Humans of Revolut: Vladimir Ulianov’s Unexpected Journey

Yulia Velikanova

 · July 28, 2020  · 07/28/2020

There are all kinds of paths to becoming an engineer at Revolut, and we’re excited about every journey that brings us another superstar. Backend engineer Vladimir Ulianov is more unconventional than most. We sat down with him to hear about his path to Revolut and his experiences since he’s joined, but discovered a rollercoaster journey.

Boy Genius

It all kicked off when Vladimir was still a teenager. Let’s call him a boy genius - Vladimir started university at 15, studying scientific programming. His passion and talent propelled him through the system, and he was awarded a PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science before going on to teach at the university itself. But academia isn’t everything; Vladimir was hungry to be at the cutting edge of his field.

After ten years teaching and working in research and development, including developing a brand new programming language called Libretto, it was time for something new. His fascination for the intersection between finance and technology led him to Revolut, where he is now a Senior Backend Engineer in the Core Payments Team.

Launching into the US

Vladimir’s highlight so far at Revolut has been his work on the US launch of the app. With the US team scattered across 8 time zones, this was the moment to harness all the lessons they’d collectively learned about teamwork and come together to deliver on Revolut’s US promise. He considers their diversity a secret weapon, “It’s fantastic that people who work on the product come from different countries and cultures. We all bring something valuable to the product development, and it makes Revolut app definitely global, easy and pleasant to use for people from all over the world.”

The launch didn’t come without its technical challenges, however. Vladimir was surprised by the disparity between payment standards, “The American fintech market has its own specific old type of local payments based on NACHA standards. In simple terms, it makes bank reconciliation rather challenging for engineers compared to European standards. However, we built the necessary integrations to provide safe and fast service to our customers. I feel like we’re changing the financial landscape in the US — Revolut is making history.”

Never Settle

The values that Vladimir shares with his fellow Revoluters were a big motivator in joining Revolut. In particular, he aligns with never settling for the status quo and pushing through to find the perfect solution, “from the beginning, Revolut’s engineers have built bespoke, in-house solutions - frameworks, EventStore, and many more. I admire the logic in dismissing tools we are familiar with in favour of building those which are best to solve a specific task. It keeps us flexible and transparent, with a great understanding of how to balance our solutions with those of third parties.”

‘Don’t come with a question, come with a solution’ is a motto that is carried across the company, but rings true especially for the engineering team. However, don’t think they don’t collaborate along the way : “We discuss hypotheses, analyse risks, and participate in due diligence of new partners from a technical point of view. My inner scientist is always inspired by challenging tasks, I look for the best solutions, because I see the meaning of what I create for customers and I completely understand the business value of my code.”

As he continues to work with the US team to roll out the full functionality of Revolut’s app in the States, Vladimir is excited for every new challenge. He’s still focused on the task at hand: making Revolut the biggest fintech in the US. If you’re interested in joining this rocketship to bring us to new stratospheric heights, check out our Careers page to explore job opportunities.