

    Between “hiring a long time” and “firing quickly,” I choose something in between. In fact, for myself, I have long determined the period that I need in order to establish that the person is inappropriate - this is 1 year. This period is poured out of practice and, perhaps, it will be a long time for such a small structure as ours, but since we are not hiring quickly, a year is the maximum period. For a year, you can find out anything, from how lazy a person is, what kind of person he is in communication, and so on. Thank God, we have the opportunity to hire only adequate people, since we know in advance who and what it is. Primarily thanks to our conferences and community knowledge.

    At interviews, I always ask: “How do you know that you are writing the code correctly?”. After spending 5 years in the bank, not participating in open projects, not attending conferences and not communicating with colleagues - you will not be able to answer this question

    A person who reads a lot, communicates a lot, participates in opensource development and looks around, one day he will be able to create a product that will blow up the world.

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