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Hyver Stories: Software Developer and Architect Pavel

November 12, 2019 | By Pavel Mikhailovskii

Meet Software Developer and Software Architect Pavel Mikhailovskii (41). He is an experienced Java back-end developer, but with an interest in less mainstream programming paradigms and languages such as Smalltalk and Lisp. Since he joined The Hyve in July 2017, Pavel has been working on a range of projects. He is currently involved with the open-source solution Fairspace that The Hyve develops to help large organisations manage their data challenges and make them FAIR compliant.





Can you tell me a bit about your background?

I studied Physics and Philosophy at Saint Petersburg State University in Russia. In the 1990s, the economic situation in Russia was very unstable, so I soon had to start working as a freelance software developer, and, at some point, to stop my studies. I had planned to return to academia and finish my degree, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

On the upside, the change of career brought me independence and financial stability, and lots of interesting problems to solve. I’ve been working in many fields of software development varying, from back-end to mobile to embedded systems, and in various domains, from geochemistry to the design of new programming languages.


When did you come to the Netherlands?

Driven mostly by curiosity, I moved to the Netherlands six years ago. My first job here was in a fintech company specialized in high-frequency algorithmic trading, but it took me quite some time to find a really interesting job. At some point, I started looking for a job related to bioinformatics and life sciences, as I’ve been interested in biology from my childhood. My mother was a biologist who specialized in cell biology, so I had plenty of books on biology at home.

I was looking for something that combined bioinformatics, algorithms, and such things, I didn’t want an ordinary developer’s job. Eventually, I found The Hyve just by browsing online.


What do you do at The Hyve?

I work as a software developer and software architect. I started at the RADAR-base team, then was involved in a few consultancy and integration projects for medical and research organisations in the Netherlands and abroad.

Finally, I became a member of the Fairspace team. At Fairspace we develop a new product in collaboration with Institut Curie, a big cancer institute in France. Our software should help their scientists to collaborate with each other and to make the most out of the huge amount of data they’ve collected.


What do you like most about working at The Hyve?

I like the people here and the atmosphere: it’s really open and transparent, no-nonsense. You can talk easily with each other. We work in small teams and every person can contribute to the design and improve the quality of the software we build.


Can you mention an exciting development in your field?

I’ve been mostly working as a JAVA developer and architect in recent years. In our project Fairspace we work with a very interesting set of technologies, namely semantic and linked data technologies. Those technologies have been around for quite a while, maybe 20 years or so. But now they’re experiencing a new heyday and attracting a lot of interest both from academia and big enterprises. Semantic technologies offer a new way of discovering hidden connections between facts and models from different fields of knowledge by converting them into queryable knowledge graphs.


What do you like to do out of the office?

I have three kids, so I actually don’t have too much free time. But when I have time to myself, I like to read non-fiction books on topics that are typically unrelated to my job such as philosophy, anthropology, history of ideas, and visual studies. Besides, I spend a lot of time listening to music. I’m always eager to discover new types of music. I appreciate a broad range of styles, from Japanese underground music to European Renaissance or medieval music. I also have a huge collection (mostly digital of course) of works by thousands of photographers from all around the world.