Vladimir Apukov (user name vapukov) began his relationship with the Talend Community as many users do – reading and searching for answers. Like many members of the Talend community, he is always asking questions and in the asking, he finds the solutions that other Talend users need. It is his insatiable curiosity and willingness to experiment that have led to 1,451 posts, thirteen stars, and 277 kudos since the new community site was launched in 2017. He has managed to accomplish all of this just since joining the Talend Community in March 2015. For someone who started as a reader and then transitioned into a leader in answering questions, Vladimir has navigated the chart of success.
Vladimir began as an independent consultant, but after moving to New Zealand from Malta, he began to work as a Software Consultant at OSS Group Ltd. While he had used Talend before, it is there that Talend became a large part of his life. OSS has been a Talend Gold Partner since 2016 and according to their website, “We are the Talend integration software partner for New Zealand, with Talend's integration software and tool sets forming the cornerstones of our Integration Practice. We offer our clients a full suite of integration services including bespoke software integration, a fully managed integration platform and cloud-based integration services.” Vladimir is a part of the team that puts OSS Group Ltd. on the map.
Vladimir holds two Talend certifications in Talend Data Integration and Talend Big Data Integration. He had been using Talend tools for quite some time before putting his knowledge to the test. In preparing for his certifications, Vladimir found the practice tests valuable as well as continual practice and application. While Talend provided all the materials he needed, “I never tried to pass the certification exams just based on the materials and courses.” Practice indeed, makes for smoother sailing.
Leading the School
Vladimir’s education is extensive. He has completed degrees in Information Management, Engineering, and possesses a post-graduate diploma in Computer/Information Technology Administration and Management. “When I was studying in school, I was sure I would be working with technology, maybe, or close to technology. I finished one of the best physics and mathematics board in school. So, when I was studying in school, I thought maybe I would work with the Science Institute.” It wasn’t until after serving in the army that Vladimir knew where his life would lead. “When I returned, I changed my direction.” Given his background, it is no wonder that Vladimir’s approach to participating in the Talend Community is a unique one.
Anticipating the needs of other Talend users as well as his own, Vladimir has created his own one-man think tank. “I have a couple projects just for tests. For me, it is like a quiz. So, when other users have questions, I open up a project, create a small jobs check, and I keep in mind the solutions for the future.” It is no secret that one of of Vladimir’s best-practices include searching to see if a question that has recently been asked, was previously asked, and answered. In searching for posts to respond to in the Talend Community, he always goes for the unique and approaches these issues in a “case by case” method. “Some interesting questions could take some time to answer. Proper database and proper task design are important. Of course, it’s very interesting.”
Searching for Clear Waters
In his work-life as well as his activity in the Talend Community, Vladimir is unafraid to tread into new waters and unfamiliar territory, “Sometimes, even on the real projects, you are met with a situation where you would need to preform non-standard steps.” He goes on to comment on his creative process of problem solving, “So, it is my job to ask why we do something, and maybe recommend some alternative solutions.”
While official Talend Meetups have not quite reached New Zealand as of yet, OSS Group Ltd. hosts gatherings that allow Talend users to meet in person. “It’s more about people and relations. So, there is much new about Talend, and usually the people who are going there just want to meet, to talk with people.” The social aspect is an important one, allowing users like Vladimir to create not only a team, but the companionship of a community.
Come Sail Away
Vladimir and his wife and son love life on the water and upon finishing this interview, they were headed to the beach. When asked where his favorite places to dive were he said, “Well, it's Egypt, of course and also the Red Sea. It's by all parameters, the most beautiful place in the world. Every place has something interesting about it. In some places to dive, this could be good visibility. In other places, this could be history in the form of objects or wrecks. My favorite place to dive is the Red Sea. It's best of the world. The second-best place to dive is Sardinia for cave diving.”
Vladimir and his family also love to sail recreationally. “There was one year when we relocated from Malta to New Zealand. We arrived from Malta from Europe on the sailing yacht. This was really best year in my life.”
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