January 25, 2021

From Intern to Team Lead. My Career Path at HYS Enterprise

Alexander Prygun, .Net Team Lead at HYS Enterprise, started his career path from an Intern position more than 5 years ago. Alexander shared his empowering story about growing in the company.

Alyona Petrukhina
Content Marketing Manager

Switching to IT Industry

I studied at the Odesa National Polytechnic University at the faculty of ‘Electromechanical automation systems and electric drives’. After graduation, I had almost 10 years of professional experience. During this time, I landed a job in two companies where I reached high positions and even managed a team of more than two hundred people.

Despite all that, I realized that my work didn’t bring me the desirable satisfaction. The existing processes, management approaches, and income ceiling made me frustrated. So I started asking myself questions like ‘Do I want to continue working in this industry?’ and ‘How can I grow?’. After all, I decided that it’s time to take a risk and change everything.

I have been interested in programming since childhood. But when I decided to switch to the IT industry, I had no relevant knowledge of modern technologies and stacks. So I began studying. Every day I got up before work at 5 a.m. and read books. But it wasn’t enough. So I quit my job and plunged myself entirely into self-studying. I had been intensively learning in 10-12 hours a day for a month.

Then my friends told me about HYS Enterprise. The company had open positions, so after solid preparations, I applied for the job. I passed interviews and got my first position as Intern/Junior .Net developer. 

Finally, I started a new chapter in my life. I was surprised by awesome perks, working conditions, and a completely different relationship with management. It was a new world for me.


My journey started with real tasks. In the beginning, I ‘fought’ with them, and then my team lead helped me to sort everything out. He asked leading questions and we discussed my answers and ideas. But after all, I had to do everything by myself. Now I understand how important it was and how it boosted me as a specialist. In my opinion, the best learning tactic is when you have the opportunity to puzzle everything out by yourself. 

At first, I was overwhelmed by technical challenges. A lot of new complicated things fell upon me. Also, I had a language barrier that made communication with clients harder. My team lead added me to all meetings with customers. It helped me get on board quickly. 


My growth was fast. After 4-5 months, I already established contact with the customer. The team lead began to trust me more with complex tasks and delegated me more initiatives. After 7-8 months, I managed the first project to production. It was a billing of a European telecom operator.

My team lead noticed my growth and independence and gradually transferred the project to me.


Team Lead’s Responsibilities

Team Lead’s responsibilities depend on how the company defines this role. For me, it’s a constant search for a balance to focus on the management tasks and the technical side of the project.

I usually concentrate on the technical part of the project, but sometimes I need to step in as a manager and enhance work processes.


How to Work with Interns

Many interns had worked on our projects and then stayed at the company after the internship. They are smart specialists with a solid knowledge base and minimal work experience.

After the intern digs into the project, we give him a ‘battle mission’. At the same time, we realize that if he fails this task in the sprint, it won’t entail consequences. But at the end of a two-week sprint, almost everyone copes with the task. With this actionable approach, interns evolve quickly as skilled specialists.

Often my colleagues come up to me with the question ‘How would you understand that I have grown from intern to junior?’. It’s simple. There is a real project, real tasks, and stories. If the intern can complete a simple story, clarify the details, demonstrate results to the customer, and require minimal support from other team members, that’s it. Welcome to the next level!


Requirements for Interns

Talking about the most crucial qualities for interns, I want to highlight the following ones. 

  1. Theory and knowledge base. Don’t disperse your mind with a large number of frameworks, languages, and technologies. A minimal stack with deep understanding is better. Also, interns need basic knowledge of the theory of algorithms.  
  2. Thinking process. In any case, an intern’s knowledge base is not enough even for the first steps, so it is important to be able to learn quickly and dig into the work process.
  3. Soft skills. When I recruited people at the beginning of my IT career, I chose people based on their technical knowledge. Now when I interview an intern, I pay attention to soft skills as well as to technical ones. It’s essential to be a team player and communicate clearly with others. 

To wrap it up, if you’re thinking about changing your career, your success depends on your consistency, learning, and work. If you are ready to overcome challenges, you’ll succeed!