Reaching for the Stars Improving Data Transfer

Vasyl Vaskul, Senior Software Development Engineer

My one inspiration in life has always been my family. Each and every one of them has given me so much, but it’s my uncle, in particular, who helped me discover and pursue my passion for science. He’s a very talented scientist and his success story in the field really inspired me to try and follow in his footsteps. Our discussions were always revolving around nourishing and exciting topics such as string theory, black holes, supersymmetry, etc – and the reason why my first aspiration was to become a theoretical physicist. 

I quickly realized that I needed to study and work in a field that is more exciting and stimulating on a daily basis that theoretical physics. I have always been passionate about mathematics and computers ever since I was a kid, so when the time to choose arrived, I went on to study Computer Science at KNU, in Kyiv, Ukraine. My other passion in life has always been traveling, opening to the world, and discovering other cultures; that’s why after winning a scholarship for COPERNIC program I have moved to Paris, France to study Business Administration at Sciences Po.

Being particularly drawn to the field of technology in general, I was then looking for a job that could combine this passion with my education and an exciting environment for me to work in. I heard of SOPHiA GENETICS, and it seemed like the kind of company I wanted to be a part of. Health, data, scalable services, cloud computing, web, opensource, innovation… all of these words reflect my personal interest and are at the core of what the company does every day. 
I now live in the beautiful French Basque country with my family, working as a Senior Software Development Engineer.

My main focus of work is building new platform services powering data transfer that will be at the core of the new SOPHiA DDM™ platform. On the day-to-day, it means that I am solving challenging problems of data transfer. It is very rewarding, and it makes me grow as an engineer a little more every day. I am part of a great team – the so-called Plancha team – and we all lift each other up in the most challenging way. We deal with scaling problems, performance bottlenecks, internals of algorithms and protocols for distributed systems, micro-service architectures patterns, failures at scale etc, while also regularly meeting with customers. When a new customer is using the platform, we have onboarding call to help them with automating uploads by using the uploader CLI tool. This helps us understand their needs and better prioritize the products we build. 

It’s important for my team, and for the whole company, to have this proximity with our customers; it gives us important insights and directions to help us fulfil our mission: helping healthcare institutions to improve people’s health across the globe. It’s incredible to work for a company that is full of great people at every level, working together toward the same goal.  

If I had to sum up what it’s like to work at SOPHiA GENETICS, I would say it just combines all the elements you could possibly be looking for in a job. First of all, I am lucky enough to be working in our French R&D office in Bidart which really is a dream location, close to the sea. Also, the job in itself is stimulating. I’m surrounded with a brilliant team, and we solve challenging technical and scientific issues; it never gets boring! But what is truly amazing is the bond we, as colleagues, all share. We come from all over the world, from different backgrounds, we don’t speak the same language and don’t have the same culture, but we all learn from one another and grow together, united by the same exceptional company mission. I may not have become an astrophysicist working on black holes, but with the SOPHiA team around me, I am for sure – we are all – reaching for the stars!