Update on 26.01.2020: I was so happy and honored to get not a single invite, but as many as two of them! Thank you so much Dries Van Vaerenbergh for mentioning me in your recent blog post! As not much has changed in my life from the original version of this blog post, let me extend it and incorporate answers that Dries challenged me with.
I was born in Kiev, the Soviet Union, and when I was 7 years old, our family moved to Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I have grown up in this beautiful city, studied and graduated from the university, started my professional career. I have met really wonderful and smart people here… Simply put, a lot of memorable events of my life are closely related to this city.
Views of Saint-Petersburg, photos are courtesy of a talented photographer and my friend Vladimir Selivanov (@vldmr.photo)
I got acquainted with the world of SAP in 2005 – it was coincident and started as a short-term summer placement during my student days. My journey with SAP progressed and evolved, and I was fortunate to gain work experience with SAP technologies from different perspectives – as an employee of an internal IT department of an SAP customer, a consultant working in SAP practice of a system integrator, and finally as an SAP employee. Time passed by, and in 2015, I relocated to Cambridge, the UK, where I’m staying now with my beloved wife. I still regularly travel back to Saint-Petersburg to visit family and friends.
Me and my wife Olga
SAP Community (back in those days, it was named SAP Developer Network that was superseded by SAP Community Network later) played a significant part in my establishment as an SAP specialist – I absorbed a lot of knowledge, tips and tricks from SDN/SCN contributors and from experience they shared. It took a while for me before I published my first blog post and made an attempt to contribute myself, and that was the experience that I enjoyed a lot and that I’m trying to keep up.
I have a brother, Vladislav Klimov – we are identical twins, and Vlad is only 8 minutes older than me. We shared and keep sharing so many life adventures, ideas and emotions with him over the course of many years! Even though we live in different countries nowadays, we are in close touch – twins’ bond, after all!
Klimov twins in action
Another fun fact about us two is that Vlad also works in SAP area: while I specialize primarily in SAP integration subject and concentrate on technical aspects, Vlad focuses on SAP applications, predominantly on S/4HANA. In that respect, it seems fair to say that SAP is our family business.
Time for questions and answers now!
What do you enjoy most in your work and why?
Diversity that goes side by side with any integration project. In a nutshell, integration is all about connecting systems, and it is interesting to see how different technology stacks play together. Although modern integration techniques aim high level of abstraction and APIs exposed by integrated systems make internal system architecture and implementation aspects transparent for external consumers, it is curious to talk to experts who develop those systems, to see what kind of technologies – runtimes, frameworks – stand behind the scene. Drawback of this is a growing backlog of technologies that are prominent to learn and try, and unless there is a clear learning path, it is easy enough to lose focus. In my opinion, increased interest to and adoption of cloud-friendly and cloud-native tools only increases this pace of emerging technologies.
If you were not in your current position, what/where would you be and why?
If I wouldn’t have made it out to the IT world in general and SAP in particular, there is a high chance that I would have gravitated towards the job related to financial and investment analysis. I got a degree in economics – precisely speaking, in investment analysis – and I liked studying financial mathematics and mathematical modelling during my studentship.
Morten Wittrock has mentioned in his Blog It Forward post recently that he wanted to become a mathematician, so it looks like a trend: people who didn’t make their career in mathematics for various reasons, end up in the integration area.
What do you do apart from SAP in your free time?
As much as I would like to say that I try to abstract myself from IT and switch my mind to something else in my spare time, that is not entirely true. Notable time is dedicated to IT related topics – putting some ideas under test in SAP space (some of those ideas and thoughts materialize in blog posts, but heaven knows how many sketches fail and don’t settle) and experimenting with single-board computers (I have a small collection of Raspberry Pi’s that are stressed with those experiments) are likely to be two major areas.
Apart from that, I like walking. When I’m in a new city, I really enjoy walking the streets and exploring that city life. I also like hiking and cycling occasionally, but those two are not regular and are fairly infrequent activities.
A few years ago, I started playing the electric guitar – somewhat I wanted to try for a long period of time and that I enjoy now.
What is your most favorite SAP Cloud Platform Service
You might think – I come from an integration background, so it must be some service from the SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. That’s absolutely right! Well, one of them. If I could have selected multiple services, then I would say that Cloud Platform Integration is one of my favorite services, thanks to flexibility that it offers when developing integration flows. I shall say that there are areas where it can be further enhanced – monitoring and troubleshooting tools, native enablement for CI/CD pipelines, unit testing and mocking – and there are efforts invested into this… But when it comes to the integration pipeline and underlying runtime – that is very impressive! And just as it is possible to build state-of-the-art scenarios there, it is also possible to go wild and introduce unwanted disruption, so flexibility and power come side by side with responsibility, which, I guess, are two sides of the same coin.
Another service (well, strictly speaking, this is not a service on its own, but in a wider term, can be considered as a core building block of the platform) that I absolutely like is application runtimes in Cloud Foundry. The concept of buildpacks and the overall technique of deploying and running applications within application containers, binding deployed applications to services – transparency that they provide to the application developer is outstanding in my view.
But there are so many services that keep getting introduced in the SAP Cloud Platform and that I haven’t used yet or just scratched their surface, that I feel my favorites list might change over time.
Which country would you love to visit
Among countries that I haven’t yet visited, I would really like to travel to New Zealand, Japan and Iceland. Landscapes of those countries look so amazing and beautiful – and so different! It would be an exciting experience to get there and spend some time exploring those countries – driving, walking, hiking… And enjoying spectacular views of valleys, mountains and fjords. This feels to me as an entirely different world.
- If you were free to choose any IT area other than SAP, or any other area within SAP other than integration, what you would have selected or wanted to try out?
- What were funniest or the most unusual project go lives that you participated in?
- What is your life dream? It can be something from professional life or something you would like to try and experience in your life.